Over the past few weeks, have you met just way too many people? Do you feel like you can’t remember any of their names? Fret no longer: We are here to help. Hello and welcome to Specht Pages, the true and supreme voice of Lawrence University. In this celebratory 23rd issue, we will discuss the culture of learning names and view some experts’ succinct advice in overcoming difficulty in this area. So, sit back, relax and let Specht Pages stimulate your brain with an injection of pure liquid knowledge.
In an effort of personal and professional development, supreme overlord of Specht Pages, Kevin Specht, has decided that he is going to learn peoples’ names “by any means necessary.” These people include his friends, acquaintances, fellow students, professors and his et ceteras.
Thus far, progress has been slow. However, the effort has been great. Strategies have included asking people their names at the beginning, middle and end of conversations; asking them to wear name tags; sneaking a peek at their ID; and even asking a friend quietly as a person approaches. Despite these measures, the ability to instantly regurgitate the name at will is still mediocre, at best.
During the field research, some people shared their pedagogy of name learning. “Kevin, we’re both seniors. You should know my name by now!” “We were in Freshman Studies together!” “I just told you my name literally two minutes ago!” In the spirit of seeking solutions in varied locations, here are the results of a series of interviews on some other people’s techniques:
“I come up with a nickname. For example, for Aiden Campbell, I think ‘Aiden Campbell’ (with a peppy inflection). Have you ever seen House Bunnies?” -Chelsey Choy, history major
“I pick out a letter from a person’s name and then a word that describes them that starts with that letter. For example, Specht has a C in it. Comcast Polo’s were Specht’s idea.” -Sami Jarjour, scoundrel
“When people introduce themselves, I say their name before I tell them mine. My back-up plan is to apologize.” -Erin Dix, archivist
“I ask their name and repeat it back to them. Then at the end of the conversation, I say their name, and if I can’t, I ask again. It’s from a book called Emotional Intelligence. I don’t have a back-up plan; what do you mean?” -Nick Paulson, President
“Ooooh! Mine is to associate the shape of peoples’ hair. This guy in my hall is named Noah and puts his hair in an up-spike. I make the motion of the shape of his hair with my hand and think: “Noah.” My back-up plan is to guess or run away.” -Jaime Gonzalez, RLA
“I’m horrible at names.” -Manny Leyva, Lawrentian
“Uhhh, I just try to remember them. Yes, it’s effective”. -Jason Koth, saxophonist
“I refuse to learn names. My back-up plan is a two terabyte hard drive.” -Erty Seidel, troll
“I come up with songs about people. For example, for my friend, Cheli, I go cha cha cha Cheli.” -Cynthia Tobias, reformed hipster
“I try to associate their name with a famous person. For example, there was a Korean girl named Ine, so I thought of Einstein.” -Jemmy Liu, freshman
“I use a list of general-purpose nicknames like ‘buddy,’ ‘champ,’ and ‘old sport.’ The downside is that I never learn anyone’s name but then again I never have to.”
-Jesse Kearns, Coffee Guy
“I try to associate the person with movies. Like this kid Ridley was named after the film director Ridley Scott. I guess that was a lucky one”.
-Eli Massey, Boring Person
“I usually learn names by an article of clothing. Like first, it’s the girl with a blue earring. Then the girl with the blue earring becomes Jessica. Also, I have a notebook with peoples’ names.”
-Greta Dahl, Anthropologist
“I find a defining characteristic of the person and call them that, giving them a nickname without knowing their real name. Like this person from Texas that I called ‘Texas’.”
-Rainbow Hair, Philosopher
“Uhhhh, I take a mental Snapchat?”
-Rachael Shpielbuckets, Ghostbuster
“I try my best to not be Kevin.”
-Abby Kozberger, Wino
There you have it, a comprehensive guide to learning names. Unfortunately, now that you read this, you have no excuse! But remember, if in a pinch, you can use pronouns or simply break down in tears or hives.