Katie and the Word Wall

Students+Compete+Annual+National+Spelling+TL-rVbFVc3sl.jpgDear Readers, the story you are about to read is completely fictious. In other words, the picture I am using is NOT the girl in my story! Enjoy. 😉

Katie was a very unusual girl. She didn’t care about Instagram, selfies or Taylor Swift, and her room was white with a white bed and a white desk. That very room happened to be her favorite spot in the whole house, too.

“My white walls are a blank slate for new ideas,” she told her parents. “I don’t need any supererogatory decorations that will distract me.”

“Supererogatory?” her father repeated, his forehead creased.

“Yes. It means unnecessary.”

You see, Katie was abnormal in yet another way. Besides liking a completely white room, she also liked using big words. In sixth grade, her teacher, Mr. Waldroop, had noticed this, and asked her if she would be interested in competing in a school spelling bee.

“You are a very gifted speller,” he told her. “What do you say?”

“Thank you, I would love to.” Katie replied.

And so it was settled.

Every day, Mr. Waldroop gave her notecards with new words on them. Katie would study these words, and then tape them all over her plain, white walls. At night, when the moon was bright enough, Katie could read the words again, until her brain knew them backwards and forwards.

When the day of the spelling bee arrived, Katie was ready.

“Your word is Czechoslovakia.” the judge said.

Katie took a deep breath, and closed her eyes. She imagined her wall at home, covered in words. Czechoslovakia, she thought. Where was that? Oh yes, over my door!

Her eyes popped open. “Czechoslovakia. C-z-e-c-h-o-s-l-o-v-a-k-i-a.”


The contest continued for another hour and a half. Then, it was just Katie and one other girl.

“Katie, your word is…assimilate.”

Katie’s heart stopped. She hadn’t learned this word! “Can you please use that in a sentence?” she stuttered.

“Yes. Bob tried to assimilate the day’s events.”

Katie was silent for a moment. She let the the word tumble around in her brain before slowly answering, “Assimilate. A-s-s-i-m-i-l-a-t-e?”

The judge glanced down at his paper.

“That is correct.”



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