Tuesday, March 08, 2005
An adult female louse
I hated my name while growing up. I was always the only ALICE, among many Alissons and Ali's. I was called Allison more often than I was Alice. I had serious conversations with my parents about legally changing my name, but I never did.
I have now grown to love my name. My campaign theme, "Alice in Lancerland", won me the title of Sophomore Class President. Alice is a good classic name and I guess my parents were wise in their choosing. Even if I was the only child who bore the name of a Sr. Citizen, it is o.k. now. I grew into my name somewhere between 25 and 30.
As you can see from my previous post, Cialis, my name tends to get me into trouble.
One of the most memborable examples was the 4th grade. My sister and I made some new friends down the street and were reluctantly allowed to spend the night. We took home with us some new teeny friends....headlice.
Well, when I was in elementary school, about every 6 months, the school nurse would come into the classroom and perform a mass screening. You know, the nurse would come in with her gloves on, holding her stash of long Q-tips, and each of us would get a chance to sit in her special chair and have her pick through our hair like a chimpanzee.
To my complete humiliation, I was called out 30 minutes after the screening was through. EVERYONE knew exactly why. I was the kid with the headlice. When I got up to the school office, I was totally relieved to see my sister got sent out too.
Well, my sister had fine slick hair, and getting rid of her lice was easy. When we went back to the office the next morning for our readmittance test, she passed with flying colors. I, on the other hand, with my course, thick, long hair, was sent home again. This happened the next day also. Finally after 15 bottles of RID, and a really short hair cut, I was allowed to come back to school.
You may wonder how this has anything to do with my name.....well, here is the sob story. Really, it is going to break your heart. Oh, by the way, the Harvard School of Medicine calls these mass screenings totally unacceptable. (I suspect one of their doctors had as much of a traumatizing experience as me. - although, I don't know who could top mine)
Man, my head is itching right now, just thinking about it. So, you would think that I was redeemed when I went back to school, right. NO WAY! The kids were terrified of me. They wanted nothing to do with me and my head cooties. For the rest of the school year, whenever I was privileged enough to be addressed....I was affectionately known as "A - lice". How quaint.
Oh, and if you don't think that stereotyping happens in the classroom. You are dead wrong. My teacher, Mrs. Steadleman treated me like the TRASHIEST kid. Even though I was very bright, my report cards always reflected the detest that she had for me. The only thing I could figure is that she was terrified by headlice, just like the rest of the kids in my class.