“Hi Grace. This assignment does many things well. The questions are clearly worded …”
I had just gotten feedback on a class assignment that I had worked hard on, and so I was eager to receive my results. Reading the first sentence, however, irked me. It was already week 12 of the semester and my GSI had failed to address me by my actual name.
My full name is Glorace Faith Sanchez. It is Glorace. Not Grace. I often hear friends or GSIs call me “Grace.” The first time you meet me, sure, it’s fine to get my name wrong. Maybe you just misheard me. In week 12, however, that is a different story.
I often wonder how hard it can possibly be to pronounce or remember my first name. It’s Glorace. Not Grace. Why can’t people ever remember? How many times do I have to correct them, which is unpleasant for me and embarrassing for them?
At first, I was self-conscious about my first name. Why couldn’t my parents name me something more common, something easier for others to pronounce? It was always awkward when a substitute teacher would have trouble pronouncing my name, so I told people to call me by my second name instead — Faith.
The name “Faith” was easier to pronounce — much easier than “Glorace” based on how people stopped mispronouncing my name. I am embarrassed, though, of how I would tell people to call me “Faith” instead of “Glorace.” When asked why I do not get called by my first name, I respond by saying it is hard for people to pronounce. I should not have accepted how other people mispronounced my name and brushed it off. I should have corrected them.
Now that I’m older, however, I’ve learned to appreciate the uniqueness of my first name. I am the only person I know besides my sister who has the first name “Glorace.” It is a unique combination of two other names: “Gloria” and “Grace.” The name “Gloria” from my grandmother, and “Grace” from my mom. These names are a representation of my family’s religious values. Gloria refers to glory and honor. Grace can refer to a blessing or the love that God has for human beings. Faith means a strong belief in God.
Now, whenever people mispronounce my first name, I correct them instead of brushing it off. I am no longer embarrassed about my first name. I embrace it. I am proud of it.