Friday, June 19, 2015

Not Monica


I have this policy against using actual student names on the blog. They are minors. And while I am telling stories of things that happened in class, I don't want to publicize who they are.

But this story is predicated on the name.

I hate calling out roll. There are many students who have "interesting" names. And I always manage to mangle them. I didn't massacre Makai's name too badly. I was in the ballpark.  

I was closer than one teacher. The one teacher that made him cry. The one teacher who got "Monica" from "Makai".

"Monica? How do you even see Monica? There's no N in there. It's not even close."

Apparently, one of his elementary school teachers on the first day of school called Monica. And a couple of the other students in class remembered this. The boy shook his head.

I told him that I could see it happening. I had mangled so many names that I could totally see me doing something like that. But I understood his pain.

I dread being that pain. And yet, some days I just can't quite get it right...

32 comments:

  1. That would be a nightmare. So many different names and so many names spelled differently than the usual. Poor kid. I think sometimes parents really have to be sensitive when they think of naming their kids and the impact their names will carry for the rest of their lives. Both my kids are very simple common names.

    betty

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    1. I don't think some parents think of that. I guess if your name was mangled your whole life, you'd be a bit more sensitive to it. But if you had an ordinary name (like Liz), you might not realize how bad it can get. (Unless you go into teaching and get to see these names in action.)

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  2. I feel for you! I live in a place with a lot of Asian kids. It is so hard for me to remember and pronounce my students' names correctly!

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    1. I think Indian names are the hardest. We also have a lot of African-American kids whose parents decided to go interesting.

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  3. I just wish parents would give their kids names that weren't so easily mangled. My kids first names were very simple and easy. But Justin had a few teachers who ALWAYS called him Jason! It can happen even with the simple names!

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    1. Oh yea. Names get mixed up no matter what.

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  4. When naming a newborn, the parents should consider how the name will sound when yelled across a playground. Children get teased by their names forever in school.

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  5. In wanting to be original, parents forget the damage school bullying and such can have on a child. On the other hand, the kids will stand out as adults, and it'd be easier to brand a unique name rather that the same ol' John, Bob, etc. Feel for you though.

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    1. Well, bullying is no longer tolerated, so that should no longer be such an issue (although it still happens).

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  6. Would it be out of place to ask the child to help with the pronunciation? In America we are a country of diversity. Names that may sound strange to one group are typical for another.

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  7. When I was growing up, there was this girl named Kassadi in all of my classes. And every single sub pronounced her name ka-saw-dee. Not like Cassidy. She would get so mad and we would all yell the correct pronunciation. :P

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    1. Yep, that would have been me. And I'd've cringed when I realized it was just Cassidy spelled weird. (I'm getting better at figuring out it's just a normal name spelled weird, but I don't catch every instance.)

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  8. I know how that poor kid feels. Until I graduated, there was always some teacher who couldn't figure out my name and would act all insulted upon being corrected. And of course none of the other kids will ever let you forget about it.

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  9. Oh, well, my name is Barbara and you would never imagine how many people call me Brenda. And most people say my name "Bar-bra" instead of "Bar-ba-rah" I never have let name things bother me except for my first day of 1st grade. I had learned how to write and read my name (that mother and everyone in the family called me!) before the start of school. On the first day the teacher told us to find the desk with our name taped to the top. I couldn't find mine. Mrs. Morgan finally came over and told me to sit at a desk with a strange name I had never seen before. I told her that's not my name. And she told me yes it was. That bothered me, but not nearly as much as what came later when I got home. I told my mother about my teacher not having my name anywhere and then mother told me that really was my name!! They had ALWAYS ONLY called me Barbie. I had never heard Barbara. I felt betrayed by my family. All of my family still call me Barbie. And one of Pete's sisters. And one woman at work. Everywhere else I am Barbara.

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  10. Years ago I taught a kid where our daily rollcall ended up an extended Back and Forth of
    "Nueman"
    "No miss, it's Nueman"
    "Nueman?"
    "No, Nueman"
    "Nueman?"
    "No, Nueman"
    "Nueman?"
    "No, Nueman"
    "Nueman?"
    "No, Nueman"
    "Nueman?"
    "No, Nueman"
    "Nueman?"
    "No, Nueman"
    "Nueman?"
    "NUEMAN"
    "James"
    I COULD NOT hear the difference between what that kid was saying and what i was saying, i felt bad all year!

    And i am lucky enough to be a cisgendered female with what is commonly a "male" name (meh) so i get all sorts of random names on introduction because people think they have misheard me. Add a slightly uncommon spelling (for this part of the world anyway) and i get all sorts of entertainment on a daily basis :D

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    1. Yep, I've had that back and forth before. And I had no idea what I was saying wrong.

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  11. My name is Nadine, but I get Natalie or Nancy most of the time. For the first 33 years of my life I went by my first name, Beth, and even that got mangled. Once an employer not only insisted on using Beth (the IRS knows me as Nadine), but changed it to Elizabeth, and it took months to fix that problem.

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    1. Yikes. I know Beth can be short of Elizabeth, but if the official form says Beth...

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  12. There are so many different names now, I don't know how teachers do it, honestly. Parents can't just stick with Amy or Wendy anymore. They have to choose a name that no other child has ever had! Not many people mess up Stephanie. They even know how to spell it. I am often called "Stacy" or "Jennifer" by mistake. Jennifer's weird--because that's my sister's name. I can't tell you how many people over the course of my life have thought my name was Jennifer when they had never even knew I had a sister. I'm told it's because the names were mega-popular for the same (very brief) amount of time.

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    1. I would never mistake Stephanie for Jennifer (unless you look like a Jennifer to them). *shakes head*

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  13. I taught a class once where there was a Tamika, Shakimra, Shakeera, Michaela, and Tahleeka. I'm not exaggerating or making this up.

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    1. I'm sure you're not. I've had classes with similar groupings.

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    2. My year of 6 Jayden's in the same class spring to mind! :D

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  14. I used to always get called Nancy or Mary (instead of Marcy) and while I was never fond of my name, I was even less fond of Nancy or Mary. I yelled at one teacher who got it wrong. Sorry Mr. Kinski.

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  15. My name was mangled so many times when I was young that I was planning to change it when I reached adulthood. Then it was going to be after my Dad passed away, so he wouldn't know what I had done. Well, I still have the name. It still gets mangled. Although a good friend is a retired teacher and has shared stories of her classroom name experiences, I feel even more for those children. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

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    1. It's hard when you have so many names to learn in such a short time.

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  16. The names are always so hard. I always warn them in advance I'll screw them up. I think they aways appreciate the time you seem to take to get to know them.

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    1. I do that, too. Doesn't seem to help.

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  17. I just have the problem of the same patrons coming in to the library every week, or even almost daily, and I learned their name once and forgot it. And because I was supposed to be at the library for a short time (while a new building was built for my real location) I didn't worry about it. But then I didn't move back and now, over a year later, I am embarrassed to ask the name of someone I talk to regularly.

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  18. I can feel his pain too. I spent years getting called 'Cat-lin Tilly' which was most definitely not my name, but the other kids would latch onto it and use it to tease me.

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    1. That's the worst part. Not bad enough that someone gets it wrong. Then everyone else has to "play".

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