Yesterday I subbed as a resource (special ed) teacher at one of the elementary schools in my town. My job was to go around to different classrooms and help the students with learning disabilities in those classes. So, that’s what I did. In the third classroom, I heard the teacher refer to one of her students as “Pancake.” Initially, I thought “Man, what a weird nickname. Maybe she called him that because he had his head down on his desk?” But then I heard her refer to him as Pancake again. Two more times, in fact. And then I thought, “Is this kid’s real name Pancake? For serious?” So I sort of casually strolled over to where this little boy was seated and glanced at the notebook laying on his desk, under the guise of making sure he was on task. Sure enough, his notebook had “Pancake Smith*” written on the cover. I can’t say with 100% certainty that his given name is Pancake because I didn’t actually see the class role. There were a couple of kids I went to school with who had unusual names (Cricket and Pepper come to mind), but those were not their GIVEN names – they were nicknames given to them by their parents and used as given names. Maybe this was a case like that. But judging from my huge list of crazy things people in this town have named their children, I would not be surprised if there really was a boy named Pancake.
*Not his real last name… though I doubt there are too many Pancakes roaming around in the world, so maybe that doesn’t do much to protect his privacy.