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What Makes Me Unique Speech

Updated on August 14, 2013

The Question

What makes you unique? This was a question posed by one of my professors in college. The course I was taking at the time was Public Speaking. Getting up in front of a room full of people can be very intimidating. I had some experience speaking in front of strangers but it didn’t take away the nervousness I felt when all the eyes in the room were focused directly on me. The speech I had to give would be based on how well I answered the question, “What makes me unique?”

Pito or Pete

What makes me unique is my name or more specifically my names. I was named after my father, Felipe, so I’m Felipe Jr. In the American Culture the son would usually be called “Little John” or “Junior”. In the Hispanic Culture instead of adding a word before the name we add “ito” to the end of the name. So my nickname is Felipito and that can be shortened to Pito. When I was young my neighborhood friends would try to pronounce Pito as best they could but they would say something like Pee Toe, like someone was peeing on my big toe. It didn’t bother me because they were my friends and they did the best they could. I also had a cousin named Tito and when someone yelled one of our names out we would look at each other and ask which one of us they were yelling at.

There was one family that had a hard time trying to pronounce my name so they just called me Peter. The family was from Korea so they had a hard enough time with English let alone Spanish so Peter it was. I grew up as a Catholic and that meant picking a name for the sacrament of Confirmation. I remember being told to pick the name of a saint so I picked Peter. It worked out perfectly. I already had a whole family calling me Peter. Afterward some of my school friends would call me Pete. So I winded up with three names. My family was calling me Pito, my teachers and most of my friends at school were calling me Felipe and the rest of my friends called me Peter or Pete. It may sound confusing but I wasn’t confused.

Make Up Your Mind

As I got older I realized other people were getting confused and it wasn't always a good thing to have three names people could use. When I was about 13 years old a girl from school called my house and asked for Felipe. Well whoever answered the phone gave it to my father and the girl asked my dad out to the movies. My father said, "Pito, I think it's for you." The girl said she was so embarrassed that she was only going to call me Pete from then on. So from that moment on I started using Pete more and more. If you were wondering if my father went to the movies with the girl the answer is no. He was just as embarrassed as she was.

I still go by all three names. With everything that requires my real name I use Felipe and that includes my job. But at work some people call me Pete and some call me Felipe and sometimes there's confusion but nothing embarrassing yet. I know if someone calls my house and asks for Felipe, it's not my family or friends. So I know its business related or a charity asking for donations. Nowadays the only people who call me Pito are my grandparents, aunts and uncle and a couple of old friends. So when I here someone call me Pito I feel like a little kid. Most of my friends still call me Pete and I really don't even notice anymore I just know they are talking to me. If you're wondering what my wife calls me she has different names for me but let's just say that's a topic for another day.


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