Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 7, 1999
Aspiring traveller hones skills in geography
By ANH HOANG
WCR Staff Writer
Reading materials on the old nightstand are often something from a bestseller list.
If you're younger, it's probably your favourite comic book or some Shakespeare drama you were assigned in English class.
But Chris Bauer's bedside reading weighs in at about five pounds and has no beginning, climax, turbulent plot or surprise ending.
"I like to read atlases," said the 14-year-old St. Clement School student. "I get a lot of atlases as presents sometimes. I think I have about five of them."
His passion for skimming through the glossy images of cities and places from Dijon, France to Foremost, Alta., helped Chris advance to the national finals of the Great Canadian Geography Challenge in Ottawa, May 22-24.
The competition included questions on geographical locations featured in movies and from images on this year's Canadian quarters.
Chris did not finish in the top three, but the experience helped to prepare him for next year's competition. He'll be tweaking his strong point - capital cities - and boosting his weaker point - Canadian geography.
"Capital cities, I know every one of them," Chris said.
Chris picked up his interest in world destinations two years ago simply because "I really wanted to know about the world."
An aspiring world traveller, Chris dreams of seeing first hand the cities and landmarks on the pages of his atlas.
He's been to Toronto and San Francisco - his favourite city because "the Golden Gate Bridge is great and City Hall is amazing" - and hopes to include Germany in his future travels.
But as much as his love for geography is evident in his collection of maps and atlases, Chris is not setting his sights on a career in it.
"There really isn't much of a career in geography," Chris said. "I want to be an architect."