What’s in a name?

Some of you may have noticed that when I post on blogs etc I go by the name Fandina.

I use it in my email address and for anything else when I don’t want to use my real name. I have had questions in the past, like “What’s a fandina?” And I am constantly confused when people’s emails bounce back to them because they have typed in ‘sandina’ and I think to myself, “How silly! What’s a sandina???” πŸ™‚

So here is the story.

Once upon a time, there was a teacher aide who worked with children aged 3-5 with special needs. She loved it and longed to take them all home with her but after one failed attempt in which neither the police, the parents, or her husband were happy, she contented herself with just spending time with the children through the day at her workplace.

There came to be a little girl named Krystal who had messy hair, an impish grin and sweetness in spades. The lovely teacher aide enjoyed spending time with her and they would sing and dance and play all day (or at least until the big mean nasty teachers told them to do some ‘work’).

One day, the teacher aide noticed that Krystal didn’t call her by her real name. She called her Fandina. The teacher aide knew this was because they had their own secret faery language and felt privileged to have a new name bestowed on her. Fandina then casually mentioned how sweet this was to one of the teachers over a cup of tea and a biscuit.

“Mmmmmmm, very interesting,” replied the teacher. “Maybe we should get her hearing checked.” The teacher aide wasn’t sure if the teacher was referring to her or Krystal, so she waited quietly to see what would happen next.

The next time Fandina went to work, she was told that it had been discovered that Krystal had significant hearing loss and that was why she was calling her Fandina – not, as the teacher aide had thought, because they had a special, magical bond.

Fandina felt disappointed until the teachers threw her a big party with cake and candles and balloons to celebrate how wonderful she was in alerting them to the fact of Krystal’s hearing loss. The teachers and parents were all so grateful that they had a monument erected in her name and the Prime Minister came to shake Fandina’s hand and give her an overseas holiday as a reward.

Fandina, who goes by that name to this day, and Krystal lived happily ever after (even though Fandina has no idea where she is now or if she would even remember her).

The end.

Disclaimer: certain parts of this story may have been changed to make it more interesting.

20 thoughts on “What’s in a name?

  1. Wow. Instead of wondering, “What is wrong with this child?” perhaps more parents, teachers, administrators, officials, and so on should wonder, “What is special about this child?”

    I have worked with the Deaf and special needs children. They each have a story to tell. If only we would listen! I have also worked in places where I came upon “odd” people. Those that had stickers on their foreheads, or people who spoke too loudly, or people who come from a differrent background than me. I embrace them all! Stop, listen (earnestly), learn.

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    • Yes, I loved working with children with special needs, and I learnt so much from them! All embellishment aside, I was so glad that the teachers recognised what the problem might be and addressed it. She was fitted with a hearing aid and boy, did her speech and language take off!

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    • Yes, it does. There was a little boy there who called himself Fa-Fa, so Graham promptly made up a little poem, about Fa-Fa and Fandina, to which a friend then drew and painted a beautiful picture, with both Fa-Fa and Fandina as faeries πŸ™‚ It’s still on my fridge to this day.

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  2. Well I’m pleased that disclaimer is there at the end. I could provide factual information about much of this little story, but I will address only one point right now. You have made a small typo – clearly it is supposed to say “wise, kind and beautiful teachers” …

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    • There are people around who know the unabridged version and I just knew they would not let me get away with passing this off as the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so I knew I needed that line in there! πŸ™‚

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  3. I’ve always wondered. We had a radio broadcaster here in the states named Paul Harvey. He used to finish each broadcast with the words, “And now you know the REST of the story.” His voice popped into my head when I read the lovely story (he passed away several years ago). Thanks for sharing and for the memory. πŸ™‚

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  4. Great story! In fact, I think you could actually turn this into a children’s story and publish it. You had the voice, the style, everything. I was picturing some of the scenes as I read it, and I really hadn’t expected that “twist” at the end. Perfect for teaching kids that not all differences or problems are as complex (or strange) as one might think.

    Seriously. Try writing it like a story. I mean, if you want, not because 4am told you to. πŸ™‚

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    • Mmmmmm, you just might be onto something. I have not thought to turn that into a story. In the previous comments, I mention that my husband made a little poem up about Fandina and another boy there who used to call himself Fa-Fa. One of the teachers I worked with, who was not big and mean or nasty at all, and is in fact, one of my dearest friends, and I used to say we should write children’s books about the Adventures of Fa-Fa and Fandina. It’s still on my to do list. But this story could be in there somewhere…..
      Thanks for the idea 4am!!

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  5. It is a beautiful story. My son had mild-to-moderate hearing loss. He would get ear infections and not complain. He’s been working with a speech and developmental therapist for almost a year now and his speech and behavior have improved. Now, we get to see his personality, which is vivacious, not to mention a wicked sense of humor. I like what Karen had to say, we had people ready to jump to the conclusion that he was autistic and even a grandparent that had little to do with him because of this. It was sad, but little Zeke was awesome. His sweetness has always shined through.

    You are a wonderful person and I’m sure the parents of those children, particularly your friend, were delighted to have you in their lives. There’s a little magic in life everywhere, if we look for it.

    Write this story for children, one day. They need to know there are adults with a heart like yours. πŸ™‚

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    • One of the things I found hardest when working with these children was the bigotry of other adults. Each and every one of them had something unique to offer and I learnt so much from them! The teachers in the unit were fantastic, and encouraged everyone to be a team and allowed time for those bonds and relationships to form. It’s been about ten years since I’ve worked there and I still really miss it.

      I’m so glad your little Zeke got the help he needed in order for him to shine. It’s so often the case! And he is very blessed to have wonderful parents who were willingly to do all possible to get him the help he rightly deserved.

      The idea of making it into a story is really growing on me…..I had never even entertained the idea before! πŸ™‚

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    • Thanks Denise, glad you liked it. It is bubbling away as a story in the back of my mind now after everyones encouraging comments….just might set to and write it one day!

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