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Nery Solano

My name is Sam...sometimes

When I first came into SlideBelts, I came in with the name Sam.

As most of you know, my first name is actually Nery. This name, not the most common in the U.S., became a theme in my life from a young age; almost its character.

The first time I realized my name was different was my first day of Kindergarten. The teacher began class, as most do, by taking roll. She easily made her way through the list when, all of a sudden, her eyes squinted as if the letters suddenly changed into a smaller font. A nasally sound of a long "N" came out of her lips as she struggled to put the rest together, "Nnnnn-eeeee-rrrrrr-yyy??" I had never heard it pronounced that way, so it took a second for me to react. "Here," I said quietly, now embarrassed at the new attention I was receiving.

I began to dread the first day of school; having to explain my name and the long conversation that followed about where I am from and how long I have lived here. I learned to distance myself from my name. I stopped correcting people as much and when I encountered someone that I was not going to know for long, I gave them my middle name, "Sam," because that solicited no questions or sideways looks.

Nery became its own animal that I had to learn to live with, and subsequently, had a good story to tell.

Stay tuned for the next installment...


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