People like to assume things about my name and spell it wrong. It happens a lot. But my name is—in a sense—generic, so it easily gets mixed up with the wide variations of spellings it has. So, it’s bound that people when writing my name—whether on a Starbucks™ cup or on a piece of paper—will initially start spelling it wrong. Today’s instance was ‘Maddie.’ Possibly the most common variation I’ve come across, yet always wrong when it came to me.
I was never the kid who could get the ‘personalized’ toys at gift shops because none ever had MY name. My grandma made me get one that said, ‘Matt’ on it once when I was about five or six, and my brother and cousin teased me because that was a boy’s name.
I used to get so mad about not seeing my name or not seeing it spelled correctly. I would scream at people—go on a tangent similar to this one, explaining that, “How someone’s name is spelled is important, and taking the time to figure it out shows people that you’re at least trying to participate in this world and pretending to care.”
Many of my cousins—some of them are even Facebook friends with me—spell my name wrong. And we’re family.
It doesn’t bother me as much as it used to. Like today at Starbucks™. I could have insisted, “My name’s Mattie. M. A. T. T. I. E.” So that it was spelled right on the cup, but of all the things that have happened today, being a different ‘Maddie’ didn’t sound so bad.
But it does still shock people when I say my name is Mattie. They usually will ask, “Oh, is that short for something? Like Madison or Madeline?”
I then have shake my head. “My name is just Mattie.”
“Is that Maddie or Mattie?”
I’ll force a smile, like I always do, for this is the thousandth time this question has been posed to me.
“Nope. My name is just Mattie.”
It’s kind of difficult to explain how or why I have chosen to study film. I never played with camcorders as a kid—we never had any around—but I’ve always loved movies. Growing up with a reading disorder, books were always a challenge, but movies were something I could follow with relative ease. I remember as a child, noting with such snobbery back then, that I liked movies that were better quality and had deeper stories than what my classmates liked, and sometimes they were the bookish ones. (But to each their own.)
In the same turn however, I’ve always enjoyed writing and making up stories, yet the idea of taking those ideas and turning them into a mass production always seemed more tantalizing than keeping them shut away in a book or having someone else interrupting my work. I sound like every other writer… ever; but I feel that I could learn the tricks of the trade. I want to be known more than just my written works. I want to be able to expand my means of conveying stories. I have often felt that film is one area where I can do that. Hopefully, I’ll be able to learn most of that at SCAD.