Why Not Us?
Updated: May 28
By Carlo Kumpula (October, 2020)
One of the first questions asked with regard to my book on Wisconsin mascots is, "Why didn't you include --------------?" You can insert your own mascot here if it isn't featured in the book.
The answer is found in the fourth paragraph of the book's Introduction. Regarding the mascots I wrote about, I said; "These unusual mascots often tell stories. They offer clues about types of industries, historical events, famous people, or unique geographical features of Wisconsin. They help to describe different PLACES."
I wrote PLACES in all capital letters because PLACE is one of the primary themes of geography, along with LOCATION, HUMAN-ENVIRONMENT INTERACTION, MOVEMENT, and REGIONS.
In everyday terms, PLACE answers the question, "What's it like there?" Is it a port city or is it inland? What type of economy does it have? Why are people drawn to that place, is it near a state or national park? Who were some of the first settlers? Did a famous event occur there? Who was the town's most famous resident? These are some of the things that distinguish one PLACE from another.
So if I omitted your school from the stories, I meant no ill will. I wanted to feature the most descriptive mascots; those that speak to the PLACE. I did mention many others in the word find puzzles and the matching activity. I also included the YOUR TURN activity, which allows the reader to think about his/her own school or community or another elsewhere. If that school has a current mascot that is relatively common or one that lacks a "back story," perhaps the reader can do some thinking about what makes that community special and devise an "alternative" mascot that would be more descriptive.