In high school, I wasn’t the best of students. I’d just discovered sh1t-disturbing and being rebellious and a general pain in the a$$.

Around this time, I had the same French teacher for a few semesters in a row. Let’s call her Mrs. Ingrid. We didn’t especially get along but it hadn’t become a shooting war or anything. She’d taken to calling me Étienne. I didn’t know what Étienne meant but I assumed that it wasn’t flattering.

After a couple of years, I wound up in her office for one reason or another. It was one of those cheapo communal offices shared by 6 or 8 of the other teachers. One of these other teachers heard Mrs. Ingrid call me Étienne and said “Oh! You call the students by their French names!”

Mrs. Ingrid replied “I do when I know them, like with Stephen. I don’t know what to do with names like Jasmine.” The school was in a high-immigration area with 47 nationalities represented. I was one of the immigrants.

I asked “Étienne is French for Stephen?”

“Yes. what did you think I was calling you?”

“I wasn’t sure. You never sounded happy when you said it.”

“I usually wasn’t.”

We got along better after that.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.