I am a small town celebrity. My superstar status is not related to a particular talent or event. My notoriety does not stem from any abominable deed. Yet I am recognized county-wide as a local bigwig.
My claim to fame is my career of educating the citizens of tomorrow. Think about it. If a teacher lands a job at the tender age of twenty-two, and forges ahead until retirement at fifty-two, that teacher has touched the lives of approximately 3600-5400 students. It depends on the size of the school district. The low number assumes a class size of twenty students per class period, and the high number represents thirty students per class period. Either way you look at it, that's the population of a town around these parts.
It's a bit disconcerting to hear your name called out on a parking lot. Then comes the guilt-inducing, "Don't you remember me?" Sure, the face looks familiar. It's the list of 5400 possible names to go with it that presents the problem. The accosters are unfailingly, overwhelmingly, polite. They give the name, and it all comes back. Like yesterday.
Even so, I can't help but feel remorse for not shouting out the right name from the get-go. And I'm still over a thousand faces away from retirement.