I recently (as in, three weeks ago recently) became Mrs. Smith.
Though my inner feminist wouldn’t otherwise be too crazy about the idea of changing my last name to match his, she’s appeased by a pleasant coincidence in this case: Mr. Smith’s middle name is my maiden name. (One of my bridesmaids jokes that she’s going to tell everyone that he took my name too, which irks him to no end but doesn’t bother me a bit.) So by taking his last name, and bumping up my maiden name, the groom and I now have the same middle and last names. In my book, this is pretty awesome.
I’ve had a few people tell me that they’re not sure why I would willingly jump on to take such a “bland” and “common” name as Smith. (Honestly, the sheer rudeness of some people can be astounding, particularly when weddings are involved.) Personally, I love the name!
I could list several reasons that I like the name, but the reason that’s relevant here is that I like its meaning. To be a smith is to be a creator of something from a certain raw material. A blacksmith crafts tools from iron; a silversmith makes things from silver.
So I realized, as a math teacher, it’s like I’m taking the raw material of mathematics, and using it to create…well, I suppose you could say a lot of things here. “Critical thinkers” comes to mind first. “Lifelong learners” too, though after grad school that sounds too cliche.
Of course, at this point, I still feel like more of an apprentice than a fully-fledged mathsmith, but I’ll get there.