Everyone Needs a Nametag

Me plus names equals epic failure. My brain just doesn’t work that way. I can recall obscure math facts or trivia from films, yet ask me the name of an actor or a character and I shut down. I end up saying, “That guy that was in the film with the sword who cut off the head of the guy that turns into a snake.” (Conan)

What’s worse it that I’m a teacher. I have to remember about a hundred names a year. I rely heavily on seating charts. It’s not to say that I can’t remember names. They do come. Yet after the students move on, I can only recall that I know the person. Not the name.

Some people view this as rude. Don’t. It’s not that I don’t remember you. I do. I simply can’t recall the name. It’s like those kids I work with that simply can’t remember how to add fractions. It has to do with multiple intelligences. You see there are different ways that the brain understands the world. I have the logical spatial and the linguistic. I don’t think I have the naturalist. But my daughter does. She can recognize and categorize animals in a snap. My theory is that this is linked with names. Or perhaps it’s the interpersonal intelligence, as she it sensitive to what others feel.

So don’t blame me for forgetting your name. I just have a deficit in that intelligence. You can’t be perfect at all of them, can you?

Tim Kane

teacher.