Geography lessons: Can you draw a map of the U.S. as well as Al Franken?

Watching Minnesota senator Al Franken draw a map of the United States reminded me of 7th grade. Back then at Olympia Jr. High in Columbia, South Carolina, I had one of those social studies teachers who handed out blank pieces of paper and had us draw a map with every new unit. Perhaps you, Gadling reader, learned geography in a similar fashion.

For example, if we were going to study Europe, we would open our books to the map of Europe and replicate it as best we could. Countries were to be drawn to scale, colored a different color than the ones they bordered, and include major mountain chains and bodies of water. By the end of the year, the world had become a grand kaleidoscope that I could picture with my eyes closed.

Even though I’ve traveled to many of the places I’ve drawn, I couldn’t replicate those maps from scratch–not without looking at a picture at the same time. Can you? Al Franken can.

Senator Franken can draw the United States like nobody’s business. He showed off this talent at the Minnesota State Fair this summer. I wonder who his social studies teacher was? I’m impressed. Watch to see what I mean. . .