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May 30th, 2009
10:39 AM ET

CNN Staff Spelling Bee Memories

The Scripps National Spelling Bee is taking some of us here at CNN back to when we competed in local spelling bees. Why is it that everyone just can’t forget that one word they missed? You probably don’t remember anything else about that year, just that nagging word. Anchor Betty Nguyen was in the third grade when she misspelled HELICOPTER because she was so nervous. Of course they rang the bell immediately when she started with the letter “I”. Chalk it up to nerves. You know, those moments when the pressure is so intense that your brain starts to freeze. She came in third place. Meteorologist Reynolds Wolf was in the fifth grade in Alabama when he misspelled the word PIERCE. The whole “I” before “E” rule can be confusing.

Our Executive Producer, Tenisha Abernathy won her sixth grade spelling bee in her class. The day that she was supposed to go compete against the other sixth graders in other classes to advance to the next round…SHE GOT SICK! Yes, sick as a dog, and she couldn’t go to school. She was so mad, she was moved to tears!

I was in the third grade at Smith Elementary School in Corpus Christi, Texas when I beat everyone in my school, including the fourth graders. I went on to the district finals, and then struck out on my first try with the word WINTER. What?? I know, it seems like an astonishingly easy word, but keep in mind I had never been in front of a group of people before. I was so nervous, I just wanted off the stage! I spelled it with two E’s. Doh! Share your spelling bee memories with us!

soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Michael Roberto

    I am in Brooklyn, New York and I just saw an add running on CNN to call the local state government to vote NO on gay marriage. How can CNN run this add? Would CNN run an add denoucing inter-racial marriage or any type of hate that would curtail human civil rights? This was a bad call

    May 30, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  2. Charlie Erickson

    Though few and far between; I, on occasion would find that a simple word like "been"or "had" would completely lose its meaning. In fact, I would seem to not know how to spell the word. Repeating it would just make the word sound silly. The strange effect would seem to stick around for a few hours, then it would be gone.

    I wonder if this has happened to others. I know this has nothing to do with a spelling bee, but reading this brought back the memory of the occurrences.

    Charlie.

    May 30, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  3. Scott Stodden

    I can remember when in my 6th grade class I misspelled the word tunnel, I spelled it with one N and two L's, I was so nervous. I was so amazed on Friday night watching the Scripps National Spelling Bee, these kids were so amazing and all did an outstanding job that most of us would never do especially on national televison. These children did not act or appear nervous at all, they were so adorable and did there thang. This was a must see for Friday night televison, shout out to ABC, Tom Bergeron who did an amazing job hosting this event & shout out to winner who spelled the word Ladeocian, I hope I spelled it right. This little girl is a true champion of 2009 and should get all the attention for the rest of her life, she is a true American Idol.

    Scott Stodden (Freeport, IL)

    May 30, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  4. Deborah Rowland-Washington

    Date Night

    The President can’t go anywhere without security, that’s a fact. The President taking the First Lady to a Broadway play should be applauded.

    No one should have to live in a bubble. The happier our President is, the better job he will do.

    So, if we have to foot the security bill, so be it. I’ve worked in companies where the CEO was making big money and none of it was trickling down to me.

    President Obama signed the ARRA bill for Cobra and I now can afford the premium for my health insurance.

    May 31, 2009 at 8:37 am |
  5. Barbara Bell

    I am glad to see any information coming out of Afghanistan that gives us here at home some idea what our brave servicemen are doing over there. To let the the soldiers stay connected with family at home through videos and blogs is a great idea. My son a SSG in the Army Reserve will be deployed in July and my grandson , a US Marine will be going to Afghanistan in November. They are hoping to have Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas dinner together in Country. That would be totally awesome to see father and son together on video in Afghanistan!

    June 2, 2009 at 11:53 am |

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