Most of the students I teach choose a Western (English/American) name to go by when they're at our school, although there are a few hold-outs who opt to keep their given Korean names. Anyway, this afternoon in an unprecedented move, two students of mine decided to change their names. Before class, "Shawn" switched to "Tim," and then during the break, "Stephanie" switched to "Briteny." At first I thought they were joking, but turns out they were deadly serious. So much so, that when I accidentally referred to them by their former names, they actually got upset.
The whole experience was funny to me, although I tried to suppress my amusement. A lot of times, I look at kids and think She doesn't look like a Judy or He seems more like a Mark than a Fred. But in both of these cases, I actually thought that their previous names suited them. Of course, the irony is that I don't know their real names and even if I did would have no clue about their Korean connotations.