grade was exciting for Droozy. She
now understood and pronounced English very well, except for a few sounds which
were still a little hard to make. The “w” would sound strange and Droozy
would sometimes slip and say “veeners” instead of wieners. She began to feel
more comfortable with her classmates and they accepted her more. Of course when
she made a mistake they would giggle and tease her, but this did not happen too
often any longer.
spelling contest was to take place for all sixth graders and Droozy was eager to
participate. She had always been a good speller in Germany and she felt certain
that if she studied her spelling book and the dictionary she might be able to do
well. The test began in the classroom, first written and then oral. The teacher,
Mr. Randall, would read the word and each student would attempt to spell it.
Twenty-five children entered the bee. The words they had to spell became more
and more difficult as one student after the other misspelled.
The first day of the contest ten students failed and were excluded. The
second day fifteen students tried very hard to do well. Five more dropped out.
By the end of the third day there were only four boys and girls left in the
competition. On the fourth day the only one remaining was Droozy. She was so
excited she could hardly contain herself She jumped up and down with glee.
following week all sixth grades in the town of Weirton participated and sent
their winners to compete with one another. The words the boys and girls were
asked to spell became progressively more difficult. Droozy believed that she
would probably fail but she persisted and continued to do well. She did not want
to be one of those spellers who would be out of the game and have to sit down.
To her amazement she was again the last to be up. All the others had misspelled
a word. There was loud applause as Droozy left the auditorium stage. The contest
was not over yet. The winners of all of the West Virginia schools were invited
to come to Wheeling, West Virginia and the finalist
there would win a prize -
there would win a prize -a savings bond. Droozy daydreamed that she would win and share her winnings with her beloved parents.
was very excited at the thought of getting on the big yellow bus with her
teacher and all the other spelling bee winners. She studied for hours every day
until the big day arrived. How thrilling it all was! Droozy no longer felt like
a European refugee but like a real American girl.
Wheeling High School auditorium was very large. Several hundred students with
their teachers sat in the audience while the winners were seated on the stage.
Droozy’s legs shook with fear when her name was called and she stood up to
take her rightful place among the other contestants. The spelling bee lasted two
hours. Droozy succeeded in correctly spelling one word after another. Finally
there were three pupils still standing, then two. Now it was Droozy’s turn
again. The lead teacher’s booming voice rang out the word: circuit. With
faltering voice Droozy spelled the word correctly, except in German an I is
pronounced E. Because of the language barrier Droozy lost the contest. Poor
Droozy was crushed. Tears welled up in her eyes. She had worked so hard to win.
What hurt her most of all was that she knew how to spell that word. In spite of
her defeat Droozy bravely congratulated the winner who instead of her had won
the spelling championship of West Virginia.