Zia Hassan

Continents And Disorientation

+++ title = “11” date = 2018 +++

In 7th grade, the very first geography test of the year was a test to label all 7 continents.

Sounds easy, but there was a caveat: the continents were drawn on the paper out of context. As if the teacher took cut-outs of each continent and just spilled them onto a blank page in any order and photocopied it. Some were oriented differently, flipped around, etc.

The teacher had a rule that every student had to not only pass the test, but they needed to get it perfect. Or else they would need to retake it at lunch every day until they got 100% correct.

I took it 4 times. I was one of the last to get it. I’ve always had orientation and spacial issues, so it made sense.

Still, I think about it often.

How many super familiar things in my life would be unrecognizable if the orientation changed?

Would I recognize my bed if it was upside down?

Would I know my sister’s face if her nose was on her forehead?

Would I know my own life if I woke up one day and my bedroom door was on the other side of the room?

The life we think we know so well is one flip away from being completely unrecognizable.