My little brother’s name is Kevin. But I often don’t actually call him that. To get his attention, it’s “Kade!”, “Vee!”, “Goose!”
Granted, he is 7, and this is only in private correspondence, and I can justify the nicknames (Kade comes from the K, Vee comes from KeVIn, and Goose… well, I’ll have to get back to you on that one). I take the -ie (Kevin–>Kevie) suffix to a whole new level of adherence of syllables. Don’t worry, only with my brother am I this affectionately irrelevant… I am much more rational and related with others’ nicknames, and they are with mine, too.
In Bikram yoga, a name, or any other form of acknowledgement (whether they be random syllables or actually comprehensible), is crucial. The teacher doesn’t walk around the room offering hands-on adjustments, so all corrections must be verbal. And for the intended student to absorb and listen to the direction, the teacher must get his/her attention first. When the teacher knows the student’s name, it’s easy. But when the teacher is unsure, forgets, or didn’t learn the name in the first place, it’s a more tricky situation.
Often, when teachers are uncertain, they take their best guess. My name is relatively uncommon and sometimes difficult to remember; it only has four letters, but you won’t believe the number of variations I’ve gotten in the hot room–I must have heard every possible arrangement at one point or another.
Last summer, a visiting teacher wanted to give me a correction, looked down on the sign-in sheet, saw my last name, and called, “Miss Z—-!” It stuck: for the next few weeks that she taught at my studio, she referred to me by nothing else, and some of my other teachers followed suit. When I think of the nickname, I am immediately reminded of her upbeat personality, spontaneous smile, and engaging teaching style.
When teachers don’t know a student, there are various branches of possibilities–most of them regarding position or clothing. “Girl in the front corner with the blue towel,” “Guy in the second row with the brown shorts,” etc. I’ve taken class at headquarters with Bikram once, and he made references along the lines of, “Miss blue,” or, “Miss grey shorts!”
An inventive or unique nickname can be considerably memorable. What are some nicknames, yours or those of others, that come to mind?