Names are weird things. They're a huge part of our identities that are thrust upon us before we even exist in the world, and then we are essentially stuck with them forever. Lately I've been fascinated by people's relationships with their names, so I thought I'd write about my own.
  1. First name: Laurel Ann
    YES I GO BY LAUREL ANN. I don't know why this is so hard for people to grasp. If you call me Laurel it just shows that you don't care enough to actually learn my real name or that you are stubborn and annoying. Usually people who call me Laurel are professors and coworkers, and others with whom my relationship is very superficial. I used to not really mind it, but it has bothered me more and more lately. (I do let my students call me Laurel because Laurel Ann is v hard for Czech people to say)
  2. Middle name: Green
    No, my parents aren't old hippies, it's just my mom's maiden name. I think it's a pretty cool middle name because it's unique and people never guess it. (bc guessing middle names is a thing people like to do?) Green also happens to be my favorite color and the color of my eyes 💚
  3. Last name: Gonsecki
    After years of being completely ambivalent about my last name, I started gaining a real appreciation for it during college and even more since moving to the Czech Republic. I love that it's untainted from the original Polish (except in pronunciation), and I like the aesthetic of it somehow? Like it just looks nice to me? I've done research in the past re the meaning, and I haven't had a ton of luck, but I think it may be derived from the Slavic word for mountain, and that's pretty cool.
  4. I was named after my grandmother on my mom's side
    Except that when she was born in 1921, her Hoosier nurse spelled it Laural Ann on her birth certificate and her parents never got it changed. This is how many people try to spell my name today for some reason. When she went to college she started to go by Ann because it was ~trendy. I love sharing a name with this woman, as she was a badass and I hope to live a life as full as hers.
  5. If I have a daughter I'm probably going to name her Laurel Ann
    Bc I'm a narcissist!
  6. I've never really had a nickname that stuck.
    I'm called LA in texts and by boys who date me (idk why this always happens). Once a girl tried to call me West Coast (cause LA is on the west coast, get it?) but she forgot about it. Senior year my roommates called me LaLa for a while until I got annoyed. Also in high school a girl called me Plant. Because Laurel is a plant 🙄 My dad wanted to call me Annie but my mom was like "hell no."
  7. My students call me "Loller" or "Rawrel" because they are tiny and Czech and it is adorable.
  8. If I get married I plan to either keep my last name or hyphenate.
  9. I feel that my name represents me quite well.
    It's different and kind of artsy, but timeless at the same time. I think it passes both the playground and the business card tests, and would sound good with a "dame" or "lady" in front of it. I feel really lucky to have been shackled with a gr8 name!