Spelling bee study books by humanitarian photographer Laura Elizabeth Pohl

One of my childhood dreams was to win the National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C.

In 3rd grade, I didn’t make it beyond the class bee. I bombed out on the world “elementary.” I was so mad at myself. I mean, I was in elementary school and I saw that word on our building every day!

In 7th grade, I made it to the regional spelling bee. I don’t remember what word I went out on but I placed 8th or 9th.

In 8th grade, I made it to the school-wide bee and bombed out on the word “exchequer.” I will never ever forget how to spell it or what it means.

Many, many years after my last bee experience, I saw “Spellbound,” the amazing documentary about eight kids vying for the National Spelling Bee title. I love that film – such gripping and amusing storytelling.

But watching it, I realized I was never as fanatical and focused a speller as most of those kids. I never could have won the national bee. Still, I’m glad I had the childhood experience of studying hard and reaching for my spelling bee dream.

Spelling bee study books by humanitarian photographer Laura Elizabeth Pohl