Where’s Waldo…

…or Beemie?

Alphabetical Post W

My two Sons-sters loved the Where’s Waldo books, lots of illustrations and few to no words. It seems  my blog for the last month has followed this pattern, only in addition to no words of the written kind I also featured zero illustrations. A New York Times bestseller, I think not.

waldo costume

If my body could ft into those skinny jeans, I’d definitely give this outfit a try.

The month of April featured a spring break from school, where quite honestly I did nothing, except shop. I can happily report that my shoe size has remained the same for years, unfortunately clothing sizes seem to fluctuate.

April also found me at the movie theater with Peggy Anne…she surprised me and purchased the two of us tickets for Beauty and the Beast. I loved the movie. I actually felt like I was watching two movies because I was awestruck by the costumes. Truth be told, I actually wept while gazing at the wondrous combinations of materials and trims.

 

belle

This collage of Emma’s costumes are nothing compared to the lush fabrics used in Beast’s jackets.

This spring, I have had the privilege of reading books intended for those of us over the age of twelve because the novels my students are reading this year, I read in full last year, thus I only require a quick daily refresher of the chapters. The books I have read may not be on the popular reading lists, but they have been interesting.

Eb White

E.B White was quite an interesting character and I loved learning about how he was inspired to write Charlotte’s Web. Upon completion of the above book, I was encouraged to follow-up with the actual E.B. White:EB white one man

 

I am reading one or two essays at a time…I especially enjoyed the essay he wrote 1939 about the television. He was not impressed and believed it would be a detriment to society. Hmmm,… with classic programming like the one below, I’m not sure he was on point.

 

Keeping-up-with-Kardashians

Never mind!

This book found me both laughing and crying. I highly recommend.

ove

 

I am just about done with:

tin ticket

While the above is not for the weak of stomach, it explains much about human nature and the need to survive.

Next on my list is:

boys boat

Hubster has already finished it and tells me to make sure I have tissues at the ready.

 

So as you can see, I haven’t really been away, just not here on my blog. There are only 29 days of school left and I can’t wait. I love the summer. My flowers are in and the vegetable garden goes in next weekend.

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Value…

…my top five.

Alphabetical Post V

When I see or hear the word value, it often conjures the notion of saving money…this, naturally has me cocking my head to get a better view or leaning my ear in the direction of the anticipated savings. While a good value always peaks my interest… please know,  this will not be a post where I dumpster dive, yard sale my way through a weekend morning, or score a great find at TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Home Goods, DSW, the “Gucci” Goodwill, Talbot’s Outlet, any one of an abundance of local consignments shops,  or Target…(perhaps I am not saving that much money if I shop at all of these places).

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It is no coincidence, I think that the value of the tile V in Words with Friends is 5.  V in Roman Numerals is 5. When taking a survey, typically, the scale is 1, being the least desirable and 5, the most desirable; thus 5, is the golden or should I say Golden Roman Standard (GRS).

There are many things in my life which meet the value of  GRS.

GRS: My Family

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GRS: My Career

While I have much commentary (some positive, some not) about my job as a teacher in a public school, I do feel fortunate to have a job. There are many without a steady income and health benefits. Many factors within my job are out of my control; therefore for Lent I have given up stress and worry. This may sound like a joke (many found this humorous when I announced this on Ash Wednesday), but the truth is it is very challenging to just shut this down. I think this may be harder than giving up chocolate or another beloved food. So far, I have only had to talk myself off a ledge of stress once…21 days down only 19 more to go. I am hoping I will give up stress and worry for good because I value my mental health.

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 GRS: My Siblings

family art

This masterpiece is nearly 50 years old, but it’s no wonder my kindergarten teacher insisted I stay for another year to inspire another group of students in the fine art of family portrait.

You can read more about my extended family here.

GRS: Friends

Too many to insert photos, but here is a cute definition….

friend

GRS: Time

This post is short because I value the time you take to stop by and read my little blog…Have a wonderful day!

enjoy

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Underwriter…

…my current job title.

Alphabetical Post U

      Truthfully, I still don’t fully understand the job of an actual underwriter. I know my own meaning is I just can’t seem to get it together to write a post; thus I am “under-writing”. I have always been a “story-teller”; usually not at a loss for words, although as mentioned in the past, sometimes I need to kick myself to hold my tongue because I do need the job that employs for 190 days per year.

     Nothing out of the ordinary has kept me away from the keyboard. There have been exactly zero snow days this year. A two-hour delay a couple of weeks ago was quite disappointing.

This amount of snow screams: 2 hour DELAY!

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     I have avoided watching news shows …so no 60 Minutes, Today Show, or Meet the Press; thus without media, I have fewer headaches. I have not gone complete cold turkey on the news because I still read the daily newspaper. Sadly, skipping political stories finds me reading the obituaries and sports. In case you’re wondering, the matriarch of a famous seafood establishment recently passed and a player on the University of Maryland women’s basketball team has been named Big 10 player of the year. I also check the Facebook timeline; however I think I may be developing carpal tunnel in my right wrist because I spend more time scrolling past politically polarized posts from both donkeys and elephants.

     I tried to find an image of something that represented neither party, but wasted 30 minutes searching for images. The decrease in headaches mentioned in the previous paragraph came creeping back. I did find this image….

cuckoo clock

This speaks volumes to my current political mood.

There is some good news, albeit shallow. Hubster and I have discovered a new series.

collection-front

Hubster needed to find something to pull me away from the sewing machine on weekends.

Speaking of the sewing machine, I have spent a great deal of time at my machine on weekends. Due to absence of snow days, Project Snow Day (read here and here) is lacking and the auction is a month earlier this year.

Oh, and this goes out to Hasbro, just because like the ostrich, my head has been in the sand with all the political news; it has not gone unnoticed that the most significant game piece of Monopoly has been discontinued. The thimble; worn to protect the finger  and push the needle when sewing….gone! It seems there is nothing sacred. Hobbyist seamstresses such as myself must go forth in a game which involves taxation, yet, no representation.

It seems protest is required. I am going to wear my thimble (because I will be sewing) for the rest of the day in support of thimbles everywhere on the planet. I know a revolution when I see one.

 

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From my mother’s sewing collection…she was always up for a good protest, unless it was from one of her children about the rules of the house…dictatorship was a house rule…and no, this in not my middle finger.

     Have a wonderful week!

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Tyler…

… as in Mary Tyler Moore.

Alphabetical Post T

     Last week, I started to write a post about television. Needless to say I never finished it, but when I heard the news of Mary Tyler Moore’s death, I started to write again, only this time the tone of my post changed. Here I am today starting from scratch.

     I recall being back in my childhood home sitting in front of our 15″, or maybe it was 19″, black and white TV. After sitting through a another Saturday night of the Lawrence Welk Show, (a staple of both my parents and the only show permitted to be watched during Lent for a good many years until they relaxed that rule because they found they were missing out on great television) we settled in for the Saturday night comedies. I don’t remember what time the show aired, but I do remember the evening ending with the Carol Burnett Show.

     Mary Tyler Moore was not only a funny lady, but she had an elegant way of ” taking a nothing day and certainly make it all seem worthwhile”. Yes, I stole the line from the soundtrack to the show.

Although I was only 7 when the show first aired, I wanted her hair. To be exact, I wanted the hair she had in the early years of the show because it had a “That Girl” flip…oh, how I longed for that flip.

MTM

    Her teeth were perfection…no wonder she “could turn the world on with her smile.” At the age of 21, I finally wore the braces I had hoped would give me those “Chiclet” pearly whites.

     I know Mary Tyler Moore did not decorate her own sets, but I loved the “M” monogram that hung in her apartments. When I moved into my college dorm I purchased a big yellow “C” (for my real name) made of cork to hang on my dorm room wall. I think Mary may have influenced my affection for monograms.

     Over 20 years ago, Hubster and I attended a charity fundraiser auction. One of the items for auction was a script signed by the writers of the Mary Tyler Moore Show. The script was titled; “Chuckles Bites the Dust.” We were in a bidding war with a local meteorologist and,I kid you not, Tom Clancy. TC backed out when it reached $100. I wanted that script and so did the meteorologist. We won and we paid way too much for that script, which sadly sits in a plastic  container in our attic, probably dry-rotted, but it’s ours.

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This is not our actual script….sorry, Mary, I didn’t feel like climbing into the attic.

    My favorite line from that episode was part of the eulogy read by Ted Baxter (Knight) on air for Chuckles the Clown, “A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants.”

     My recollections of Mary Tyler Moore may be superficial, but I truly believe that Mary ‘Richards’ showed my young self that I could “make it after all”.

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Seven ’17 Sentiments…

…in the New Year.

Alphabetical Post S

     I went back to school on Tuesday after a wonderful break and it was the lonnnnggggest short week ever. When I am feeling blue or haggard due to the daily demands of being a classroom teacher, I try to remind myself that I am lucky to have a job and  to just keep teaching. One of my colleagues has been so overwhelmed that it sent her to the doctor this week.

     Since I know what it feels like to be submerged in stress (read here) I have tried to offer words of wisdom, but words are easy; actually allowing yourself to take something off your plate is not so easy.  When providing unsolicited counsel of my own experiences to those in distress that I often have plenty of lemons , but no lemonade; that person may say something like, ” Wow, you seem to have your act together!” (Those who really know me are laughing so hard right now they need to change their underwear. Sorry for the inconvenience.)

The “act together” comment from those who I seem to have bamboozled that my life seems in calamity calm, cool,  and collected reminds me of the persona “Fernando Lamas” created by Billy Crystal.

Sentiment 7

marvelous

 Little do they know this is really what is going on in my daily life….

Sentiment 6

 smile

Things have changed because I seriously have decided…

Sentiment 5

everything

This is why during the school year, Hubster does most of the cooking. (Honestly, I think he really likes the deluxe health benefits my job provides.) He is a great cook and although I grew up in the era of ” I can bring home the bacon…”

Sentiment 4

enjoli

I am perfectly happy with him frying it up in the pan!

There are many experts out there who tell us we need to find ways to relieve stress…

Sentiment 3

adult-color

My sister, Keary, bought me an adult coloring book for my birthday last year…I tried it, but then I stopped because the color pencils required sharpening…I didn’t want to add another job to my life. In my profession, I sharpen a few thousand pencils every day.

I do believe my best stress reliever….

(no, not alcohol)wine

is my best friend….

 

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A dark and blurry photo of two young kids who are still in love.

Sentiment 2

husband

Operative word here is “girl”,  for he still calls me his “child bride” and believes it!

Another step I have taken to relieve worry is to remind myself that ….

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These two are adults. Yes, I did buy them the t-shirts and they did wear the hats for the throwback photo at my request, but they have significant others, jobs, benefits, and lives beyond the one that we created. We have raised independent beings …apparently, that is the job of parents.

     When my mother was dying in 2009, I entered her hospital room having just driven 7.5 hours with my sister, Susan from Maryland to Boston. In the days before this trip, I had walked across the stage to receive my Masters degree at the  old nubile age of 46; I was very much a hip and trendy well-ripened and exhausted adult.

     My mother, was slumped in the chair next to her hospital bed. Her hair was combed straight back and white, like I had never seen before. I walked over to her while Susan stayed near the door. We both thought she had died in that chair. I called to her, ” Mum…Mum”, no response. I turned to Susan and frantically exclaimed, “Get a nurse!”…Susan was frozen, so I grabbed her by the arm and together we summoned a nurse.

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My mother and Susan; a time Susan didn’t mind being close.

     The cool-headed nurse brought us back to the room. She told us to call her name again. Susan did not want to get too close, so I along with the nurse tried to give her a little shake on the arm, while I called out again, “Mum…it’s me…Susan is here too!”

     My mother began to wake. As she muttered my name and tried to focus her eyes, she whispered, “Oh, it is you…you know I’m dying.” There was never much “sugar-coating” when it came to her making a point.

     As she focused more, I was crouched down in front of her. The voice which once commanded attention was now fragile, but just as pointed. She had a clear view of my hair because she advised, “You need to do your roots.” At that moment, I knew that no matter what your age or state of mind, your mother is still your mother.

Sentiment 1

adult-children

     I  had hoped I would find myself writing more, but I will refer to Sentiment 5. This does not mean I am giving up on my blog, it means that for now things are status quo…Writing is excellent mental health, but so is reading, watching TV,  and sewing….

A Cautionary Sentiment

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Have  a great week!

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PS: This is Us comes back of Tuesday, but also check out Good Behavior on TNT….Lady Mary not so lady-like.

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Rest, Relaxation, and…

…resolutions.

Alphabetical Post R

My winter break from school began promptly at 3:35 pm last Thursday and I didn’t stop moving until yesterday around 11:30 am when Son-ster #2 headed back to Pittsburgh. I have no regrets, I loved having my boys home for Christmas.

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I especially love that not only did I still have the Santa hats for this “throw-back” photo, but I also captured the “red-eye”. #2 refused to put in his retainer, I suppose I can’t have it all.

We had a wonderful time filled with games, eating, dishes, gifts, napping, eating, Christmas movies, eating, and more dishes. I wouldn’t change a thing. Not even the fact that when Hubster turned on the oven on Christmas morning to pre-heat for the 22 pound turkey he received an error code “f3” …once the code was “Googled”, we determined nothing would be roasted in the oven, so cue the gas grill…

Voila…grilled turkey!

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This is the actual turkey…luckily #2 had gifted Hubster an i-Grill for Father’s Day.

We also had grilled sweet potatoes and grilled herb dressing. I can honestly say it was truly delicious.

The next several days will involve sleeping in, a bit of sewing, some after-Christmas shopping, a visit from the Family Matriarch and the Kitchen King as they head to Florida, a dinner hosted by us (cooking courtesy of someone else due to aforementioned oven), a visit from my nephews (my sister Susan’s sons) & their crews, and finally New Year’s weekend with Peggy Anne.

From the sound of this post it seems it should be titled, Run, Rush, and Resolutions, but trust me not dealing with school life for a week is rest and relaxation. As far as the resolution goes the below (found on Pinterest) is my motto.

ny-resolution

Hope you are having a wonderful holiday season.

If you live near me, can you recommend someone to fix the oven, I am pretty sure we will need it in 2017.

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Quick Update…

…alive and well!

Alphabetical Post Q

When last I left you, I was waiting for a new floor and furniture for our family room. The floor has been installed and the furniture delivered. I did some Black Friday fabric shopping and scored two fabrics I intend to include in the room.

Here is a peek:

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I think I am truly in love with the new floor. We had a wall to wall berber prior to this, but I love the look of wood.

The art work which I will frame for a spot in the room, is a painting by a local artist. It features the Domino Sugar plant whose lighted sign greets incoming ships and visitors to the Inner Harbor of Baltimore. Hubster and I have a long running joke about this sign. When we were dating in college, we would go out downtown. Free parking was limited so often we would find a spot a long walk away from where we were going. One night a friend of Hubster joined us and stated he knew of a perfect free parking place…it indeed was a good, free parking spot illuminated by the Domino Sugar sign; however it was over a mile from our intended destination. Today, if we don’t find a parking spot within close proximity to where we are going we laugh and say, ” I guess were stuck under the Domino Sugar sign.” While not hysterical, it is a fond memory.

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I have to leave you here dear readers because at this point, I need to work on my own outdoor lighting for the holidays, not one hall has been decked, nor are the stockings hung by the chimney with care. Also, it seams seems the fabric will not sew itself.

Have a great day!

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Publish or…

…Perish

Alphabetical Post P

The pressure to write a post has been weighing on me heavily.  Although I work in the world of academia (elementary school teacher) I don’t have to worry about losing my position here at AMD (A Milkman’s Daughter) because I own it.

Hubster and I have been busy in the home remodeling mode. It all started back in mid-October when I decided we needed new family room furniture. I really made the decision about the furniture two months years ago. (I wrote about it here, but the link to the video in this post is no longer available.) We went to the “More than One pay Check for a Sofa” Store, but managed to find a reasonably priced sofa and love seat. Naturally, the furniture you want is never available in a quick turn around so we are waiting the 8-12 weeks in limbo.

The new floor is supposed to go in on Monday. Right now our home seems to be in a state of “abandoned home meets back room at the home improvement store”.

Needless to say all of this has had us consummed…painting, new light fixtures, vent covers, etc., and Hubster’s dream of having a light post out at the end of the driveway has come to fruitition…cue the hallelujah chorus.

light-post

This is not our light post, but you can bet that our new light post will be adorned this holiday season. This light post is from Pinterest.

In addition to the above light, I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel with this project. I am crossing my fingers and toes that the furniture makes it here before Thanksgiving.

Have a great week!

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One Word…

…TV

Alphabetical Post O

Technically, TV is exactly two letters, but since it is my blog I take creative control and deem TV, one word and an official O post.

I have been coming home from school everyday with a major curriculum headache. I will not digress about the crazy math problems, testing, data, ya-da, ya-da…

The one respite has actually been TV. At present, Hubster and I are in the midst of a family room makeover. Got Junk? came and took away our 18-year-old family room sofa and love seat. While they were heading out the door a quarter fell from one of the cushions. I quickly picked it up and explained to Hubster that the cost of the new furniture was now 25 cents less. (I am not being paid by Got Junk?, but I have to say it was quite painless. Also they donate what they can or attempt to recycle so hopefully our old vintage stuff doesn’t end up in a landfill.)

For now, there is no furniture in the family room except for the TV, two end tables, and two chairs taken from other rooms. We have been watching TV much like….

edith-and-archie

No cigars for Hubster, but this is pretty much a dead ringer.

There have been a few programs that we have actually been enjoying…first on the list and mentioned by other bloggers… THIS IS US….so far I have cried during each episode.

 

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We are still Survivor watchers even though we know we would never cut the mustard in those challenges. As of yet, the new season of Amazing Race has not come back; that is a game we believe we could win.

 

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This is the Millenial Tribe on the current season of Survivor…ask them about their day jobs…nevermind, I think only one of them actually goes to a job.

 

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If only our pesky day jobs would permit an extended 39 day vacation…we could be contenders.

BULL has been on our radar, but we are not convinced this will last. Apparently, this character is loosely based on Dr. Phil.

 

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One last word about TV…Goliath, with Billy Bob Thorton and William Hurt. In our two lone chairs, we have binge-watched the entire season on Amazon.

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Spoiler alert…Billy Bob does not play the Goliath character.

Ok so I lied, two more words about TV and  neither word begins with O; The Crown, on Netflix starting November 4th. I have a slight infatuation with crowns. I believe I was born with one on my head (just ask my siblings or Hubster or my two Son-sters or my college roommate or my students).

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I can’t wait!

Our new flooring, paint job, and lighting will begin this weekend. If you’re the praying type, please pray that our new furniture arrives before Thanksgiving. Yes, my new chair is a throne, thanks for asking. 🙂

Report card comments, also known as “creative writing brain drain”, starts this week. I hope to do everything in my power to write a P post as soon as the creative writing comments are done.

Have a great week.

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Nothing, but…

…nonsense, numbers, nuns, and names

Alphabetical Post N

I must admit, I have indeed neglected my duties here at AMD (A Milkman’s Daughter). I guess, to be truthful, neglect may not be the true term; rather, it’s been in neutral. Once again I started and stopped…stopped and started…Null, may be the best term.

A post about neon fashions was quickly nixed. Neon and my pale complexion are not a good combination.

neon-shoes

I know what you’re thinking…“You mean you had a $10 coupon at DSW and you didn’t buy these?” My loss!

Next, I started a post about my neighbors…I decided that since they are not always on the pulse of my blog it might be better to remain neighborly. Afterall…

WWMRS

(What would Mr. Rogers say?)

 

mr-rogers

I do love a cardigan, so I’m going to continue to nurture my neighborliness.

I know a set of newlyweds, but they may not want me to share their nuptials until the professional photos are released.

wedding-sign

Recently, I read that chalk signs at weddings are “so 2012″…as a teacher, I am a sucker for a good chalk sign.

Indeed, the above, is all nonsense…so let’s get started with the real content of the post.

Numbers

As time would have it, Hubster added another year to his age. His sister, KM and her husband, Waterman, paid us a visit from Maine to celebrate his birthday weekend. Typically, we do not celebrate Hubster’s birthday for two and one-half whole days, but this year we made a weekend of it. I was utterly exhausted by the time it was over because during the school year I hit the mattress no later than 9:05 pm and start snoring sleeping by 9:06 pm. I stayed up until midnight one evening and 11:45 pm another. My youthful glow and mutlitple bubbly personality has been running on half power for the last two weeks. Numbers will do that to a girl!

Nuns and Names

I received a Catholic education for 16 years (that’s right, grade 1 all the way through college). On the first day of first grade, all of us were placed in one first grade classroom and told to stand against the wall. Needless to say, as my age group was still considered part of the Baby-Boomers, there wasn’t enough wall space.  Sister Noreen* and Mrs.Buckland* told us to listen for our name to be called. Sister Noreen said if you hear your name take a seat at one of the classroom desks. She read very quickly and students began sitting. She didn’t seem to take notice when she called “Ba’mae” P., that it produced no student taking a seat. When she was done, Mrs. Buckland told the rest of us to follow into her classroom. I followed Mrs. Buckland. She told us to stand against her wall because she would seat us in alphabetical order.

While this process was taking place, I continued to stand long past the letter P., which was the first letter in my last name. Suddenly, Sister Noreen appeared at the classroom door. It seems she was seating her students in alphabetical order and she was missing someone from her list. Mrs. Buckland and Sister Noreen looked to the last two girls standing … “What is your name?” she sneered.

Afraid to answer, I let Madonna Wallace* go first. When she said her name, Sister Noreen looked at her with a frown and advised, “You’d better live up to that name.” (My Madonna Wallace went on to earn a full scholarship to UMASS…the real Madonna, the one I think Sister Noreen was talking about, went on to earn millions singing; however not acting, “Like a Virgin”).

Then Sister Noreen looked to me….I said my name Beemie P. (Be Me)* and she challenged, “That is not how you say your name!”

I replied with the confidence of a precocious child who spent two years in kindergarten perfecting the art of coloring inside the lines, “Oh yes, it is. It’s my grandmother’s name and that is how my parents say my name.”

“You are not pronouncing your name correctly and since you don’t even know your name, you can stay with Mrs. Buckland.” Sister Noreen and her sensible shoes trotted out of the room.

Sister Noreen’s First Grade Class

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She was a tough cookie…that “Obey” bulletin board was looming over their shoulders all year.

Mrs. Buckland then looked at her list and asked everyone after Soledad Peron* to move back one seat. This produced a few grunts and groans, as well as a disapproving look from the teacher who was presented with the gift of a new student on her list.

“Ba’Mae” P.

Beemie...a childhood nickname

Beemie…a childhood nickname: The name I use on my blog and for creative purposes in this post.

Mrs. Buckland’s Classroom

teachers desk revised

I am just out of camera range in this photo, but the portrait I created of Soledad Peron has quite a prominent place on display.

While having my name mispronounced for the first few years of school was a bit annoying, those who really knew me pronounced my name the way it was intended; those who didn’t went with Sister Noreen’s version. By high school, I began introducing myself with the Sister Noreen version of my name. At the time, it actually seemed, “Cool”. I watched as a few of my female classmates began using their own imaginative spelling for their names or a new nickname to seek an independent identity.

I never felt robbed of my identity because Sister did not pronounce my name correctly, if anything I believe it provided me with a “thick skin”When I introduce myself today with the version my parents intended, I often have those who revert to the Sister Noreen articulation. I have an acquaintance who I would see out & about, and occasionally at social events over the course of 28 years. I realized that for as long as I have known her, she never called me by my name. I sensed she did this because she was afraid she would say it incorrectly, so I inquired. She told me that I was correct, she didn’t want to mispronounce my name. Having no identity, honestly stung a bit more than having my name mispronounced.

I usually do not correct people attempting my name because I find that I am creating an immediate barrier to getting to know someone. Many times I have those who use the Sister Noreen version and ask why I never corrected the pronunciation…

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…names can never hurt me.

See what I mean, sucker for a chalk sign.

Until next time…

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*names changed to protect the innocent