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I'm a high school teacher in rural Nevada. Since my school is in an impoverished area, we receive additional Federal funding under something called a Title I program. This funding has allowed my school to hire additional teachers and aides. It has also allowed us to acquire additional computers and other instructional tools. As a Title I school, our continued participation in this program requires us to have 4 Title 1 "Parents' Nights" during each school year.  A few weeks ago we had one such event. The theme of the night was math and all of the teachers set up booths so we could interact with students and parents. Since I teach Culinary Arts, I set up a production costing booth but no one visited and I spent 2 1/2 hours reading my Kindle Fire tablet. 

After the event ended, I went out to dinner at a local restaurant. I was reading my tablet when I looked up to see a woman waving in my general direction. I didn't recognize this woman and since there was a table of somewhat noisy people behind me, I assumed that she was waving at them. I didn't think anything of it and went back to reading my tablet and enjoying my dinner.

A few minutes later, a server dropped off a complimentary refill of my beverage. I hadn't asked for a refill but appreciated the gesture. When I looked up to thank the server, I saw that a guy sitting next to the woman who had been waving was now waving in my general direction. Since I didn't recognize this person, I ignored him.

The next morning, as I was walking into the school, our counselor approached me. 

"Why didn't you wave at me last night?"

I looked at her. "Were you waving at me?"

She nodded.

"Did this happen at Chili's?"

She nodded.

I apologized and reminded her that I'm autistic. I explained that I don't have a good memory for names or faces. 

"But you know who I am now."

I nodded. "You're the counselor. I can recognize you as the counselor because we're at work but apparently within the informal atmosphere of a casual dining restaurant, I did not recognize you. How odd. I wonder if I would now recognize that man you were sitting with."

The counselor turned red. "Oh you wouldn't know him. He was my date. He's not an educator and he doesn't work here."

"If he doesn't work here and if I don't know him, why was he waving at me?"

"It was a joke."

"I don't understand."

"I'm sorry we confused you."

"No worries." And that was pretty much that.

This experience has made me wonder. Have any of you had similar problems? Can you remember names and faces of people at one location and then draw a blank if they appear at another location?

I'm sorry to say that this happens to me quite frequently. I've been in supermarkets and have had people I don't recognize come up and start talking to me. From the context of their conversation, I have assumed that these people knew me ... but I didn't recognize them. I have also passed cars while driving and have had people toot their horns and wave. I don't know if these people were neighbors, colleagues, students, or possibly parents of students. I sometimes wonder if any of them were actual strangers who just liked my car. I drive a Nissan hybrid. 

Last year a stranger approached me at work to discuss some meeting we were supposed to have during the coming week. I had no idea who this person was or why he would be at my departmental meeting. When I asked him who he was, the stranger claimed to be my department chair. It turned out that the department chair, a business teacher, had recently shaved off his beard. Without his beard I didn't recognize him. It was very unsettling because this person SOUNDED like my department chair but no longer looked like him. 

I'm curious as to whether any of you have had similar problems. 



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