Do You Know Who I Am?


I haven’t a clue.

It never fails.  I will be out and about, minding my own business, and some snot-nosed 27 year old will walk up say…

“Do you remember me?”


Remember you?


I haven’t a clue.

If I had you in class thirteen years ago, things have changed.

I’ve had 87,412 students since then.

You are older.

Your hair is different.

You’ve had kids.  Lost weight.  Gained weight.  Gotten shorter.  Grew a foot.

Done 4 years of hard time.  Tattooed up.

Had kids of your own.

Possibly even pierced things that shouldn’t be pierced.

I’ve gotten older.  Less wise.  Tired.  And even more confused.

Usually it’s a combination of several of these things and they all add up to “I think I know you, but I’m not really sure why”.

I usually get the sense we’ve crossed paths, but have no concept of when or where.

So, if you walk up to me please know I’m going to have a stupid, uncomfortable, lost, and confused look on my face.


Until, you do us both a favor and say who you are.

This is a basic rule of introducing yourself.  Introduce yourself.

Because when a student is in school, they have one superintendent.  One principal.  And one teacher for each class.

We have dozens of students.  Or hundreds.  And even thousands.

Multiply that by 10, 20, or 30 years and it’s a lot of kids.

Most of which won’t look the same after they graduate.

Which means I won’t always know who you are.

When students leave, they are forever frozen in time.  At least in my mind.

So while, I may not remember you, I will probably remember the 1994 version of you.

Of course, none of this is true if you were really challenging in school.  If there was a suspension, there’s a pretty good chance I’ll remember your face.  And your beady little eyes.

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Do You Need a Good Memory to Work at a School? I Hope Not.

I Hear Elephants Have Good Memories.My memory is getting worse by the day. Actually, by the minute but I don’t want to sound too pathetic.

Getting older is not everything that it is cracked up to be (although as I have mentioned earlier, it is bound to be better than the alternative).

When I was younger, I could remember everything. I was as sharp as a tack. Nothing escaped me.

Names, faces, baseball statistics, all the Presidents in order, state capitals, and dates (well, not so much dates); they were all filed in the old memory bank ready to be recalled at a moment’s notice.

I really don’t think men have the “date memory” gene. At least I don’t. And why is it important for me to know the capital of Vermont?

My lack of memory on dates was pointed out to me recently by my wife (at least I think she is my wife, I can’t really remember but she looks awfully familiar) at dinner (or it might have been lunch… that also escapes me at the moment).

When we got married, we eloped. Easy… not because we had to… it was more of a we had no money for a wedding thing. The good news – we didn’t know how poor we were.

When you have no money, a little ignorance comes in handy.

My wife (or maybe it was someone else, I can’t remember that either) decided we should head east and get married in a small town in Connecticut.

So that’s what we did. We had a very nice, small wedding at a lovely bed and breakfast. I would give them a free plug, but I honestly can’t recall the place we stayed or the town where it was located.

A couple of years ago, I realized that our anniversary was sneaking up on me (and no I don’t know the exact date… although I think it was on a Wednesday, or maybe a Thursday?).

While my memory is shot, I am smart enough to double-check these things before I get myself in trouble.

I had the brainstorm to check a newspaper article that was written about us when we eloped and got married. I don’t mind saying, that I considered this to be a stroke of genius.

The article was written about the usual small town Midwestern kids who are really poor drive all the way to Connecticut to get married much to the delight (or horror… it was hard to tell at the time) of their parents. I am sure everyone has read this type of story a thousand times.

When we first returned from our wedding we had the article framed (after we saved up the $50, which took about two years). It hangs in our living room as a monument to our love (that sentence is for the wife).

All I had to do was check the date on the paper, and I would know our anniversary.

I must admit as a man, husband, father, and an educator; I was very proud of myself for thinking of this fool-proof plan.

And as you know, my fool-proof plans seldom go wrong.

After glancing at the paper, I had the date; July 27. Armed with this tidbit of information I went out and purchased a card and ordered some flowers to be delivered the morning of the 27th.

I was extremely proud of myself at this point. My wife would be proud to have married such a considerate man.

The day before, on July 26, my wife walked up to me and said, “Happy Anniversary.” I was stunned and a little insulted by her not being able to remember the first day of our wedded bliss.

Quickly, I pointed out that our anniversary was the next day. After all, I have a memory like a steel trap. And I checked the newspaper.

She replied something to the effect of, “It isn’t tomorrow you blithering idiot and my mom warned me about marrying you.”

Now I was insulted. Not about her mom’s warning (because her judgment is impeccable), but more the fact that my wife uses words I don’t understand; like blithering.

I assured her that our anniversary was definitely on the 27th; as I had thoughtfully checked the newspaper article a few days before.

Her reply; the newspaper was published the day after we got married.

As I look back on that day, I have realized two things.

One, as usual, her mom was right. And two, that was the day I realized my memory was failing me.

Or maybe it was another day. I forget. If I don’t write these things down on a Post-It Note, I’m lost.

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While this site operates with the knowledge and awareness of the Tuscola CUSD #301 School Board, Tuscola, Illinois, the content and opinions posted here may or may not represent their views personally or collectively, nor does it attempt to represent the official viewpoint of Tuscola CUSD #301 administrators or employees.