Friday, October 31, 2008

names are important

a quick story about names:

there is a girl whose name is p. every pronounces it as if it were the illegal payoffs that radios used to do (and maybe still do? corporations? anyone?), payola. she's most certainly latina, and so i wonder why she doesn't correct teachers or anyone, really, when they pronounce it strangely (in my head, i always think it's a gringo pronunciation).

i saw her in advisory (i believe i've explained what advisory is before), and asked her to come over for a second.

"P.," i said to her, "how do you pronounce your name? Like P. or P. [latin sounding]?"

she looked at me, her eyes lighting up just a bit and a small smile on her face, and said, "Both."

"Which do you prefer?" i asked. she shrugged.

i said ok and went about my business checking this blog, checking my other one, editing some poetry, looking other poems and whatever until the end of the block. suddenly she comes up to me and says, "Which one do you like?" and i told her P. she ran back, almost skipping, and i think i saw a smile.

interesting how important a name is. i hate to say it, but my methods teacher was absolutely correct about names--we had to write a "where I'm from" poem and before that speak about our own names, where they come from, how we feel about them, etc. like it or dislike it, you have a name and it's important for teachers to know it, and know it right. judging by the way she smiled and ran off, i think i just took an important step toward something, who knows what, with this girl just by pronouncing her name correctly. it must've meant something.


Vanessa Rogers said...

I always really enjoyed it when a teacher who spoke German or knew some German would know to pronounce my maiden last name Braun, like the color brown. It was nice. I think you are on to something there.

Anonymous said...

You have such solid instincts!