ENG1141 Creative Writing-Spring 2020-Sears

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    Jennifer Sears

    After reading today’s materials about names and the relationships three people have with their names, choose one of the eight reflective prompts in Writing the Story of Your Name and write two paragraphs about your relationship with your name. Many students really go deep in this reflection. Though you only have to write a couple of paragraphs here, hold onto what you write because this will be one choice to explore in the upcoming memoir assignment.

    Remember, you can refer to ideas your peers have posted if you want or read the others for ideas for writing. You can also edit your own post after you have published if it is still before the board closes.

    The discussion board will close at 10 am on Friday, April 24.



    My parents were married since January ’97, and I was born on September 10th ’99. My name “Fahim” means Wisdom, or intelligent. At the time, I didn’t feel like my name had any significance with what I was doing in my childhood. Sometimes, I make stupid mistakes and sometimes, my ego just gets the better of me but I’ve realized from middle school to now, my intelligence keeps growing as I experience some things that would make me a better individual. My parents named me “Fahim” because I’m their hope, their light that would shine whenever success came my way.

    It’s hard to keep up with maintaining the level of success I’ve had to endure throughout these years but I understood why people would award those who were at top, and that just didn’t sit right with me. In my sophmore year in high school, I made 2nd in the school’s honor roll and I was invited to a breakfast to celebrate the students who kept maintaining their GPAs. At first, it felt good but then it kind of put me thorugh soem sort of reality, that anyone can make it up there but they just can’t put in the effort as others can. Now, I feel more relaxed with my name and how I’ve come to this point, and I genuinely think I can do more with the state that we’re in.


    Klarissa G.

    Growing up Dominican-American, I always struggled with deciding whether to introduce my name pronounced in Spanish or English. My whole life, my parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts, who were more Dominican than American would always pronounce my name in Spanish: kla – ri – sa. While my school friends and teachers would pronounce it in English: kluh – ri – sa. So every time I had to say my name to someone for the first time, the split second before I would open my mouth, my brain would go a little crazy when deciding which language to switch to. Sometimes I would end up saying a mixture that didn’t even sound like my name and just end up embarrassing myself and having to repeat myself. Later on I decided to just stick to Spanish when talking to Latin people and English when talking to “American” people, which really just meant people who didn’t speak Spanish.
    I lived in North America until I was 8 or 9, and at that age I used to feel like I wanted to be considered American and not Dominican. I was brought up being shown that New York was better, so that’s what I believed. And when I moved to Dominican Republic everyone in my class always called me a gringa because I was from NY, so that’s what I believed, too. Being in DR, people around me always had a lot of pride in their country, and I started to grow a sense of not wanting to be seen as American either, because they would say things like “there’s no reason for American’s to think they are better than us”. I remember when in DR, I started feeling like an alien and not wanting to be considered someone from any of the two countries, because I felt like I wasn’t like any of them. And I mention this because it always reminds me of the two different ways of pronouncing my first name and how it so closely related to me questioning my mixed cultural identity.
    Either way, it is technically the same name in Spanish or English, just pronounced differently. It did bother me that I was never sure how to say my own name, sometimes I’m still not sure, and how often it did make me strongly question my identity. And now that I have a stronger head on my shoulders, I appreciate both identities that I carry with me. And if I had to choose how to pronounce my name, I’d prefer to do it in Spanish.
    Also, I have so much more to write about my name, I just stuck to one of the questions about it to not end up writing a whole essay. :)


    Adonis Corporan

    I believe that your name plays a big role on who you are, where you come from, and what are some of your notions. In Mohammed’s case, when you hear his name; you have an idea that he’s from the Middle East or might have Middle Eastern roots. Im pretty sure, that once he heard his name and understood that he was named after someone, He was also inclined to question, who is the Mohammed he’s named after and is this a figure worth following. If I had the chance to change my name, I would change it to Isaiah. Regardless of the fact that I love how it is pronounced, I believe this name defines who I am, and shows who plays the biggest role in my philosophy’s and personal notions. Isaiah, is of Hebrew origin, and means “God is Salvation.” I believe the message this name convey’s is the essence of my perspective of life and morality. God plays a big role in my life, and shapes the way I see things. I believe we as humans need to see life as how God wants us to see it; and we should pay attention to what the genuine and omniscient creator wants to teach us.
    This name defines who I am, because I always tend to look at God for life’s solutions and answers, for he has never failed to solve and respond to the questions I ponder. I always wanted to change my name because I don’t really feel like the name that I have now defines who I am. In my opinion, my name is simply just a word you use to identify me anywhere I go, and in order to really get to know who I am, one must start a conversation with me and really get to understand what ideas and philosophies are beyond the simple name I have. More than just a name, names are the titles to our stories; the headlines and faces of our lives. Before people even get to see our faces, they learn our names who tell an immense story about who we are, where we come from and what are some of our beliefs. Despite the question as to why we are given the name we have, our names tell our story even at a historical perspective. In Mohammed’s case, there’s a huge story in the name Mohammed and we can see how this reflects on many people’s beliefs. Names are extremely important as they say a lot about our cultures, and Society’s; they tell us where were from and what we believe in, much more and beyond the simple name.


    Nicholas Cabrera

    I was born on January 99, it was then that my mother gave me the name Nicholas. At first I never really knew if my name had any meaning to it until I looked it up. It turns out that the name had many stories from meaning “people of victory” to the new testament Saint Nicholas. The reason why my mom named me Nicholas was because she loved Christmas, so she named me after Santa Clause whose real name was Nicholas (old saint Nick). In all honesty I thought it was pretty cool that she named after a person who brings joy every year. But, there were also times people would joke around with my name like Nicholas Cage, to Nicky, and my absolute favorite “Ni-Ni-Nick-Nick-Nick- Nickelodeon (Honestly makes me think I should have become an actor for Nickelodeon, so that way it would make sense and give people a good laugh). Truth be told aside from the nickname Nick, the other ones didn’t sit right with me because it didn’t sit right with me, but now I’m fine with it (I mean it’s just a nickname). There are even times where people (mainly teachers) had called me by a different name like Christopher. I still find it funny to this day, but if I did want to change my name it would probably be Christopher, it’s nice name and I bet it has a good history and meaning to it. However, I like having the name Nicholas, it makes me feel happy considering the history behind as well as the reason I was given it.


    Carlos Cabrera

    My Parents names are Jacqueline Astacio and Carlos Jaime Cabrera are married since 1989 and i was their third born around the late 90s, 1997 to be more specific. My Full name is Carlos Emilel Cabrera Astacio and is funny that we learn about this topic today because my name Emilel is not pronounced as is spelled, Emil is how people recall to my name even though only close people such as family members or friends from childhood call me like that. It took me a while to get use to Carlos when i arrived to the U.S since everybody call me like that here and i was not used to that. It’s ironic how 3 days ago i saw a page on my Instagram that were posting pictures of names, more the 3,000 names and i found it interesting. while spending about five minutes scrolling down i finally found my name and when i started reading the name Carlos comes all the way back to a different century i read about kings, how we tend to act, that were very independent and always follow our thoughts and many other things.

    I chose to take the first prompt out of the eight reflective prompts because my name was chosen due to my dad’s name and Emilel was because my aunt told my mom that her first son was going to be named like that and she had two girls and my mom had three boys and my aunt named my cousin Emely and my mom named me Emil and they said that the person who wrote my name misspelled and wrote it Emilel and some how it turned out that Emilel comes from France which means “Industrious. From the Roman family name Aemilius. Famous bearer: French writer Emile Zola.” And that is my name history.



    My name is Akili. Akili is of Swahili ( African Language) origin. Akili means wisdom, intelligence. My dad and mom thought of several names before i was born, my mom wanted me to be named kayla or imani. if i was named kayla me and my cousin would of had the same birthday and first name. I’m happy that didn’t happen there would of been a lot of mix up between telling whose who although we look nothing alike and have a slight age difference, me being older. My middle name is imani though which is also of Swahili origin which means faith. Although my mom didn’t pick my first name she was able to give me my middle name.
    When i was born my mom was out of it for two weeks, constantly fatigued in the hospital. My dad wasn’t present at my birth because he was driving the train making it hard to get in contact with him. But when he came to see him he told me that he knew he didn’t want me to have a European name. So he bought a whole bunch of baby name books that was of African origin and Akili stuck out to him. He let my mom keep imani because it was of African origin. I actually like my name and like that it isn’t very common.



    My name is Nathalie, it is spelled in french because of the silent ‘H’ when I was in middle school they made us do this activity where you researched what your name meant and I figured out that it meant birthday in Latin. I was the first born in my family so it took them a long time to name me since they have never had a child before. My mom’s best friend was named Natasha so when she found out that my mom was having a girl She wanted to meet me closer to her name since my mom was such a fan of Nicole Kidman, she was once driving by Times Square and saw a huge billboard of her and instantly thought Nathalie Nicole. That’s it. I feel like my mom made sure that my Spanish side of the family could also pronounce the name that she had named me. Like my class mate Adonis said I do believe that your name plays a big role in who you are and where you come from. It’s interesting that my name is a French name because a lot of people when they see me think of me as so many different in the ethnicities. So I feel like my name is Yuneek in that sense because my name probably wouldn’t match up to my ethnicity, which is cool and different I feel like most people have names that would match up to where they have come from. This name to find who I am because in my eyes it’s a very special name. I like that in many different languages you can pronounce it differently.


    Jennifer Tlatelpa

    When I was younger I didn’t really like my name because I’d have close relatives whose name was Jennifer and I thought it was so basic, I’d always tell my parents why couldn’t they name me something else. At that time I did consider about changing my name and it was the name Jessica that stood out to me, I don’t know why but for some reason that name brought joy. When I was younger and played barbies I always made sure that my dolls names were Jessica and she was usually the one who was in charge of the other dolls so like the parent. However, as I got older I began to like my name and I didn’t really mind it, when I was able to understand things more clearly my parents actually told me that my brothers named me and now it never comes to my mind in changing my name because I think that is very special for both them and me since I was the last child and only girl in the family.


    Junwen Lin

    My name is Junwen. My father gave me this name, in Chinese ‘jun’ means handsome, the last word ‘wen’ in Chinese is a rare word, but there was an ancient Chinese emperor who had the same ‘wen’ like me. My father wants me to be handsome, and special, so he gave me that name. When I went to Starbuck when the barista asks my name, I said my name is ‘Jason’, because it is easy.
    Every one thinks name is very important to us because it defined us who we are, I have a different opinion, I think the name just a code name for us, it just makes easy to us to recognize others. Everyone can name your name, but you still are different than others. It is not name defined who you are, it is yourself to define who you are, what you will do. When I was in high school. my classmates did not my name a lot, most of the time they like to call my nickname. I also like they call my nickname because it feels we are very close.


    Tyler Vasquez

    A lot can be said about my name. I have a middle name, but there’s enough to talk about even if I focus only on my first name, Tyler. One thing about my name is that it is normally a boy’s name. This is always something that comes up. I get many comments about my name. Many people love it and think it’s unique that I have a boy’s name a while others are more surprised by it. Something that happens every year of school is when a professor or teacher does a roll call for the first time. When the professor gets to my name I can see they’re always looking for a boy, and once I raise my hand I can see a kind of surprise in their faces.
    Another thing about my name is that people call me the wrong name for the first couple of times that they see me. People always mess up my name and call me Taylor instead of Tyler. I guess it’s because Taylor is a name that’s more used for girls so they forget and assume that it’s Taylor and not Tyler. Something that’s kinda crazy is that my name was supposed to be Meghan Taylor, but my mom shared her name choice with a friend who was also pregnant. This friend ended up giving birth a month or two before and literally named her daughter the exact name with the same spelling and everything. After that happened my mom chose Tyler Jolie instead.



    After two sisters, all my father and mother wanted was a son. When my mom got pregnant, she used to pray all day and as we are muslims, in a part of our holy book “THE QURAN” there is one page where my name comes three times. My mother used to read that part every single day and as she said, she used to pray and say that “God if you give me a son I will name him Azizul Hakim.” My father chose my two sisters name so my mom really wanted to keep my name. My name Azizul Hakim means Most Powerful and Wise. I’m not quite sure about the powerful part but hands down I can say that I try to be as wise as possible. I try my best not to betray someone or steal. I don’t know if it was the upbringing or its just me but the last part of my name is something which I can say that I am.
    Although most people think my first name is too long and most of my friends like to call me “Aziz” or “Zul”. They find those easier and at this point I am used to my friends and family calling me by those initials. People barely call me Hakim. I know my name is quite unique and I love the story of how my mom decided to keep my name. She always says that I mean the world to her as she always wanted a son and she got one like me. To be honest, If i even had a chance to change my name I wouldn’t. I love my name and I think it goes with my personality.


    Gen Li

    Li Gen. In China, we say and write our surname before the given name. It is the norm and I never questioned why. Older folks would stress the importance of the family name. When I was little, I often feel compelled to be proud of it, much like how patriotism was drilled into my head. My first name translates to “root” as in the root of a tree. And my older sister is the “fruit.” I don’t know the depth of this naming origin or maybe that is the only layer. But funny enough, my uncles used to joke about calling me the “American president,” saying that I was named after President Reagan.

    Then I immigrated to America. My last name was forgotten and my first name became the most prominent part of my identity. Suddenly, I was an individual. Everyone pronounced my name Gen like Jen, short for Jennifer. And then in 2013, my last name made a comeback debut after I joined the Navy. Currently, that’s also how I want people to address me. “Li,” much like the western version “Lee,” represents the dichotomy of being a Chinese American.


    It is interesting that we are having a discussion related to our names. I come from a big household in Nigeria, Africa. My family happens to be one of the families that are drawn to distinctive long names. My full name, Christianah Olorundamilola Okemeta was given to me by my dad. Since I come from a Christian background, I was named Christianah as my first name, a biblical name originally from Greek, meaning Christ bearer or Christ follower. Usually, some people has a way of spelling it as Christiana, or even pronounce it as Ch-ris-ti-na. But since mine has a specific letter ‘h’ attached to it end, the actual pronunciation and spelling is Ch-ris-ti-a-nah. While growing up, I get use to people addressing me with my Christian name. Barely do I come across namesakes with actual spelling of Christianah. It makes me feel more unique in a way. I get lots of nicknames from it, so I just go with whatever way people prefer to call me (Annie, Christ-anne, Hannah, Anna, Christie, Christy, Christio, Christina, Christinana and my favorite which is X-tinah as in X-mas for Christmas). Since tribal names are very common in my country, Olorundamilola has never been difficult to pronounce. I don’t usually get called by it.

    On getting to the USA, my name changed. The name I have been attached to for over 17 years of my life got changed suddenly. My middle name became my first name. The only first explanation I got was my dad prefers Olorundamilola, meaning God has blessed me with wealth, since it fully explains where I come from and our Yoruba tribe. I got furious but since it got changed already, I had to go with it. After all, it is still my name. To be fair, my brother’s name, Samuel, also got changed. He was fine with it and didn’t complain. Later on, my dad explained that the tribal name has more importance to him than I actually knew of. He told me one of his reasons. I could remember his words that day, “It isn’t just about the meaning of the name, it has a significance. I let you use any of names you prefer being called and decided to make you understand when you are a grown-up. There was a prophesy when you were still 8 months old as a fetus, a prophesy of me traveling once you are a year old. I did on the exact month and day you turned one, everything happened miraculously. Here I am with my complete family, after seventeen years of immigration. You are a blessing to this family and I will always cherish that.” He concluded. That was how I knew the origin of my name, Olorundamilola. Interestingly, a librarian at school nicknamed me Lola for short. Not only was it my tribal name, Lola sounded like an actual American name.


    Nahl Gh’Rael

    My name Nahl comes from the Nile river. My parents wanted to give me a different name, and the Nile river was the inspiration to that. Growing up people have mispronounced my name by pronouncing it as Nile or noel, but it is not said like Nile, it’s pronounced as Nah- l. Besides that there is no other meaning to my first name.
    I was given the name Nahl and that is what I live by. I like the name, and I don’t think it’s too hard to pronounce, even though I get some people who pronounce it right the first time and others might get it wrong. I try to think about what the name really means sometimes, but it’s just a different name with a different sound named from the Nile river.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by Nahl Gh'Rael.
    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by Nahl Gh'Rael.
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