Ralf Weiser's Blog – Shake Up Your Snow Globe! ©

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A thorn in my brain: The curse of the alphabet

A thorn in my brain: The curse of the alphabet 

This curse happens especially at school. Your last name starts with a “W” or worse with a “Z” and you will almost never go first. Don’t believe me? Just attend a graduation celebration and you will recognize this pattern right away.

It is really a curse, because no one really wins here. Folks with names that start with letters of the last part of the alphabet usually need to listen to their best ideas as they are being delivered by the folks with the first part of the alphabet. By the time the teacher got to you, all good ideas were surely taken. All you could say would have been something like “exactly what my colleagues said”.

Conversely, People with names that start with A through K typically always have to prepare being called upon at first. That sometimes can occur out of the blue. While going first is great on one hand – you get it out of the way – the other side is that preparing for the surprises teachers have in store for you can really keep you on edge. Also, you end up listening to all sorts of great and refined ideas from folks that come after you. They had a lot of time to think about better answers.

How about the middle of the pack of last name letters? Lucky they are: Neither pestered first, and never going last. Of course, this routine could always be interrupted by a rogue teacher who would of course inadvertently upset this by starting from the backend of the alphabet. The only saving grace is that you know what to expect and that makes the curse at least predictable.


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