"I'm going to name my kid "Michigan", one boy was announcing to his table group between bites of his sandwich. At this, one girl furrowed her eyebrows, an utter look of confusion on her face. Another student opened her eyes in a wide stare, apple in her hand frozen in mid-air/mid-bite. The remaining student took the bait and played along.
"Are you going to call him "Mich" for short?" he questioned as he casually chewed on his cheese stick. Like a kid called Michigan is common or something. "Cuz I would call him that."
A few seconds passed as they all contemplated the name and resumed eating their lunches.
"Yeah, I would probably call him Mich, but with a "t", like Mitch. But everyone would know his real name is Michigan," added the future father-to-be. "That would be so cool."
"What about Michael?" offered one of the little girls. "That's more like a real name. And what about if it's a girl? You can't name a girl Michigan."
They all did some more thinking.
"I know!" proclaimed a girl. "If it was a girl you could name her Michelle! I have an aunt named Michelle."
"That's it!" two of them agreed at once, smiling.
"We figured that out just in time," said one of them. "It's recess in two minutes!"
And then, satisfied by their ability to solve this problem for their friend, they changed the topic to another major concern - which food is better - pizza or chicken nuggets.
As the students picked up their lunch boxes and cleaned off their desks, I realized another reason I love my job. Like a fly on the wall, I get to hear and see things that many times go unnoticed.