Happy New Year everyone! I haven’t written much lately, but what can I say….life has been busy! Today, I am deviating from my usual topics of travel to something about my little girl – her name. Her name is Chandra, and I’m kind of getting irritated that she keeps on getting called Shaandra. I distinctly remember telling her Kindergarten teacher on the first day of school about my daughter’s name and how to pronounce it. Yet, I have noticed that she keeps on referring to her as Shaandra (I elongate the name the way Americans pronounce it – quite stretched out). But, not only does the teacher call her Shaandra, now all her classmates and the entire school (everyone who knows her there) is calling her the same name.
What would you do in a situation like this? I let it go for a while, but then I brought it up to the teacher’s attention at a conference in the politest way that I could as it feels like I am almost being mean by telling someone they are wrong, but this is my daughter’s name and it’s important. I know Chandra has told her teacher too that her name starts with a “Ch”, but she is also being ignored. I was ignored in the parent/teacher conference too as two minutes later in the conversation, I heard the teacher again say “Shaandra”. What could I do? Should I have said “excuse me, you just got my daughter’s name wrong again?”. This is kind of a complex problem. However, I did remind her at the end of the conference about Chandra’s name, and if she could please try calling her Chandra and not Shaandra. She said she would try to remember to consciously think about the pronunciation of my daughter’s name, however, I believe she did not make an effort at all since I asked Chandra later in the day after school whether her teacher had started to call her Chandra, and she told me she still calls her Shaandra. I was quite disappointed. I told Chandra to correct her teacher the next day, but sadly she told me her teacher just ignored her. The other day I hear a sixth grader who seemed really nice, say “Hi, Shaandra” and I almost wanted to say “her name is Chandra”. When I told Chandi (that’s her nickname) that she should have told her, she said that would be mean.
I can relate to the teacher in some ways, since I used to mispronounce someone’s name – when a family friend had been introduced to me with an incorrect pronunciation, that’s how I used to say his name, and that is how I thought his name was pronounced. It finally dawned upon me that we were saying it incorrectly (me and my kids and the person who had introduced us to the family friend), and even though it was hard to change the way I said it, it was the only correct thing to do. After all, I wasn’t pronouncing his name properly and that wasn’t fair, so I made the effort, and now it’s easy to say it properly. The teacher must do this very same thing too. After all, she is a teacher and should be concerned about pronouncing the names of all her students properly – after all they are her students and she is influencing all the other students to say my daughter’s name incorrectly. Now, other parents are saying it incorrectly, as well as the sixth grader and who knows how many others in the school? Is anyone paying attention to my little Chandi? She does count. Her name counts. I wish they would say her name properly. It’s Chandra with a “Ch” and not with a “Sh”. Prince Charles would not be amused if you called him Prince Sharles. It would be quite unpardonable. Anyway, why do Americans find it hard to say “Ch” as in Charles and seem dispositioned to make a “Sh” noise when something is spelt with a “Ch”. In England, we would not have this problem. “Ch” is quite clearly a “ch” noise and we got taught “Ch” for Charles, “Ch” for cheese, “Ch” for charming. Where did “Sh” come into the picture? “Sh” is clearly “Sh” for “shine”, “Sh” for “shoe” and “Sh” for shirt. They are distinctly different. Should I be telling a Kindergarten teacher this or should she be teaching this very same thing to these 4, 5 and 6 year olds?
As to the next step in this matter, perhaps I have to send an email to the teacher and ask her to please apply more effort and to address the entire class so that they will also make an effort and pronounce my daughter’s name properly. If this doesn’t work, then I might have to address the entire school in an assembly and appeal to them to say my little girl’s name properly. Am I making too much of this? I would do anything for Chandra, and I think teaching people to pronounce her name properly is one of the best gifts that I can give her, otherwise she will struggle unfortunately with people telling her that her name is not Chandra, it’s Shaandra…..yes, this is happening already. My daughter does know her own name, please give her credit for that.
Here are some pictures taken in Washington, DC:
Incase you are wondering how to pronounce this Princess’ name, it’s really simple…..here’s the Indian sounding pronunciation of it:
Here’s another version:
I couldn’t record my own voice easily into a similar soundbite, so I was compelled to delve into my video footage and I made another video (it’s been awhile!) – it’s a brief clip of the Washington, DC World War Two Memorial:
In the video, it starts off with me talking to Chandra, so you’ll hear me say her name. We all have our own accents and our own pronunciation and that is fine, but just please don’t call her Shaandra.
Washington, DC – so many important things happen here in our nation’s capital. This city is amazing, and this weekend there is a significant event occurring – Inauguration Weekend!
Oh, how I wish I was in Washington, DC for President Obama’s Inauguration this weekend. First, congratulations…..Mr. President. I’m so glad that you got a second term! I’m proud of everything that you are trying to do, including gun control legislation and health care reform.
In this picture, I am with the President in Las Vegas at Madame Tussaud’s – he looks so real, and I felt good to have my picture taken with him.
I must include some pictures of beautiful Washington, DC that I took in summer last year.
This will be the scene of many of the festivities, including some of the concerts
This will be the venue of many important functions…..the Oath of Office just to name one
Here’s the Capitol taken from a different angle (near the Botanical Gardens) with two of my kids in the picture
Washington, DC is very picturesque
There are so many memorials, statues and other significant places to take pictures
The Smithsonian museums are definitely worth a visit
Washington, DC is a very grand and breath-taking place – I just love the architecture!
Washington, DC is really pretty when the Cherry Blossoms are in full bloom, these pictures were taken at the Jefferson Memorial.
When I first moved to the USA, quite a number of years ago from England, I remember how the grandness of this magical city took my breath away when I first saw it after arriving at Union Station.
The beauty of DC is quite captivating – if you ever visit, you too will probably be mesmerized by the awesome architecture and the big grand white buildings – they are magnificent!
Of course since I lived in DC at that time, I had to attend the Inauguration of President Bill Clinton, my very favorite President of all time!
I was so close to President Clinton and Hillary Clinton, but couldn’t quite have my picture taken with them, so this is the best that I could get (don’t really like my face at all on this picture)
My friend’s employer had a private party to celebrate the Inauguration, and it overlooked the Parade Route
Lastly, a picture of one of the many tents where fesitivities took place over three or four days along Washington Mall, near where all the Smithsonian Museums are
I remember that I went to the Mall area just about every day of the Inaugural festivities, and it was such an exciting time. The Winans Brothers performed at one of the tents, and I remember there were many big celebrities performing at the Lincoln Memorial where I stood in the crowds of people watching Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, and many more. There was also a wonderful fireworks display.
I’m sure that Washington, DC is equally exciting this weekend, and I really wish I could have been there again to participate in the celebrations of another wonderful President. Again, congratulations Mr. President!
I used to live in Washington, DC, just over 14 years ago. I recently went back to DC for the first time since I left the East Coast to move to San Diego, and it felt like I was there for the first time. This time I will spend almost three days in this wonderful city with my three kids. Below is a brief recount of my trip with some pictures that I took.
We flew from San Diego to Baltimore, Maryland and then caught an Amtrak train to Union Station. Once we got out of the airport, we had to walk just a few feet to catch a shuttle bus that took us to the Amtrak Station. There were trains just about every 20 minutes or so, and the train journey only took about 30 minutes or so, and the price was about $9 per person average (with a slight discount for kids). I had already made my reservation online with Amtrak. When I first stepped into Union Station on July 31, 2012, I felt some traces of familiarity – that this was a place that I had been to a long time ago, and that felt good – don’t know why. I was so excited in seeing this station again, and proud to show it to my children.
Another picture of Union Station
We stayed at the Grand Hyatt on H Street, NW, for two days, and I had decided that on the last night – on August 2nd, it would be safer to stay in Baltimore, Maryland, which was where the cruise we were taking on August 3rd was departing from. I had struggled with the temptation of staying in DC for an additional night instead, and taking my chances on the day of the cruise, but I decided that with three kids and luggage, I should not risk it – so on August 2nd, we would make the trip back in the evening at around 5:30 pm to catch the train back to Baltimore, MD.
That first evening we met up with an old friend of mine, and I saw her two kids for the first time. It was wonderful to catch up with her and for my kids to play with hers. We ate at a restaurant within walking distance of the Grand Hyatt called Zaytinya (a mixture of Turkish, Greek, and Lebanese cuisine) although it may have not been the best choice of dining, considering we had kids. Here are some pictures of the Grand Hyatt, which is a truly lovely hotel that is within walking distance of Union Station, the White House, the Monument, and many other sightseeing attractions.
I have so many more pictures of this beautiful hotel, but I may do separate posts in the future, that I will include them in. That night, after eating out, we took pictures with my friend and her kids back at the hotel (not shown here), before they left.
The next morning, after breakfast at the Grand Cafe at the Grand Hyatt, we took in some of the many sites of DC. Here are some of my pictures:
I’m not sure what this building was, but I was so happy to be here, and to begin my recording of memories, I must have liked the color, and the clock.
When I used to live here in DC, you could walk into the grounds of the White House without a problem, but now it has all changed. Ever since 9/11, security has been tightened, and you can not go into the grounds without contacting your Congressman at least six months before the date of your desired visit. I did not know this, so unfortunately, we could not go into the grounds or into the White House. So, here is Chandi outside the White House:
However, if you put your camera in-between the railings, you can get the White House without all those metal bars:
Then, Chandi had to go to the bathroom, so Renwick Gallery, one of the Smithsonian Museums came to the rescue. Here is Chandi taking a look at the artwork:
That’s me in front of a fantastic piece that I really loved. I think it may have been called “Autumn” or something similar – I just loved the colors, and stared at it for ages.
The picture below was taken at the back of the Old Executive Building, which is on Pennsylvania Avenue, next to the White House
This gave us another opportunity to view the White House from another angle, by just taking a short walk around the corner.
Okay, now onto some different attractions, and other buildings that grabbed my attention:
“Commerce Among Nations Should Be Fair And Equitable” – Franklin (as shown in the picture below):
It is so amazing that pictures can look so different from a different angle, or a few yards away.
This Memorial below was not here when I used to live in DC, it is absolutely beautiful!
Near Federal Triangle Metro Station on the way to the Old Post Office Building to get dinner
Do you know that we walked just about everywhere in DC? Well, at least to all the places that I have shown here. We walked from Union Station to our hotel, from the hotel to the White House, and from the White House to the Monument, and then to Lincoln Memorial, and also from Lincoln Memorial to the Old Post Office Building, and then back to the hotel. That was a sample of just one day’s worth of walking!
Back at the hotel
It is now Day Three, and our last day here in DC. These are today’s pictures:
Chandi’s best place in DC was the Botanical Gardens, she was so happy here, and I didn’t have to ask her twice to smile, unlike in many other pictures!
near the Botanical Gardens, and the US Capitol
Not the best of pictures, but this was at the entrance of the US Capitol.
A lot has changed in regards to the entrance into the US Capitol too. Just like the White House, you can’t just go into the grounds or up the stairs. Now the entrance is all the way at the back, and I didn’t seem to recognize the part that we went into as I have been in this building before years ago. Now you can’t go into where Congress is passing laws unless you approach your Congressman (I believe six months in advance, just as with the White House).
We were lucky to get tickets for the guided tour (free), the last tour of the day was at 3:35 pm.
This picture was taken in the taxi on the way to Union Station
I know that some people can get bored of seeing the same places over and over again, but not I. I love seeing the same sights, and it seems that each time I see one of my favorite places again, it’s definitely just like being there for the first time. I did feel some nostalgia as I saw familiar places again (such as the White House, the Capitol, and Union Station – I’ve seen them all previously, but as I said before, it really felt like seeing DC for the first time – I just really enjoyed my visit.
And so the journey ends to Washington, DC for this time. However, I have a strong feeling that this won’t be my last time to DC – I just have to visit again. Thank you for reading, and I hope you liked my post.