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2/13/14

What Happens When Geography Is Gone?

I was in Michigan this last week and the snow blew sideways and the sky was solid white and it was cold enough that if you didn't wear three layers you would swear that you were going to die. Then, after being hurled through the air at insanely high speeds, I was in a backyard in shorts and a t-shirt realizing that our ash trees were already completely green.

Sometimes when I'm on social media, I forget about geography. I forget that people have less sunlight north of me and that people are shoveling snow all over the east coast. I forget how hard it is to keep going and keep working when the sunlight is still dying and you haven't seen a blue sky in days.

A few people asked me, "How do blog so much and write so often?" A part of it is geography. I wake up to blue skies ninety-five percent of the year. I never shovel anything more than some dirt (when I'm fixing sprinklers). Our dark, depressing months are the days when the high is only sixty five.

It has me thinking that if the neutral, spaceless space of social media is so deceptive about physical geography, it must be playing tricks with social and political geography as well. It has me wondering about what I'm missing in the implicit assumption that someone far, far away is in the same room as me.
JOHN SPENCER
Professor of Instructional Technology
I want to see kids embrace creativity. As a teacher, this meant murals, documentaries, STEM camps, and coding projects. As a dad, this has meant elaborate pillow forts and home-made pinball machines and the story of non-magical wizard who makes robots. It's also why I co-founded Write About. Interested in having me speak or consult on design thinking and creativity? Visit my speaking page and fill out the contact form at the bottom. I'll get back to you within 24 hours.

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