Map of America


We all know: there are some things we ought to know. But our modern education system means that you can’t alway be sure of what someone knows—even adults. 

The SIREN has decided to quiz LP students and faculty about some topics that were (probably?) addressed in elementary school. Things we know we ought to know, but which we too often let Google know for us. 

Our first subject is state capitals. We talked to a cross section of Lincoln park students; their answers are below.

Contestant 1:

Alabama: I know what it isn’t.

Alaska: It’s not Birmingham. 

Arizona: Phoenix? Phoenix. 

California: It’s one of the Sans, isn’t it? Yeah, it’s one of the Sans. But I don’t think it’s a common San.

It’s… not. San Horena… No, that’s a country. San Jose? What’s that from?

Do we just want to go safe and do San Francisco? Yeah, San Francisco. 

Colorado: Um wait. Could it be Detroit? No, that’s not in Colorado. 

Delaware: Delaware? I don’t know. We aren’t the right person for this. Nathan could do this. 

Florida: Tallahassee. I know that. 

Georgia: Atlanta? It’s probably not. But that’s a city. 

Hawaii: Honolulu? I think it’s Honolulu? Is it Honolulu? 

Idaho: Omaha’s Nebraska. Idaho… Isn’t that um… I should’ve stayed in freshman civics. It’s a two worder… right? Nope. This was third grade. In third grade I got bonus points for this. Boise! Boise Idaho. Yeah. 

Illinois: Didn’t you just have that?

No, I said Indiana.

Illinois is up right? Illinois is like up and to the left? No, it’s to the left of us. It’s Ohio, Indiana, and then Illinois. Or it’s Illinois and then Indiana. Does it start with like a K? I want to say Chicago but I don’t think that’s the capital. Chicago’s probably not the capital but it’s the best we got. Because it’s never the most popular city because they can’t make it easy. Like how we’re Harrisburg. No one even knows what Harrisburg is. Pennsylvania is Harrisburg right? Yeah Pennsylvania is Harrisburg. 

Indiana: Where’s the Indianapolis? Indianapolis? Yeah. 

Iowa: Des Moines. Isn’t it Des Moines? Des What? Des Moines.

New York: I don’t know why… oh Albany. 

Ohio: Columbus

Pennsylvania: Harrisburg

New Mexico: New Mexico City? 

USA: Oh…Washington D.C. 

Contestant 2:

Alabama: I’m not going to know this… nope.

Alaska: See I should know this but… I want to say Toronto but it’s not Toronto… because that’s not even in Alaska that’s in Canada. So… Nope!

Arizona: Nope

Arkansas: No

California: Uh Sacramento

Colorado: I’m sorry, I’m trying to remember the song. Um. What state was it for again? Um. Nope.

Delaware: …………………

Florida: Tallahassee

Georgia: Is it Atlanta? 

Hawaii: Honolulu 

Idaho: (laughs)

Illinois: See I’ve been there so that makes it worse. What… oof. No. I know it and I don’t have it. 

Indiana: In… oh, Indianapolis. 

New York: NYC. Albany

Ohio: Columbus

Pennsylvania: Harrisburg 

New Mexico: Santa Fe?

Contestant 4:

Alabama: Montgomery 

Alaska: Juneau 

Arizona: Of course… Phoenix 

Arkansas: Little Rock

California: Sacramento 

Colorado: Denver

Connecticut: ………

Delaware: Dover

Florida: Tallahassee? 

Georgia: Atlanta

Hawaii: ….Honolulu

Idaho: Oh no. 

Illinois: Springfield

Indiana: Indianapolis 

Iowa: …..

Ready for the correct answers?: 

New York: Albany 

Ohio: Columbus 

Pennsylvania: Harrisburg

New Mexico: Santa Fe

Alabama: Montgomery 

Alaska: Juneau 

Arizona: Phoenix 

Arkansas: Little Rock

California: Sacramento 

Colorado: Denver

Connecticut: Hartford

Delaware: Dover

Florida: Tallahassee 

Georgia: Atlanta 

Hawaii: Honolulu

Idaho: Boise

Illinois: Springfield 

Indiana: Indianapolis 

Iowa: Des Moines

Now that you’ve seen all the answers, I’ll let you in on a secret. One of these sets of answers was from a teacher. in the History Department. In the spirit of anonymity, I won’t tell you who. But just keep that in mind. 

Would you believe that the best responses would come from the music department? It may surprise you, but the music teachers might just be our experts on U.S. geography. 

In fact, this year the Music Department has held some informal state map and state capital competitions among the faculty. 

“The ones that start with I are always tricky,” said Melissa Holman, the director of the music department. 

“It’s those ‘I’ states,” Dr. Marissa Ulmer agreed. 

When I informed the two that one of the sets of answers were from a history teacher, Dr. Ulmer said, “Let’s hope that their area of expertise is like Europe.”

It is not. 

“Wow. Looking on the bright side, a lot of people seem to know the states closest to us,” said Mrs. Holman. 

“Because they may have traveled there. But those ‘I’ states, they get everybody. Anything that’s on the western part of the country is a tough one. I like New Mexico City. It’s like Mexico City, but the newer version. These are good,” Dr. Ulmer added. 

“The other one’s that’ll get them are like the southern states that border the gulf of mexico. Like Mississippi, Alabama. Oh! Missouri does not border it but Mr. Jones thinks it’s not a real state,” Dr. Ulmer continued. 

“We did state capitals with our faculty one day. We did states. Like we had a map and everyone had to label them. Then we upped the ante and added the capitals,” explained Mrs. Holman. 

“We could do it in under two minutes though, all 50 of them. We’re kind of experts,” Dr. Ulmer added, “We’re also ladies too, that’s part of it.”

“I’d like to say I’m surprised by those answers but I’m not,” Mrs. Holman said.

“Mr Defade thinks he knows them too, but he does not,” Dr. Ulmer informed me. “Not like we do.” 

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Anya Martin is a sophomore and a writing and publishing major. She writes the column “News for Dummies” for The SIREN. She likes the news, politics, and cats.

Comments (0)

All THE SIREN Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *