What does my name mean?

My name is Huimin.

I was born and raised in China.

At the time of my birth,

The doctor told my parents that my body might be weaker than normal because I was a premature baby.

For this reason, my parents wish me grow up healthily.


In fact,

My name comes from my grandfather’s idea.

In Chinese,

Hui it means intelligent and can understand all the facts;

Min it means quick thinking and quick reaction.

In general, they want me to be a lovable child.


I once believed that my name is the most special.

Until I went to primary school,

I met a friend with the same first name in my class.

When the teacher checks attendance or asked to answer questions,

I always feel a little embarrassed.


However, I am still grateful for my name.

Because this name is full of my family’s expectations for me.

Meanwhile, it also protects me like a talisman.

I love my name.


More importantly,

Even if we would have the same name with others,

But this does not mean that we will have the same life.

We will meet different people and experience different things.

The fate of everyone is not the same.

As Richard Millhouse Nixon said:

“Our destiny offers not the cup of despair, but the chalice of opportunity. So let us seize it, not in fear, but in gladness. ”

How does my name define me?

Whenever I ask my parents why they named me Shashendri they I have nothing to say; my dad often says he doesn’t even know how he came up with it. Nevertheless, I find that my name, like me and many others, to have many different meanings coming together to make one cohesive statement; each deriving from foreign languages which is the foundation of who I am. “Sha” comes from the Sanskrit languages, meaning blessed light. “Shen” holds the translation of spirit in Chinese. Lastly, “Dri” translating to strong, in Greek. All these meanings, coming from different lands, forming the definition of my name: “strong spirit of light.” Lately, the idea that my name could be translated into something so empowering seems like an obscure thought, but at times it is what motivates me. My name may not be common or easily pronounced, but that’s what makes me who I am.

I am individual – made up of many different ideas, different challenges, and different backgrounds, yet I am one unique cohesive being.

OpenLab Assignment#1: What’s in a name? Robert Lo

My name is Robert.
I was born in an Asian country,
But my parents gave me a non-Asian name.
Rather a very common English, Western Hemisphere name.

I was wondering why as my brain filled with curiosity.
All my friends have a common Asian name and I was left out.
I felt like an outcast.

One day I asked my mother,
She said Robert is a name that serves greatness;
A prince in a shining armor.

When I was a child, I believed anything what my parents said.
‘Til then I just went along with it,
and never talk or question about the origins of my name.

It turns out the name Robert comes from Germany,
Derived from Hrodebert meaning “bright fame.”
A name from kings of France, Dukes of Normandy, and Scotland instead of princes.

This name was also incredibly famous during the Middle Ages.
Nowadays I don’t really care what my name serves, means, or how famous it is.
It is what it is, my name does not define who I am.

OpenLab Assignment#1: What’s in a name?

In what ways do our names define who we are? In this definition assignment, explore the meaning of your name and how it relates to your personality. First, read Rowan Ricardo Phillips’s poem “Proper Names in the Lyrics of Troubadours.” Then, use the questions below to write your own poem or creative prose composition introducing yourself to the class. 

Proper Names in the Lyrics of Troubadours

My parents never call me Rowan.

I’m Ricky, from Ricardo.

But not Ricky Ricardo.


I’m also the first Phillips in my family.

My mother decided Phillip, my father’s

Family name, sounded too much like a first name.


(In America, at least).

Rowan Phillip would lead inevitably

To Phillip Rowan. That was her story, and she’s sticking to it.


For the record, that’s an Old Norse first name,

A Spanish middle name,

And one of those faux-English-faux-Dutch-sounding last names


That’s really Greek for lover of horses.

“Rowan Ricardo Phillips”:

Another of those names that straddles seas in the sails of unseen


Ships. Still, it sounds typically West Indian to me.

And like “the West Indies” indefinite.

An indefinite room in an indefinite poem.


It took me a while to accept it.


After reading the poem, read the following questions and answer at least five of them.

  1. What does your name mean to you
  2. Research and explore why you were given your name
  3. Explore the connotations your name has (for you and other people)
  4. Think about how you feel about your name and why you feel this way
  5. If you were named after someone, explore and/or compare and contrast that person to yourself
  6. Compare and contrast yourself to other people with your name
  7. Explore any abbreviations of your name and the implications these have had on who you are
  8. Explain what your name does not mean
  9. Examine the definitions of your name and how these relate to who you are
  10. Examine the history of your name and how they relate to you
  11. Write about how this research into your name impacts your understanding of yourself

Based on your responses, write a poem or a creative prose composition introducing yourself and your name to the class.

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