Words are Gifts

Memories of School #1

I’m remembering many tiny memories as I write the #MinuteMemoirs with TeachWrite members in my notebook.

A very long hall with approximately two hundred students sitting in long rows, in their stiff, purple and white uniforms.

All four of us, contestants, stood in line facing our house members. In front of me I could see four columns with students sitting in fours for each column. I was a champion at spelling and was not going to let my house down. We had been given twelve words on the Monday to memorize for this Wednesday morning’s ‘Spelling Bee’.

I stood there, Mrs Amissah the elderly Nursery Teacher and then Elementary Deputy Principal called my name:

“Juliette,” my heart skipped a beat. My heart was pounding and I broke out in tiny beads of sweat.

“Your word today is , sophisticated.” I had a photographic memory, then.

I could visualize the word written in front of me, I spelt the word.

” Sophisticated, s o ph is ti ca ted, sophisticated”

A loud burst of applause hit my ears, my green house members started jumping up and down. Of course we had won again. I was their “sure banker,” I’m not sure where that phrase came from, but they knew that if I was there they would surely get the points they needed to win. I was shaken, the beads of sweat turned into bigger beads and my armpit was getting sweaty. It stained the edge of the armhole of my school uniform, but I was not embarrassed, I had caused a win! I mopped the sweat on my forehead with my ever present white handkerchief and walked with a sashay proudly to my seat. I knew I would do it again. This was why I got so popular at school.


9 responses to “Memories of School #1”

  1. To visualize words at an early age is a gift … it no doubt helps you as a writer today.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your description was so vivid I was sweating! I am a good speller on paper but not sure I’d be able to translate that in a spelling bee where you have to truly visualize the word and spell it orally. What a gift

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can. 100% see your sashay. Did you know you still have a sashay? What a brilliant choice of words and fantastically rich memory.

    Related, you were my ‘sure banker’ at school too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this memory, and it brought a smile to my face. This moment of VICTORY! So wonderful. I’m grateful you have carried this moment with you in your pocket, that you’ve carried it around with you, and that you have chosen to share it with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Leigh Anne Eck Avatar
    Leigh Anne Eck

    What a wonderful memory you have captured.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This reads like a scene from a book and I was immersed in the experience, rooting for you, and knowing you would win. What a wonderfully rich picture of your memory!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’d love to see that sashay walk! What a great story and so well-told!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A great memory and good on you for being so good at spelling. In my school days being good at spelling would have made you a nerd and not so popular. Guess it depends on the school.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m impressed by your ability to visualize words to spell them. I am not a great speller. Years of practice has made me a better speller, but I still have my struggles. I always dreaded the spelling bees! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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About Me

I am am Elementary school teacher at an International IB School in Accra, Ghana, West Africa. I write with groups of writers, such as Teach Write.


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