My parents found this picture and framed it for me for Christmas:
I won every Spelling Bee I entered as a kid, with the exception of grades 2 (4th place) and 7th (2nd place). The words I misspelled were “Pole” (I brainfarted and said “p-o-w-l”) and “Moccasin” (“m-o-c-a-s-s-i-n”).
This 6th Grade Bee was the biggest win though, because it advanced me to Regionals. And would you look at the date it happened? February 27th…or 2/27, probably the most significant number in the study I’ve taken up as an adult.
I never once studied for any of these Bees…spelling was just something that came natural to me. I even skipped the 8th grade Bee altogether. The kid who beat me when I was in 7th grade was a year older than me and had entered high school, and I really didn’t want to win and have to go back to Regionals.
I’m an all-or-nothing guy. I couldn’t think of much else more boring than studying spelling at the time.
“Derek Tikkuri” = 61 (Single Reduction)
“Derek Tikkuri” = 119 (Reverse Single Reduction EP)
“Spelling Bee” = 61 (Single Reduction)
“Spelling Bee” = 119 (Reverse Single Reduction EP)