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Brunswick County Literacy Council Spelling Bee

By Lisa Stites

I can’t explain how nerve-racking it is to stand in front of a group of people and spell. I don’t like standing up in front of groups anyway, let alone spelling words out loud with people watching. I second-guess myself even in the first round with the easy words, and especially with the difficult words later on, some of which I never heard before. As a municipal clerk and a journalist, I am asked to proofread lots of things. I don’t mind. I am also expected to always know every grammar rule and how to spell everything, but I am only human you know.

Despite the mild anxiety it causes, I can’t help but say yes to the Brunswick County Literacy’s Council’s call for Spelling Bee participants. Words are near and dear to my heart, and I admire the work that volunteers do through the Literacy Council. If I can do this one small thing to help, I am glad to do it.

The 33rd Annual Adult Spelling Bee is Tuesday, May 23, at Odell Williamson Auditorium, on the campus of Brunswick Community College (150 College Road NE, Bolivia). Doors open at 5:30 pm. Teams of two will compete in increasingly difficult rounds, vying for bragging rights in a very friendly competition.

My partner for these Bees is always former Oak Island Mayor Betty Wallace. She roped me into it a few years ago, and now we’re a solid team. Jeffrey and I are glad to have the magazines sponsor a team this year, and while left unsupervised, Jeffrey named our team the Proofreading Princesses. I haven’t told Betty yet, but I think we need to wear tiaras.

Betty and I have done fairly well. We tied for first one year, and have come in toward the top a few times. But really, there is no shame in getting cut, not even in the first round. There’s a lot of pressure, you have to come up with the correct spelling in your head, and it’s all for a really good cause anyway. The competition is also pretty stiff, as there are quite a few excellent spellers in this competition every year. I am amazed at some of the words they can spell correctly.

The Bee is a festive gathering, and it also features lots and lots of great silent auction items. So come on out and watch me squirm, bid on some items for gifts or for yourself, and cheer on all of our brave spellers.


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