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Welcome

June 17, 2011

Awhile back we said that we were inviting you on our journey to the center of the word geography, well….welcome to it. It twists and turns; it goes down the wrong path and has to backtrack; at some points the path is so wide you could fit twelve people abreast and others it is so faint that your brain tricks you into thinking that maybe there isn’t a path at all. Well, after nearly four months of silence, I’m here to tell you that there is still a path…it just might not be the one anybody expected.

It’s been a long quarter for both of us. I can’t speak for Chey but I know for me it was a challenging few months, and it wasn’t because of the workload, but rather because of my own engagement with the material that was being presented to me. Recently I told a friend that I felt myself drawn to geography because I dealt with the material on my own terms–because I didn’t immediately grasp concepts, because I had to take what was being taught and think about it, struggle with it, wrestle it into fitting my own brain. Geography isn’t regurgitation for me–it’s active engagement. And that is why this quarter took a lot out of me–but it’s also why I got so much of it. Passivity, as you might have picked up, is quality that I try to avoid.

This spring was my first quarter in the geography department here at UW, and in addition to the huge amount of academic information I had to learn for my classes, I was also learning where I fit into this department, and in turn where this department fits into the discipline as a whole. Meeting professors, grad students, peers, and navigating the perilous waters of academia became just as important to me as studying cartographic theory or the political ecology of American agriculture (both of which I find fascinating to give you a frame of reference here). And what I learned was equally valuable as either—especially for a geographer and particularly for this geographer—that this is where I belong. I fit in this space.

H-5 Inc. has suffered. We’ve been busy and we’re both going through changes, academically, spatially, and professionally, which, despite its early stages, is where we like to file this blog. We’re not apologizing for that because this is part of our journey and if you’re with us, then you get us warts and all. That said, we are officially going on a hiatus of sorts. We are going to drop the whole monthly theme thing for the summertime. We post what we want, when we want. We will pick up with our (ir)regular schedule in the fall and I would like to reassure what few readers (read: parents) we have that this hiatus does not mean we are going anywhere. In fact, despite our recent absence, I would argue that this blog and our plans for it as a platform for sharing ideas with a community of peers, exploring geography, building projects, plans, and adventure, remains a very important and prevalent part of our lives. Life under pressure, however, has a way of robbing you of the things you value most.

Next up—9eyes. See you soon, geographer out.

–s

p.s. Also, check out the new mission statement.

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