The Scripps National Reminiscing Bee

Spell guetapens, a French-derived word that means ambush or a trap.

Gueta who? (My response on a nationally televised stage)


It seems unfair that the winning word for the 2012 Scripps National Bee isn’t even recognized by my Macbook – on a side note, it feels good to add it to the dictionary. For two days a year, we’re reminded of how over 250+ kids under the age of sixteen have a greater vocabulary than we do. Not only that, but they can properly spell (at least one of them).

When I was in the sixth grade, I had big dreams of going to Washington D.C. to participate in the national spelling bee. It turns out that the only thing I won was my class spelling bee. Once I moved on to the school-wide competition, I fell short. Oh so close.

I can’t remember what word I couldn’t spell. If I could spell it, maybe I would have remembered it. Or vice versa. Either way, the great equalizer in life is stepping away from the microphone and walking off stage. All of the confidence that lead you to that point is immediately stripped away, because not only did you misspell a word, YOU MISSPELLED IT ON A MICROPHONE THAT PROJECTED YOUR VOICE ACROSS THE WHOLE AUDITORIUM. As you make the long walk down the steps, you wonder how much the beatings from your parents are going to hurt. Oh, did I say that out loud?

At the age of twelve, I wanted nothing more than to win the Scripps National Spel….video games. Maybe I should have been more dedicated to memorizing French-infused English words. Or maybe Scripps should have mixed in some fun words such as onomatopoeia, bowchickawowwow, or nintendowillruinyourhopesanddreams.

Now please excuse me, I have an appointment with Bruce Springsteen’s “Glory Days”. G-L-O-R-I-E   D-A-Z-E.


  • Carolyn Kitchens

    I remember in 6th grade I lost my school’s Spelling Bee on “Louisiana.”  Of all the states (Mississippi), I got Louisiana… damn second “i” after Louie! And to make it even worse, the kid I lost to had just moved from LA that year! SHENANIGANS (also not recognized by spell check) I say! It’s ok though. I’m not bitter about it AT ALL. I just then kicked everyone’s butt in Basketball, Volleyball, Softball and tossin a little spear called A JAVELIN! WORD!

    • Justin Ozuna

       Ouch, Louisiana is a tough one! It sounds like you could spell: scoreboard.

  • Bbkennel

    OMG…I attempted the on-line Scripps spelling test….So glad for spell checker.

    • Justin Ozuna

       I had no idea there was one. I’ll be sure to avoid it!

  • Julia_romanow

    hahaha! Funny guy!