Jeff Cooper

On Memory

02 May 2011

Human memory is an amazing thing.

I can still recall, almost without thinking about it, the name and subject of every teacher I've had since Kindergarten:

  • Checetti (K)
  • Luzier (1st)
  • Coleman (2nd)
  • York (3rd)
  • King (4th)
  • King (5th, homeroom, science)
  • Morgan (5th, math)
  • Valonis (5th history)
  • Evans (6th, homeroom, science)
  • Rohlfs (6th, math)
  • Monroe (6th, history)
  • Kreitman (7th, homeroom, science)
  • Gaherty (7th, history)
  • Appling (7th, english)
  • Block (7th, gym) (this one took me a second)
  • Schweitzer (7th, tech)
  • Anderson (7th, orchestra)
  • Biernesser (7th, Algebra 1)
  • Anderson (8th, homeroom, Orchestra)
  • Lister (8th, Latin 1)
  • Prosser (8th, gym)
  • Davenport (8th, civics) (With Lotz as a long-term sub when Mrs. D got pregnant)
  • McElveen (8th, english)
  • Bates (8th, science)
  • McConnaughey (8th, geometry)
  • Rugel (9th, English)
  • Spagna (9th, Latin 2)
  • Nolte (9th, biology)
  • Plunkett (9th, history)
  • DiBarri (9th, Algebra 2)
  • Cuc (9th, APCS)
  • John (9th, gym)
  • Lankford (10th, gym)
  • Jackson (10th, AP World History)
  • Bonafide (10th, english)
  • Guch (10th, chem)
  • Robb (10th, precalc)
  • McCormick (10th, orchestra)
  • Sferios (10th, Latin 3)
  • Puhlick (11th, AP Chem)
  • Culbertson (11th, Physics 1)
  • Douglas (11th, Calc BC)
  • Kuhn (11th, AP World) (after switching from Benson)
  • McCormick (11th, Orchestra)
  • Roche (11th, AP Lang/Comp) (after switching from Landis)
  • Sferios (11th, AP Latin Catullus/Ovid)
  • Kissling (12th, AP Gov)
  • Douglas (12th, Multivariable Calc, Matrix Alg.)
  • McCormick (12th, Chamber Orch)
  • Culbertson (12th, AP Physics)
  • McCormick (12th, Concert Orchestra)
  • Tiffany (12th, AP Vergil)
  • Barrs (12th, AP Lit/Comp)
  • Wang (F'10, Elem. Chinese 1)
  • Haselin (F'10, Interp. and Argument) (This is the only class I forgot...)
  • Flaherty (F'10, Calc3D) (TA: Boney)
  • Mihai (F'10, Concepts of Math) (TA: Sharma)
  • Pfenning (F'10, Prin. Imp. Programming) (TA: Lovas)
  • Carrasquel (F'10, Freshman Seminar)
  • Licata (S'11, Prin. Func. Programming) (TAs: Voysey, Artnz)
  • Sullivan (S'11, Intro to ECE)
  • Von Ahn (S'11, Great Theoretical Ideas in Computer Science) (TA: Wilson)
  • Dudek (S'11, Combinatorics)
  • Li (S'11, Elementary Chinese 2) (I dropped this class due to the workload...)
  • Hamilton, Paris, Wedler, Rose (S'11, Fun with Robots)
And that's all of them.

I still remember feelings.  I remember the sadness, anger, and frustration I felt when I got denied from TJHSST.  I remember the thrill of an intense FIRST robotics competition.  I remember the pride I felt when I won the Faculty award at my high school graduation and got my first (and, to date, only) standing ovation.  I remember the satisfaction and relief when I finished my Eagle Scout Rank.  And I remember, as clear as day, exactly where I was when each of these events took place.  I can close my eyes and go back to those instants like photographs.

I remember where I was when I had my first kiss.  I remember exactly what was in front of me, beside me, around me.  I remember the indescribable blend of "should I really be doing this?" and "this feels so right why didn't I do this sooner?"  I remember exactly where I was when I held her hand and we laughed about a particularly funny joke on a beautiful fall weekend.  I remember exactly where I was and how I felt when she first told me she loved me.  And I remember, vividly, exactly where I was when she broke my heart.  I find myself back there, sometimes, too.  As clear as the day it happened, the very same tears in my eyes, clouding my world.

And these are just the important ones.  There are other moments, too, that I can immediately and completely recall.  Ones that have no apparent meaning at all to my life.  But they are there.

Human memory is amazing.  I remember all of this.

But I still can't always remember what day it is.

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