Posts Tagged ‘memories’

I really don’t want to write on the election. I mean, I will, next week, but I really don’t want to.

Because this election has, as I predicted a few months back, been horrible, been awful, been dreadful. And I’ll write about some of why next week.

Today, something less awful. Something on memory.

At some point in the past few years, I forgot who I was at school with. Oh, I can remember the odd name here and there; I can remember my close friends from school, and I can remember the names of the bullies. And I can remember my teachers.

But I used to remember the names of kids in my class. And kids I went to VI Form with, and young adults I went to uni with.

Now? No idea. The names just aren’t there. Seeing photos with names on the back… nope, I don’t remember them at all. I’ve got more pics of students with whom I studied at Manchester Poly. I can barely remember any of them. Some of them, obviously close friends from the photos, I have no memory of them at all.

I mean, take my senior – what’s now called secondary school. My school years between the ages of 12 and 16 were spent at Denbigh High School, in Luton. When I went there, there were 8 forms of roughly 30 children per form, over five years.

So 240 kids per year, roughly 1200 children in the school. I can go to virus sites and message boards and look at the names of people listed for my year, children I must have known – and liked or disliked – very well… Last time I checked, there were 177 listed, from the roughly 240 kids in my year. I recognised under 20. And I can picture maybe six of them.

I’d lay even money that ’20’ has shrunk to half a dozen now.

Now, ok, there’s not a one of them with whom I’m in regular contact.

Same applies to my time at Sixth Form College. Looking back at pics and online records of the time. Less than a dozen whose names I remember, and only a handful of mental pictures.

There are days I feel every bloody day of my fifty-five years…

As for uni… well, as I say above, I have more pictures. You’d think it’d make a difference. There’s someone who, from the photos, I was very close to, physically I mean. Nope, I have no idea of her name. There’s a photo of a fella named Paul who I kind of faintly remember being there, But his surname? What he was studying? Our relationship? Not a clue.

I wonder how many of them remember me.

I’m not sure what it says that I hope very few do.

(Of course, the schoolmates wouldn’t have a clue about ‘budgie’, while those at uni would only remember me as ‘budgie’…)

Something else, tomorrow.

Possibly more of a goingcheep, this one, as it’s a short one, but it’s something that occurred to me just as I opened the app, so it”s going in here.

One of the things i enjoyed about the Brian Bendis/Mike Oeming series Powers was how it handled the effective immortality of one of its lead protagonists.

The character is thousands of years old, but can’t remember clearly more than a few decades of his life. Flashes of faint recollections, sure, odd out of context memories, but nothing clearly.

I’m 55 years old. An I can’t remember more than one or two names of children I was at primary (what we then called ‘junior’) school with. I can remember maybe half a dozen kids I was at senior/secondary school with. Maybe another half a dozen other people in my accountancy lecturers at Manchester Polytechnic.

Of the people I met in Manchester? Probably a couple of dozen I remember clearly. Maybe. More names, sure, and some faces, and with the aid of the photos I took while there, yes, some more spring to mind.

Childhood friends? Again, maybe half a dozen… (Of course, I didn’t have that many childhood friends. So maybe it’s not my memory that’s failing there.)

But thinking about school, I can remember events clearly, but not necessarily who took part in them other than me; I remember taking part – in the chorus – in a school production of Jesus Christ, Superstar, and I remember the teacher (one of the first I ever had a crush on, and yes, I remember one very embarrassing moment)… but can’t for the life of me tell you who played any of the other parts in the show.

And of course, the reverse applies: I wonder how many kids at Bushmead Infant and Junior schools (1970 – 1976), Denbigh High School (1976 – 1980), Luton VI Form College (1980 – 1982) or Manchester Poyly (1982 1985) remember… me. Not that many, I’d wager.

(One thing that never ceases to amuse, however: not one of my schoolmates would have the faintest clue who ‘budgie’ is, while those who were friends at college would only remember me as ‘budgie’…)

I’ve said before that I’m a huge advocate of the position that everyone is the sum of their own experiences; I’ve heard it said before that everyone’s the sum of their own memories. If the latter is true, I’m not sure what that says when the memories fade.

Hmm. Something else tomorrow, I think.