Today was the Primary Program for our ward. For those who are not familiar with this – it means that instead of having a regular meeting, we have a well-orchestrated presentation put on by the leaders of the children. It’s a lot of singing, and a lot of kids saying two or three lines at a time. Today I made several observations. First: Our primary is huge. Second: There are a lot of unusual names in our primary.
Before I say any more, I should point out that I did in fact enjoy the primary program. It was a well put together program run by a very on-the-ball primary organization.
Data on our Primary
Since the program had the names of all the kids in the different classes printed, it was easy for me to figure out just HOW huge our primary is. I created a histogram while I was in Sacrament, but this one from Microsoft Excel looks a little bit sharper. I also counted how many unusual names there were and calculated the percentage of unusual names. It was a smaller percent than I would have expected – but I guess it goes to show that strange names just jump out at you. Here is the breakdown by age, and strange names. Add the two numbers together to get the total number of kids in that age group.
Totals: 124 kids, 30 strange names (25% of our kids have strange names)
1997 seems to be a significant year for our ward. The number of kids per-year more than doubled that year, and has remained that high ever since. (At least judging from these data.) There could, of course, be some kind of deathmatch that our primary has every year at the end of the eighth year where half of the kids are killed – that could also explain the sudden dip in numbers.
Unusual Names in Utah: a disturbing trend
Going back to the idea of unusual names – there seems to be a trend in Utah to try to name your kid with the strangest name possible. You get double points if it is pronounced nothing like it looks. There was a trend that started a while ago where people would take a normal name, twist it around, and spell it in a strange new way. This trend has continued, but the “new big thing” seems to be using the strangest combination of letters possible and calling it a name.
Here are some of the examples I came up with (all of these are from the program.) Oh, and just to answer the question before it is asked – yes, they are all caucasian. Yes, even Xakoi.
- Samara (not strange – but poor kid will be picked on for the rest of her life because of ‘The Ring’)
Who let the hippee out?
Our primary also sang a song today titled “Holding Hands Around The World.” I do not believe this song was in the songbook when I was a whipper-snapper. The song is what its title makes you think it is – a hippee-inspired song about holding hands with kids around the world. It has a strange 90′s music feel to it. It reminded me of that famous Coke commercial – only not quite as good. I can easily picture some girl smoking pot singing this song while she braids dandelions to put in her hair. If I never hear that song again as long as I live, I wont feel cheated.
What happened to the Merry Misses?
If you are like me – and are hopelessly out of the loop when it comes to primary things – you may not be aware of the names for primary classes. There are three names now. Gone are the Blazers, Merry Misses, and other names from the past. There are Sunbeams and Valiants still – and anything in between is called “CTR” They identify the CTR class by the age of the kids. When I was in primary, I always liked the milestone of changing to a different class name. Oh well. At least they still have the song “Give Said the Little Stream.”
My primary is a gigantic organization. There are 60 adults involved, 124 kids, and far too many strange names. There is a big jump in the number of kids that are 7 than the number of kids that are 8. I have no idea why. If you know why – feel free to let me in on the secret