August 12, 2012

What's in a name?

This is a rather personal post of sorts
I've only seen 2 adults cry in front of me my whole life. First, when my father found out his brother died in the 2004 tsunamis. Second, when my mother was drastically insulted and was put in a state of sadness for days. In those two moments I was either crying, or seething at the reasons why those tears were produced.
However, these incidents happened in the comfort of home, where I could openly express how I felt and try to console my parents.

Yesterday, was completely different for me.
For the past 8 weeks of my summer I have been taking a summer SAT boot camp. If you don't know what the SAT is, it's a test that is taken by several Americans and beyond for a better chance of getting into a college. Yesterday was my last day of the 45 days of continuous learning that was barely any different than school. After having some potlucks and games between each 'class' transition, it was time to leave. However, some of us had to stay for a tutorial of sorts. "Extra help" for any subject or problems we had trouble with. 
My scores for the three subjects (Math, Writing, & Critical Reading) are pretty good, even though math is probably the hardest for me. I decided to join my friend in the critical reading tutorial where we waited for the teacher to make their appearance while we all chattered amongst ourselves.

Our teacher was coming up the ramp, bearing onto a pair of crutches while slowly making it to the door. She was an energetic, fun-loving teacher. We'd seen her use the crutches before, but never knew exactly why she used them as we never asked her. We spotted her through the window, and that was when a guy (A mutual friend of mine) decided to yell the word "Cripple!"
The obvious thought would be that the teacher wouldn't have heard him, but then she shows up in the doorway, an unreadable expression on your face.
"Did you really just call me a 'cripple'?" were the words that came out of her mouth. The rest of us tried not to gasp or make any other word as the guy stuttered a bit, and then admitted he did, though he was just joking.
The teacher looked down a bit, and said "I Have chronic back back disorder. I'm sure I'd love to be called a 'cripple' all the time"
Since the teacher was sarcastic all the time, we thought that she'd gotten over the rude name the guy called her. But as she made her way up to the front, my friend and I saw a weird change of emotion in her. I could already predict, 'she is going to cry' and for some reason I was terrified. What would I do to help if she did? I didn't just want to sit there staring at her.
Then, slowly, tears started spilling out of her eyes, and the guy looked completely shocked (just like the rest of us), repeating his apologies and whatnot. The teacher never replied to him, and asked my friend and me to pass out the papers she'd brought in. After, she rushes out of the room, sobbing.

The part that makes me feel the worst is that I'll probably never see her again. Most of us wanted to run after her, but it seemed likewise myself, none of us had been in such a position. Most of us were still battling with ourselves in what we should do. 

The guy who'd called her the word was obviously joking, but I am not going to make that any sort of excuse. It was cruel to call a teacher that, even if he didn't know she had the disease. But it was just a simple word, something that she could have scolded him for and continued. Why cry?
I then put myself in her shoes, trying to identify how I'd feel if I was called a cripple and had the same back issues. Was she called such a name as a kid? Something that stirred her within?
I just don't know.

But I can say that we all have a word or two that we may not even know about yet. Those words bring out the weirdest feelings in us, making us feel weak and vulnerable. Just like the teacher that was called a name. Branching out from there, people are called so many things in this virtual society. We label people with names just because it rhymes with something or because they are a kind of person. I see that being used so effortlessly in insults, do they even think about the effect it may have on the person?

Anyway, Thank you for reading this if you did, I needed to get this happening out of my head as it's been bothering me for a long time now.

Is there a word that you are sensitive to?


  1. Great post! Wow, I've never seen a teacher of mine cry before, though I've seen both of my parents cry before. Its kind of strange to see someone cry out in public, but it also makes you feel bad too. I feel quite bad for that teacher, and what your calassmate was saying wasn't necessary.

    I've gotten sensative to plenty of words, but I'd rather not talk about them, you know?

  2. The word I'm sensitive about is "faggot". I'm pretty open about my sexual orientation, but at times I still cringe at that specific word. I see girls calming to be bisexual and what-not as if its the newest trend, but truth be told that its the hardest thing to go through everyday. I did not choose to be a lesbian-but it is what it is ya know?

    ---I feel much better. Nice post. :)

  3. I really like this post- it makes you think. I hate when people say things along the lines of "That's so gay!" A person's sexual orientation shouldn't be used as an insult. I'm not lesbian but I still think it's offensive.

  4. The post reminds me of what the topic was in Mass (I'm a Catholic) and they were talking about depression. The main message is that we always have bad things happen in our life but we still should try and be optimistic.

    It was kind-of a concidence, because at the moment I didn't feel to good about my body. I was a bit upset because most of my trousers and shorts didn't fit me and felt tight. I knew of course that I was eating too much crap and I have know decided to cut the 'binge' food out and do some walking. Now you might think that is bad but I figure out I'm not happy, it's not like I'm not eating only a cube of cheese, I just want to fit into my clothes. My mum says I lose weight kind-of fast but I know I should be healthier. For my own benefit. I honestly hate the word 'fat' or 'overweight' some like that, it reminds me of the little bit I had before.

    Nee x

  5. I remember i was in a situation like that guy in the story. I called one girl in my school in a name i don't wanna repeat, and she ran away and cried. I felt so bad. I ran after her and said im sorry, i didnt mean to make her cry. she calmed down and said its okay don't worry i'm fine.
    After that we became friends and later she told me why she acted like that then.

  6. Great post!
    I would like to think that this is basically the same as being yelled 'Faggot!' after, to be honest! It must hurt to be put down just because you are different than other people.. So putting it in perspective, if a Christian woman who don't believe that a man and a man should be able to marry was being called for example 'Fatty' and she started to cry, she would like an apology because it hurt her feelings, but then she'd call a teenage boy a 'Faggot' just because he was different! It's the double standards in this world that I hate!
    This is way off topic, but I just had to get it out, to be honest! The moral of the story is, is a Christian woman worth more than a gay teenage boy? No!

  7. @Ruubin

    I agree with you on some things, but I don't like the Christian women analogy. In my denomination of Christianity, we are taught to love one another. Calling someone a "faggot" or other word would be a sin. I think you have quite a lot of misconceptions of Christianity.

  8. I don't hear any other than christians say 'The bible says its wrong', do you? No? No.
    That was my point!

  9. @Ruubin: You are right, it's not okay to call someone "faggot" or think they are huge sinners. Yes, it's true, the bible says it's wrong. But the message of the bible is that doing these things is wrong, not the people. So if somebody agrees with the bible and thinks this lifestyle is wrong, it's their opinion, but they shouldn't judge other people and call them whatever because those people also have feelings!

    Manny, this post is amazing, I always enjoy reading your posts!
    I personally am very sensitive to "way to slim", "anorexic" and "gay".
    So I'm NOT anorexic, I've just grown a lot and I just hardly gain weight, no matter what I eat - and I eat a lot of crap..
    And I'm certainly not and I don't want to be gay. I mean I draw and design a lot, even during school, but this doesn't make somebody gay. And I had some very bad experience when I was little, so I'm always upset and feel hurt when somebody calls me like that.

    Oh my, have I just written this long comment? :O

  10. The bible says a lot of things is wrong! Like, A LOT! But this is 2012 and people CHOOSE what they want to believe in! Bigots and idiots in other words. People can't quote the fucking bible if they don't plan on LIVING by it. Double standards and hypocrites!

    By the way, being gay is not something you choose, and it's not a lifestyle, it's nothing, it's not a big deal, it's just what some people are. Like, calling being straight a lifestyle is wrong, so gay is not a lifestyle either! That's my opinion, and I stand by it extremely strongly! :)

    If people call you names, you know what you do? You ignore them! You need to live life for you, not for anyone else! That is life's most important lesson! You are you, I am me and 'Andrew' is 'Andrew'! It's pretty simple when you think about it! :)

  11. I have to agree with Ruubin actually, (about the christian lady thing)

    My parents are devout catholics and I am well, just a catholic. I choose to pick what I believe, however. I find it repulsive that the book my religion is surrounded by states that being gay or lesbian is not accepted. One point in my life, I am ashamed to say, I agreed with it. But Stardoll has made that thought flexible, of all places.

    Yes, Christians and Catholics (and more) are taught to love, but I find it odd that embedded within the Bible text there is a pale set of rules stating how we should be and how we shouldn't.

    Like Mickey22895 says, people don't choose to be gay or lesbian. It's within them, in their DNA.
    I love being a catholic, and I'm more or less proud of being one. But at times there should be a common sense of how we treat people who are different than the ideal man/woman.
    oh a less serious note, I'm glad you all liked this post :) Thank you for letting me spill my personal happenings.

  12. Thank you for agreeing! I appreciate that you're not a bigot! :D Not that I ever thought you were, but your comment proves it! :)

  13. Amazing post, love reading them.

    I've seen one of my teachers cry, a sub actually. I friend of mine actually called her a "whore" and what not because of the way she dressed. Just like your situation ,, she cried. It's Amazing how we assume so many things not realizing how it can affect someone.

  14. I'm heavy, and I've heard my fair share of insults. You know what sucks about being picked on for your appearance? On good days, you can trick yourself into thinking that people don't notice as much as you think they do, and maybe, just maybe, you look alright today or that inner beauty actually matters or whatever. And then someone goes and calls you "fatass" or something, and it brings you back to reality, and the reality of the situation is that people notice. They notice so hard that if they think that you haven't noticed, they'll kindly take it upon themselves to point it out.
    People suck, and there's not much we can do about it, is there?

    Great post, as usual. :)

  15. Great post manny :) I actuallly seen my teacher cry. Someone close to him died. He just couldn't speak. I wanted to run to him and give him a hug, but he clothes the door and stayed in the hallway.

    I am sensitive. A bit too much. I always get sad when someone calls me something inappropriate, But in 10 years, who will remember me as the girl with the weird hair. So I get over myself and delt with the fact that there is and always will be mean people.

  16. I'm known at school for being anti-social and being zitty. The whole anti-social persona of mine developed due to constant rejection from those very people and being told I needed to change to fit in. They even thought they were trying to help me by telling me this... Eventually I gave up to gaining their friendship on concentrated on getting good grades. They even have the nerve to poke fun of the fact that I don't have the perfect of skin and laugh behind my back (oh if only their voices weren't so loud...). They've said even more horrible things shooting at my personalty that made me feel completely insecure and was really painful to brush off. Thank goodness that this is my final year with them!

  17. I have been called many things. There are very few that really hurt me though. I am half Arabic and in elementry school one kid thought it would be good and creative to call me "terrorist". Ever since then whenever any stereotypical judgement is applied to me, my father, or anyone else that is Arabic I get very defensive.

    I have had my share of other mean names as well. Ones that got me the most were "bitch" and "liar". Anyone that knows me knows that I am nither.

    Now, myself and everyone else in my family are all on the thicker side. I really don't get on the bad side of many people, I have only ever been disliked by perhaps two or three people. Because of that I have avoided being called "fat" or any of that. Unfortunatly, I can not say that about my little brother. Understand, he is one of the sweetest, most kind-hearted, compassionate 11-year-olds you will ever meet. When he comes home crying from school because some bratty child that said she was his friend pushed him into a wall and called him "fat" or comes limping into the door because another child punched him in the face and kicked him while he was down I am ready to rip throughts out. He is the kind of boy that brings a smile to everyones face. He always has a joke. He seems like a huge joker but he has one of the biggest hearts, one hundred times bigger than half the kids out there.

    Names are mean. They hurt people to no end. I have been told that I am both fat, lazy, and annoying and the best part is that all came from my own mother! I have learned to not care what people think, at least not if they don't matter. I don't need to prove myself to everyone person I meet. It is the hardest thing for me because I am a major perfectionist and I love to please people. If I try to please every person I will kill myself trying.

    This was a fantasic post Amanda and I am so happy you wrote about this. Everyone needs to know the effects name-calling has on others. Honestly, I don't care what your family says or what your religious belief is, you have NO right to call anyone anything. I know my religious belief is not exactly what society and the public say is 'alright' but I don't go around calling people awful names. It is common knowledge, "treat others how you want to be treated". I live my life by that rule and everyone else in the world should too.

  18. And to all grammar nazis out there, forgive my terrible comment. I know there are too many grammar problems to count, so I am just asking for a "Get Out of Jail" free card on this one. Thanks.

  19. In 5-7 grade I was overweight and my friends and family would always casually say I was "fat." Over time, the word got to me and I kept eating to stop my bad feelings. Needless to say, eventually it got really bad.

    I remember one day I looked myself in the mirror and hated the way I looked so much I started sobbing. That's when I hit the tipping point.

    I started playing sports, swimming, running, cheerleading, weight lifting, cutting out junk food and eating healthy, detoxing, de-stressing, and cutting weight. It worked.

    Today I'm 5'8 and 120 lbs. But when someone makes fat jokes about other people or even a passing "joking" fat joke to me, it hurts. I'm still really sensitive to the word.

  20. Earn FREE satoshis from Easy Bitcoin Faucet. 11 to 33 satoshis per 10 mins.

  21. Did you think about exchanging with the best Bitcoin exchange company: YoBit.


Nice to see you back! Oh wait. .. .who are you again?