Sunday, November 04, 2012

Jada the Explorer

Funny that our little Chinese baby, holed up in that orphanage for the first 7+ months of her life, should become such a geography buff as a little girl.  Combine her zest for exploration with her mad memorization skills, and you have the makings of a geographer savant.

To feed her interests, her teacher gave her a book about each of the 50 states in the US, with info like land area, state flower, and so on.  She studies this book zealously, spouting off random facts about the  population in Wyoming or what the state bird is in Arkansas.

It's a common parlor game to try to write down all 50 states in five minutes.  As good as I am at geography, my highest score is 48.  It's not that it's not enough time, it's just that you invariably get a blind spot about a state or two.  Well, to test Jada, I asked her to play the game.  And she got 41!  Even more crazy, a lot of her list was done in alphabetical order, so instead of envisioning a map and writing down states as you go from left to right or right to left (which is how I assume most people do this), she was recalling pages from her teacher's book. 

Here's hoping we can continue to fan this flame, and that she'll have every opportunity to visit all 50 states and then some in her lifetime. 

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