A new theme is always chosen for a new round of the school year. This round’s theme is “Identity”. Before going deep into Identity, I was questioned by some simple questions, but not simple answers. “Who are you?”, “What defines you?”, “What makes you who you are?”. It couldn’t get any harder when it comes to understanding yourself. I was borned in a family, where I’m the youngest and we adore dogs. To my family, dogs aren’t just pets, but family; they are part of us. I’m from a place called “home”, a warm, cozy place, where smiles and joy are shared. I’m from a place, where I first see sunlight, a place where I’m taught to be a grateful child, a loyal friend, a great student and a respectful leader. It’s the genes I got from my parents and the environment around me that made me who I am today. They are the ones who shaped my personalities, my behaviors and my actions. We then wrote a vignette about the meaning of our names.
My Name by Mealea Mang
My surname, Mang Rathanak Mealea, is quite a long name to have, but I love having a long name. My first name was given by my grandfather and my middle name was given by my aunt. I don’t really use my middle name, “Rathanak” a lot, just because it is really long, so I usually just use my first and last name.
My name has a really beautiful meaning, Rathanak, my middle name means diamond or gold or something valuable and Mealea means floral or flower. Interesting fact about my first name is that, it could be found on the Khmer dictionary! Most of the Cambodians have their last name named after their grandfather’s first name, like me. Actually, my last name is written in a French way, “M-A-N-G”, if I could I would change the spelling to “M-O-N-G”; it is still not the right pronunciation, but at least close, closer than “M-A-N-G”.
People sometimes would pronounced my name “Melea”, instead of “Mealea” and no one has pronounced my last name correctly on first try yet. I am not upset when people called me “Melea”, but I am not really happy when people pronounced my last name incorrectly, but I am used to it now. People also say that my name sounds really aggressive. I am kind of aggressive just like how my name sounds like, because my mom has the personality of kind and aggressive at the same time. That’s how I get this trait of mine.
Fun facts: my name is actually the title of one of the most famous Khmer novels called “Mealea Duong Chet”; it means “florals in someone’s heart”. My name sounds really familiar to most of the Cambodians, since the novel is really well-known all over Cambodia. Surprisingly, my name is the name of one of the temple in Siem Reap. It is a really old temple built in the early 12th century.
Despite from opinions from others, I feel like this name doesn’t represent me that well, but I love it and I really don’t want to change my first name, because it is something that my grandfather left for me before he passed away and I would never change my name to anything.
Afterwards, we learned about literary devices, elements that a great author uses to create fascinating effects to the story. I found it really helpful, because these elements are just things that we need in a story to make it amazing and with literary devices, it just makes the atmosphere when you are reading more realistic and able to visualize. These literary devices create imaginary images in our mind and extend our creativity.
We are currently in groups of 3-5 people reading the same book with the theme of “Identity”. There are four different books to choose from; Outsiders, Wonder, Looking for Alaska and Monsters. I chose to read Monsters, because it’s totally a different taste of reading for me. Every week, we have a book discussion, where everyone in the team is assigned for a role, such as; the summarizer, the word detector, inferencer, symbolizer and visualizer. We switch roles every week and we basically just discussed about the book as one of the five roles listed before.
An author always has his/her purposes of writing the books. They might want the book to be educational, entertaining, informative, persuasive or descriptive. They might choose to add some opinions or facts or add different literary devices to give some amazing effects to the book.
This round’s theme has caught my eyes so much and I am really looking forward for next round’s theme. I could guarantee that it’s going to be another exciting theme.