I’ve been away for twelve days but I just gave my deck a shot and recited it in 2:46. I have not even looked at this stuff since March 10th as I was far too preoccupied with being unoccupied at the beach over Spring Break so I’m actually surprised at the results.
This morning I sat down with five blank U.S. maps (State outlines only), Wikipedia, and a fine-tipped red sharpie and filled in a separate map for: State names; Capitals; Flowers; Birds; Animals.
This system is not going to work perfectly because of overlap. For example, did you know that the only bird in the American midwest is the western meadowlark? It must be, because six States picked it as their official state bird! Seven eastern states with the cardinal and four southern ones with the mockingbird were just as bad. Didn’t the people who picked these things have any sense of pride in the uniqueness of their home State? And the fact that the white-tailed deer – as graceful, wily, and delicious as it may be – was chosen as the official state animal of NINE eastern States is flat out embarrassing. They might be the Official State Target in each of those (except in Arkansas where I believe it is still beer cans propped up on rusted out vintage pick-ups), but surely there’s more to be had in those States than our beloved bucks’n’does.
If I were an owl, lynx, bobcat, possum, hawk, wolverine (shame on you, Michigan, for being another white-tailed lackey!), wolf, osprey, or any other of a host of interesting birds or animals living in those states…I’d be totally pissed!
Anyway, I’m through ranting about the silliness of our State wildlife and the bottom line is that I now have my maps and all I need to do is plot the same journey from State to State, from Capital to Capital, from bird to bird, etc, in order to have my five journeys of 52 “places”. Of course I have to memorize the birds, animals and flowers if I want to be able to memorize more than 104 items that will fit nicely into the States and Capitals which I already know. My intention is to try to learn these by using them as props. I’ll explain this as I go along, but for now I’ve digested enough (and spent enough time) and it’s time to shut ‘er down for the day.
Tomorrow I’ll start my first journey in Maine…