#tbt My Experience at the 2015 Scripps Spelling Bee by Ray Garcia


It seems I had quite an experience this past school year. Something even bolder than grades. Even better than tips and treats sessions. The thing that I have is called contendership. You see, I was a contestant in the 2015 Scripps Spelling Bee. Now I could explain my experience to you, but I can do you one even better, I can put you in my shoes.

However, before I start my story, I just want to thank my teachers for supporting me throughout the way, and Mr. Anderson for letting me do this.

So it all started with me.. on my computer, using my voice to spell the words given to me. Kids came and went, and after a while, it was me and an 8th Grader, competing for the gold. We were going at it one on one, spelling words right, wrong, right, wrong, right and wrong. Eventually, after spelling the word “phonics” correctly, I had beaten an advanced 8th Grader, (being only a 6th grader) and I received contendership (Something I dreamed of for about a half hour now). I relaxed for quite a while, and after weeks of relaxation and celebration, I finally begin practice for my next competition.

Weeks after my first victory, I moved on to my semi final. With so much tension in my veins, I did the one thing I could do, spell. But not for the gold, but for a 2-hour (Really?) confidence builder (which, to be honest, didn’t really work). The lady in charge of this session was dancing and bursting out into song (you wouldn’t think), while me and an old “friend” opponent were trading eye-rolls.

The lady took us out into the auditorium and I look for my parent’s. We catched each others eyes and my dad waved at me and told my mother to looked. Five seconds later, the competition started. Kids left and chairs shifted, and eventually, I left at the third round.

But even after the loss, I was still happy. My friend Amanda e-mailed me all the comments of the students who cheered me on. And that, and the fact that by family was still there for me, was what made me the most happy.

Now I realized what make me happy… not my spot on a list, but who I have behind me (family and friends, of course!). Every story has a lesson, and I believe that is it.

-Ray Garcia