The Arctic World’s the Stage …

In my last post, I referenced Shakespeare’s idea that “all the world’s a stage” and that humans are merely actors on a stage that doesn’t shift (much) geographically. That is, unless, technology is involved. The Douglas C-47 Skytrain definitely changed the geography of World War II – more “easily” flying the Hump to resupply China than navigating the Burmese Road, a mess of ruts through the Pat Kai range at the eastern edge of the Himalayas.

This week, my students have been assessing 45 locations in the world in terms of their ability to isolate, integrate or create choke points for humankind over the last 2,000 years. One of those locations is the Arctic Ocean. Generally speaking, it’s been lurking up at the top of the world with the label of ISOLATION, an easy moniker for such a frozen place.

But, this week, my students get to see how this theme of movement is played out in their own history – in the world of energy hungry, Gortex and Hy-Vent wearing, nuclear fueled navies competing for territories and resources at the top of the world. Our northernmost border, often overshadowed by the difficulties at the southern border of the United States, is in the spotlight as our president is going FAR north to stake a claim on an area that technology has opened.

Teaching mental mapping is critical to equip students to navigate their own futures and the future of their world.