So this is a picture of me in my classroom when I lived in Florida. I look normal right? When you first see someone sometimes, you can tell what their name is because they "just look like a Susan or a Jonathan" or whatever. My question is, when you look at this picture of me, what would you guess my name is? It's hard for me to think that I look like a Sally or Barbara, but since some of you out there either don't know me or don't know me well, you might be some help in this department.
I read somewhere that hearing your own name being spoken is the most beautiful thing to that person's ears. (I'm assuming this isn't the case when your parents are screaming your name for the latest mess-up you have created.) I guess that's true with my name too, although I have battled with whether I like it or if my name fits me for most of my life. Let me 'splain.... You see, my parents named me Itaska. If I had a dime for every time someone made a comment (positive or negative) I'd be rich and I could quit teaching forever. Of course I looked up information on my name and found that there is a Lake Itasca in the northern part of our country. Note that it's spelled differently, not that anyone else does. This apparently is a pretty place, but I'm not so sure that it works as well as a name. Did you also know that Itasca is the name brand of campers? We traveled lots as a kid, and it was always disconcerting to see your name pass you by on the freeway, especially on a camper. If I had seen a fabulous picture of me on a billboard, I think I would feel differently.
So that's not all the woes I have with my name. Of course, I've always had to endure the many people who totally butcher my name. Once I correct them, it doesn't stop there. When you have an unusual name, people have a hard time associating the name they can't pronounce with you. Hence, the post title....I've heard that lots too. So if that wasn't bad enough, my parents gave me a nickname, Tassie. Also another hard name to swallow. Does everyone remember the Saturday morning cartoons with Bugs Bunny? If you do, then you know who the Tasmanian Devil is. Guess what his name is shortened to? That's right....Tassie. Not that that was the most horrible thing I heard growing up. I was called "Tassie Tallahassee" and "Itaska Alaska" lots and a few "Lassies" were thrown in for good measure. Having an unusual name makes you a target when you're in school. That coupled with the fact that I was utterly fabulous and everyone else was jealous.
I've thought about changing my name a few times. So far, the only name that I feel is even close to fitting is Diva. I can't quite bring myself to change it legally, but the thought has crossed my mind. There is one other fact about my name that you should know....if my brother had been a girl, he would have gotten my name and my name would be.......wait for it-
Bonniebelle Joann. (Yes, Bonniebelle is one word.) I ask you....did I luck out in the name department or what????