Monday, February 23, 2009

Spelling Bee Blues

Today started normally enough -- except that Harriet missed school because of a cold. And we had the final rounds of the sixth grade class spelling bee. The competition had come down to the final three -- me, Hilary Lang, and this other girl, Sasha Moore.
I don't know Sasha at all, I hadn't seen her, even, before today. Harriet told me, though, that she's biracial, that she lives in River Forest subdivision (the wealthy area of town) with Meredith and Marisa.
I tried not to look over at Hilary, but sometimes I wonder how she could always be so well put together.
Mrs. Baldwin looked at me. "Your word is 'cuckold."
I repeated the word. "May I have a definition, please?"
"A man whose wife is unfaithful. Cuckold."
"May I have the word used in a sentence, please?" I have to admit, I had no idea how to spell it.
"Cuckold. K-o-o-k-" I gave a pause. "Cuckold, k-o-o-k-o-l-d, cuckold."
Mrs. Baldwin looked at me. "I'm sorry, Haley, that's incorrect."

I took my seat in disgust. Hilary and Sasha were the only ones left.
Mrs. Baldwin asked Sasha to spell the word. "The word is cuckold."
Sasha stepped up. "Cuckold, k-u-k-o-l-d, cuckold."
Mrs. Baldwin said, "That's also incorrect, Sasha. Now, Hilary, if you correctly spell the word and another word I give you, then you have won the competition. The word is cuckold."

Hilary ran her fingers through her long, silky blonde hair and took deep, heavy breaths. "Cuckold, c-u-c-k-o-l-d, cuckold."
Mrs. Baldwin smiled. "That's correct!"
Suddenly I found myself clapping hard.
"Hilary, if you correctly spell the word 'exacerbate' you have won the Adams Junior High sixth grade spelling bee."
She spelled the word right without breaking a sweat. How does she do it? I thought.
Mrs. Baldwin called Sasha and me back up to receive second and third place ribbons. For winning, Hilary got a shiny gold medal and a chance to compete in the county spelling bee, coming up in two weeks.


Avery V. said...

Sorry you didn't win Haley! But hey, 3rd place is really good! I'm a horrible speller :P It's good that Hillary won though. Tell her congratulations from me!


Haley said...

Hi Avery!

Yeah, 3rd place is great! /snark I really, really, really wanted to win, and was so bummed when I didn't. I'll tell Hilary when I see her at school.


Wendy said...

3rd place is still awesome and nothing to sneeze at. =) You tried, right? I probably would have been too nervous to even enter the spelling bee at my school.

Anonymous said...

hi!too bad about not winning,but u still did awesome!i was in the spelling bee at my school,too and i got 2nd place,but u did awesome!also,ur hair is so pretty! - Eliza May another AG doll :)