GEOGRAPHY 102: ASSIGNMENT #1 -- GEOBIOS
GEOGRAPHERS' IDENTITIES: BIOGRAPHIES
Last period I asked each of you to fill out a brief questionnaire about
geography and geographers. Today I'll ask you to add an autobiographical
paragraph to that questionnaire. To assist you I'm reprinting questions
posed on a website, How Do You Know If You Want To Be a Geographer?, by the
country's largest organization of professional geographers, the Association
of American Geographers (AAG). Together these resources provide insights
and information that your biographer will need.
During our second class period I'm distributing copies of some interviews
with professional geographers. I'm also handing out excerpts from Carl O.
Sauer's Presidential Address to the Association of American Geographers,
"The Education of a Geographer." These handouts are additional materials
to help you compose an appropriate essay about a classmate's development
as a geographer.
On the Internet you can also find some biographical narratives about other
students and professionals in the field of geography. See, for example,
* the AAG's Using Geography and GIS: Geographers at Work
You'll be paired with a Geography 102 classmate. Like you that person is
pursuing a major or minor in geography. You and your partner will compose
biographies of one another. In moving from rough draft to finished product
you should use:
* responses to the questionnaire
* autobiographical paragraphs
* additional information elicited in conversations
From these you'll craft a page-and-a-half biography of your partner.
Format & Schedule
Monday, September 8 Exchange copies of questionnaires and
autobiographical paragraphs. Use allocated class time to go over
them. Explore any points that need to be clarified or amplified.
Volunteer information about yourself that you think will aid your
partner in composing your biography. Remember the focus of each
eventual biography: the choice of geography as a field of interest,
a major or minor.
Wednesday, September 10 Today you should have an opening
paragraph for your partner's GEOBIO ready to read aloud in class.
As you prepare this opening paragraph consider the many different
ways in which you might introduce your partner to readers/auditors.
One obvious choice would be a straightforward chronology. Other
possibilities would include highlighting a signal event in their
decision to study geography, comparing their appearance and their
demeanor to stereotypes people might have about geographers, or
focusing on their long-term goals in pursuing geography. Can you
think of other ways of beginning the essay?
The September 10th class will also include our photo session.
Following our regular class period in LIBR 4021, we'll adjourn
to the Library's main floor breezeway. There I'll take individual
black & white photos of all class members.
Wednesday, September 17 Share first drafts with one another.
Each draft should be appropriately formatted so that the top half
of the first page is left blank for the individual photo and other
illustrations. The actual text of the biography should begin on
the bottom half of the first page and extend--as needed--through
the 2nd. Remember that your classmate, the subject of the essay
you're writing, must read and approve your draft before you can
proceed. Before leaving class today, review the photos taken
last week to make sure there's a suitable picture to accompany
Wednesday, September 24 Bring the finished biography of your
partner to class. Trade the biographies with one another for a
last look before we place them in individual envelopes. When you
are satisfied with the biography your partner has produced, put
it in the manila envelope I'll provide. Then, select the photo
you wish to use to illustrate your biography. Write your name
lightly on the back of the photo and insert it in the envelope.
You may add one additional illustration--a map or chart or symbol
up to a quarter-page in size--to be placed beside your photograph.
Write your name on the reverse side of that illustration as well
before you put it in the envelope.
Later The department staff will reproduce and assemble all
the biographies, complete with pictures, for this year's class
publication: GEOBIOS 2003. Each of you will receive a copy.