My Name

My name breathes history.  It hints of the Gospels and the tale of John the Baptist.  It has a royal air, perhaps from the many years it has spent on the lips of British subjects.

If you ask my mother, I aquired my name simply because she liked it.  If you ask my father, I was named after a fictional little red-head on an old t.v. show.

My name speaks of early morning visits to the barn, of corn fields ready for picking, of pastures ready for grazing.

It is the smell of the earth after an early spring rainfall.  The warmth from a bale of hay basking in the sunlight.

If you look closely, perhaps somewhere around the “h”, you will see a hint of the hills of Appalachia.  I was only there for a year, but it left a permanent mark.

My name results from hard work, simple living, and content with God’s will.  I hope to always remain faithful to it.

(It’s the beginning of the school year…which means new kids…which means that I get to pull out one of my favorite assignments.  Known simply as the “My Name” assignment (an idea that I took from a college professor), it requires students to write about their names, modeling their tale after Esperanza’s reflections on her name in Sandra Cisneros’s “The House on Mango Street.”  I love this assignment because it requires creativity and putting a little piece of your soul into words.  Reading what the kids produce always puts a smile on my face, and definitely helps me to get a little glimpse into their lives.  The above piece is what I wrote about my name as an example to share with my students.  It’s not perfect…but, then, neither am I!)