- this kid is pretty smart - rather than waiting for other people to make fun of his name, he did it HIMSELF, thereby making it not worth joking about for anyone else
- this kid is pretty confident - his strategy could have gone horribly, horribly wrong
- this kid is pretty funny.
This week's student of the week is Yanal M. I have taught Yanal in grade 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12. That's all five years of high school! Some teachers tell me this "must have been very difficult" but I can honestly say I have always enjoyed having Yanal in my class. As I've said before: you can get away with a fair bit in my class, as long as you are funny... and Yanal's a very funny guy.
I remember the very first day I taught Yanal in grade 8. I looked at his name on the attendance list and thought: "Uh-oh, how do I pronounce this name". I believe when I called his name I had it rhyming with "channel". But then Yanal, with a big smile on his face, responded: "no, it's pronounced YAY-nal" (rhyming it with "anal"). I quickly realized that this was NOT how you pronounce his name... but I was impressed by this little grade 8 guy. I figured:
These three terms - smart, confident, and funny - still describe Yanal well. After five years I'd also add personable, thoughtful, and friendly.
Yanal is one of those BIG personalities that come to define an entire grade of students (I'm sure years from now, KG teachers will say "Was 2014 the Yanal Marji grad class?"). Lucky me to have gotten to spend approximately 500 hours of class-time with this guy!
All the best to you Yanal. It won't be the same without your wry smile, quick wit, and BIG hair (!!) next year. Thanks for all the laughs and all the good memories...
[By the way, the (wonderful, amazing, beautiful) young lady in the photo is my daughter. No idea what the deal is with the tongues but this is the photo Yanal wanted... when the Student of the Week speaks, I listen.]
I am your teacher. Obey me.