Sunday, May 10, 2009

Of Names

Those who are close to me know that I have a pet name among family members, Yen which actually is a shortened version of my original pet name (that will not be disclosed due to safety reason). It used to baffle people so much as it is seemingly an uncommon name. But heck.. What's in a name?

Much, I must say. For example, I feel weird of someone calls me Shirin. It might take me a few minutes to register that it is directed to or meant for me. Well, only Puan Roffini who taught me Maths in Form 3 calls me Shirin, reason being "Shirin" suits me better than "Ana" (yeah, gets to me too!). I still love Puan Roffini though because I thought she put in an effort to analyse what suits me.

So, in turn I remember Puan Roffini until now and often wonder what happened to her. In contrast to her, I used to hate teachers who can't remember students' names because I think it showed that they don't care much. NOW, I know how hard it is actually. Students now usually have 2 or 3 first names and I always ask them what should I call them. Usually, it's the second name that they are familiar with.

But imagine, in my Form 1 Astronomi class, we have 4 Hanifs. To make my job easier, we gave the 4 Hanifs nicknames which are Mr H, Abe, Anip and Iwan. In 4 Ibnu Sina, there's another Hanif who is close friends to Husni and you might have guessed by now that I always switch their names around. They are borderline redha by now..

But it's not just me who is having this problem. If possible, I want my students to address me as Miss Ana and these kids are finding it quite hard to change from Teacher Ana. People, it's wrong to call me Teacher Ana. We don't call an engineer as Engineer Leman or an accountant as Accountant Hamid. We call them Miss, Mr or Mrs. Why the sudden weird exception for teachers?

Another Malaysian culture that is die hard is the "Sir" attached to names. Addressing someone as "sir" per se is fine in a school context as it is widely used in UK and some parts of USA but we don't call someone as "Sir Khalid" unless the Queen bestowed the title upon them. It's a privilege given to a chosen few, not 3000 guys around Malaysia. Us, teachers should be more cautious about that.

So save me the pain and headache, call me Miss Ana. Not "teacher" because like how you want me to remember your name, I'd like it for you to do so too.

*okay.. trivia time.. who can tell what was the original name that my mum wanted to give me? I'd give you chocolates.. tempting, right?*


Anonymous said...


sd. said...

oh shirin.

i miss you.