Help Explain This To Me

Can someone please explain something here?

Once in 7th grade, my math class had a substitute teacher. At the start of the class he started going through the roll sheet, calling names one by one.

“Joseph Adams?”


“Cindy Chang?”


He got to the name before mine.

“Shinya Idehara…what a cool name!”

“Here…uh, thanks.”

“Joel Kim…what a boring name.”


I felt confused and hurt. Why did he say that? Why did so flippantly insult my name (which, incidentally, was chosen by my grandfather, and thus is a link to my family heritage and is important to me). What possible reason could there be to say something like that?

Teachers, word of advice: Don’t do this. Don’t call your student’s name boring, especially if he’s in middle school and in that socially awkward, acne/chubby/clumsy, low-self-esteem-ridden time of life. Yes, it might be meant as a joke or to lighten the mood, but honestly. Don’t do this.