An American woman discovered just how little geography she was taught at school when she married a Canadian

A globe with a US flag on top of it.
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  • TikToker Sabriena Abrre said that she is embarrassed about her lack of geography knowledge.

  • She said that the US education system has "failed" her and left her with questions.

  • She also said her Canadian husband makes fun of her lack of competence when it comes to geography.

A woman said the US education system has "failed" her and left her with "so many questions" after a conversation with her Canadian husband.

In a TikTok video posted on October 26, Sabriena Abrre said that despite being a "good student" and graduating high school with As and Bs, she has realized that there are many things she didn't know about geography because she wasn't taught them.

"The list of things that I didn't know about Canada, about the United States, about geography as a whole, it's just appalling. It's criminal," she told viewers.

She said she was left embarrassed during a conversation with her husband after realizing it's possible to drive to Alaska, which she had previously thought was an island because of how it's shown on the US map.

This wasn't the only misconception she had. Abrre said that when she was younger, she thought Maine was all coastal, apart from the border it shares with New Hampshire in the west.

It's understandable that someone would think this if they were looking at the US map in isolation, but the state actually borders the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick in the northeast and Quebec in the northwest, which becomes apparent when looking at a map that shows both the US and Canada.

Abrre also said that she hadn't realized how big Alaska is, and that she thought it was smaller than Texas. This is another common misconception because Texas often appears to be bigger than Alaska on many US maps. In fact, Alaska is the largest state in the US — and it's more than two and a half times bigger than Texas, the second largest US state.

Abrre said she wasn't the only person with gaps in her knowledge. She said that her uncle, who lives in Utah, asked her if she'd visited British Columbia from Vancouver, not realizing that Vancouver is a city within the province of British Columbia. She compared it to asking someone in Los Angeles whether they'd visited California.

To help solve some of these issues, she suggested that students should be taught about the US and Canada in reference to one another instead of studying them as separate units.

"I know everyone's gonna say, 'Did you not look at a globe?' Listen, I did not think I needed to look at a globe to confirm whether or not my school curriculum was correct," she told viewers.

She said that she feels frustrated as an American who is married to a Canadian who makes fun of her lack of geography knowledge and knows more about culture, history, and religion than she does. "My husband knows more about US history than I know about US history," she said. "It's just appalling."

"But don't say I don't have anything going for me," she added mockingly. "Good thing I know how to find 'X,' and I know the quadratic formula. The periodic table of elements? My shit. I know how to play 'Mary Had a Little Lamb' on a recorder. Dinosaurs? I can name every single one of those suckers and everything they eat. I know more about their diet than I know about my diet," she said. "I know how to drop an egg and not break it."

So far, the video has over 828,000 views. Several viewers admitted they had made the same mistake as Abrre, and that they were also embarrassed by it. But others were baffled by Abrre's lack of knowledge and questioned why she didn't have globes or world maps in her school classrooms.

Meanwhile, some viewers argued that they got their geography knowledge because they researched it in their spare time and not because they were taught it in school.

Abrre did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.

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