My first name, Alexa, was chosen by my parents because I am the first child and they had thought about what they would like to name a girl if they had one. My name is a short version of the popular name, Alexandra, meaning helper, defender, or protector of mankind. People often think my real name is Alexandra and Alexa is just a nickname, however this is not the case. My parents knew that if they named me Alexandra that they would end up calling me Alexa since my last name, Scheidler, is relatively long, so they decided to make my name shorter. I have always loved my name and thought that it suited me well, however it is can sometimes be irritating when people call me Alexis, which is possibly the more popular form of a nickname for Alexandra. I do not mind correcting people once or twice, since it doesn't happen very often, however once in a while it sticks with certain people and it feels uncomfortable correcting people over and over, since they always seem to remember that I have told them before. My last name can be rather difficult to pronounce as well, but this doesn't bother me as much since many german last names have a similar sound. Some of the common ones that I hear people call me often are "Schneidler" and "Schindler" both with very similar letters, however, my last name doesn't have an "n" which people often miss. Once people hear me say it a few times, they always seem to be able to pronounce it, and it never seems to give people trouble anymore.
It can be frustrating when people have trouble addressing you by the right name, but I always try to put myself it their shoes and understand how difficult it is to learn other people's names. As Xiong discussed in her article, Good Stuff: What's in a name?, it's important to share with others who you are and accept others for who they are as well. By helping others call me by the right name, and making sure to address them correctly as well, we can develop a respect for and get to know each other in a new way. The way that Xiong discussed her use of this activity of sharing the story of the Korean girl and encouraging students to share their own name stories, creates a great introduction for the students and allows them to get to know each other from the very beginning of the year.
Xiong, K. (2011). Good Stuff: What’s in a Name?, Rethinking Schools, 25(4). http://www.rethinkingschools.org/restrict.asp?path=archive/25_04/25_04_xiong.shtml