Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Further afield

At long last, I have ordered a GPS unit. For me, finding my way to a new venue is the single most challenging part of my storytelling profession. I got spoiled while living in New York. Manhattan was on a grid mostly), and if I got turned around when emerging from the subway, there were always tall landmarks to help me get reoriented.

In Seattle, my sense of direction is decent. However, once I start driving toward the new developments where there are identical beige houses as far as the eye can see, my internal gyroscope goes wonky. It's worse at night-- I have finally started to see the effects of age, and need light in order to read those already tiny street signs, and all my carefully plotted directions don't do me any good if I have to pull over to the side of the road every ten minutes. I'll let you know how it goes, but I predict that having the GPS will inspire confidence to go further afield for my gigs.

7 comments:

Lone Star Ma said...

I have a truly terrible sense of direction. Actually, I am bad with everything that is spatial - geometry, directions, hitting balls, parking - it's like a disability that isn't recognized or something. I can kind of feel where the neural connections stop...there are just no electrical impulses going past certain points.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

LSM: I hear you. I think my brain got rewired after I had a baby, because all of a sudden, despite my fatigue, I could hit pool balls accurately and visualize parallel parking. There have been studies done examining who does better with spacial awareness-- according to the studies I've read, a higher percentage of men have done better than women, yet on my side of the family, the women have done better than the men in terms of directions. I myself have had to over-compensate over the years (i.e. study maps, make little map drawings of my own, write out turn by turn directions, write out alternative directions if I miss my turns, etc). Overcompensating works, but it is most fatiguing. The bright side is that I am usually pretty good at giving directions to other people.:)

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

P.S. The GPS unit arrived today! It is a Garmin nuvi 350, in case anyone cares. It's as cute as a speckled pup.

Lori said...

Good luck with your new geographic buddy! I too was born without a sense of direction, and have regularly gotten lost going someplace I've been multiple times. Seattle was brutal. Look to the left: mountains and water. Look to the right: mountains and water!

Lone Star Ma said...

Spatial over-compensation is my life. I do best writing out turn by turn directions. I also keep myself far away from other cars. I passed high school geometry because half of our tests were about being able to spit out the theorums and I aced all of those, thus averaging out the flunked ones where they wanted us to work the proofs. I also had a real sweetie-pie pre-cal teacher in college, who gave me a B for effort, I think.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

LSM: I took geometry in 10th grade, and was socially passed. The next year, I found myself in geometry class again. I went to the guidance counselor to cpmplain of the mistake, and she put me in Algebra II, but said, "Hmmm, it was recommended that you take geometry again." And yet, somehow no one ever notified my parents or recommended I take summer school.

"Hmm" indeed!

Lori: I can sympathize. Streets can be tricky here-- they change names without warning, and the maps don't always accurately reflect where you can turn.

Lone Star Ma said...

And algebra just makes complete sense to me - you just have to be able to be analytical, with which I have no problem. It seems so unfair to have to get through geometry to get back to it!