Living in the shadow

Anna Simek, staff writer

At the beginning of every school year, most of us have to correct our new teachers on the pronunciation of our names. Some students even get asked the question, “Are you related to…?” For some of us, this question can either be an honor or a burden.

Each school year, if I am bestowed the honor of teachers remembering my brother; I sometimes get a weird look. Teachers remember my brother as a nuisance who rarely completed any assignments. My peers often remember my brother as a legend or some sort of hero. The reason why he is seen as a hero is unfortunately unknown to me, since apparently, I’m incapable of handling this knowledge. As a student who normally completes all her homework, my teachers can sometimes be surprised that I am a completely different person than my brother. Why are teachers so surprised that I am not the same as my brother?  Many of the teachers I have had after my brother have expected me to have performed the same as he did. People that I know through my brother sometimes even refer to me as, “Tyler’s sister,” which I am, but my parents named me for a reason.

Some of my friends are given a different look when their teachers find out that they are related to one of West’s star pupils. The teachers appear excited and seem to be thrilled to begin to work with them. These students are sometimes expected to be as smart as or maybe even smarter than their siblings. It’s an incredible amount of pressure on a student to be better than or as great as their older sibling was.  Maybe we should all push ourselves to do the best we can, but sometimes our best isn’t as good as the teacher expects.

With utmost respect to all teachers, everyone is different. Not everyone is as smart as or not as stupid their older sibling was. Sometimes, too much is expected of us or maybe even too little. Asking students in front of the entire class to ask who they’re related to is unimportant and could provoke unneeded conversations about someone’s relative.