“We are here on our honeymoon.”

Was not a sentence I expected to hear as we made our was through Alberta. I’ll touch on that later. Now this blog post is the humanities version of our “Geography of the West” project. The driving question was “How has the geography of the West shaped us?” Questioning, researching, organizing information, and critically reflecting to further our understanding, were the main skills we focused and built on.

In order to fully answer and understand our driving question we created a book including 8 different locations from our trip that held importance to the geography of the West. Personally my book was fun to make and I feel as though my work on this book positively represents me as a learner.

How has the Geography of the West shaped who we are?

Overall I feel as though I have improved from last year in multiple ways. For starters I actually took notes about content I found interesting or relevant in the places we went. I included photos, videos, fun facts, and information to help me in answering the driving question! I also feel that with the Multitouch book, because I took notes, procrastination was easier to overcome as it felt like I was already part of the way there. Another helpful technique I used was the pomodoro timer. Convincing myself to get 25 minutes of work done makes it easier to start.

That’s all well and good but whats the answer to the driving question?
I’m glad you (definitely) asked. My answer to our driving question “How has the geography of the West shaped us?” Is this. Businesses who make a profit because of the physical characteristics of the land their businesses is on or relates to, rely on it, it shapes them. Take the Revelstoke Railway Museum, for example. It only exists because of the difficulty of the West’s terrain. People are connected to Land. People develop emotional connections to land. For example, I talked to a woman who had lost her father. 2 weeks ago she said. It had only been 2 weeks since he passed. Why did she come to the Columbia Ice Field? She and her dad visited a glacier. Visiting the Columbia Ice Field was a form of grieving and remembrance for her father. I was touched. I hope she is having a great day, that woman deserves it. There are also people who travel to experience different lands. I saw this in the couple I quoted at the beginning. They chose to have their honeymoon in Alberta! They were avid hikers and enjoyed the scenery that the Rockies offers! Them choosing Alberta as the place to spend their honeymoon was not something I expected. I can’t figure out why, but I was shocked! Then there is us! The PLP 9 learners. We learned from the land. We worked to understand the significance and history of the land we visited and reflected upon our learnings. Through interviewing people I became baffled at how connected people are, naturally, deeply, and emotionally, to land. Historically the Canadian West is significant because of the building of the CPR, among other reasons. Historically the West is significant because of the wrongdoings that happened on its land, the Chinese workers killed in building the CPR. The prevalent racism. The history also holds a story of perseverance and determination. Like an onion, it has many layers. The geography of the West is significant to us, us being people, not specifically me, but inclusive of me, because of the memories, history, and growth that will continue to happen on and because of it.