What’s in a name?

17 01 2008

“Fate tried to conceal him by naming him Smith.” ~Oliver Wendall Holmes, Jr.

“Names are an important key to what a society values. Anthropologists recognize naming as ‘one of the chief methods for imposing order on perception.'” ~ David S. Slawson

Today my students are writing about their names in their newly mod-podged writing notebooks. Here are some of the highlights from this morning’s shared writings– One student’s mother named him after a man who was stabbed to death by his wife (a story she saw on the news in the hospital after he was born). Another student wrote about her two pet hamsters, Sam and Coach. Unfortunately, Coach ate Sam and then Coach died after bleeding to death in an attempt to eat his own leg. One guy had the nickname “Moonpie,” as a result of his breech birth. The girls were much more shy about their nicknames, so I didn’t get to hear any beyond the standard, “Lil Bit,” or “Sweet Pea.”

In general, it was a fun day. The only downer was the fact that my sixth period is completely lethargic by the time they get to me–unresponsive, heads and arms in sweat shirts, mumbled remarks after I give directions, and just an overall bad attitude. I get so frustrated during that class because everything requires so much effort. It’s really hard to maintain my own energy when I’m reliving the Ben Stein scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (minus the drooling… I think).

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