13 July 2007

What's in a name?

(extracted from a private email conversation)

Yesterday was a moderation day.

If you don't know what a moderation day is, don't worry about it ... suffice to say that it is part of the quality control process for some academic courses/awards, requires huge amounts of documentation which nobody has ever read in full, and involves much sitting around punctuated by conversations with persons called moderators.

My colleague T had, for some reason, to bring two of children in with her — Y, aged eleven 11½ months, and K, six years. So, while T was in with a moderator I looked after the kids.

Y doesn't really know who I am, yet, but K has encountered me often enough to call me by the Urdu word for "Uncle". She is astonishingly advanced in both language and number and was reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone to herself. She reads silently, but at one point vocalised, with a questioning tone:


I corrected:


She looked up at me, eyes wide, mouth shaped into a surprised O, and said:

"But that's you!"

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