The Chicago ‘Y’

Photo Credit: Blogspot

by Emily Speelman

Do you recognize this symbol? If you look close enough, this image is all over the city. It can be found on government buildings, bridges, memorials, on city works equipment (like power boxes and sewer grates), and even in the GSC logo!

So what does it mean and why is it all over the city? This image represents one of the city’s most fundamental and iconic features: the Chicago River. More specifically, it shows Wolf Point, where the river’s three branches come together. Here, the river divides the city into the North, West, and South sides.

Source: Imgur

The ‘Y’ image was first created in 1892 for a contest run by the Chicago Tribune. In 1917, this symbol was designated as Chicago’s Municipal Device. This means that businesses, city departments, and citizens alike can use the image to symbolize the city of Chicago. While the ‘Y’ is universal, the user can change the colors to their liking. The ‘Y’  is one of the oldest signifiers of the city – even older than the Chicago flag!

Though the symbol was less frequently used at the end of the 20th century, the iconic ‘Y’ can be found all over the city represented in a variety of mediums and colors. Other places that feature the municipal device include: the Chicago Cultural Center, City Hall, Millennium Park, Harold Washington Library, and, perhaps the most famous, the marquee of the Chicago Theater!

Photo Credit: Blogspot

Where else have you spotted the Chicago ‘Y’?

Read more:
https://www.wbez.org/shows/wbez-news/chicagos-municipal-device-the-citys-symbol-lurking-in-plain-sight/fd9cf47b-904e-4654-ad06-ff7fc8727758

https://www.chipublib.org/chicago-facts/

June Travelogue: Coal Swamps, Coral Reefs, and Continental Glaciers

Save the date for the next presentation in the 2017 Spring Travelogue series!

This month’s presentation will be led by Raymond Wiggers, an author and Earth Science faculty from Oakland Community College and College of Lake County. The talk is titled: “Coal Swamps, Coral Reefs, and Continental Glaciers”.

“Unjustly branded as a flat and boring place, Illinois is in fact full of scenic and scientifically significant locales that teach us much about our planet’s history. Learn about Illinois’ interesting and unique geologic history”

This talk is FREE to attend and all are welcome. Join us at Chicago Cultural Center on Tuesday, June 20 at 1 pm in the Renaissance Court. See the flyer above for more information – we’ll see you there!

Illinois Geographic Alliance’s Summer 2017 Workshops

Geographic Thinking in Action: Using Maps and Other Primary Sources in the Elementary School Classroom

The IL Geographic Alliance invites you to attend one of its two-day workshops to:

  • Learn about programs and resources available from the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Program and the Illinois Geographic Alliance, a member of the National Geographic Network of Alliances for Geographic Education
  • Examine K-5 national and Illinois geography standards for learning (new Illinois standards effective 1/2016)
  • Explore geographical and historical thinking
  • Discuss strategies to help develop student’s critical thinking and inquiry skills
  • Work with experienced educators, geographers, and historians
  • Analyze maps and primary documents using both geographical and historical thinking tools and techniques
  • Receive a variety of resources and materials ready for immediate classroom use
  • Earn Professional Development hours (at no out-of-pocket cost)

For information and registration visit iga.illinoisstate.edu.

 

 

AAG Annual Meeting: Tips and Tricks

By Emily Speelman

Earlier this month, 9,000 geographers from around the world travelled to Boston, Massachusetts to attend the American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting. This five-day conference featured hundreds of paper sessions, panels, and talks to help geographers meet, discuss their passions, and learn more about their discipline. This year’s key speakers included Noam Chomsky, David Harvey, Andrea Wolfe, and many more. Thanks to the DePaul University Department of Geography, I was able to attend the meeting with two other students. I learned so much at the conference and had the opportunity to meet geographers from around the world.


If you plan on attending the Annual Meeting in New Orleans next year or have never been to an AAG Meeting before, here are a few tips for attendees:

Download the AAG App

AAG’s app (available for Android and IOS) allows you to search easily through the entire conference program. Each session is marked by certain themes and tracks (such as Urban Geographies or Jobs and Careers) so you can search under a certain category if you aren’t sure where to start. This helps you plan. You can search through all of the paper sessions, panels, presentation, and different subgroups and save them to your individual calendar. Physical copies of the program are also available, but since the conference has hundreds of possibilities, the app is the best method.

Organize In Advance

Before getting to the conference, go through the program and identify the sessions you definitely don’t want to miss. Star those in your app calendar so you can easily access information about the speakers, their paper abstracts, and the session’s location. This also helps identify when you are available, making other activities easier to choose.

Diversify your activities

While I personally would love to go to every session related to urban planning, the best part about AAG by far is seeing the variety of ways Geography is used and studied. If you aren’t sure where to start, join friends or colleagues at a session of their interest – you never know how it will benefit you in the long run.

Spend time in the conference city

I had never been to Boston before, so I made sure to schedule in time to explore the city. You can do this through a field trip (like I did to the Boston Planning Agency) or on your own. Getting out of the conference center for a bit will help break up the trip, give you time to process all of the new information, and really enjoy the place you are visiting.

Realize you can’t do it all

The annual meeting is exciting. There is so much to learn and do but, unfortunately, you won’t be able to go to everything you want. And that’s okay! Do as much as you can but don’t feel bad about sleeping in one day or spending the day on a field trip. There is a lot of freedom to do what you like, so build your day to what suits you.

Conversation with Noam Chomsky

Conversation with David Harvey

Thank you again to DePaul Geography for sending me to the Annual Meeting – I had a fantastic time. To learn more about AAG and attend next year’s meeting, visit their website here