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Test your European geography (and more) February 1, 2007

Posted by fukumimi in Uncategorized.
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Found via A:C Euro

This is a cool (and educational) game.

I’ve always been a bit of a geography lover. My doodling as a 7-year old was mostly drawing freehand maps of the world or countries. Other popular targets were pieces of military equipment, but I digress. In the twenty-something years since then, the world has become more segmented and it has a good few dozen more nations and quasi-nations (the PC term escapes me at this time) represented on the map. Then there are those name changes that are cast upon us. I think I need to buy a new atlas….

Clearly I’m a bit rusty because I only scored 41/45 the first time and 44/45 the second time. (The order in which countries appear is randomised which can make the quiz pretty tricky – and those tiny countries like San Marino, Andorra and Monaco are a bitch to place correctly, and landlocked countries are a nightmare unless at least one neighbouring country is already in place)

Geography is one of those subjects which seems to be being marginalised by recent changes in educational curricula. History also, the two subjects are intimately intertwined of course. It seems stupid to harp on about how we need to educate children to be international and global citizens, and then neglect this part of their education. It is surprising how many people would have trouble naming a good portion of the 47 prefectures or 50 states (I was going to say all of them, but maybe that is setting the bar too high? For countires, I’d expect any self-respecting person to be able to name at least 100, if not 150…). I must admit the 92 counties of the UK (including N Ireland) are a bit much for me these days, although I had no problem with them as a child. Probably means I’ve been away from the UK for too long….

In my case, I found geography lessons rather boring, but only because I knew all the technical aspects from my leisure reading and having read the geography text books issued at school within the first week of the school year. (yes, that is rather sad isn’t it…. I wasn’t a square or anything though, just ask any of the teachers who were unfortunate enough to teach me. I guess I had (and still have) a huge appetite for knowledge. I really should put it to use a bit more regularly, granted….)

Geography lessons quickly turned into a convenient time to sit at the back of the room and catch up on my french homework (or similar), something which my geography masters clearly did not appreciate.

I dropped geography after the 3rd year, as I felt it was a subject I could afford not to receive any further formal education in having set my sights on a science-centric curriculum (having said that, the other subject I dropped was biology. I knew already that I was a physical sciences kinda guy). My parting shot was to score the highest marks in the subject in the year-end exams by a clear margin, after having notified my master that I would be dropping the subject.

When I got my marked paper back, I complained at the way it was scored. They actually docked one point for not using a ruler to draw a line, and I think they docked the other point for “ambigous labelling of axes” on a graph I had drawn to illustrate an answer to an essay question. My master admonished me for being “petty” when I pointed out that others were not penalised for identical (or worse) issues….. I think he didn’t like me very much. (I probably deserved the contempt (or was is disappointment) back then….)

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Comments»

1. Darren Beck - February 1, 2007

Actually you were a massive square. Don’t lie.

2. fukumimi - February 2, 2007

Darren,

Don’t mislead the handful of other readers of my blog. I don’t want people thinking I’m some kind of swot.

You of all people should know how committed I was to developing “a broad range of experiences” and not be focussed exclusively on academic effort. Some may say I should have focussed at least some attention on the latter. (to which I say, people should not be fooled by my carefree manner, I have been known to make an effort occasionally)

I recall that my “broad range of experiences” included go out partying the night before my finals. I believe you were one of the guys who invited me out that night, as you had finished your finals before I did. Talk about a bad influence…..

Of course, I did ace that exam – I think it was optoelectronic materials or something in that area – and got top marks, to the bewilderment of Prof Kilner (who was a co-founder of fuel cell company Ceres Power, based on his research at IC) who taught the course and said he couldn’t recall ever seeing me in lectures. (It isn’t true, I did attend some lectures. Admittedly not the ones first thing in the morning….)


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