Each year, Seth’s elementary school has a geography bee for fifth and sixth grade. Each class sends a student to the school bee. Last school year, when he was in sixth grade, Seth represented his class in the school bee. Usually each class has its own geography contest as well, and the winner goes to the school bee. No one in his sixth grade class cared to participate, so Seth raised his hand and volunteered to go.
My wife, Jami, attended the event. Seth mentioned it in passing the night before, so she went, wondering how much he would participate. Seth went up against some very smart students, including those representing the accelerated learning classes. As the questions began, it didn’t take long for Jami to realize that (a) these were difficult questions, and (b) Seth was doing great. She was a little shocked. Slowly, the students were eliminated one by one. Each time someone seated around Seth answered a question correctly, he congratulated them and gave them a high-five. He was the only one doing that. It became very emotional for Jami, watching him become one of the last two students left. Although he loves to learn, Seth has always struggled a bit at school.
It was just Seth and another girl — from the accelerated learning class — left. Jami listened to students sitting in front of her. They were in the girl’s class, and they were talking about how there was no way Seth would beat her. They stayed tied for at least 10 rounds. Each time the other competitor answered a question correctly, Seth still told her “good job.” The anticipation was killing my Jami, and the whole room was on pins and needles.
Finally, it came to the last question: “In which state did the Wright Brothers fly their first plane?” Seth’s opponent said, confidently, “South Carolina,” which was incorrect. Seth answered “NORTH Carolina,” and the crowd went wild. The whole gym erupted with screams and applause! Seth had won the school geography bee! Jami couldn’t help but get teary. For Seth, school has always seems like an uphill battle, and this time, he finally had an opportunity to feel proud of himself.
Seth took another district test a week later and passed it to make it to the Utah state geography bee. Two weeks before the state bee, he got his concussion and had to stop studying. He did participate, but he didn’t make it any further. He was totally fine with that and felt relieved he was done and could move on to more exciting activities.