May 05, 2012

C'est moi!

I am...
a teacher,
a mentor,
a digital immigrant,
a "trailblazer,"
an "early adopter,"
a colleague,
an adviser,
a coach,
a leader.
Je suis MadameMLH, la prof de français.
Does my career define me?

I am...
a traveler,
a sailor,
a reader,
a writer,
a linguist...
Sometimes I speak and write and think in English.
Sometimes I speak and write and think in French.
Do my interests define me?

I am...
fair with freckles,
a blue-eyed brunette,
Does my physical appearance define me?

I am...
Do my attributes define me?

I am...
a perfectionist...
Do my faults define me?

I am...
a wife,
a sister,
a daughter,
a niece,
an auntie,
a godmother,
a friend...
Do my relationships define me?

For the first year of my life,
I didn't have a name: I was Jane Doe.
Miraculously, I was adopted,
given my name: Melinda Marie Larson.
Melinda: gentle, sweet
Marie: the French variant of Mary
"Star of the Sea,"
A name for a girl who grew up on the water,
 for a woman who remains most content in or upon it.
I was named for my maternal grandmother.
I was named for Mary, the Blessed Mother.
Larson: A noble surname, ethnic and geographic
Son of Lars, Scandinavian for Lawrence,
A laurel, fragrant, ever green,
A wreath to adorn the heads of heroes...
I am child of noble victors,
of Door County Scandinavians.
My name is a gift itself.
I wasn't born into the Larson family.
I was adopted, chosen, given this name.

In high school, I was Mindy, in college, Mel.
When I started teaching, I was Mademoiselle.
I was Mademoiselle for years...
Until in Paris, I was suddenly Madame.
I desired to emulate the eternal Mademoiselle Chanel,
Yet I had become a woman "d'un certain âge."
French civility respectfully elevated my female rank.

In 2005, I was married.
I became Mrs. Eric Horne.
I struggled with social convention, 
with "taking my husband's name."
He was considerate and appreciative.
He was disappointed.
He, too, desired to share his name with me.
I added a hyphen,
The gift of yet another name.

I am Melinda Marie Larson-Horne.