Mr Parkin prided himself on knowing the names of everyone in the school; all 847 of them. He didn’t simply know their family name, he knew their first name, and in many cases their middle name.
Once a week, on a Monday, there would be a whole-school assembly. They would sing the national anthem and announce things for the coming week.
To be honest, some announcements by teachers annoyed Mr Parkin. He raised the matter at a staff meeting.
“Why can’t teachers use the full names of the students? Don’t they have a first name? Why is it Smith, Jones, and Brown that you want to see? What’s wrong with John Smith, David Jones, and Michael Brown?”
The following Monday, Mr Parkin made an announcement. There were three students in the school by the name of Cox. There was Andrew Cox, and there was Stanley Cox, and there was… for the life of him Mr Parkin couldn’t remember the name of the third. He stood in front of the whole school.
“After this assembly,” said Mr Parkin, “I wish to see the Year 9 Cox.”