710. I wish to see…

776wishtosee

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.”

38 thoughts on “710. I wish to see…

      1. Cynthia Jobin

        I would not personally know how many Johns there are in the world, but your story makes me chuckle in recollection of calling out the roll on the first day of school once, when none of the youngsters were yet familiar to me, and causing great adolescent snickering because among the names were Nancy Hoar and Donald Brest.

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  1. noelleg44

    I made it a point to learn the names of all 32 students in my anatomy lab; the students knew it and challenged me one day to name them all – but after they lined up, I discovered they had all switched their name tags to confuse me!

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  2. thecontentedcrafter

    Oh dear!! Enter stage right CYFs interrogators!

    Over a ten year period I knew the names of just about every child in my school – all 480 of them – except the new entrant class which i learned pretty quickly too. I took a weekly lesson in each of the classes 1 – 8 for a number of years which helped the process. I don’t think my memory is that good any more!

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    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      That’s brilliant! I was once being introduced, and the speaker introducing me went on and on and on about me – and I thought he’d never end, and in the end he said, “Oh for goodness sake, what’s your bloody name?” !

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  3. Shubha Athavale

    Bear with me while I tell you a funny incident. Many years ago I worked as receptionist/secretary at a country medical practice in NSW. One patient had a good memory. And he was friendly. He came in for a check up one day and asked me how I was and then added “How is Rajiv”! I laughed. I said Mr ……. you remembered that my husband’s name is the name of one of Mrs Gandhi’s sons! Rajiv Gandhi is Prime Minister of India, my husband’s name is Sanjay!

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  4. Keith Channing

    In my class at school was a pair of twins, Terry and Mike Roberts. At roll-call, it was always Roberts T and Roberts M. There must have been an easier way.
    As an aside, an old friend of mine had the habit, if we passed a group of youths, of stopping the car, winding the window down and calling out, “We still okay for tonight, John?”
    His theory was that any group of lads will always contain at least one John. If reactions are any guide, he was seldom wrong.

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    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      That is very funny! When I finished working in a school – as a librarian after 40 years of teaching…. – about 3 years ago – in a school of just over 500 there was only one named John in the library system (he was Head of the Science Department) and one named Mary (she was a visitor who once weekly brought the children to the library from the nearby kindergarten.) Basically, no Mary and no John! The times – they are achangin’!

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  5. redosue

    I work with a doctor who always refers to me as “Fletchah!” on phone calls, during meetings, walking down the hallowed halls of my employer. I get a big kick out of it. I feel like a character in a British spy novel.

    Liked by 1 person

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