What’s in a name? A second-grader’s revelation

Last week, sitting in the ICS principal's office, I witnessed a revelation.

A second grader named Ben had been sent there for misbehaving in class. His face was splotchy from crying. Sitting at a table beside administrative assistant Lindsay Futterman, he was composing a note of apology to his teacher, Stacey Quinn.

Last week, sitting in the ICS principal's office, I witnessed a revelation.

A second grader named Ben had been sent there for misbehaving in class. His face was splotchy from crying. Sitting at a table beside administrative assistant Lindsay Futterman, he was composing a note of apology to his teacher, Stacey Quinn.

Lindsay left him to his own devices to write a first draft. When he finished, she pulled her chair up beside his and surveyed the results.

"OK," she said, considering her strategy. "OK, how do you spell Miss Quinn's name?"

"M-I-S-Q-U-N-N?" Ben ventured. He'd written "Dear Missqunn."

Lindsay pointed out the missing I, then coached: "What kind of letter do you need for a name, capital or lowercase?"

"Capital," Ben knew immediately. He pointed proudly to the M.

Lindsay indicated the Q, and explained it should be capitalized too.

"Oh!" said Ben, blushing, "Oh dear." He started to giggle. "I thought that was her whole name. Oh dear!"

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