It happened. I was at Jiffy Lube yesterday getting my oil changed (duh) when the woman ringing me up asked me if I used to work at X X school. Immediately I went into observation mode. I studied her eyes, her voice, anything that might give me a clue as to who this person is. I got nothing. (I give myself some slack though. I worked at that school from 1997-1999).
I told her yes, I did work at that school. She replied with, "You were my fourth grade teacher!" I asked her her name and it did sound familiar. I got home and looked at my file of class pictures (yes, I kept them all) and there she was. 1998-1999. Which makes her 19 or 20 years old right now. She looks exactly the same. Okay, taller, but mostly the same.
As I look at these 2 years of pictures from this first school I ever taught at, I'm surprised at 2 things: how well I remember some students and how little I remember other students.
I remember Lauren because she once wrote on her desk that I'm a bitch.
I remember Jihad because he was the first person who observed Ramadan that I'd ever met.
I remember Mark because he was a pain in my ass for an entire year.
I remember Shirley because she was brilliant and could have probably handled 8th grade work.
I remember Adrienne because she witnessed her mom being murdered (true story).
I remember Stanley because his mom was mentally ill and he was pretty much neglected.
If I think about it hard enough, I remember something about every single student. I may not be able to identify each one on sight, but each one of them is in my memory somewhere when I see their picture.
I guess that's why I kept them all.