Member Rara Avis
How many of you are good at remembering names? When ever I face a new classroom, especially a large one, I really have to struggle to remember everyone's names. I try to repeat the name several times during the few minutes I allocate to introductions, try to associate it with something easier to remember, and still I struggle. I think its important enough to continue trying, but should that person take another class from me, say two or three months hence, there isn't a snowball's chance I'm going to remember their name.
Anyone good at remembering faces? I have a slight (and somewhat strange) hearing impairment and apparently got into the habit as a kid of watching people's mouths when they talk. It's not quite reading lips, but it does better help me attach meaning to their words. Unfortunately, it makes me really bad at remembering faces. I can have a waitress take my order and two minutes later I have no idea who to flag down should I want to change it. In one eye and out the other.
Do you remember the color of a stranger's skin or hair or eyes? Do you remember what they were wearing? What they carried? If you bumped into someone on the street, what would you remember? If you were eyewitness to a crime, what would you see?
Surprisingly, there is one specific thing that virtually everyone remembers. The answer is only obvious, I think, when you hear it. We all seem to be very unequivocal about gender. You can forget everything else about a person ten seconds after you meet them, but you'll always remember whether they were male or female. It's the first thing we see and the last thing we forget.
In this very simple thing, I think there's something very important revealed about the human condition. Do we judge others based on what we see? You bet your sweet petunias we do. On about a thousand different levels.