I suppose you should know that my name hasn’t always been Katrina. When I was born my parents named me Filinda – Filinda Blank. They didn’t think anything of it at the time; they simply thought Filinda was a pretty name for their daughter. But that changed once I got into grade school. In first and second grade teachers started handing out those worksheets you would slowly fill out with the entire class one blank at a time. As we came to each blank space, and a correct answer was given, the teacher would instruct us to, “Fill in the blank.” The kids in my class eventually noticed the similarity between my name and the teacher’s request to “Fill in the blank.” And so they began to tease me all the time. “Fill in the blank. Filinda Blank. Ha Ha Ha That’s your name.” By the end of 2nd grade I was so completely traumatized by their frequent teasing that my parents decided to have my name legally changed to Katrina.
Now, I have to confess, the Filinda story is not a true story, but I sure like to tell it. Ironically, since the hurricane destroyed New Orleans and my birth-given name, I have contemplated having my name legally changed to Filinda. After all, one can only handle so many comments and teasing about their name.