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Spelling Bee Flashback

bee21The Scripps Howard Spelling Bee was on TV last night..and as I watched and cringed at Tom Bergeron's attempts at humor, I also winced as I recalled a spelling bee of my own..a long time ago in a county far, far, away. When I was growing up I was the best speller in my school, and pretty proud of it. So I was thrilled when I heard about a spelling contest sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. Now, they're no Scripps Howard..so a trip to the nation's capitol was not on the line. But there was prestige and honor involved. The first part of the contest involved going to the local Catholic high school and taking a written test and also a 10-word oral competition. I tied with another girl, and we both moved on to the diocese level (the Knights of Columbus is a Catholic organization.) When I walked into the room where they were holding the competition, I saw the trophy and WANTED IT. I was probably a little bit too cocky and annoying when I marched right up to it and said in a loud voice, "Oh, that's the trophy I'm going to win." Well my comeuppance didn't come that day.  That's because I won, and advanced to the state competition, which was held in my hometown of Stevens Point. That's when my little world crumbled. The written test was difficult, but nothing compared to the oral part of the test. I think I got only five of the ten words right. Of course I don't remember the words I nailed, but here are some words that I never spelled wrong after that day. Rapport, asphyxiation, and repertoire. The last one I spelled this way: repetwa. I remember I went home and cried and cried and cried. I had never faced the agony of defeat before, and I didn't like it. I felt a lot like that skier on the Wide World of Sports. But at least they didn't rebroadcast my defeat over and over again every weekend on ABC-TV.

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05/29/2009 7:36AM
Spelling Bee Flashback
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