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My school spelling bee

Posted: February 23, 2009 6:46 p.m.
Updated: February 24, 2009 4:55 a.m.
Sixth-grader Emily Arshonsky won the spelling bee at her school, Oak Hills Elementary. Sixth-grader Emily Arshonsky won the spelling bee at her school, Oak Hills Elementary.
Sixth-grader Emily Arshonsky won the spelling bee at her school, Oak Hills Elementary.
I nervously walk up to the microphone, curiously wondering what my word will be. The judges of the competition, teachers at my school, consult and finally decide what word I will have to spell.

Although I look serene and calm, my head spins and the butterflies in my stomach dance along the inside of me.

Then, as I walk up to the microphone and spell my word correctly, the delight and relief that fills my mind is breathtaking.

I had made the finals on my third year of doing the spelling bee. I remember two years ago I had won third-place overall.

Next will be the real deal, the finals.

I am a little on edge before the actual spelling bee finals, but the comfort of friends attending this important event helps ease my nausea.

I am called to sit in the front row, where the participants pick a number in a hat that will confirm what order we will sit in, and compete in. I cautiously pick my number out of the hat and open the crumpled piece of paper.

Last, yes!
We stride on stage in number order and sit in our arranged seats. Breathe deeply, Emily, I think to myself.

Three kids do not make it past round one before it's my turn. As my teacher reads my word, I spell it unhurriedly and am careful to spell my word as best I can. "That is correct," says one of the teachers. My heart pounds against my chest as I pace back to my seat.

Round two.

I stroll to the microphone and take an intense breath. I hesitate on this word, and shut my eyes tight as I wait for the ding of the bell, meaning I'm out, to ring, but instead, I hear, "That is correct," and I twist around and head back for my seat.

Round three.

The intensity of the competition is rapidly building up, along with my confidence. One more person is out on a really hard word, that even I can't spell, and my confidence vanishes as round three suddenly becomes round four, and the top three students are still sitting on stage.

Third place is decided when one of my two opponents is out of the competition, and the other remains in her seat. The pressure is on. I spell my word correctly, and sit back in my seat. This means round five. My only opponent left spells her word incorrectly, and the adrenaline rushes through my veins. This is my chance. "Emily, your word is montage."

"Montage. M-o-n-t-a-u-g-e. Montage."

The ring of the bell pierces my ears. Then, I am sent back to my seat along with my opponent. Round six. Her word is spelled incorrectly again. One more opportunity. First place, Emily, you can do it, I think to myself. "Emily, your word is foliage."

"Foliage. F-o-l-i-a-g-e. Foliage."

"That is correct."

My mouth drops as the principal of my school hands me the first-place trophy. This time, the butterflies in my stomach dance in joy, in bliss!

Emily Arshonsky is a sixth-grader at Oak Hills Elementary School.


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