Interpretation as invention: Stephanie Danielle K**wel G**. Am I well-named? I used to hate my first name; it sounded *gasp* common and offended my three-year-old delicate auditory senses.
In the strict definition of obbligato, a part that must not be omitted (Jarrett 61), my physical signature is a necessary part of me as it reveals my values in communication. I want to say/write just enough to give the gist of my idea/name, but I do not want to spell it out (apparently literally) for my fellow communicant. In the altered definition of obbligato, my signature can be omitted if necessary. I have omitted the vowels in my name in favor of efficiency. Who wants to waste hours of their life carving two e's, two a's, two i's, and an n each time they sign their name?
My married name, Gai, has given me a new identity, which is particularly noticeable in telemarketing calls. Nick's family is Italian, so the name derives from Latin and has two general meanings: joy and chicken. Gai means chicken in some Asian languages as well, which is why one might see Lahb Gai or Gaeng Keow Wan Gai on a Thai menu. Why telemarketing? Telemarketing companies have programs that assume the consumer's native language based on their last name. Since Gai is both Latin and Asian, 50% of the telemarketers who call our house only speak Chinese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Thai, or another Asian language. One particularly brazen telemarketer accused me of being ashamed to speak my native language, one that he assumed was Asian because of my last name.
In person. Dramatism in the dramatic sense (not in the Burkean sense); proportional reactions are based on subjective perceptions.
In my mind. I am torn between thoroughness and efficiency. I like to thoroughly know things, but I also like my world to be efficient.
In writing (shown above). Somewhat illegible. Looks like St~pl~~ C__. I don't care to elaborate on the actual shapes of the letters, and wavy lines take the place of the smaller, rounder letters e, anie, and ai, respectively. My signature is an elliptical writing; like a reader of Faulkner, one must fill in the blanks. I make my readers work to understand the scrawl of my name.
A bank employee's full signature and initials become part of financial security and accountability measures. Before graduate school I worked at a local bank, and during my employment my named changed due to holy matrimony. I had to devise a new full signature and a new quick initial signature. The change does not seem that difficult or meaningful, but I really enjoyed flowing from my hard-angled K into a squiggly mess. For my quick signature, my initials, I went from SK to SG. SK has never really flowed, so SG is much more fun. I created an S that flowed into the G (never picking up my pen), so that it looks like an 8G. Nick doesn't like it, but I do.
Kiwi (from Kiewel pronounced Key-well)
Common words and Anagrams:
Sounds like: Step on me
Backwards: Iag Leweik Einahpets
Stephanie, is that you? "nae he spit," "penis hate," "he panties." Yes it's me.
Stephanie Kiewel Gai becomes "A teenage kiwi, he lisp" and "wine leakage, she tipi"
The Economy of a Name: 13.45 years of education
In their book Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner explore the art of naming a baby. In collecting data, they noticed a trend -- so-called high-end names become mainstream names over the course of about ten years. On page 203 they hypothesize the most popular names of 2015 by looking at the high-end names of today, and it doesn't stop there. Levitt and Dubner recognize a trend in what determines a high-end name: Education. They have noticed that baby names correspond to the number of years of the mother's education. It has been a while since I've read the book, so I cannot attest to truth of the matter, but my name appears on page 228, with an average (or median, I can't remember) number of years of my mother's education -- 13.45. This is only .45 years off in the case of my mother (she attended one year of college in order to impress and secure her relationship with my father).
Definitions and Etymology:
Stephan is Greek in origin, but the French added the "ie" at the end of the feminine version.
Stephane is related to "crown" and is defined as a diadem or coronet worn by military commanders and deities in statue form.
Stephanome is a device that measures angular dimensions of fog-bows and halos; the root is "crown" in the sense of "corona," which is the disc of light that occasionally appears around the sun or moon.
According to Wikipedia, Stephanie means "the crowned one."
Danielle is the feminine version of Daniel, which is Hebrew for "God is my judge." My middle name does not really feel a part of me the same way that my first, maiden, and married names do.
Kiewel is supposedly a German surname, but I can't find the meaning. There is a German personality, Andrea Kiewel, who shows up in Google searches, but who knows if there is a familial connection there. Since Kiewel has an odd spelling and pronunciation for English speakers, I am pretty sure it was not altered when my ancestors arrived at Ellis Island, but I looked up possible alternatives (such as Kievel) on ancestry.com anyway. Only one alternative, a far-fetched one, Kiel, produced a definitions and etymologies. Kiel is "probably a habitational name from the city of Kiel in Schleswig-Holstein, but more likely a topographic name for someone living by a long narrow bay or area of sheltered water." The same word, Kiel, can be "applied as a nickname to denote a crude person." That's a comforting thought. Recently, however, I have noticed two different Polish names with "kiew" in the middle; perhaps these names are related somehow.
And now for my new last name: Gai. Gai is Latin for gay meaning happy, joy, mirth, but most of the surname websites only cite the French history. Since my husband's family is from Northern Italy and is rumored to have received their surname from their position as servants of Gaius Julius Ceasar, the French history does not apply. Matli side from Baceno, Gai side from Asti.
All of the above makes up my signature, me, mystory. What does my signature mean in terms of teaching writing, and what does it suggest as a resolution to the problem of improvisation? Hermeneutics into heuristics? I surmise that my signature, while necessary in defining my identity, is only a suggestion of where I will go and what I will invent from here.