Teach Us Your Name by Huda Essa

Today we’ve got something wonderful, something that is all about learning and empowering your children. Or yourself, depending on how hard it is to say your name! So, let’s get right to it! 

It was the first day of school and the words I dreaded hearing tumbled out of my teacher’s mouth.  In a cheerful voice, she said, “Now, I’m going to take attendance.  Please raise your hand when you hear your name. Oh, and please correct me if I’m saying it wrong.”  She sent all the students warm smiles after reading their names.  “Paul? …Kathy? …Melanie?”   I cringed, knowing my name would come soon. “…David? …Paula?”  Then, it happened…

I saw her smile fade, her eyes squint and her lips purse together like she was trying to figure out a tricky puzzle.  She quietly cleared her throat. “Well, let me see if I can get this one…  Am I saying it right?” Her voice swelled with hope.  I bashfully nodded my head.  “Okay, good.” She smiled with relief and content.

I was too embarrassed to look up again, afraid I’d see others laughing at me. The teacher continued with attendance, but the only voice I could hear was the one in my head… Ugh! I haaaaate my naaaame! Why do I have to have the ugly, terrible, weird and ridiculously long name?



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