Last week at the beginning of a meeting my advisor distributed line drawing maps of Africa, Asia, and South America with no country labels to a few grad students in attendance. We then had ten minutes to label as many countries as we could. It did not go well.
I came home from that meeting and ordered a world map.
When I was finishing up my undergrad degree and preparing to head off to grad school my academic advisor at Temple told me that the cost of earning a Ph.D. in a science field is the sacrifice of all common sense and most knowledge that does not pertain directly to your research (she said this with a serious expression on her face, but I knew she was joking). At times her words come back to me when I realize I’ve forgotten something I once knew. Hopefully my new map will help me reclaim geographical awareness.