Maphead: Bearing

About me 😀

Howdy! My name is Shane Cook and I attend Lake Travis High school as a freshman this year, 2014. I grew up in the rattle snake infested, blazing hot, culturally diverse land of Arizona. Being surrounded by all of that culture has had a major impact on my life. For example when I was about 4 years old my family decided to take a trip to Mexico as we occasionally do and on the drive back as we were crossing the boarder the boarder patrol guy stopped us as a routine check. As he was checking all of our passports, my little 4 year old self decides to spit out, “Hola!! Como estas policía señor?!” which is translated to “Hello!! How are you mister police man?!”. Speaking of traveling I have been to several countries which include the U.S (obviously), Mexico, Canada, the Bahamas, Italy, etc. The list goes on. I also have been to more than half of the states and gotten souvenirs to prove it.I have lived in Texas since I was almost 11 and have been happy living here ever since. With great ethnic background comes great ancestors (I feel like I ripped that off from Spiderman). I have direct linage to James Cook or he is more famously known, Captain Cook. Also I am also directly related to 2 sisters who decided to marry 2 brothers which eventually became pioneers to explore half of Arizona. To be more spatially correct, Prescott Valley and up to the boarder of Arizona and Utah.

My mom, brothers, and I in Rome, Italy in front of the colosseum!!
My mom, brothers, and I in Rome, Italy in front of the colosseum!!

Maphead: Bearing

Personally reading Maphead was a love/hate relationship for me which did not give me a chapter that truly spoke to me. Chapter 2 starts off with a fundamental question commonly asked by children, “Where am I?”[14]. Children are all shaped and formed based on the environment that they are in and all have an imprint on the most impacting place, “Falling in love with places is just like falling in love with people: it can happen more than once, but never quite the first time. [15] Now lets go back to the question “Where am I?”. In order to truly know where you are one must develop what Jennings calls “Good spatial skills..”[16] People that have these sets of abilities are more likely to be a dentist or an engineer because of this advanced spatial skill. A well known study on the brains of London taxi drivers that had passed a test of their knowledge of the streets compared to regular London residents. It had shown that as the cab drivers hippocampi (the brains temporal lobe which is the center of navigation) grew more and more the longer they spent working as a cab driver. Jennings decides to test this on his wife, Mindy. Her spatial skills rant so good…..”I can always ask her which way she thinks we should go at an intersection and then turn in the exact opposite direction.”[18] His family had decided to visit some friends of theirs in Washington, D.C. As Mindy practices for about an hour she finally has the information down, so much that even Jennings looses direction and she teases him because she was correct.

A cool little picture depicting a taxi driver's brain.
A cool little picture depicting a taxi driver’s brain.

Reading Maphead was truly insightful and was inspiring to me personally to become more “in-tune” with the world’s location and have better spatial skills. Jennings has helped me realize that the world is most definitely bigger than me and that I can understand my bearing (see what I did there 😉 ). I would recommend this book to any bookworms, map prodigies, or fact junkies. Basically my younger brother Logan but anyone else who fits that criteria. On a scale from 1 to 10 I would probably say 7 because the new vocabulary was a little frustrating to look up.


6 thoughts on “Maphead: Bearing

  1. That is so cool! I really enjoyed reading about your traveling experience, I myself has traveled a lot but yet still want to continue discovering new cultures and most definitely learning about the place itself. I think its pretty interesting your from Arizona, I have also lived there for about a year and 1/2, I actually spent my spring break at a resort last year, and it was a wonderful experience. I cant believe you went to Rome!!!! I want to see what it is like there, and my dad says it’s amazing! I think “Bearing” is a interesting chapter to talk about because i really like learning that “good spatial skills” have a good chance on becoming a dentist or engineer. My question is, if you were to travel any lace that you haven’t been to where would it be?


    • If I were to travel to any place it would probably be Utah or the Himalayan mountains. I picked 2 because of their lush beauty and amazingly beautiful mountains, I just can’t get enough of it!


      • That’s awesome! I definitely agree with that you can’t get enough of it I love traveling and seeing new places it’s literally an unexplainable feeling to see things you don’t see daily!(:


  2. I really liked reading your post Shane you really captured the meaning of the chapter well i too, agree that reading Maphead was a love hate relationship for me and i have asked the question so many times. I would like to ask you, What is your favorite culture that you have experienced? Good job and good luck.


    • To be honest my absolute favorite culture is the Hispanic culture. Everywhere I go I can see new environments with different people and different cultures but the Hispanic culture always sticks out to me because of what I like to call, “its vibe”. The food is amazing and the people are just great!


  3. Great job on summarizing the chapter! I’ve been to the Bahamas several times throughout my life and I have to say it’s my favorite place to visit! Did you go to Atlantis? I go there every year!


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