I don’t know what to call myself anymore.
Here, everyone has a hard time saying Leanne. I never used that name – haven’t all my life. But it’s the name on all my documents, and I only exist on documents for the most part, being new here and all. I asked if I should go by my Korean name, Suh, Young-Sook, but I’ve been told that it is actually better for me to go by Leanne, since it is foreign sounding, and there is no other indication that I am foreign…and since I’m the Native English Teacher, it’s better if there’s something foreign about me. The irony – in America, I go by my Asian nick-name. In Korea, I have to go by my American name…
Suki gets mixed reviews – I’ve heard it sounds pretty, I’ve seen confusion, I’ve had people analyze it. As I thought, after my friend and soul sister Myung Sook called me Sook-a and why (the a affterwards is kind of an endearment and nouns sometimes have an indicator after them in Korean grammer, signifying which noun is the topic or has the greater significance) Anyway, discussing this with another co-worker we both agreed that Suki was probably a mistake by whoever told my parents or by my parents themselvs, as it was probably Sook-a.
The other day (prior to school being back in session) I had to run to the G.O.A.L. (Global Overseas Adoptee Link) but the Korean Immigration needed to get me to sign the copies I’d made of my adoption papers and family registry. Well, because I wasn’t there, and because Immigration wanted it NOW, the school took measures into their own hands and made up a stamp for me. Turns out each Korean has a stamp made, and it is the same as a signature. I got many many apologies for them taking this liberty with something so important, but I told them I understood they were trying to help me so I could get my bank account and phone faster. So now I have an official stamp, with my Korean name on it! I just need to get some red ink. I feel like stamping something important now. If the kids were here, I would write “made by” and then stamp them.