John Krygier: A Crooked Stick Straightened: Map Making as Juvenile Delinquent Reform

John Krygier teaches in the Department of Geology and Geography at Ohio Wesleyan University, with teaching and research specializations in cartography, geographic information systems (GIS), as well as environmental and human geography. He has made scads of maps and has published on map design, educational technology, cultural geography, multimedia in cartography, planning, the history of cartography, and participatory geographic information systems. See krygier.owu.edu and makingmaps.net for more information than you will ever want.
John_Krygier_Pic1.png“From a slouching, unkempt, uncouth, shambling, horrid boy, he emerged into being a respectable, neat, tidy, order-loving, painstaking, and industrious young man.”

– Miss Winthrop, 1888

I had an ugly, unruly boy in my room, and be gave me more trouble than all the rest of the class. When I inherited him I felt as if Nemesis had overtaken me, and just how to control him and secure any kind of work from him was a problem I long wrestled with. For several weeks he was the terror of the room, and my reputation for good order and dignity was, I felt, fast disappearing. The boy would not obey unless he felt like it, and punishments had no effect on him. Every plan I evolved for the regeneration of the boy proved abortive. He wouldn’t reform. Finally, by accident, I stumbled on the cure.

I discovered that he was interested in his drawing, or rather was interested in sketching odd bits of scenery, or objects in the room, not even omitting his respected teacher, who was a typical schoolmarm and wore glasses. I resolved to make the most of this one talent – if talent it was – and so one day, when I was in my hest and sweetest mood, I asked the terror if he would not draw a plan for some shelves I wanted put up in my closet. He assented, and the sketch was neatly and accurately made. There was a new look in his eyes and a new
expression on his face when he gave me the paper on which his drawings were made.

Then I advanced slowly and cautiously. I needed some maps made, following a new invention of mine in cartography, and again I employed the terror, and again the result was encouraging. The maps were models of neatness and precision. I judiciously praised him, and exhibited the maps to the class.

Continue reading John’s full post on his blog!
http://makingmaps.net/2010/11/17/a-crooked-stick-straightened-map-making-as-juvenile-delinquent-reform/

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