becoming Katya

My adorable Russian teacher, bless her non-English speaking little heart. She cannot remember my name to save her life.

Now, I realize that my name is sort of difficult to say. Years of school teachers calling me “Kur-stin” or “Kris-ten” have taught me that. Traveling abroad showed me that pretty much anybody outside of Scandinavia is unable to pronounce my name correctly. Usually I’ll skip the endless corrections and go by “Kristine”, you know, the universally accepted form of Kirstin.

My Russian teacher, up until this week, had two names for me; “Keestin” or “Ferrell”.

(Yes, she mixes up me and Farrell sometimes)

Yesterday was our first class after Fall Break, and I would’ve completely understood if she forgot my name after 11 days.

…except, the switch took place halfway through class. One minute I was “Keestin”, the next I was “Katrine”.

Today, about halfway through class, she apparently grew tired of calling me by my American name, Katherine, and paused the lesson to explain that “Katya” is the proper Russian version and is what I will be referred to in her class from now on.

“Katya, write exercise two on the board.”

“Katya, can you read this text?”

“Tony, ask Katya a question.”

At some point during the name conversion I probably could’ve stopped her and said, “Izvinete! Menya zavoot Kirstin! Excuse me, my name is Kirstin!” but…well, I just felt bad about correcting her.

Besides, maybe Katya is better at Russian than Kirstin anyway?