Chapter 4: Benchmarks

My name is Altaira Wallquist. I am in 9th grade. I was born in Austin, and have resided here ever since. Since I am 14 this will be my 14th year in Texas. I have travelled to a variety of states including Louisiana, Missouri, Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas, New Mexico, Michigan, California, and Alaska. The only foreign country I’ve been to is Canada but that was just on my way back from Alaska.

This chapter starts with Jennings in the Library of Congress. He meets the chief of the map division John Hérbert. Jennings is there to view the extensive collection of maps. “But this library is different from any I’ve ever seen, a seemingly endless expanse straight out of a Borges story. I can follow the florescent-lit lines of shelves almost to a single vanishing point in each direction,”(57) he observes. Hérbert tell him it’s the largest collection of maps in human history. Jennings and Hérbert discuss the amazing collection of maps. “The number of mind-blowing items like this one in the library’s collection is powerful testimony to the omnipresent Zelig-like role that maps have played,”(59) Jennings remarks when looking at the incredible maps. Hérbert tells Jennings of the amazing maps they have received in the past. Jennings later is disappointed to hear that there are no records of treasure maps. Jennings then moves on to discuss the importance of borders and the thrills of them. Jennings makes a few final remarks about interesting named roads and closes the chapter talking about the discovery of America.

I thought hat this chapter was very interesting, I was amazed to learn about all the fantastic maps at the library of Congress. It was so interesting to hear Jennings discuss the enormity of the library. I was also shocked at the variety of amazing maps. It was fun to read about all of the odd and peculiar road names too. The overall book was fantastic and I would definitely recommend it. It inspired me to learn more about maps and the world, and was a pleasant reading  experience. I am happy I had the opportunity to read this book.


One thought on “Chapter 4: Benchmarks

  1. Thanks Altaira. l really loved the Library of Congress part especially his joke in the beginning about messing with Texas. He really put things in perspective. Maps are a huge part of our world and always should be. The Library is huge and just huge and filled with maps. Some are famous because of who drew them, some are famous because of the places they depict, some are famous because of their age, and some aren’t famous at all, but they are important because they exist. They remind us. Thank you for adding that picture. Some things are just easier to read when you have a place to start your mental image.
    What’s your favorite place you’ve traveled to and are you disappointed that you haven’t traveled more?


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