Archive for May, 2010


What’s in a name?

My name is pretty common, easy to pronounce.  Ji Hye means wisdom and it was a popular name in the year I was born.  At least in Korea, anyway.

I came to the States when I was 13.  Within a month, my aunt took me to a local high school and enrolled me.  At the end of that meeting, the school’s ESL teacher suggested that I take an English name.  For convenience sake.  Since my name Ji Hye starts with J, a bunch of adults decided to scrap “Ji Hye” and call me “Jennifer”.  I was at that school for exactly 4 month and I refused to answer to “Jennifer”.  Once I transferred to a different school, I stuck by my actual name but was rudely mocked for it.  Here are some variations:

Kimmie:  My last name is Kim.  I don’t know who Kimmie is.

Jai Hai: I don’t think so.

Gee Hi Joe:  Brilliant.

Once a kid named Charlie called me Ji and I barked at him that my name is not Ji just as his name is not Char.  In retrospect, maybe I over reacted.  It is spelled weird. Continue reading ‘What’s in a name?’