Sunday, November 13, 2011


I worried (unnecessarily) that I would have a hard time learning and pronouncing my students names.  Although I'm probably not saying "Qummasha" quite right (there's a gutteral sound that I just can't seem to replicate) learning their names hasn't been an issue, and I'm even starting to learn their nicknames. (Qummasha's is "Gosha.")  They don't seem to have middle names, and they use their father's first name as their last name.

I am "Miss Sue" to them.  In fact, all of the adults are called Mr. or Miss first name.  There was some confusion at the beginning of the school year because the paperwork that our principal received about me listed me as Suzanne Jennifer.  But...there was already a "Susan" working at the school and a "Jennifer."    (There was also a Jane, and her middle name was...Susan.)

Email is non-existent, and there is no intercom. So, if there is a message that needs to get out to all the teachers, the document (sometimes in English!) is brought around by a helper.  We read the message (or get someone to tell us what it says) and sign next to our names.  (Uh oh...but someone already signed for me. Was it Susan?  Jennifer?)

Mr. Wahid and Miss Selma rule the copy machines.  (One out of three is working right now.)  To get copies made, we write our names and the quanitity on the back of the original, then place it on the counter in the copy room. Fortunately, Susan is a cycle 1 teacher (grades 2 and 3) and Jennifer is a KG teacher,  and I am cycle 3 (grades 11 and 12), so our copies usually end up with the right person.  However, if we ask to have a form (that doesn't have any visual clues) copied, there is room for confusion.  Mr. Wahid tried to give me Susan's forms three different times in one day, but I kept telling him they weren't mine.  He solved the problem by putting them on my desk while I was in class!  (Mr. Wahid and Miss Selma are the nicest, hardest working folks in the school.  They now recognize my writing, so there are rarely mix-ups anymore.  The helpers who come around for signatures know me as well, so they no longer insist that I sign in Susan's or Jenn's spot.)

First names (or good names, as they are often called) are used in business as well.  If I call the bank to inquire about something, I identify myself as "Miss Suzanne."  At first I would say my whole name, with emphasis on the surname, as we do at home.  I've learned that it only confuses people, and my first name is all they need.
The view from our office doorway.


Arlene said...

Alrighty, Miss Suzy Q. Or would that cause more confusion?

Doozyanner said...

The girls love nicknames, so would have no problem with the Q. The staff? Let's not make it any more difficult than it already is! :-)