In middle school we had to learn all of the states. The test was simple: A blank map of the U.S. that we'd have to fill in with all the state names. The West is so easy, big states with easy borders. All you have to do is not screw up Wyoming and Colorado and Washington and Oregon. The Midwest was easy because that's where I lived, and the South was fine with its unique shapes. The East Coast, especially New England, represented extraordinary problems for me. In fact, though I've lived in the East for several years now, I'm not sure I'd be able to get all these small tightly packed states right. Vermont vs New Hampshire? I think I've driven through both, but I still didn't know where I really was.
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