Thursday, October 21, 2010

Felice Kuan

Felice Kuan, 27, Math Teacher, Upper Eastside

What's the story behind your name?:

"When I was 14 years old, I sent a letter full of parenthetical statements and P.P.P.P.S.'s to my favorite author detailing why we should become friends. Near the beginning, I wrote:

My name is Felice. I like it because it's Italian, it means happiness and good fortune, it's really a boy's name, people think it's pretty, it's got some connection to "felis," there's enough room for it on SAT forms, and it fits in with Alice, Alicia, delicious, luscious, malicious, and all the other words in that category (how would you describe it?—and not including "suspicious"—that's a broader category) that are so wonderful to say. I don't like it because it has "-lice" in it, reminding me of head-lice, and because people always spell it wrong (it's become the standard of intelligence that I judge people by—harsh or no, would you say?).

And it goes on like that for six single-spaced pages. I called it an honor to be the first author I'd ever written to. I even congratulated her for writing in a style and on subjects that agreed with me.

She wrote back. She said my letter was bumptious and boastful, that there were no ties of blood nor friendship between us, and that next time I should cut my letters--and myself--short."

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