Bee Girl

Posted on August 19, 2011 by


The day of our first spelling bee at Buckswood Summer School was as busy as usual. I was running around all day, until our activity manager came to me and told me that I had five minutes to select one boy and one girl from my house who would compete in the spelling bee.

I went to each member of my house and asked if they could spell. Those who said no, I passed up. Those who hesitated, I quizzed. None could spell “mountain.” Despairing, I finally chose one boy – basically, at random – and ran to my last girl. “Can you spell?” I asked.

“No, I didn’t think so, but then they were asking me words and I could spell them all,” she said to me. She is a quiet girl, who also happens to be one of the most brilliant artists I have ever met in my life, who is modest and intelligent and independent, and who deserves the best future the world has to offer her.

She never asked to participate, but based on my quiz I submitted her name. She reached second place in the spelling bee – and I was proud not only of her but also of myself for discovering her hidden talent. This is what I am here for. My greatest desire in Georgia is to show Georgian children their own potential. The fact that I am in a position to expand peoples’ horizons and push them into doing things they never thought they could do is extremely rewarding.

My entire time at Buckswood had been peppered with events like this – with students who are given an opportunity to shine and rising to the occasion – and I can’t stress how much I am happy to be a part of it. It really makes up for all of the frustrations and challenges of daily life as an educator in Georgia.