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i'm Kassandra an oregon girl at heart. recent college graduate. heading off to law school in summer of 2014. my parents are both u.s. army veterans and continue to serve in the military in other capacities. i have four brothers (two older, two younger) and three sisters (all younger). i love each of them for both their individuality and their commitment to the example set by our parents. aside from my family, i have several friends who mean a great deal to me, one as much as my best friend from high school. she's my kindred spirit and i would do anything for her. i would also do anything for Julie, my roommate for three of my four years of college and my best friend; she's amazing and it's wonderful to have shared this experience with her. i'm extremely strong in academics and tend to think of things in analytical terms. i'm open and honest. note: i'm interested in receiving feedback on this blog, but i request that the comments pertain to the actual blog itself, and i do not approve anonymous comments.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

My Sister: The Origin of a Nickname

Of all my younger siblings, and there are five of them, I most remember Angela as I am reminded of seeing her born and grow up.

She's four-and-a-half years younger than me and I remember being so happy to see my parents bring home a little sister. Brandon is a year younger than me, Jessica is two years my junior, Keith is nearly six years younger and, of course, Monika is the youngest at 15 years and 10 months younger than her oldest sister.

It was Angi though who I remember following the most since birth. Perhaps it was because I was finally old enough to help care for the baby of the family. She had dark hair just like both of her oldest sisters right from birth, as well as the same brown eyes.

My sisters and I are almost a paradox in many ways. We share the same ethics and morals. We share the same discipline and respect for our parents. We share the same compassion and dedication to doing the right thing. However, it's our differences which bond us.

While I am the academic; Jessica is the artist, specifying in music; and, as it turns out, Angela is the athletic one. She'll turn 16 in four weeks and she's already participated in tae kwon do for nearly half of her life. During the spring, this freshman girl earned her role as the starting second baseman on her school's junior varsity softball team -- and started each of her team's 16 games.

I take a great pride the accomplishments of all of my siblings and have always enjoyed going to their recitals, games and other events to support them. I often cry when they do well and hold a heavy heart when things are going roughly.

I'm very proud of Angela. She hasn't had the easiest of roads and, despite her assertions to the contrary, I think there have been times that maybe I haven't set the best example an oldest sister can set. I cherish the time I get to spend with the middle of my youngest sisters. We call her Angi.

One night when I was seven and Angela was two, my mother began teaching her to write her name and a few familiar words.

The first was easy. Mom told her to spell her first name: A-N-G-E-L-A. My sister aced that one. Next my mom said since we call her Angie, to spell it.

A-N-G-I.

Mom said something to the effect of "It looks like you forgot a letter at the end. There's supposed to be an "E" there."

Angela paused, and then: "I don't want the 'E.'"

"But Angela, it's spelled with an "E" on the end."

"I don't want the "E," my sister said, plainly.

Mom repeated her assertion and Angela stubbornly refused to write down the "E."

This back-and-forth engaged for at least 20 minutes as my crowd of a family watched in dismay. I honestly wasn't sure who was correct. Angela said only one line, but she must have said it 50 times; "I don't want the "E."

My dad would later tell us that when he got up and went over to them, it was in hopes of ending the futility of  his wife whom he married because of her intelligence, and his daughter whom he felt at the time might just become the most stubborn girl in the world.

"So, you don't want the 'E' at the end of ANGI?"

My sister repeated her line and mom gestured to my dad in frustration.

Dad asked another question and told Angela to listen to it extremely closely and to think about it. "Are you never going to want the 'E?' If you say no, you can never have the 'E.'"

"I never want the 'E,'" my sister responded.

True to those words from a stubborn two-year-old, Angi has never added a letter to the spelling of her nickname. To this day, she still says she doesn't want the "E."

~ Kassandra

6 comments:

  1. Great story, Kass! She really is an "Angi" and NOT "Angie". She knew who she as at a very young age. Kudos to you, Angi!

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  2. she's very direct and sticks to her guns. my parents laugh about it now, but it was actually pretty funny! i remember Jessica asking what was going on and me not knowing what to answer. then Brian told Jessica that Angi was about to get into some major trouble! fortunately, that didn't happen!

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  3. Aww, thanks for sharing this endearing and sweet story with us Kassandra. It's been so nice to get a glimpse of you and the relationship you have with your siblings, albeit online to this point. While I don't have siblings myself, I am close to my cousins and similarly, I have a heavy heart when they are going through tough times and am extremely happy when they accomplish things in all aspects of life. I pray and wish that these beautiful relationships continue for the remainder of your lives (Amen). - Anees

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  4. Good morning, Kassandra; it´s morning in Spain. I know you becuse i am a half Blazers fan and this was because i was a half fan of Rudy and he went to play with your team. I never am a total fan, for i need the right to criticize if necessary.
    Interesting , the story of your sister, for in fact , we do not really need the "e" of Angie; we say "Angi". You might probably know Spanish is a language where we only write what we pronounce and say. We never write in any word a letter if this letter is not said and pronounced.
    As an example, we do not have the short form of Angela (Angie);but if we had it we would write it "Angi" , not "Angie"; exactly the way your sister wanted to write it.

    And this is also because we always pronounce the "i"´s the way the "i" is pronounced in Angie or in "inform" and never the way English pronounces the "i" in "island".

    The French , though they do have the Angie way of pronouncing the "i" do have yet another way of saying it; the way you say the first "e" of entire; when they say, as an instance, the fist "i" of "information", but not the second one which is said as the "i" of "Angie".

    I know you are a student and so you might know that we can write any n letters word in n! ways, where n! is the fatorial of n. "Love" can be written in 4! = 24 ways with the same letters; a game would be to try to find how many of these permutations do have a meaning. In Spanish, "amor" = love can be permuted as "Roma" = Rome; "roma" = blunt "ramo" = bunch, bouquet; "mora" = blackberry; "armo" = (I) arm.

    Examples of the simplification of the writing in Spanish, are: "psicología" = psychology (the unnecessaty "h" is not written and the "y" is simpilfied to the easier "i")

    "filosofía" = "philosophy", the greek form "ph" is written "f", that is almost exactly the way "ph" is pronounced in English, in French and in Spanish; for why to write words in a complex way if you can write them in a simple way; your sister was right!

    PS: Note also, that a simplified writing does not alter by any means, the capacity of the language to say and express complex meanings,complex and difficult concepts. In fact the contrary is rather true. A simplification of the writing might carry a enhancement of the language by a **lightening** positive effect. Of the three languages i understand a little bit -sorry for my deplorable English; never learnt it properly at school when i was young-, Frenh is the heavier in the aspect of the unnecessary complexity of its writing. And this why French is losing its world wide past capacity to be used as an international and cult language. And also because IT and the technologic spread drives people to learn English. And yet we´ll fight for the preservation of our beloved languages and our cultures in the latin European areas: Spain; France; Italy and some more countries.

    I hope you like this text, i did not bore you; you are a pretty girl.

    Robín García



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  5. my goal with this blog was not to get into the linguistics of my sister's decision. i was merely telling a story. most of the people who read this blog have talked to Angi, so they know a little more background than the casual reader. i certainly don't think Angi was thinking of that when she was two years old. she simply did not want the "e" on the end of her name. it is interesting that in other languages, they don't put it there. there are a plethora of ways to spell several names out there. my sister knew from an early age that she wanted to spell her name a certain way. she remains happy with her decision.

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  6. This is probably the beginning of her being stubborn. I'm glad she didn't get into trouble that night!

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