Boy does it suck when people twist your name around. When I entered first grade, there were 3 girls with the same first name -- Ana -- in my class. My music teacher sought to distinguish us by adding our second names. One would be called Anna Maria, the second would be Ana Cristina. As for me? My second name is Cecilia, so you'd think my teacher would have called me Ana Cecilia. Nope. She chose Ana Cel.
WTF?? Why did I get stuck with the dumb name? You can imagine the ribbing I got from my classmates. I put my foot down on that one, but my horrible teacher would not let people call me by my real name, Ana. Or Cecilia. For some reason, she ended up calling me "Cecile" (not "SEE-sl" with a long e, "SEH-sl" with a short e). I didn't like it either, but it was better than Ana Cel. I signed all my test papers with my real name, but I was called Cecile all throughout grade school and high school. I still don't like that name. My old classmates still call me Cecile when they see me and I say I don't mind, but actually I do. It never felt like it was mine.
But for now, feel free to call me by my adopted name. For today, Ana Cel will happily answer to Ana Hussein. People think that because it's part of Saddam Hussein's name, it's a name to be ashamed of. But because it's part of Barack Hussein Obama's name, it's one I wear today with pride.
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