Day 274: Fail to qualify for the National Spelling Bee

June 4, 2011 § 2 Comments

For those of you who have been living under a rock, the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee took place yesterday. The winner was 14-year-old Sakanya Roy, who clinched the title by correctly spelling the word “cymotrichous” – an adjective meaning “having wavy hair.”

Spelling was always one of my strongest subjects in elementary school. I would come home after school and study with my mom while she made dinner, and never received less than 100 percent on a test. It was never a dream of mine to win the National Spelling Bee, but maybe it should’ve been.

The National Spelling Bee website has an interactive spelling test that uses actual words from the Bee preliminaries. In order to have hypothetically made it to the semifinals, you need to score at least a 29.

I started out strong. The first few words were cakewalk: fourteen, drowsy, wasteland. I could’ve been a child champion. Why didn’t my parents push me to pursue this inherent talent?

Well, as I plodded on, I soon began to realize that this vision of myself as a prodigious speller is…pretty much inaccurate. Words I misspelled include “vitelline,” meaning “of or related to the egg yolk, ” and “bonobo,” which is a pygmy chimpanzee. I scored a mere 21 – eight whole points short of semifinal fame. Here is my score sheet:

I guess spelling isn’t my destiny after all. Well, there’s always journalism.

If you want to see if you’d qualify for the semifinals, go to the Scripps National Spelling Bee website.


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