Guess Who?

Guess Who Group
I was looking through some old photographs the other day, and came across a couple of class group photos, from, I think, the first and third year of secondary school, and then, even earlier from the sunny days of the infants school that I attended.

The secondary school photos were both dour and grey (with a dash of blue as per the strict school uniform rules back then) and everyone’s hair was terrible. Even the teachers, but this was the early eighties so bad hair was considered the norm. The photos were taken in front of the stage in the ground floor hall, or Hall One / the Lower Hall as it was called. This was the main hall, the best one, and was always freshly painted and varnished and was used for the school assemblies. Hall Two was the hall above, the Upper Hall, which was used for the drama class. This hall always needed a lick of paint, but was my favourite of the two halls. We’ve had many murder mysteries, plane crashes, and adventures on desert islands in this hall. I was pelted by an apple on my right cheek in this hall, as I was giving a speech about something or other for the assembly one day. I don’t remember the speech, or the subject for that morning’s assembly, but I remember the apple and the laughter that followed to this day. It never spoiled my good memories of the Upper Hall, however. Maybe this is why I dream of finding a large room upstairs quite a lot of the time?

The infant school photos were completely different. Everyone was wearing brightly coloured clothes, everyone had different coloured hair, everyone was actually outside in the glorious sunshine. Everyone was smiling. A complete contrast to the more recent photos from the upper school. I think this was due to the fact that secondary school was more serious than the infants, when all we did was play. That’s how I remember infants anyway.

Things started to go wrong in primary school, and then in the secondary school some days were like hell on earth. This isn’t the time for that though. And everything was always fine in the Upper Hall.

Back to the photos.

I could recognise my face, but nobody else. Faces looked familiar, but I couldn’t put any names to the faces.

Eventually, some of the names started to filter through to me, from the secondary school photos, but it took a while longer for the names to appear in the infant school ones. And in some cases the people were the same!

My mind baffles me at times. You’d think I’d remember people who I’d spent almost fourteen years with, wouldn’t you, considering I can remember an apple so clearly?

I felt like I was playing the old flip game ‘Guess Who?’ when I was looking at the photos. Only my mind was asking the questions, the answers were clearly in front of me, yet the names were just out of reach.

But I got there in the end, which is all that really matters.

12 Comments on “Guess Who?

  1. This ‘Guess Who’ game was always a big hit with my youngest sister and she regularly had me playing it with her but not in the way it is supposed to be played, yes I can see you scratching your head on that disclosure, well it was a rather simplistic change of game and the idea of the newer version was to sort of pull a face to look like the character in front of you and the other player had to guess who it was, now it will sound rather bizarre but it was a right scream… Of course once the game had been played in that fashion, then it was ALWAYS played in that fashion but still, it was fun even though I am much older than my youngest sister and at times I felt a bit of a loon… While she of course enjoyed every minute of me making those stupid expressions but being a sport I did and so a new version of the game was realised…

    How do you mean ‘YES’ that is all very interesting but what did you make of my blog? 🙂 lol

    Well I am just getting round to that next and I can understand your bewilderment, of course with me it’s just the names I can’t remember, I do this same thing with famous peeps, like film stars for instance… I could be watching a film and see someone that I know instinctively but then I am lost for the name and so a never-ending perplexing evening happens where I am constantly trying to figure out the name of the person to match the face and that is extremely frustrating, of course for you it is even worse as you are familiar with the photograph but cannot place the name or the face, but you still know them, sort of? Life is baffling sometimes Aquatom but this dilemma of yours is just something that a lot of peeps will come across from time to time and nothing to ponder over…

    Have a wicked rest of evening now 🙂

    Androgoth

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    • Hi Andro, life is indeed baffling! I know that my memory isn’t the best at times, but it seems to be very remarkably selective at others! I don’t know whether this is a good thing or not, but like you say it is really nothing to dwell on.

      As for the Guess Who game, I think I would have liked it more if we had played it your way when I / we were younger. I enjoyed it, don’t get me wrong, but always tried to play it in different ways that never seemed to work…

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  2. excellent “back to school” post Tom, really enjoyed reading…i guess i was one of the only people who took my mum’s advice and flipped the school pictures over and printed everyone’s names on the back soon after they were taken…she told me someday i would want to remember everyone’s names…

    you have to think – how many of those people did you have meaningful relationships with, regardless of how long you knew them? some space has to be made for new stuff, the useless stuff need to be put in storage for a while….

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    • Hi Bex, I always thought that I’d remember the names back then. Back then, I did too. It’s only now that I wished that I’d wrote the names on the back! 😀

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  3. It’s always the same, Sir Aquatom, names are the very devil. They say you should ‘tag’ the person with a characteristic to ease the brain into remembering names. and I have tried, I have really… but I cannot for the life of me remember them. I do remember one who used to sit with her tongue poking through her lips, and the one who used to look down on me and poke me in the back during lessons, and the one I fancied, but he only had eyes for my best friend, (Olwyn, who was plump and made me look really slim. 😉 ) … Oh, hang on, Brains trying to reach me, Jackie something, the tongue sticker outerer… and Peter Kn**** was the adonis, who I saw through shiny sparkly stars… (Don’t think I was on drugs, but I always wondered about those school dinners, those dinner ladies looked high as a kite) anywho, I just wish I’d been one of those super smart people who so helpfully wrote the flipping names on the back of the photo’s.. (like my Sis In Law… snifff!!) … Glad you got there int’ end though, makes all the difference knowing who to blame for the apple throwing… 😀 xPenx

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    • Hi Pen, I’d forget the tag, or the characteristic. I forgot someone who worked on the same team as me in work once, and they sat opposite me. That’s frightening! But yes, I know the apple throwing culprit. I’ve never actually forgotten that fact, but I never let on that I knew…

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  4. i forget things and people and can walk into a room to get something then forget what i went for hmm i think its called AGE lol never played the guess who game just strip poker and snap lol xxjen

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    • That age thing… it always gets the blame, doesn’t it Jen! Now, what was I going to say…? Ah, yes. I don’t even know how to play normal poker… I was quite good at snap once though 😀

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  5. I forget with fluid ability. It’s my thing. I can forget quite spectacularly: and married a man who logs facts and remembers them…I would rival you with secondary school. And to be honest, I’d far rather forget most of their names. The important ones- the friends- I never forget.

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    • Thanks, Kate. Uh… Secondary school wasn’t good for me, which was a pity as I loved learning, and my memory back then was so much better than it is today. I did have some friends though, and yes, I’ve never forgotten them (although I don’t see them nowadays either!)
      Actually, though, forgetting does have it’s uses at times…

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  6. For me, it’s strangest when I look at people I haven’t seen since we were young, because their faces are frozen at that age in my mind. And then I look them up on facebook and can’t comprehend the change.

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    • I’m like that now with people who I haven’t seen for only a couple of years… I’m sure people are aging faster these days! Like you, I expect them to look as they did the last time I saw them.

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