I have a confession to make. Your content writer is a spelling bee geek. When I was a child, my father would hold spelling bees with my sister and I, and well, I always won. Not to brag, but really to show the benefits of phonetics. My older sister did not go to kindergarten (I have no memory of why), but kindergarten is where phonetics were taught in the 1960s. I was taught to sound the words out and that there, my friends, was my secret weapon.

I still remember 4th grade and Mrs. Stephens. I didn’t like her before the spelling bee and I liked her less afterwards. I don’t think she liked me much either. I spelled the word correctly and she called it incorrect. I tried to be polite and insist that I did indeed say exactly what her favorite student said next and she declared correct, but it fell on deaf ears. Yes, I am still bitter.

When I found this story on the state spelling bee in Hawaii, I had to share. “Bust Out the Dictionary — It’s Spelling Bee Time,” shares the process and how the ultimate state winner will go to the 87th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C. Good luck to all the participants and may there be no Mrs. Stephens in the judges.

Melody K. Smith

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