Ask Amanda

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Dear Amanda,

Why can’t I remember the names of people from my 1L Section? It would not be a problem if I could just pass them in the Hark and offer a generic smile. What should I do if they stop to talk to me? Should I pretend I remember our drunken interactions or just be upfront and ask for their names?

Thanks,

Forgetful 3L

Dear Forgetful,

I find that problems of this nature are best avoided by skipping all classes and not leaving your apartment. I am, unfortunately, unable to avoid human contact even while in the confines of my cozy little homestead. However, my two cohabitants don’t especially mind when I forget their names and have learned to respond when I call them “Useful Roommate” and “Going-to-be-useful-when-he’s-a-Senator Roommate.” The point is, you’re a 3L. By now, you should have learned that it’s impossible to fail classes here. So just hole up in your room and work on your 3L paper so you can graduate. If you could do mine too, that would be great.

If you have to leave your room for food or other necessities, take care to avoid high traffic areas where you’re most likely to run into people you know. For example, for the forgetful or antisocial, walking through Kagan Plaza is like taking a stroll through a field of land mines, and is guaranteed to lead to an explosion of unwanted social interactions. I advise that you take the road less traveled. In good weather, when everyone wants to be frolicking outside, stick to the tunnels. However, I should warn you that the tunnels are constructed in such a way that you can’t veer off the path and hide behind a tree on the off-chance that you run into someone you “know.” If you see a former sectionmate, you’ll be obligated to engage in a long, awkward conversation. If you see someone you’re avoiding for reasons beyond the fact that you can’t remember his or her name, it could get scary. There’s nothing worse than being trapped in the tunnels while someone you don’t particularly like shouts at you in a vaguely threatening manner while you have to scurry off for your life. Oh wait. Does that only happen to me? When there is snow on the ground, you should stay above ground to safely avoid people.

Above all, you should avoid events where there will be large congregations of your former sectionmates. I would say that you’d be at risk at every 3L event this year, with the exception of graduation and the ultra-cool 3L Halloween Party that’s coming up on the 18th. Graduation is safe because Dean Richardson will be saying everyone’s name and you can remind yourself who people are before never seeing them again. The Halloween Party is okay because costumes are mandatory and you wouldn’t recognize people even if you did know their names.

If these measures aren’t enough to remove you from all human contact and you still run into people that you can’t quite remember, then you’re correct in assuming that admitting that you’ve forgotten their names is a major faux pas. Give them a winning smile and say something like, “Hey you! I haven’t seen you in . . . forever. You don’t call. You don’t write. Do you not love me anymore? I am about to be late for class, but we have to get together soon!” (Note to all: If I say that to you, I totally haven’t forgotten your name. I just am choosing not to say it.) Then run home to look them up in your facebook.

Yours,

AmandaGot problems? Amanda has solutions, and she’d love to share them in a public forum. Email record@law.harvard.edu.

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