Chapter 9 “Transit” Review by Lauren Quincy

Hi! I am Lauren Q and I am in 9th grade. I was born in Austin, Texas and have lived here all my life. I love traveling whether it is to see family, for sports, or to sightsee. I have been to 17 states in the U.S., including Pennsylvania and California, and out of the country once on a cruise. I am very interested in the physical geography of places and love learning about the different cultures around the world. I speak English, and am learning Spanish to hopefully use for future traveling.

I am reviewing chapter 9, “Transit”, in the book. The chapter begins with the author, Ken Jennings, describing his drive with two self-confessed “roadgeeks”, Mark Bozanich and John Spafford. Roadgeeks are people with an extended interest in roads, their features, and their history. Jennings states that all roadgeeks are mapheads too and that “roadgeeks can find something to fascinate them on just about any highway in America, but they also have their own special landmarks and pilgrimages” (Jennings 169). He states how important road geeks are to the world because they help with the development of our roads and transportation system. They can see exactly what road they are on, the history behind it and ultimately visualize how to improve on it. Jennings begins describing that all people have mental maps in their head, just to different degrees, depending on the amount of familiarity and attentiveness to detail they have. It also depends on the type of detail. Jennings states that he loves the landscapes and scenery while roadgeeks are interested in the details of the route. This all lead to atlas’ which Jennings said have “become inseparably tied to that uniquely American ritual of liberation: the road trip” (Jennings 176). The author meets with Jim Sinclair, creator of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, to talk about how peoples mental maps and desires to travel can help them on the rally without leaving home. Jennings then signs up for the rally to show personal insight on how dedication and precision is ultimately what determines the winners. He describes the interest in the Massacre as “just ways to get as close as possible to the atlas” (Jennings 184). In the end, he

This chapter and book as a whole, really resonated with me. Although it was hard to get through at some points, in the end I enjoyed it and looked at maps in a different light. I can connect with this chapter because although I don’t religiously make mental maps, I can picture my routes to different places around Austin and around other states. To me, much like Ken Jennings, my maps consist of landscape and landmarks. After reading the book and each chapter, I would compare the facts to my life and realize that the author was mostly true. Google maps and technology is a big part of daily life and you can see it more as the generations and ages of children with phones and electronics gets lower. Reading maps and obtaining knowledge about other places and how they affect us is important, but is less common now especially among younger generations. I enjoyed the book and I think it as a great eyeopener into the world in relations to maps.

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3 thoughts on “Chapter 9 “Transit” Review by Lauren Quincy

  1. I enjoyed your blog very much. I thought it was interesting that roadgeeks know exactly what road they are on all the time. In addition I thought it was cool how you pointed out that even roadgeeks have their own landmarks they like. Do you have any certain place that you would like to travel?

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  2. I thought you had a great blog! I also felt differently towards maps at the end of the book (in a good way). you said that you have been to 17 different states, I was wondering how many of those were for swim meets?

    Like

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