This is something that often happens in English-speaking schools to kids from other cultures:
- A kid has a non-English name
- The teacher decides it would be better if they had an English name
- They give the kid a different name, and refuse to call them their actual name
- Or heavily pressure the kid into changing their name
This also happens to some kids in foster care. Their foster parents or social workers will decide that their name is a problem, and assign them a different name.
Some reasons adults in power will cite for doing this to kids in their care:
- The name is hard to pronounce
- Other kids make fun of the name
- A kid with a non-English name will feel different from the other kids
- Having a different name will make it easier for the kid to assimilate into English-speaking culture
- And then the teacher makes the kid use a different name, one that’s more usual in English
Don’t do this. Names are important. It’s not ok to change someone else’s name.
It’s actually *more* important not to change a kid’s name if other kids are making fun of it, because:
- You’re teaching the kid that their name is wrong
- And that it’s their own fault they’re being bullied, that it’s because they’re weird
- It also teaches the bullies that it’s ok to bully people for having weird names, and that they’re entitled to have other people erase themselves for their sake
- A kid who is being bullied for their name will also be bullied for other things, especially if they are from a non-English-speaking culture
- Changing the kid’s name will not stop this, it will just make the rest of it harder to take
Names are important. Respecting someone’s name is part of respecting them as a person. It’s not ok to change their name for your convenience.
When you can cook, make more than you need and freeze the excess. Make sure its something super nutritious. Then, when you can’t cook, just unfreeze one of your pre-prepared meals. That way, you can get all the nutrition you need at a much lower cost than a take-away.
That is an effective strategy for some people, some of the time. Especially when you use paper plates to eat the food.
It’s not completely effective for most people who have this problem, but it can be useful.
Some thoughts on how to do this:
- Freeze the food in individual portion sizes, not big tupperware containers
- If you’ve frozen something in a large block, it’s not likely that you’ll be able to eat it when you’re low on spoons
- One way to do this is to use freezer bags to freeze the food. Put a meal-sized amount in each bag. Then press the air out.
- Make sure the bags are freezer bags and not storage bags – freezer bags preserve frozen food better.
- Keep paper plates and plastic silverware on hand
But also keep in mind that this doesn’t work for everyone, and that it’s ok if you need a different strategy, or if you sometimes need a different strategy. Some reasons it might not work:
- It only works if you are often able to cook. Not everyone *has* a time when they are able to cook.
- If you can’t reliably recognize homemade frozen food as edible, freezing food ahead of time won’t be reliably helpful
- Defrosting and heating food might still be too many steps sometimes.
- It’s not always obvious how long to microwave things for
- And it can be really hard to figure out how to heat things evenly
- Freezing food changes the texture in ways that can be a problem for some people
If freezing food works for you, it’s a good strategy. If it doesn’t work for you, or doesn’t always work for you, that’s ok too. It just means you need other strategies.