Mrs. Hanke’s Rules of Geography

The longer I teach the more I have come to appreciate things that I call “constants”. These are general rules, axioms if you will, that continue to hold value and basic importance that are accurate more often than not. My list is not final nor comprehensive, just a work in perpetual progress. Some are irreverent, some are borrowed with origins long forgotten, but all useful in understanding the bigger picture.


Physical Geography
Rivers- Some will flow north, some south, many east and still others west but ALL rivers flow downhill.

Arrows are for movement.
Shade, not color.
Little is random when it comes to a map.
Including everything gains you nothing.
The perfect map does not exist.

Cultural Geography
Basic needs not met will trump the desire for freedom.
People clump.
Avoidance of pain is a powerful motivator.
Surviving is not the same as thriving.

Mrs. Hanke’s first rule of economics- Don’t kill your customer!.

It’s not enough to stuff, organize.