According to my birth certificate, I am Anthony Mario Lucchese. My father is Catholic and when my parents had trouble conceiving, they prayed to Saint Anthony for a miracle. I can only assume that he is the patron saint of awesome, because here I am. Mario is my father's name and his father's name. My mom flat out refused to have a III, and for that I thank her. I get enough Nintendo induced flack as it is. Lucchese, of course, is my Old World Italian familial. It is also one of the big names in organized crime and boot manufacture, though I'm sure not by the same folks. My friends call me Tony.
What's my point, you might inquire? Simply that I am going to be standing in front of a classroom in a few years, and I'm wondering what name to write on the board.
When my parents divorced (evidently not all their prayers were answered,) I was but six years old. Within a few years, I had two new step-parents, whom I love dearly. From the beginning, I called them by their first names. When I was twelve, I got my first summer job, and I worked predominantly with adults. I called all of them by their first names. For as long as I can remember, it just seemed natural to call all people, regardless of age, by their first name, assuming at least a passing familiarity. I know many people find this disrespectful. My father, for one, still has my friends call him Mr. Lucchese, even though they are all adults. But I am not a Mister; I'm just me.
As I grow older, and find myself reaching the other side of the generation gap, it still feels unnatural to be anything but Tony. I have worked with high-school age kids for several years now, and I allow them to call me by my first name. I have never had any trouble commanding respect. Do I really need to add what feels like an artificial title now? Do I have to be Mr. Lucchese, or can I leave that to my dad?
I understand that some students might feel uncomfortable calling me Tony, and for those I'll accept a more formal address. But for the rest, I'm inclined to allow anything that isn't vulgar or disrespectful. Coach, teach, chief, oh captain my captain, or just plain Tony. Will my school allow me to do this? Are there rules that I must follow? What does everyone else do?
Just something on my mind.