Which way do we go?


Right now, wherever you’re sitting or standing, can you accurately point north (or east, west, south)?

Over the last few weeks I’ve led many school programs in the cemetery. Students have to do field research – find particular headstones and answer questions based on the information on the headstone. In order to do this they have to find the headstones.

The worksheet tells them which area (by direction) a headstone is located. Example -- On the south side, find the headstone for Paul Smith...

I have learned from years of working with students that before we can begin the activity, I need to review with them (several times) which direction is which. Many students (not all) have no sense of direction at all.

So that got me thinking. Is this normal? Or are we less able to tell directions now than our ancestors could? Or (and, yes, I have a bias here) are people raised in the country better at directions then people from the city? As people become more accustomed to GPS and machines for directions, is this a skill that will disappear?

wagon train.jpg

I have an image of people today as pioneers of centuries past trying to cross a country. With their bad direction finding, if you told them to head west, they could have ended up anywhere. And they never would have made it to town (without roads) to get supplies.

So, now I'm curious. Are you good at directions? If so, who taught you and how did you learn? If you're not good at directions, do you ever find it a problem? Would love to get your responses.