Monthly Archives: September 2015

Where I’m From

We started middle school this year; grade 6.  My first assignment in language arts was to create a poem. We used the poem  Where I’m From by George Ella Lyon, a writer and  teacher.  The poem acted as a writing prompt and model (which by the way, he created his from a model of someone else’s work). We used a similar structure and essentially just filled in the blanks.  It kind of reminded me of doing “mad libs” except the results weren’t funny — the result was well…you decide.  Here’s mine.

I am from the dent in my mattress
From Lipton and Quaker Oats
I am from the crabgrass that invades our garden
(thick, wild, it stained my knees)
I am from the white water in the Delaware River
The crook of our maple tree

I am from bruises and achy knees
From Ariana and Vincenza
I’m from the corny joke tellers and thrill sekkers
From ” We live in a musical”
I’m from The Night Before Christmas
Which we continue to read every year

I am from Armando and Lisa’s branch
Juicy ribs and yummy Betty Crocker fudge brownies
From the long games of Upwords
To the even longer hikes

In my living room there are shelves
Full of memories
World Encyclopedias, my mother’s internet
Cameras from my grandfather’s time as a photographer
I am from those things
Objects passed down through generations
Reminders of lives from long ago

– Daniela Velasquez (6th Grader)

My Name

My name is Ariana.  More specifically, Ariana (a very holy one) Carmela Velasquez.  But I’ll focus on my first name, what I respond to , and the name that has become me.  My parents gave me this title, in part to be able to choose something that would be pronounced teh same in English and Spanish, so my father’s heritage, Panama, wouldn’t be lost on my twin and me.  But I wasn’t always Ariana.  I was going to be Daniela, the name that was, in the end, given to my sister.  However, my mother wanted Baby A (me!) to be Ariana, and Daniela to be the hyper one, and even in the womb, she was a kicker.  I however, was relaxed and Sous le même toit 2017 movie now

Before I was even Daniela, I had a different name:  Opportunity.  I know that’s odd, so I’ll take a moment to explain.  The two space rovers (Spirit and Opportunity) had just been launched, and simultaneously, Gwyneth Paltrow had named her child Apple.  My mom was inspired by Gwyneth’s originality.  My father wasn’t. So with that, Opportunity was corssed off the list and my parents moved on.  The end result, Ariana, is shared with the singing sensation Ariana Grande, whose name is too often compared to mine.  Also I share my name with Ariana Dumbledore, as seen in Harry Potty books 6 and 7.  To of my favorite stories!

Speaking of favorite, Ariana, to me is not the ideal name.  Sure, its’ nice, but there are other names I prefer to it.  Valerie, Remi, Shay, and Teddy all please me, but if I were to exchange Ariana, I would opt for Teddy.  It’s one of my sister’s favorite names, and she says it suits me. “Its solid, like you.” she told me. “Plus it can also be a boy name, and you have a ‘tomboy attitude’, even though you aren’t a tomboy.” Ariana sort of reflects that, I guess, but mostly it reminds me of a queen’s portrait, with a the woman wearing an extremely gaudy crown.

Maybe this queen is Greek?  My name comes from the Greek name Ariandne.  I think that name is rather elegant.  Ariana is sometimes sounds short and rough.  It fits the personality that I let the world see, but not really the inside me.  My middle name, Carmela, is better.  It belonged to my maternal grandmother, or Baba.  On the paternal side, I have, of course, my last name, Velasquez.  I actually think it sounds kind of sophisticated, but I worry about losing opportunities because of bias against my Hispanic surname,  I won’t, though, let people think badly of my family.  I love them and I’m proud of them.  That’s the end of discussion.

Nearly the beginning, I was Opportunity.  I might want to be a Teddy or Shay, but I am Ariana, a very holy one,  and a mix of two countries.  I’m glad for my name, even if I don’t love it 100% of the time.  Anyway, it’s mind, the one my parents chose for me.  I’m Ariana Carmela Velasquez.