by Jhani S. ’16 (Thomas Jefferson ’22)
Nona, my dad’s mother, died two years ago. The thought of her dying made my head spin. Since then, I have a blank page in my head. Yet many aspects of her I remember: her cooking, her laughter, her appearance and even her favorite animal, a jaguar. But most especially I remember her nickname for me, KING.
This I believe: nicknames express who you truly are on the inside. The person who gives you a nickname does it out of love.
My Nona, always used to call me, “King” and I would feel appreciated. Nobody else in the world could tell me I was a king. When I misbehaved or got very upset, even in her stern tone, she would tell me, “No matter what, you’re still my king.” To this day I think about her words. A “King” is a respected man who can change the horrible nonsense going on in the world.
My nickname for my sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Alvater, is Darth Vader. I don’t need to explain that. And my nickname for Mr. Speed, our student teacher, is Piggie because he always eats junk food and hides it from us. They call me Knucklehead, I know they don’t say it to hurt me. These names come out of friendship.
Whatever my nickname will be at Thomas Jefferson, I will always remember Knucklehead. But most importantly, I will always remember my Nona’s name for me, King.
Jhani with Don Danforth and Ray Speed
Students like Jhani are able to express themselves and follow their dreams because of the community’s support. You can inspire and empower City Academy students. Learn how you can make a difference: