This week, I gave my students their most important assignment of the semester...give me a Chinese name!
The idea was that, after spending half a semester with me, my students know me well enough to pick out a name that is reflective of my personality and interests...hopefully just the good side of who I am!
The first discussion centered over what my family name should be. One of the early contenders was gao. This is a real Chinese last (I mean, first) name, and has the added benefit of meaning "tall." But my thinking is that if a certain basketball player named Ming doesn't have the family name Gao, then I certainly don't deserve it either. No matter, this name fell out of contention, as the discussion continued round and round.
The given name, though...that was where the collective effort lingered. The students wanted to know my hobbies. "What is your favorite dynasty?"...this was another question I was asked.
What emerged from their last effort was a two character given name...jun zhu. A lot of explanation followed regarding the meaning behind these selections...only some of which I fully understand. The meaning of jun they centered on is something akin to being a gentleman. As for zhu, this has to do with the characteristic of not following the crowd, but standing up for one's own convictions. Both characters, the students assured me, have auspicious meanings.