@MauiMickey and Where My Name Came From

So many of my twitter followers ask how I came up with my handle, @MauiMickey. Some note the obvious connections to the island of Maui (my favourite place in the world) and to Disneyland (where my inner princess goes to escape reality), but there is a deeper meaning.

Mickey is the nickname that my Gramps gave me when I was born. Not once, that I can recall, did he ever call me by my given name, Michelle. Not once. I had a very special relationship with my Gramps and he was a huge part of my life, so his name for me was very personal. No one else called me by that name, and when he passed away, in a way, Mickey ceased to exist…until it became part of my online persona. My Gramps was always on the cutting edge of what was new…a new tv, a new car, a new computer…he wanted to know how it all worked and he was always interested in learning new things. Even at 90 he was still learning about the latest in computers and I know that if he had been alive when Twitter was invented, he would probably have had an account. He was, and always will be, my inspiration for being a life-long learner and, in some small way, I hope that I am honouring his memory when I use the name he gave me. I like to think that what I am doing with my #kinderchat family of teachers is exactly the kind of learning my Gramps would have been proud of. Blazing a new trail in education, so to speak.

I often wonder if I should have come up with a more “professional” twitter handle, one more becoming of a teacher, one that garnishes more respect. Perhaps I should still consider that? So many of the educators I follow have “normal” names, but mine is distinctly child-like…distinctly me, and perhaps appropriate for a Kindergarten teacher. I don’t recall who it was, but someone told me to keep @MauiMickey because it was memorable in the vast world of Twitter handles. I like being unique, so @MauiMickey it is. πŸ™‚

-me, my Gramps and my new son, 1998

-my Gramps with my boys on his 89th birthday, 2002

15 thoughts on “@MauiMickey and Where My Name Came From

  1. Awesome meaning to what could be perceived as merely a cute name! This is the type of thing that deepens people’s understanding of who you are, and creates a reality among something that would only be text. I will forever be inspired from this story when I see your tweets, and it will influence how I emotionally and mentally respond from what tweets you have. Thank you for sharing!

    • Thank you, Tim. I recently went to a tweet-up of educators and someone responded in an odd way when I introduced myself as @MauiMickey. It really made me think twice about my online name, but being known as anything else would seem disingenuous to why I picked the name in the first place.


  2. Hmm I think my comment disappeared. Or I’m posting twice. Either way.. Rawr.

    Anyway… I was saying… Aww what a sweet name for your handle, I love it and I’m glad that you’re keeping it! Professional twitter names are so boring lol!

  3. I also love your name because it’s you. I am slowly getting used to Aviva’s new name but in my heart she will be @grade1. I can’t wait to follow along on this blogging journey of yours. πŸ™‚

  4. There was a time when I considered changing MY twitter handle, but @happycampergirl is who I AM. Like you, my twitter name is a tie to my past – to the people and experiences who made me. It leaves room for me to tweet about the non-teacher, non-professional (not the same as UNprofessional), silly, quirky, random things that make me a person and not just a teacher. I won’t change mind if you don’t change yours!

  5. I think the name is perfectly justifiable. Besides, it’s a great conversation starter, and one that teaches something about respect, tradition, family & all those things that we need to remember.
    Nice read. πŸ™‚

    • Thank you! It’s tricky when you work in a field where respect is paramount. I wish I could have everyone read this post so they understood it’s not just a silly name.

      Thanks for reading and commenting! πŸ™‚

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