A memo

To my fellow teachers

Reading rosters

with names that

don’t roll off the tongue

the names that require

extra thought

extra effort and

the respect to be pronounced correctly

there’s always

an Appreciation

for the attempts

And there’s always a story

mine is of a soap opera

a Gypsy in love with a naval officer

the story of how


Makes a j

Sound in

Spanish class

the only teachers

who could say it

without hesitation

my five-year-old self

changed my name to Sonia

while visiting Perú

because it made more friends

This for the names

that don’t appear on

souvenir cups


or shirts

My student told me

most of my teachers

can’t say my name and it’s OK

and I told her no

they need to just say it

no matter how many times it takes.

¿Pensamientos? (thoughts)

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