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Directionally challenged.

topomapMy internal compass often goes¬†awry. In other words, I get lost, easily. I am the Queen of U-Turns. If my mental map is fuzzy, the landmarks destroyed, or the destination is incorrect in Google maps, (it’s happened), MapQuest, (it’s happened) or I can’t figure out the car’s GPS (it’s happened), then, well, lost. But I am home now, so it’s not a permanent thing.

Technology tools are wonderful means to find my way; I have often printed out directions to many destinations. But I remember, too, what a thrill, what a sense of accomplishment, when I learned how to read a Thomas Guide when I moved to California, and properly use a compass on hikes. No batteries. No satellite. Just the position of the sun, stars, and moon make me aware that time and space are inter-connected, four-dimensional, and eternal. As far as I know Stonehenge is still standing, and someone knows how to read its clock.

Sometimes I am too entrenched in the visual, the spatial: I use any globe-like object to re-enact the moon’s phases (ping-pong balls come in handy for Luna). I love old treasure maps, maps from the glove box, and sea-faring maps. I love old globes that show political maps and boundaries that no¬†longer exist. Those erased boundaries are steeped in blood: they are not merely annoying, fussy antiques to be sent to the dumpster. They are history.

Why do I save old love letters, but not emails? Why do I save old maps, but not the directions I print out from Mapquest? Why do I commit to memory the directions to a friend’s new house so I can visit with ease?

Recently I read a post by a so-called technology and education expert. He stated any educator who continued to purchase maps or globes should be fired.

Now I wonder who is really directionally challenged and lost.

(And no, I’m not going to put a trackback link or link to his post. Find it yourself.)