With high hopes and preparation our group which included Rabia (my sister), Komal and I along with 12-14 age group team, Sir Nasir Asad and Madam Rubi Sabah set out for Karachi at 8 in the morning for the second round of spelling bee, the regionals. Our school “FFC Grammar School” had won the 12-14 (Shahmeer Ishaq, Marvi Pitafi, Namra Asghar) and 15-17(mine) age group in the district rounds of Sukkur and now we were aiming to qualify for the Dawn National Spelling Bee 2012 at Islamabad.
The journey was a very comfortable and enjoyable one. It was also the day of the T20 cricket match of Pakistan so it was also an interesting one. We were accompanied by a dawn official from Sukkur. Travel and food was all funded by dawn generously. It was a long journey due to an unexpected protest near the city Khyber. The only choice we had was to take the long route as the protesters were too stubborn and uncaring. Aside from that we all enjoyed the journey. We reached the hotel crown inn at almost 8 PM and settled in our rooms soon. Had a very good dinner and after some revision and television slept in a little bit tension for tomorrow’s competition(3 October 2012).
The venue was Arts Council and we reached there at almost 10 30. 9-11 competition was already going on. 12-14 one started at almost 12. Sadly our school was not able to qualify. I got more tensed and I called my group-mates outside and we started revising the book dawn had provided us and the wordlist we had made from 3 months of dawn newspaper.
We did our registration at 2 PM and our pool 15-17 started at almost 3. Sadly, we were not able to qualify. For Islamabad, individuals from top 3 teams were tested through a knockout stage and we couldn’t survive till that point.
Out of the total 6 words that we were asked, we got 4 right. The fifth one was “epicurean” and we spelt i instead of e. Comparatively this was easier than our other words but in confusion we got it wrong. I take responsibility for this misspelling :(. The sixth one although it was difficult we would have had better chance of getting it correct if not for the immense pressure and tension we had gotten in(due to the last incorrect word).
But the thing we were happy about after this all process was that we knew almost every word asked in the day. It was just that this all competition is about luck and I think we were not that lucky that day.
We learned a lot from this experience and all this preparation will not go in vain. We have planned to continue learning and using these words. Spelling bee competitions mostly are won through luck because only 6 randomly selected words are asked and participants prepare about 6 to 7 thousand words. Memorising such a big amount of words is itself a big achievement.
We are thankful to Allah Almighty for providing us such a big opportunity. We are also indebted to our teachers, family and friends who supported and helped us at all times. Getting a chance to represent the school and Upper Sindh is an achievement we would never forget. We are hoping to try again next year and I hope that we would have better success next time.