This sloppy little girl (don't you love the untucked shirt?) is me. Wasn't I adorable? I think that my favorite part of the layout is the journaling of all the future things that I would become. My proudest moment? Why, the Johnson Elementary School Spelling Bee, of course!! One of my shining moments, and I have the dictionary and thesaurus that I won in 1990 to prove it. I also had a trophy, but that was dismantled in high school when I was too cool to spell correctly.
Since I was the winner, I was just lucky enough to move on to the next round, which included the winners from the other local elementary schools. I had a blue booklet that contained many, many words that I had no intention of ever using, let alone spelling. My parents were such good sports about it, my dad especially. He was my biggest spelling fan. He would quiz me during dinner. "Spell assimilate," he would say. I would sit up straight and start out, "A-S-S..." and then collapse in giggles that I had spelled ass. I was quite the classy 5th grader, what can I say.
When the big day arrived my dad borrowed a video camera because, clearly, this was a monumental event and took me to my spelling debut. As the number of spellers dwindled, I gained a little confidence. I was excited. When it was my turn again, my fateful word was forte. My dad zoomed in on the video camera. "Forte? Could you use it in sentence, please?" The announcer guy says, "Spelling has always been my forte." I stared blankly at him. "Um... F-O-R...um...T-A-Y. Forte." Well, I was close. Or maybe not.
As I burst into very loud tears of anguish, my dad hastily turned off the camera and tried to get me to calm down. On the way home he looked over at me and says, "Estee. You do play a musical instrument." My glasses were all fogged over, so I couldn't see him, but I mumbled, "Yeah... so?" "Well... forte is a term that is written all over your sheet music." Oh.
The best part of me causing a scene at the Spelling Bee was that I assumed that no one that I knew would ever see it. I hadn't counted on it being shown on the local education channel a million and four times so that everyone that I had ever met could watch me not spell forte. Ugh.
I find that as the days go on I am capable of spelling fewer and fewer words correctly. Maybe I need to bust out that dictionary...