National Geographic and me

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I grew up with stacks of bound National Geographic magazines stacked up in my basement as a child.  They were black and white and my grandpa had his bound for my dad as a wedding present.  My dad, grew up with the love of the whole world in his field of vision, in other words, he loved and was fascinated by all different cultures and ways of life.  It was a natural intelligence as well.  We’d try to stump him spinning the globe or looking at the atlas.  slice button this marchWe’d say a city or a mountain range and he always knew where they were. This little boy who grew up reading National Geographic would dream about the adventures that he would have all over the world.  Though he fought in World War 2 he didn’t experience traveling out of the states until after he went to school on the GI bill and became an engineer.  He explored countries in South America and Canada,  but more often than not, our own wonderful country.  Much later in his career he was able to visit Australia, New Zealand, Japan and his very favorite place…China.  The dreams of a small boy were realized.

The stacks and stacks of National Geographic stand tall in my house also.  They are not bound; we have used them throughout our lives for special projects  – cutting the pictures to mount on school project boards.  This was absolutely forbidden when I was growing up.  My dad would always say, “We can’t look back, if we cut them up.” But when I became the parent…this rule changed.

My own children have both yearned for the rest of the world, much like my dad.  As adult children they also love the world, and most important to me, the people in it.  Thank you National Geographic, thank you Dad.

PS  I got my first passport at age 56.  My grand-daughter at age 2 has 8 stamps in hers.  I hope to at least get 8 stamps in mine, before it is all said and done.  Collectively all of my dad’s grandchildren have traveled extensively, not just to sight see, but to help in Haiti, Vietnam, Thailand,Zambia, Peru, Ecuador and India.  And it all started with a an amazing magazine in their hand.

PSS Best website possible for kids… National Geographic for Kids , I also love so many of their books for our students…and when they have choice they always choose them!

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About Judson RISE professor

lifelong teacher who is semi-retired (does this sound better?) who loves God, family and laughing... who hates social injustice... who wants to write every day... who needs to exercise every day... who blog hops... who wants to live her everyday life led by her savior, Jesus Christ!

12 responses »

  1. This post makes me think of my brother-in-law, my husband’s brother, who is in his early 30s. He grew up loving National Geographic, too, and made a goal to visit all 7 continents by the time he was 30. He did it! I’ve traveled a couple times with him, and I love it because he’s such a terrific guide. My oldest daughter and I are going to go to Africa with him in 2015! I love the NG for Kids, too. Thanks for a fun post!

  2. My in-laws had all their NG bound too. My husband’s grandmother always saved a year of NG for me to take to school for the kids to use and cut up. Of course there were a few giggling moments when the boys discovered some topless woman, but we just moved on (after I removed the picture). NG does have the power to ignite the traveling bug. Go get those stamps Nanc!

  3. Last year, a student brought me a National Geographic article to read. It was a fascinating article from a 1960’s NG. He and I talked about the wonderful writer’s craft in the article. I love that a kid in this millennium was reaching under his bed and finding inspiration for his writing life. Isn’t it great that, thanks to the internet, more of those NG are now available for school projects?

  4. We had stacks growing up too, but they started in 1968. I loved looking at them. There are some that rally stand out to me. One of my faces was about Jane Goodall at Gombe, I think it was from the 1980s. I taught my my niece to make monkey sounds while looking at it. She was under 2 and would come into the house, take me by the hand and go straight to the magazine. She loved that article.

  5. Growing up I had lots of things to read in my house but NG was not one of them. However, I discovered it as a teacher and love the young children’s version! I subscribe at school for my students who enjoy the magazine and my library is filled with many, many NG nonfiction books too, which they also love! My own children have a wonderful babysitter who buys them a subscription to the young children’s NG magazine every year for Christmas! Your story made me smile today!

  6. We did not have a subscription when I was growing up but I do remember the mysterious alure of them whenever I read one. Whoever I was borrowing the National Geographic from was always adamant about NEVER cutting it up. Funny how you remembered that. and went against such advice.

  7. I enjoy National geographic magazines, too. Growing up, my dad had similar stacks of those yellow magazines in our basement, too! I like the emphasis you (and your family members) place on the people in those countries. It can be easy to get caught up in the mystery and intrigue of other countries and cultures, but it’s so important to remember the people that live there! I hope that after you finish your “two years,” you will get to add many stamps to your passport book! =)

  8. NG sure was a way of kindling wanderlust in many people. I’m glad to hear your father realized his travel dreams. I’m sure you will also get to realize yours as well.

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