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Volume 20 ● December 2010 Words ● Analysis ● Stories "The Controversial Round 6"

2010 Stats & Facts on NSB 2010 - page 3 How to “crack” words - page 4 Anamika’s Story - Words from the Champ - page 6


Changes in the NSB - by Linda Tarrant - page 8


Annual newsletter from HEXCO ACADEMIC — A report of the 2010 season of the National Spelling Bee.

A winner from start to "stromuhr" It was only a spelling bee ago (2009) when the National Spelling Bee saw Anamika tied for a phenomenal 5th place on her first trip to the National Bee. The 2010 Bee, however, was her time to shine as she catapulted into the top slot and won the coveted trophy. Anamika’s strong spelling skills were evidenced by her confidence and focus. Her mature acknowledgement of her win left viewers and peers with a unique respect for the new young winner, a modern-day personification of “grace under pressure.” Two of Anamika’s fielded words, mirin and juvia, had never been in a spelling bee or on a practice list before. Mirin comes from Japanese rice wine and juvia comes thru Spanish and Portuguese from the Arawaken language and means Brazil nut. For those who are on the constant lookout for words that can be found at the higher rungs of the NSB, you might want to take note that Anamika’s four other words were in Hexco’s New Nat's Notes. Anamika used several of our products in her studies and was sponsored by The Plain Dealer of Cleveland, OH. Anamika was the 11th National Spelling Bee Champ in a row to use some of Hexco’s products along the way to the pinnacle. Read Anamika’s story about her National Spelling Bee experience on page 6.

Stellar Speller Srivatsa Leads Again Three people tied for second including Shantanu Srivatsa who achieved his third trip to the D.C. event and spelled with aplomb. Three cheers for Shantanu who used almost every product offered by Hexco and then some. Adrian Gunawan and Elizabeth Platz also achieved second place spots along with Shantanu.

"It doesn’t matter how far you got or how well you performed, it’s about how much you enjoy the experience. If you’ve managed to land yourself a place in this event, count yourself lucky, study hard, and have a great time." ~ Jeremiah Cortez

In Other Words ...

Accepting New Students New classes begin Jan. 2011

Advancing to the final rounds on ABC television for the 2010 National Spelling Bee finals were only 10 spellers, and half of them used Hexco products in preparation. Two of our customers in these top places participated in our Personal Spelling Coaching program along the way. Two Hexco customers tied for fifth place, Joanna Ye and Andrew Grose. Both used New Nat's, Spelling Rules, New Bee Prepared, and Valerie's Supplement along the way, and one also used Spelling Mentor software. ALL of Andrew's words were of the never-used-before variety, and he conquered them skillfully, until he met his Waterloo with aguinaldo, meaning a plant of Puerto Rico or a Christmas carol.

osteomyelitis mirin nahcolite epiphysis juvia stromuhr

20% of the kids on ABC were current or former Hexco coached students.

Words given at the NSB Finals 2010 Shantanu Srivatsa cossette Brumalia schlieren infundibuliform ochidore

Joanna Ye alary leguleian soubresaut tailleur

Andrew Grose mesclun Bundestag mauka aguinaldo


It helps to do your homework!

Round ~ No. of 1~25

A total of ONLY 137 words were given at the 2010 Bee that  were  not  on  a  study  list  provided  to  spellers.  This  is        compared with 759 off‐list words given in the 16 rounds in  2009.  The  major  change  this  year  was  providing  spellers  with  the  words  from  the  Sponsor Bee Guides  as  well  as  Spell It! as a study list for the first two oral rounds (Round 2  & 3).    


New Nat's Notes

17~68% 7~28%

New New Bee Any Nat's & PreHexco Verbo pared Product

Never Used Before







36~75% 36~75%






12~38% 12~38%



























1~100% 1~100%




Round 1: The Wri en Round Table (above) compares numbers of total words used in 2010 NSB to words found in Hexco products.

The wri en round again contained 50 words, but only 25 were  graded for a student's composite score. All except one word of  the 25 graded word was in either New Nat's Notes or Verbomania. Verbomania contained  68%  of  the  words  (17  of  the  25),  and  New Nat's Notes accounted  for  28%  (7  of  the  25).  Again, these two are definitely of es mable value for ge ng to  Round  4.  The  Wri en  Round  was  computer‐driven,  and  each  student  took  the  test  during  the  first  couple  of  days  of  Bee  Week.  Words  on  the  wri en  test  ran  the  gamut  in  difficulty  with the largest percentage being vocabulary‐enriching words,  as found in Verbomania. As before, there were several words  that were not in Scripps' Consolidated Word List (CWL), includ‐ ing  callous, bouleversement, remiƩance, and  refuse. Of  these,  only refuse was not in Verbomania or New Nat's Notes.

You ‘bee’ the judge Over the years, we have kept track of how customers who use Verbomania/VerboMentor*, and New Nat’s Notes fare at the National Spelling Bee. (*Verbomania in PC software format is called VerboMentor; we will refer to them as Verbomania since the these contain the same words). The results are in for the 2010 National Spelling Bee, and once again, our serious spellers have helped us beef-up our brag book. Way to go spellers, we couldn't do it without you!

Round 2 & 3: The First Oral Rounds The first  oral  rounds  presented  words  from  either  Spell It!  or  CWL. Following this round, each speller was given a composite  score  with  one  point  for  each  correct  word  on  the  wri en  round plus 3 points for each correct word during the two oral  rounds. 

 72% of all the off-list words used in Washington were in Hexco products

 Only 48 of the 273 spellers advanced past the first three

rounds to spell on ESPN for 17.5% of the total number of spellers in Washington  Over half advancing used Hexco products  30 of the 48 were repeat spellers at NSB  27 of the 30 repeating spellers used Hexco products

HEXCO PRODUCTS BY ROUND 100% 75% 50% 25% 0%

96% 92%

 68% of the words in the critical oral round (Round 1)


were in Verbomania, and 28% were in New Nat's Notes with only one word, refuse, being in neither


 63% of all off-list words were in either New Nat's Notes or





5 6 7 Rounds

Verbomania compared with 42% in Scripps' Consolidated Word List (CWL)



 Only 10 spellers advanced to Finals on ABC  Half of the ABC spellers were customers  Anamika Veeramani, the National Bee Champion used


 

Any Hexco Product The chart above defines the percentage of words at the NSB by rounds as found in Hexco's products. (For fairness and accuracy, numbers from rounds 2 & 3 are excluded as students were provided a study list for these rounds.)

 2

three Etyma products and New Bee Prepared Two of the top ten participated in the Personal Coaching by Hexco 65% of words in the televised rounds were in New Nat’s Notes. The percentage of words from CWL was 29% for these rounds, and all these CWL words were also in New Nat's The percentage of words in Rounds 4 thru 6, which were the ESPN semifinal rounds, that were in New Nat's was 55%

Who Survived past Round 3? The chart at the right shows the number of words in each round of the 2010 National Spelling Bee. At the beginning of the Bee, there were 273 spellers, and 37% of the competitors had used one Hexco product or another, not including those who begged, borrowed, or bought one or more of our products from a "retired" speller. Surviving the first two oral rounds and the written round were only 48 spellers, and 58% of these were Hexco customers, well over half the field. Spellers who did not advance were given only words that were on a provided study list in their oral rounds. They never fielded an “off-list” word orally.

What determines who gets to Round 4 - The ESPN Semifinals? The National Spelling Bee uses a twopart system to determine how many spellers advance to round 4. It is based on each speller's performance on a written test containing 50 words (only 25 of which are graded) taken on computers, and on their spelling in the first two oral rounds. All spellers participate in these rounds, even if they miss a word. Each correctly spelled word in the oral rounds adds 3 points to a speller’s score, and each correctly spelled word in the written round is worth one point. The composite score is used to determine who advances to the televised rounds on ESPN.

A recap of Round 4 & 5 The Scripps’ semifinals brought 48 spellers to Round 4 which was televised on ESPN. The words started at a high difficulty level and there was no study list for words past Round 3. To prepare for Round 4 and up, spellers use lengthy collections of obscure words, such as found in New Nat’s Notes. Many study general spelling rules and rules for various languages that are building blocks for English, which can be found in Spelling Rules Book. Many learn Latin and Greek etymology in hopes that their off-list words will be based in one of these languages from sources such as the Spelling Rules Book or Hexco’s EtymaMentor and EtymaNotes, and they might ultimately study directly from Webster’s Third New International. 75% of the words in Round 4 were in New Nat’s Notes. Using all Hexco products would have accounted for 92% of the words. There were only 4 words in the 4th round that had not appeared on any study list to our knowledge, which is one out of every 12 words. Just over 25% of the spellers missed their word in Round 4 and the number of

Round ~ Spellers in each round 1 ~ 273 2 ~ 273 3 ~ 273 4 ~ 48 5 ~ 32 6 ~ 19 7~8 8~4 9~1

No. of spellers using Hexco No. of spellers missing or products & percentage not advancing & percentage of the field of spellers missing 102 37% 102 37% 28 10% 102 37% 41 15% 28 58% 16 33% 18 56% 13 41% 13 68% 13 68% 4 50% 4 50% 2 50% 3 75% 1 100% 0 0%

Hexco customers remained at over half of the field. Round 5 saw about 1/3 of the spellers succumb to their word, and the percentage of Hexco spellers increased to 68% of the field. In this round 19 of the 32 words had not been used in bees before; that is just over half of all the words given.

Moving from ESPN to ABC the controversial Round 6 Round 6 started with 19 spellers, and when 13 of the spellers had fielded a word, officials stopped the bee and announced that the ten spellers remaining would advance to the ABC rounds. This enabled 5 students who had fielded 3 words in this competition and 5 who had fielded only 2 words to be on stage for the final rounds on ABC, a disappointment for those spellers who had already missed their word when the round was halted. Ten spellers started on the Finals on ABC. Half of all the spellers had used Hexco products in their preparation. Four spellers spelled a Round 6 word with two succeeding and two missing their words. More than half of the words in Round 6 had never been used before, making this another very difficult round with 11 of the 19 spellers falling out.

Never-Used Before Words Never-used-before words are those that are not in any study products or provided study lists to our knowledge. Some 28% of all words given during the bee were in either Verbomania or New Nat's Notes. Some 36% of all words given were not on the CWL list, giving an advantage to those who used Hexco products in their studies. The ABC rounds consisted of a total of 18 words! Five of these were completion of Round 6, the semifinal round, and a total of 13 words comprised the Finals. Only one word on the written test was one of the never-used-before ilk, refuse. Some 8% of the words in Round 4 were of this ilk, and the percentage jumped to 59% in Round 5 and to 53% in Round 6 as the field was quickly being narrowed to the 10 spellers who would advance to the ABC rounds. Only 25% of the words in Round 7 were never-used-before words, and in the deciding round, 50% were unused, and the final word was from New Nat’s. Last year, 10% of all off-list words given were never-used-before words. The difference is that in 2009, words in Rounds 2 and 3 were not from a provided study list as they were in 2010. In Round 2 last year 100% of the 292 words and 75% of the 293 in Round 3 were in Hexco products. There were 750 words last year not on provided study lists, and 137 in 2010.

Rounds 7 through 9 on ABC

NSB first-timers vs. repeaters

Round 7 started with 8 spellers, with half still being Hexco customers. All but two words were in New Nat’s Notes. Both of the never-used-before words were missed plus more words, leaving 4 spellers going into Round 8. Half of the Round 8 spellers had used Hexco products, and three of the four spellers received never-used-before words, and met their collective Waterloo. Then there was one, Anamika who nailed stromuhr to win the coveted trophy. 3

This year, 30 of the 48 spellers advancing were at the Bee for a repeat performance. All but one of the 3-year and 4-year repeaters advanced, and 90% of these repeating spellers who advanced were Hexco customers. With this number of repeaters who advanced, only 18 places were open for the 225 spellers who were in Washington for their first time to compete. Thus, one out of every 28 spellers in Washington for the first time made the journey to the semifinals on ESPN.

ee Lucky B Round 1 Written Round agape amateur anecdotal Apollyon bouleversement budgetary callous cynophilist ingratiate isocryme limerick misoneism obstacle penance pusillanimous refuse regimen remittance sabbatical surrogate tacit tetanus tocsin tutelage unequivocal

2010 National Spelling Bee Words

Round 2 & 3 were words from Sponsor Bee Guide & Spell It! ESPN Rounds Round 4 alary aleatoric arcanum arsedine Barbizon bilophodont brummagem cachepot caducous consuetude cossette desipience devant diaphanie effleurage flabellum fleuron forzato fughetta fustanella

goniometer inconcinnity kanban longueur mesclun muniments musteline nepenthe officinal osteomyelitis ostrichism paracusia pelean phillumenist phytoplankter pneumonectomy pongee revirescent samizdat sautoir scalare scholium sederunt thalassian tiralee troco undine venturi

Round 5 Aufgabe bacalao Bayesian borborygmus brachydactylous Brumalia Bundestag caprifig congener conjunto dysautonomia fazenda foliocellosis gaminerie genethliac genioglossal hyleg icteritious intercolline keratolysis lassi leguleian lorimer marouflage meperidine metarteriole mirin

Got Words?

nematodiasis paravane pyroligneous siffleur trompillo Round 6 nahcolite villicus matsutake schlieren scrannel rhabdomyoma soubresaut mauka gyokuro engysseismology favilla nephrocytary jehu phenazocine chistka poilu Guarnerius

ABC FINALS End of Round 6 apogalacteum presa Round 7 epiphysis netsuke gnocchi infundibuliform confiserie leishmanic tailleur Aguinaldo Round 8 juvia terribilita rhytidome ochidore Round 9 stromuhr

How to Crack Words



There were only 113 words given in the televised rounds of the National Spelling Bee, and just 17 of those words were given on ABC (Rounds 7-9). With that small number of words given, what are the chances that one person could study or recall the winning words just from studying the dictionary?

After months and years of studying, even the most proficient spellers run into words they have never seen before or cannot quite remember in D.C. At the ABC rounds, there was a word whose elements came from Greek, a word from Spanish, a word that came thru French from Latin, a word that came thru Italian from Latin, and a word that came from Arawakan thru Spanish and Portuguese. Quite a hodgepodge!

If you were keeping track like we are, you would know that in 2010, 11 out of the 17 words in the final rounds were in Hexco’s New Nat's Notes (NNN) a whopping 65%! The 29% of words (used in the final rounds) from CWL were also found in NNN giving New Nat’s Notes more than twice the advantage of using just the CWL!

New Nat's Notes had 55% of all the words given in Rounds 4 thru 6, the ESPN semifinal rounds. Once again, the CWL list paled in comparison only covering 25%, and all of the CWL words in these rounds were in NNN.

For the volume of words that are not in any published lists, we recommend starting with the study of Greek and Latin roots because 60% of the words in the English language are based on the Latin and Greek languages. Compiled with serious spellers in mind, EtymaMentor, EtymaNotes, and/or EtymaFlips provide a deft, synoptic overview of Latin and Greek roots, prefixes, suffixes, and elements.

With 65% of all words in the final rounds being in New Nat’s Notes, there is no doubt that NNN can give serious spellers a respectable advantage, however, half of the spellers in the final rounds fell to a word that was in NNN! We recommend starting this massive undertaking as soon as possible, because learning the words in NNN is no small task. The two-volume set is available in alpha or difficulty sequence.

Spellers can also crack a word by understanding the rules pertaining to other languages. Hexco’s Spelling Rules Book covers language rules for the more straightforward translations such as Spanish and Japanese, but also explains rules for the more complex languages such as German, Italian, French, and others. Extended lists of Latin and Greek elements, as well as words and spelling rules for each are also included.


2010 Regional Bee Words Off-list words from the Sponsor Bee Guides given to NSB spellers to be used along with the Spell It words for Rounds 2 and 3

abysmally acceleration acciaccatura aepyornis affenpinscher alation allargando alogism amative animus anticlimax antiphrasis antipodes apologetic apothem apotheosis appestat archimage asiago astrobleme audacity auxanogram bacteriology bacteriolytic banjorine baryon biauriculate bicephalous bisagre blastema Bloomsbury bocca borealization bozzetto braillist Briton brocard bulse buran calumny canapĂŠ caponata carbuncle carcinomatous carrosserie catoptromancy celeriac celestialize chapeau charisma chartreuse chaudfroid chevon chilblain chloasma chlorine chlorpyrifos chronicler chrysalis chthonic circuitous classicist clozapine coeval commissary concomitance conjunctivitis

constituency convalescent conveyance convivially copious corgi coriander cornice corsair cortisone countenance crebrity crepitant cribbage crotalic cuisine culinary culturati cumulative cyanide cylindrical dandiacal debutante decadent decibel deciduous declivitous decorous decoupage deducibility dehiscence delectable deliriously delirium delphinium deluge demoiselle demure derelict detrimental dialysis dido diffidence diminutive disparage dissonant distinguo divergent docility donzella dormancy doxology dragoman drisheen dromomania dyscalculia ecdysis ecdysone ecesis echelon effigial effluvium egomaniacal emancipatory entotic epulation errhine

estragon expatiation faiblesse famulus fastuous filmography Finlandization flexibility floribunda florisugent foliageous fondant forfeiture franglais frippery geniculate geochrony geognosy gerenuk gibbous girandole gnathothorax gonfalonier grivoiserie groceteria gudgeon gulosity haptic Hennebique henotheism hesychastic hiemal Holarctic holophrastic holoplankton huckaback hypotrophy impeachment impetus imprecatory imputrescible instauration insular iridescence irremeable iscariotic isothere izar jacquerie jactance javelin kemancha lampistry Lancashire landau lapidarian latency lebkuchen lecithin lectionary legitimately lexicon lexigraphy lidar ligature limitrophe liniment

liquefacient liturgical lixiviation loathe logomachy lorica Luddite lycopene lyssa magnesium malloseismic manciple manducatory matelote matutinal mellophone meloplasty meridional merotomize mesophryon metagnomy milchig mirador monadnock monoceros monomaniacal monstrance moquette mulberry myelopathy mystagogue nastaliq neolalia neurasthenic neurokyme nexus nictitant nimbus nocive nomancy notornis novella nudicaudate nullipara numen nummular nuncupation obelisk obliterative obreptitious obscurantism ocellated octopod olfactory olivine omoplate onomatope onychauxis opinicus oracy orison ornithoscopy oryctology palliatory palpable paludicolous panforte


panopticon pansit pantheon paregoric parliamentary parvitude patriciate paunchy pergelisol perorate pertussis phantasmagoric pharaoh phenomenal philtrum photometeor pignorate pinnacle pithecological placidly platitudinal plenary pleonasm Pollyanna polychotomous pomatum pompier poultice predecessor prejudicial prenuptial protanopia psychalgia ptarmigan pugilant pulverize pycnoxylic quersprung quiescency quila rachiometer rachischisis radiometer rallentando rappel rasceta realgar reboation reflorescent regurgitant rehabilitant remontant renitency reticle retinue revalorization rheological rialto ritziness rudimentary Ruritanian sabra saliferous sanguinary sapajou satsuma scarabaeus

schalstein schuyt scotodinia scumble sequitur seriary sessile shaddock shanghaied shenanigan simoniacal simultaneity Singspiel slurvian solano sondage souchong stentorophonic stupose suasible subauditur succedent suffraginis sunbow superaurale superimposable supplementary surrey synoecious synovial taipan talipes termagancy testudinal tetragrammaton theurgy thrasonical tramontana transgression traumatropism Troadic troglobiont turpentine tuyere unau upaithric upas ursine vacatur varus vatic velum verism vermivorous vespacide vibrissae viscidity voile wapentake wushu xanthochromia xerocolous xylophilous zaibatsu zucchetto

Spellers Spotlight Through Focus and Friendship My Bee Experience By Anamika Veeramani, 2010 National Spelling Bee Champion I started participating in local spelling bee contests at the age of seven. It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed the experience very much. I did not win for the first few years but really loved participating since it gave me the opportunity to get together with my friends and play with them after the contests. I became more seriously involved after my fourth grade teacher came out of the blue and asked my mom if I would be interested in being coached for Scripps’ Spelling Bee. She thought that I had the potential and promise to excel in spelling. I decided to give it a shot. My teacher has been very supportive and encouraging and has invested several hours of time and effort on me. My family has been very supportive and has helped me maintain my focus on the spelling bee and still keep a balance with other equally demanding schoolwork and extracurricular activities. Wise and thoughtful advice from previous years’ local champion also served me well. Waiting at the microphone for my word at the semifinals and finals was the most interesting moment of the spelling bee. Press meetings and media interviews are also equally interesting. I have trained myself to remain calm under pressure over the years, and that really came in handy during the bee. I try to ward off all external pressures and concentrate my focus fully on the task at hand. The only pressure I allow is from within me, to just do the absolute very best that I can, at that moment. This way, if I failed, I could take comfort in the fact that I tried my absolute best within my powers and that is all there is to it. I never really prepared myself for the media interviews, but I try to be just my own self, in my natural skin and try to articulate my thoughts around questions as best as I can. Meeting new friends and socializing with my peers with similar interests was another interesting aspect of the bee. I loved the camaraderie that existed among the competitors. We respected each other’s differences, applauded each other’s success with every round and felt the pain when one of us misspelled a word in a round. We chitchatted during commercial breaks and cheered each other over a successful spell. Our siblings had a good time too with each other. Amidst all our differences, we had one thing in common – we all worked very hard to get to where we were and were determined to do our very best. So, irrespective of whether we lost or won, we all were winners and deserved to be treated as such. Overall, I am very thankful to God, my family, sponsors, coach, mentors, school, well-wishers, and community for giving me the opportunity, honor and pleasure of experiencing the spelling bee and with it a memory of a lifetime. I sincerely hope that many more generations of middle and elementary school students will continue to experience this ‘royal’ spelling bee tradition for millenniums to come!

Photo (left to right): The Hexco Spelling Sisters - Valerie Browning, Natalie Tarrant, and Huntley Tarrant.

All's well with the Spelling Sisters, who were the instigators of our business. Huntley is working at MindBites in Austin after receiving her MBA from Harvard; Natalie is a pediatrician in Austin, married with a 5-month-old daughter, Cora; and Valerie is married, working for Veritas, and raising daughter Claire, who is now 2-1/2. All still participate in the workings of Hexco.

Above: Grace Remmer and Neetu Chandak at the 2010 Scripps’ National Spelling Bee. A 5th grader at the time, now in 6th, Grace is one young speller we will keep our eye on. Grace was sponsored by The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, Florida; her recap of the NSB is below. Neetu was the only speller returning for the 4th consecutive year, a pinnacle above her peers in 2010.

A Monumental Journey The trip to the Scripps’ National Spelling Bee marked my first time in Washington D.C., as well as my first time on an airplane, and I found things to be a little different than what I had expected. Behind airport security, I was surprised to see restaurants and stores. I even saw a bird that had made its way into the building on accident. As the plane neared the ground, it was thrilling to glimpse the famous monuments that I had previously only seen in books. At the registration for the Bee, each speller received two T-shirts, as well as a drawstring bag filled with gifts, including a special National Spelling Bee watch, a “Bee Keeper”, which is an autograph book, and a certificate for a Scripps’ Bee DS game. Spellers were also privileged to attend events such as an elaborate barbecue picnic, a party with a DJ, and an extraordinary formal dinner. Being on stage was exhilarating. Often, someone would announce, “We are now taking a two minute commercial break.” During that break, cookies and cups of water were offered to the Bee participants. People were always taking pictures. It sounded kind of amusing, all of those little clicks at once. When not involved in Bee activities, spellers were either exploring D.C or congregating in the hotel. Spellers swarmed throughout the hotel at all hours. They were pretty recognizable in their unique shirts. Frequently, spellers gathered in groups to swap signatures for their Bee Keepers. Now about those spellers! They were all really friendly and supportive. We would laugh and joke together. During commercial breaks onstage, we would get up and high–five each other. After the Bee, another speller saw me, ran up, and hugged me. As for my own experience, I misspelled two words: bouleversement (from the computer round) and jehu (in Round 6). I left a single letter E out of bouleversement, and added a letter E to jehu. I like to joke that I had all the correct letters, just not in the right places. Bee Week was fantastic and I’m working hard towards my goal of being a part of it in 2011. ~ By Grace Remmer


Congratulations to 8th grader Anamika Veeramani for taking home the gold in 2010 !

Changes in the NSB Spelling Scrutiny & Speculation by Linda Tarrant

National Bee Changes The major change in the operation of the National Spelling Bee this year was Scripps’ providing a study list for students to use for Round 2 and 3. These two rounds contained words from either Spell It! or from words given at regional bees. Regional Bee sponsors purchase Sponsor Bee Guide books from Scripps’ to conduct their bees. There are two of these available so that Bees in neighboring areas are not using the same list for their Bee. Each of these books contains 200 "additional" words, which are the off-list words used in regional bees. There are 200 additional words in each book, and spellers are given all 400 words in their study list. Every word given in Rounds 2 and 3 were either from Spell It! or from this list of "additional" words provided to spellers. For 82.5% of the spellers at the National Bee, these are the only words they will spell orally. The Written Round again had about the same mix of words. Seventeen were from Verbomania, seven were from New Nat's Notes, and one had never appeared on a spelling bee before, refuse, but it wasn't so difficult. All spellers took the written test and participated in Rounds 2 and 3, whether they missed their word or not. The written test was 50 words, and only 25 were graded. A composite score of these three rounds determined whether a student advanced to Round 4, the semifinals on ESPN. The Conflicted Round 6 Round 4, 5 and part of Round 6 were shown on ESPN. The National Bee had determined that 10 spellers would advance to the Finals on ABC, so the National Bee was abruptly stopped with 4 spellers in Round 6 left to spell. These 4 and the 6 who had successfully spelled words in Round 6 were catapulted to the Finals on ABC. Annual Study List Scripps’ posts two lists for spelling bee study. One is a list by grade that contains 450 words, and this is the study list for all classroom and school bees. The other list for student study is the Spell It! booklet, and this is designed for district and county bees as well as the newspaper-sponsored bees from which spellers advance to the National Spelling Bee in Washington. In 2010, Scripps’ posted a study list for all classroom and school bees that included a total of 225 for 8 grades. For 2011, this graded list of words has been replaced with a list of 450 words. For 2011 there are 100 words to study for each grade, but there is overlap. For instance, the 3rd grade list contains 50 words that are also in the 2nd grade list, and the other 50 words are also in the 4th grade list. In 2007 the Paideia study booklet, which had contained 4,118 words, was replaced by the Spell It! booklet with only 700 words. It grew a bit in 2008 and 2009, and the 2010 and 2011 booklet is the same as 2009. Spell It! is arranged by language of origin primarily, and there are spelling tips included for each category. The copyright holder is Merriam-Webster, not Scripps’.

A Million Dollar Moment Hi, my name is Owayne Rodney and I represented Jamaica at the Scripps’ National Spelling Bee 2010. I was sponsored by The Gleaner and wore #88. While I was preparing to attend Scripps’ I received a news letter in the mail from HEXCO. I became excited to learn things about the spelling bee that I never knew about and probably would not have known had it not been for HEXCO. After arriving at the bee I realized that this magazine had really given me valuable insights into how the spelling bee operates, hence, it never felt like a new experience. Being a part of the Scripps’ National Spelling Bee has been a good experience for me and I have learnt a lot from it. I saw a lot Above: Owayne Rodney, sponof amazing sites and historic sored by the Jamaica Gleaner, of buildings. I met a lot of new people Kingston, Jamaica. and we traded autographs. The camaraderie among the spellers was great and everyone was really polite. The hotel was splendid, and I was happy to have experienced the scenery of the Grand Hyatt in Washington D.C. I purchased several HEXCO products such as New Nats Notes, New Bee Prepared, Spelling Rules Book, Valerie’s Supplement, Verbomania and the After a Spell Collection. I only had two months to study these materials including the dictionary therefore I did my best with the limited time that I had. One of my triumphant moments at the bee was when I qualified for the semi-finals on ESPN. I knew that I had studied really hard and felt rewarded to know that I had made it. Unfortunately, I dropped out of the semi-finals when I misspelt the word d-e-s-i-p-i-e-n-c-e which means relaxed dallying in enjoyment of foolish trifles. I studied over three hundred thousand words and thought that I was really ready, so naturally I was very disappointed. I thought to myself of all the hundreds of words I studied, why this one. Anyway, I am truly grateful to God for the opportunity to attend and be a part of the world’s most sought after spelling event. My favourite word is humuhumunukunukuapuaa which means a type of Hawaiian triggerfish. My most challenging word was the one I misspelt at the semi-finals. From my journey I have learnt that hard work, determination and prayer really pay off. Special thanks to my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for my spelling ability, to HEXCO for its wonderful and helpful materials, my coach Mrs. Primrose Swaby, my sponsor The Gleaner Company Ltd. Kingston, Jamaica, my wonderful parents Mr. And Mrs. Owen and Carlene Rodney, my brother Dumar Landell and every person or institution who assisted me in achieving my spelling goals. This indeed is a lifetime experience and achievement and one that I would not have traded for a million dollars.

"Taking the Challenge"

Hexco's Version of Annual Study List By Dharani Kotekal Hexco started with the classroom/school study list of 450 words and fleshed the collection out to over 1,000 words for study. This included grade appropriate words for 1st thru 3rd grades, 4th thru Spelling is something that I truly enjoy. It was a very recent 6th grades, and 7th and 8th grades. Our annual products, Valerie's discovery actually that I love spelling so much. Ever since that day I Supplement, Spelling Mentor software, SpellingFlips, and have been studying spelling every day faithfully. Whenever I can’t Organizers include all of the graded word list plus all of the Spell It! study some days because of some sort of engagement to attend to, I list. Annually, we post the study list on our website for downloading. miss it dreadfully and wish I had brought it along. I can’t even stay This gives all students an equal chance to study the list for class and school bees and start working on the list for district, county, and 7 away from spelling for even a day! Spelling has become my passion and my hobby. (Continued on next page) newspaper sponsored bees.

(Kotekal, continued) The Scripps’ Spelling National Bee had been very fun and I had enjoyed it immensely. That had been my first year competing so I got to see how things were. After my trip to D.C., I thought over it and realized that I loved spelling too much to give it up. At that time I had just started and there was much more to learn and the temptation was too much, so I decided to participate in next year’s National Bee too. So, my studying began and now everyday I am putting lots of time and effort into it. I hope it eventually pays off! My technique for practicing is to write the words over a couple times on my dry and erase board. This helps me picture the word over and over again. I also look at the word’s origin, part of speech, and definition and keep a close eye out for any rule breakers and exceptions. I am using a few Hexco products and I think these are proving very helpful to me. I think that the Hexco products are the ideal study materials to study from. Right now my goal is to place in the finals and then hopefully become champion. It is not impossible to become champion and it doesn’t hurt to dream big. As long as you realize that you have to work very hard and put all your determination and dedication into it, there is nothing stopping you from becoming champion. But whether you become champion or not, what really matters is that you tried your best and the knowledge that you gained will never go anywhere.

Kapadia makes a comeback My time in D.C. was definitely worth all of the studying. My first year in the Scripps’ National Spelling Bee was in 2009 during seventh grade, and after that year, I was determined to make it back for my eighth grade year. In seventh grade, I came to Washington, D.C. for the first time ever, not knowing what to expect. I was obviously nervous, but to calm myself down, I just reminded myself that I studied hard and that even if I didn’t make it to the semifinals, I would still have next year. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it, but I stayed positive and promised myself that I would persevere next year, and make the most of DC experience. Above: Gina Kapadia, Fortunately, I made it to the NSB again in sponsored by The Comeighth grade year, and I was eager to go mercial Appeal, Memphis , through the Bee experience for the second Tennessee. time. I was extremely motivated for the NSB that year, so I decided to use the Round One Preparation program from HEXCO. Since this was my last year, I decided to make the most of it, make as many friends as I could, try my hardest, and explore DC more than I had done in seventh grade. I remember sitting in the crowd, listening to the numbers of the spellers who made it to the semifinals being called out. I remembered feeling very positive about my test score, being almost positive that I would make it. Sadly, I was only one point away from making it to the semifinals. Of course, this was sad news for me at the time, studying so hard, and not making it by one point, but I kept my head up, and thought of the entire Bee Week experience positively. I started thinking about how many friends I had made from not just around the country, but around the world! Everybody who participated in Bee Week can take something positive out of it. Being in spelling bees taught me how to believe in myself, and that hard work does eventually pay off. If I could give advice to a new speller who is serious about being in the Scripps’ National Spelling Bee, I would tell them to persevere, and to believe in themselves. Even though it’s tough at times, remember that hard work pays off. Believe it or not, you can even use your spelling bee skills way after the Scripps’ National Spelling Bee in ways that you never would’ve thought of! All in all, Bee Week is an amazing 8 experience, and I am glad I got to be a part of it.

Preparation Pays Off When I entered my first spelling bee in fourth grade, I had no idea that spelling would be such a big part of my future. I’d always loved reading, and spelling had come to me naturally. Big words were fun to pronounce and use. In fourth grade, I placed second in my school spelling bee. I was surprised by the fuss people made over it! After I didn’t make it to the next round, I resolved to work harder the following year to win the K through 8 spelling bee. I achieved that goal in fifth grade, and went on to place fifth in the last round of the Georgia Independent School Association spelling bee, the bee for all private schools in Georgia. In 6th grade, I won the Georgia Above: Julia Denniss, sponsored by Georgia Association of Educa- State Spelling Bee. I was ecstatic at the chance to compete in the tors, Tucker, Georgia. National Spelling Bee. I hardly had any idea what I was in for. In Washington, D.C., I saw just how intensely my competitors had studied. Spelling wasn’t just a hobby for them; they had sacrificed so much of their time to prepare for this. I had studied very hard too, but I participated (and still do participate) in so many extracurricular activities that I had almost no free time. During Bee Week, the media was everywhere! I had had no idea that the National Spelling Bee was such a big deal. It was the chance of a lifetime for a kid like me; it was like nothing else I had ever experienced. That year, I came close to making it to the Semifinals. I then had a realistic idea of how much preparation I would need to finish better next year. This last year, I bought some Hexco materials to study with, since they came highly recommended. I used Valerie’s Spelling Bee Supplement, Written Round Readiness, and Bee Prepared. In previous years, straight-up memorizing had worked very well for me. I studied lists of words, and my parents would verbally test me on them. To go through the words faster, I only studied words that I didn’t already know well on the lists. I also memorized root words, definitions, and synonyms, so as not to get confused on certain words. In the months leading up to Bee Week, I got a good bit of local media attention, which made me feel like my hard work was amounting to something! Throughout Bee Week, I felt much more prepared. My goal was to make it to the Semifinals, and I was incredibly happy when I achieved that. However, I was thrilled when I found myself in the final round of the Semifinals! I eventually went down on the word poilu, referring to a French infantryman. It was very frustrating to be so close to the finals, but I kept in mind my original goal. I exceeded my expectations, and I was so happy to see my family and friends supporting me. Hexco asks: If I could go back, what would I do differently? I answer: spell poilu correctly. Other than that...I would have relaxed a little more and enjoyed the media attention. A piece of advice for anyone considering competing in spelling bees: be prepared to work hard, but it will be rewarding! I loved being in the hub of Washington, D.C. My family and I went sightseeing, and we had a wonderful Bee Week. People often ask me if I will compete again this year. Of course I will! I wouldn’t miss out on an opportunity like this, and I look forward to entering the bee again. Best of luck to all other competitors!

Tuition fees 2010 - Personal Spelling Coach Spelling Coaching - 16 sessions | $2,800 Spelling Coaching - 8 sessions | $1,900

Extraordinary Dedication For me, the National Spelling Bee wa s an amazing, once-in-a -lifetime experience. The Bee isn’t just a spelling contest. It’s an extraordinary opportunity to show off your speller skills, make friends from across the country, and Above: Jeremiah Cortez, sponsored by the Los tour our nation’s historic capital. To Angeles Spelling Bee Collaborative. prepare for the Bee, I spent at least an hour a day poring over words in the Spell It guide and Hexco’s word lists, such as Verbomania and both volumes of New Nat’s Notes. The competition itself was very intense and nerve -wracking. Every minute seemed to stretch into hours, as I desperately awaited my turn to come up to the microphone and receive my next word. In the end, I guess all of my studying helped me fight through six grueling rounds and over 50 words before misspelling the word favilla and finally hearing the judges’ bell. For those who aspire to become champion spellers, I’d like to say that you have to be dedicated to your studies if you want to get anywhere far. Learn the etymology rules by heart. And if you’ve managed to do that, one final piece of advice: It doesn’t matter how far you got or how well you performed, it’s about how much you enjoy the experience. If you’ve managed to land yourself a place in this event, count yourself lucky, study hard, and have a great time.

First-Time Bee Proves First-Rate My spelling experience in the 2009-2010 was a memorable and wonderful event in my life. I was ecstatic when I won the Miami Herald spelling bee which was attended by more than 80 middle school champions among them were two former Miami-Dade champions. My hopes and expectations were high and my preparation for the Above: Vaidya Govindarajan was National Spelling Bee intensisponsored by the Miami Herald. fied. I had no idea of the emotions and magnitude of National Spelling Bee, although I watched the program several times in television. I came to reality that the Bee is a tough one when I took the written test. It was followed by round two and three on stage. When I heard that the on stage part was going to be telecast in ESPN, I was very emotional for being on live television. At the end of the day, I felt very happy to hear my number called to move on to the Semifinal round. The words were harder than the previous rounds. For Round 4, I had to spell “Scalare”, which I studied in the dictionary and I was lucky to spell it correctly. Moving forward to Round 5, the word given to me was “Congener”; again, with the proper definition given, I was able to put together the word correctly. I was feeling tired already being on the stage for three to four hours. We were 18 on the stage at the end of fifth round. Words given were truly unheard of and unbelievable. Spellers were dropping so fast. 9

When it was my turn, I heard the word “phenazocine”. I had never heard or seen the word. I tried my best to guess by asking questions like “is there any nitrogen in the compound?” I tried to get some kind of clue in narrowing down the choices of letters. Emotion of being very close to the final round was overwhelming. I misspelled. The feeling was devastating. I felt hundreds of hours of my father’s and my time spent on the preparation was in vain. However, my parents made me feel good about me being ranked 9th in the first attempt! I was happy and left Washington determined to return again.

“Bee-ing” with Family After I won the Central Oregon Regional Bee I was excited to be going to the 2010 National Spelling Bee. Before I won, I had asked my mom if I made it to Nationals could we take our whole family (there are nine of us). While my parents were able to bring six of us kids, we couldn’t take my younger sister Abigail because she has Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome. Her condition won’t allow her to come with us, so my grandma came and stayed with her. Five of my six siblings and my mom and dad came with me to Washington D.C. We came a couple of days early because living 2,500 miles from our nation’s capital, we had never Above: Hannah Allison, sponbeen there before. Being in Washsored by KOHD News, Oregon. ington DC on Memorial Day and seeing all the flags, wreaths and flowers was awesome. One of my favorite parts of the week was meeting the other spellers and getting to know them. Another was going to the picnic and realizing our family was seated with Dr. Bailley on the bus. Talking to Dr. Bailley about the Bee was great! Even though I didn’t make the semifinals, I enjoyed every part of the National Spelling Bee and I am looking forward to next year.

Since one of our coaches was seen on national television, the word is out, and the demand for our spelling coach system has skyrocketed. While Michelle Horton has a waiting list for our coaching program, we are pleased to have added two more highly-qualified personal coaches under Michelle’s tutelage who are currently working successfully in the PSC program with spellers. HEXCO’s Personal Coaching System is designed for serious spelling bee contenders. Sessions are conducted by phone on a weekly or bi-weekly schedule, and extensive assignments and work lists are given for student study via email. Students are assessed for level of expertise so that work can challenge each individually. One of the keys to the success of this program has been our communication. Following every session, assignment, and phone call, both the student and the parent receive email correspondence from his/her coach. For complete information, download our data sheet on our

Personal Coaching System from on the National Spelling Bee page

Email: or call 800.391.2891


ANNUAL SPELLING Valerie’s Spelling Bee Supplement

Best Seller!

A Study Book for Students to Carry Along

Know the Rules and Eliminate the Guesswork  

Spelling Tips Language Skills

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Greek & Latin Elements Basic rules and guidelines

Phonetic pronunciation  Language of origin 

Definitions Parts of speech

Included are: 1,100+ words from Scripps' Spell It!, plus their collection of "Words You Need to Know," Scripps' words from school bees, plus grade appropriate words by our Word Wizards totaling over 2,500 words! This list is downloadable from our website (words only). All words are in difficulty sequence.

Spelling Rules Book is entitled "Why Isn't 'Phonetic' Spelled the Way it Sounds?" This 150-page compilation promotes less reliance on rote memorization and more on understanding. For example, students learn when to use -ible rather than -able, and they will never look at the i-before-e rule the same way again! Foreign language rules are included; an encyclopedic list of Greek and Latin roots with definitions and words derived from each is also included. A true sine qua non for the competitors!

Valerie’s Supplement 2011 (single copy) | #vs | $19 Valerie’s Supplement 2006 Paideia | #vs_06 | $19 Valerie’s Supplement 1999 Paideia | #vs_99 | $19

Spelling Rules Book | #nsspbk | $75

Valerie’s Supplement - Set of 10 | #vsmore | $90 Val’s Supplement (add’l copies over 10) | #vsadd | $9 ea.

EtymaMentor, EtymaNotes, and Etyma Flips! Study Word Roots & Origins

Get Featured! Get Tips! Follow your friends!

Hexco’s Etyma products are now available in 4 volumes Basic Latin, Intermediate Latin, Basic Greek, and NEW Intermediate Greek. Each volume contains some 150 roots, 25 prefixes, and 25 suffixes. Now ardent students seeking to augment spelling skills and expand vocabulary can utilize one or more study methods!  EtymaMentor - Interactive computer software that tracks errors and successes (even when sessions are closed and re-opened at a later time) until all content is mastered. Extended usage license is appropriate for those who wish to install software on up to five students' personal computers. PC compatible only. Call for free Sampler.  Etyma Notes - This is the "notebook-style" printed version of any or all four of our Etyma volumes. EtymaNotes accompanies software or may be purchased separately.  EtymaFlips NEW! - Online interactive flashcards, (available anywhere with online access) are separated into virtual decks for fun, organized study "virtually anywhere!" One-year subscription. (PC and Mac compatible)

After a Spell

Annual Newsletter - 19 Years of NSB recaps! After a Spell is our annual newsletter that reviews the spelling year for the National Spelling Bee. Articles by top spellers in the nation are featured, along with the Hexco products they used. Percentages of words found in our products, which were also used at the bee, are highlighted and changes instituted for bees are recapped. Plus, we include the words used at the National Bee and regional bees, which make an excellent resource to prepare for your own bees! After A Spell 2010 (Avail. 12/10) | #after | $9 After A Spell Collection 1991-2009 | #afterall | $70

Talking Webster - 2011

N IntermEW EtymaMentor & Notes - Single Volume | $30 ea. e Greekdiate ___ Basic Latin ___ Intermediate Latin ! ___ Basic Greek ___ Intermediate Greek ___ EtymaMentor & Notes - SET! All 4 | #etyal4 | $100

Audio CD - Great for Travel and Home Study! Hear each word on Scripps’ annual Spell It! list correctly and distinctly pronounced with definitions and follow along with a provided list. This audio CD helps students and parents practice correct pronunciations and be able to quickly recognize words that are on Scripps’ annual word list.

___ EtymaMentor Ext. Lic. - 1 Vol | #etyalex | $30 ea. ___ EtymaMentor Ext. Lic. - 4 Vols | #etyal4ex | $100 EtymaNotes - Single Volume | #etybk | $20 ea. ___ Basic Latin ___ Intermediate Latin ___ Basic Greek ___ Intermediate Greek (NEW!) ___ EtymaNotes - SET! All 4 | #etybks | $75

Talking Webster - Spell-It! (1 CD) | #ntw1 | $50

Hexco Academic is here to help

EtymaFlips - Single Volume | #etyf | $35 ea. ___ Basic Latin ___ Intermediate Latin ___ Basic Greek ___ Intermediate Greek ___ EtymaFlips - All 4 | #etyfall | $125

answer your questions! Call 1.800.391.2891


ANNUAL SPELLING & PAIDEIA Spelling Mentor & Spelling Flips

Natalie’s Spelling Bee Organizer

To Conduct Dynamic, First-Class Spelling Events!       

Simple phonetic pronunciations Alternate pronunciations Parts of speech Etymology Definitions Sentences Words in difficulty sequence!

Test Yourself on Computer Software or Online!   



Definitions Parts of speech Etymology

Spelling Mentor CD software program can track up to 20 students per computer; a mouse click enables the audio to repeat. Additional features include: preview words, request next letter, and flag troublesome words. Spelling Mentor may be installed on unlimited PC-compatible computers on a single campus. Schools may order an extended-usage license which allows up to 5 students to install Spelling Mentor on their home computers. BONUS OFFER: After your initial purchase,

Nat’s Sp. Bee Org. Graded & Spell It! 2011 | #nsall11 | $100 Natalie’s Spelling Bee Organizer Graded 2011 | #ns1 | $60 Natalie’s Spelling Bee Organizer Spell It! 2011 | #ns2 | $60

Spelling Mentor is 1/2 price when reordering the following year or ordering an additional 2006 or 1999 version with Paideia. (Email for FREE Mentor Samplers.)

Nat’s Sp. Bee Organizer - 2006 Paideia | #nsall06 | $100 Nat’s Sp. Bee Organizer - 1999 Paideia | #nsall99 | $100


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Interactive computer software or online subscription with audio allows students to hear the words and type in the spelling while the program monitors errors and successes. In addition to learning this current year’s word list, we also recommend the 2006 and 1999 Paideia versions. "Spelling Flips" online audio flashcards are also available for current year, 2006, and 1999 words.

Bee coordinators have depended on our Organizers for 20+ years. The Graded-List volume is for class and school bees and is in difficulty sequence, with groupings for 1st-3rd, 4th-6th, and 7th-8th grades. The Spell It! volume for district, county, or other competitive bees, contains ALL of Scripps’ words in a semblance of difficulty, plus "Words You Need to Know" from Scripps' website. The full set contains both of the Organizer volumes.

Online Virtual Flashcards!

Audio pronunciations Phonetic pronunciations Carefully crafted sentences

SpellingFlips online virtual flashcards keeps track of correct and incorrect spellings on a per-session basis. "Smart Mode" has a built-in algorithm to make missed cards appear more often. SpellingFlips are available anywhere with online access and are PC or Mac compatible. Price shown is for a one year subscription. Try FREE Spelling Flips demo online on our National Spelling Bee page at

For an A+ performance... Fun!

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Spelling Flips - 2011 Spell It! List Spelling Flips - 2006 Paideia Spelling Flips - 1999 Paideia EtymaFlips - Basic Latin EtymaFlips - Intermediate Latin EtymaFlips - Basic Greek EtymaFlips - Intermediate Greek 

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Graded & Spell It! (full set) - includes all 2,500+ words from Valerie’s Supplement with all words in difficulty sequence. Spell-It! List (single volume) comes with Scripps' Spell It! words and Scripps’ Words You Need to Know and is for higher level bees. Graded List (single volume) comes with Scripps' class and school bee words plus added words and is appropriate for classroom or school bees Paideia List 1999 - enhance your word bank with a computerized collection of 3,404 words. Paideia List 2006 - enhance your word bank with a computerized collection of 4,118 words.

Spelling Mentor FULL VERSION | #nsm | $130 ea. ___ 2011 Graded & Spell It! ___ 2006 Paideia Words ___ 1999 Paideia Words ___ RE-ORDER SPECIAL Spelling Mentor* | #nsmr | $65


*Customer loyalty discounted price on any one full set of SpellingMentor (value $130) if customer has purchased a full set of any SpellingMentor within the year.

Hexco has recently undertaken the transfer of some of our product line to virtual flash cards. Our online flashcards are convenient and interactive and may be accessed though the Hexco Academic website with a unique login name and password. Many have asked if the virtual flash cards contain the same information as contained in our printed and software products, and the answer is, "Yes!" Every study method has unique benefits, but many have already tried this new study method and are pleased with its convenience and state-of-the-art format.

Spelling Mentor (only) | #nsm | $75 ea. ___ 2011 Graded List Spelling Mentor ___ 2011 Spell It List Spelling Mentor

Ne w


SpellingFlips FULL VERSION | #nsfa | $149 ea. ___ 2011 Graded & Spell It! ___ 2006 Paideia Words ___ 1999 Paideia Words ___ SpellingFlips - Graded 2011 | #nsfg | $95 ___ SpellingFlips - Spell It! 2011 | #nsfs | $95 Add extended usage licenses for installing Spelling Mentor at Multiple Locations!

___ 2011 Graded/Spell It Ext. Lic. | #nsmex | $130 ___ 2011 Graded List Ext. Lic. | #nsmexg | add $75 ___ 2011 Spell It! List Ext. Lic. | #nsmexs | add $75 11

A Walk through Washington

Above: Surjo Bandayopadhay, of Prince Frederick, Maryland was sponsored by The Calvert Recorder. Surjo could be aptly called an unofficial volunteer product editor for Hexco Academic and has even found errors in Webster’s Third! While Surjo has already received praise for alerting the "big guys", we too, want to officially thank Surjo for sharing his keen eyesight and honest feedback. My Experiences at the National Spelling Bee ~ by Surjo Bandayopadyhay It was May 31, 2010. My mom, my dad, and I were in Washington, D.C. at the Grand Hyatt hotel for the Scripps’ National Spelling Bee. We checked in and I learned that the hotel had 1200 rooms. I was astounded when I heard that, but even more astounded when I heard the National Spelling Bee would be in the lower level of the same hotel. My family and I went downstairs and saw a lot of the other spellers. I was thinking to myself, "Are these the people I'm going to be up against?" I went to the registration desk, and after registration, I got a Spelling Bee bag. Inside I found my Bee Keeper. The Bee Keeper is basically an autograph book. I went around, met the other spellers and made some friends. My family and I stayed down there for quite some time, and then went upstairs to the hotel room. I had also found a schedule inside the bag

with a list of events. To my surprise, I found that we wouldn't start taking tests and spelling right away, but instead, there was a barbecue the next day in Turkey Run Park. The barbecue was my favorite part of the spelling bee because at that moment, no one was really thinking about the difficult tests that would come, or who would go to the semifinals. We all just went out there and had a lot of fun. There was music, food, arts and crafts, and even karaoke. I can remember that everyone was doing the Macarena dance, eating food, and singing. There was even a show where a lady juggled torches, and tightrope walked. After we came from the barbecue, my family and I explored the streets of our nation's capital. I had been to Washington D.C just the week before, but there were still many new things to explore. When we came back to the hotel, I saw on my schedule that the Round One test was the next day and my testing time was 12:00 p.m., but I still couldn't go to bed early because I brought a lot of schoolwork to finish for my final exams. I knew when I would come back to school after the Bee; I would have to take seven final exams. I woke up the morning of Round One, and can remember feeling a little bit of doubt of whether or not my study efforts would pay off or not. I brushed my teeth, ate, got dressed and studied for a little while. I acted like I was totally relaxed, but I was actually pretty nervous about words I would get. Finally, It was time to go downstairs and start the test. We sat in a waiting room for about forty-five minutes, and then I went in. The atmosphere was stressful and anticipating in the room. When I sat down in front of the computer, I stared at the screen for a couple of seconds thinking what words I was going to hear, and then I clicked the Begin button. The oncoming words pronounced came at me like a barrage of missiles. Difficult words, easy words, small words, huge words, and just plain weird words were all words I attempted to spell correctly. Some words, I thought were pretty easy, and some I didn't know even existed. I thought to myself, "The person who wins has got to have a huge vocabulary." My favorite word, funipendulous wasn't even on the test. I was finally done with round one, and came out of the room. I went back to the hotel room, and then my mom asked me how the test was, and I told her it was fine because we weren't allowed to say anything about the test at all. Later on, we went out to eat, and came to the hotel after that. I was exhausted, and the next day was the preliminary, but I still had to catch up on my schoolwork. I woke up on the day of the preliminaries and finished my morning routine. I wasn't very nervous, because I knew the words on the study guides inside out. When it was time to leave, I went downstairs with my parents, went on stage, and sat down. I met other people from Maryland and Indiana. It was finally time to start the preliminaries at 10:00 a.m. The judges announced that we would be on ESPN3, and I realized all


of my friends would be watching. I sat there, waited, and talked to my fellow spellers, until I realized that it was my turn to spell. I trudged up to the microphone, and Dr. Bailly gave me the word. I got it right and sat back down. People were going up, spelling, and sitting down. I thought to myself, any one of these people could be a winner. Finally, it was over at 12:00 p.m. I went back to my parents, and they congratulated me on getting my word right. There was another round later that day, so I just went back to the room, grabbed my hat, and we went out to eat again. It was time again for the second round of the preliminaries at 1:00 p.m. I went up on stage again, and waited. I tried to pass the time by talking, and seeing if I got the words the pronouncer asked right. When it was my turn, I went up, and got a very difficult German word. It was very strange. I had to think about it. I racked my brain as hard as I could, and finally started to spell. When I finished, I just looked at the judges in anticipation to see what they would say. They said it was correct, and I was so glad. I watched other people get theirs right and wrong, and thought how lucky I was just to make it this far. After we were done, I went outside into the ballroom, and my family and I went back to the room. The semifinalists were going to be announced at 5:00 p.m. My stomach was tied up in some kind of macrame knot, and my mind was already blown. I was praying, "Please let me get in, please." Unfortunately, my prayers weren't answered. I was off by two points from my Round One test. I felt unaccomplished, but also there was a flame of determination inside me that wanted to do better the year after. In the meantime, the reporter from the Calvert Recorder, the newspaper that sponsored us, started asking us a lot of questions. One of the questions she asked me was how I felt about not getting into the semifinals. I said I felt slightly disappointed, but I was going to do better next year. Then she wanted to talk to my mom. She asked my mom some questions about me, such as what inspired me to be in the spelling bee. After that, we went back to our hotel room. After all of the semifinalists were announced, my family and I went upstairs, and we were walking to an Indian restaurant, when a very shocking event occurred. We were innocently walking, minding our own business, when my mom felt someone tug at her purse. At first my mom thought that it was I, but when she looked around, she saw that it was not I, but someone else. He ran off with my mom's purse, and we never got it back. I was appalled that someone could do such a thing in broad daylight! I figured that even if I had made it to the Semifinals, I wouldn't have been able to concentrate. (Continued on next page)

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(Bandyopadhyay, continued)

The person who inspired me the most was my mom. She was slightly disappointed and told me to try harder next year because it would be my last year. My mother was an immigrant from India, and she knew English, but didn't speak it at all because her native language was Bengali. She said that with determination, and a lot of "I Love Lucy" episode reruns, she finally became fluent in English. She said that English was extremely difficult to learn, but she did it. It took her many years, but now her English is as good as ever. English is my native language, and I think I have a right to learn every word there is. It was finally the day of the semifinals. I went through my morning routine as usual, but at least this time, I wasn't nervous. I had a big breakfast because I didn't want to miss any of the semifinals. Forty-eight spellers had made it through, but only ten would go on to the finals. It was so riveting; I stayed on the edge of my seat for the whole thing. Every time I heard a DING, I thought to myself, "that person must feel worse than me to have come this far, and still not make it." I heard some of the hardest words of my life, and when I guessed on how to spell them, I was off by five or six letters. Earlier in the week, I thought my mind was blown; now there was some kind of nuclear bomb that went off. I thought to myself, "Holy cow, where in the world did these words come from, and, "Are these words even real, or just made up?" Round after anticipating round, the Semifinalists spelled, and either sat down, or got out hearing the dreadful DING even if some of them had come for four years. I thought there's only going to be one person who never hears that DING, the winner. The hours dwindled by, and there were 13 people left onstage. Then the judges did something that angered everybody. They purposefully removed 3 of the contestants just so they would have a maximum 10 people to spell during the finals. Some people had to spell during round 6, but the last five people didn't, and they still made it into the finals. Everyone cried out in protest, but the judges stood their ground. The Semifinals had come to an end. The day of the finals was here. I rushed through my morning routine, and my family and I went out to eat breakfast. I was more nervous today than when I was actually taking all the tests. The finals were at 8 p.m, and it was 8 a.m. I thought, "Still another 12 hours, come on!" In the meantime, I made the time go by watching TV, playing games, calling friends, and yo-yoing (a hobby of mine I enjoy very much.) Finally, it was 7:50 p.m. My family and I ran like wind downstairs to secure our chairs for the finals. When we were there, the finals had just about begun. The spellers were lined up with their parents next to them. I couldn't possibly imagine the pressure. The first speller went up to the front

enjoyable experience for me, and I hope to use it next year. The Spelling Rules Book was also extremely helpful in my studies. The book spelled out every single rule for a lot of languages, and it also gave example words to follow. It started out with basic rules, but then it got more and more specific. The Spelling Rules Book is also format-friendly because there are boxes with the rules, pages of words that utilize that rule, and chapter summaries. The most useful aspect of the book I thought was the miscellaneous spelling lists in the back. They provided information and words on languages like Portuguese, Pashto, Welsh, and Icelandic. Some advice I would provide for someone who is serious about spelling is that the person should definitely make a study schedule. I would strongly suggest using Hexco products. They make life so much easier, and it's so fun to study. They should also have a strong knowledge of roots. In preparation for the first time I went to the National Spelling Bee, I studied about an hour and a half each day for two months, because we had just gotten the dictionary. I hadn't known at the time that I would have to study the dictionary until I had won the dictionary from the county bee. At the time, they did mention that the words would come from Webster's Third New International Dictionary: Unabridged. I also couldn't study up to my full potential because I also had to study for seven final exams in every subject. I took my homework, and was working on it, when instead, I could've been talking to the "The two Hexco products I used were New other spellers. I was the only person there Nat's Notes volume 1 and 2, and the Spelling who still had homework over Bee Week. Rules Book. I found them to be extremely Everyone else was either finished school, or helpful because New Nat's Notes had a lot of had already taken their finals. Also, some the words that were in the bee. It has over states let their contestants participate for six 18,000 words to study, and it is ideal for years, while Maryland only lets theirs particigetting down the Greek, Latin, and French pate for three. My mom always makes me roots. I had a great time studying it because maintain a 4.0 grade point average, or else the format is so easy to learn, and the the consequences are severe. This is the pronunciations are so simple, but effective. reason it is extremely difficult for me to study ~ Surjo Bandayopadyhay my schoolwork and also concentrate in my spelling. I absolutely loved the Scripps’ National Preparation For the Bee Spelling Bee, and I hope that I go back next I found the Hexco Products extremely help- year, and win it all. It was a life-changing ful in aiding me for studying. The two Hexco experience; one that I'll never forget. ~ By Surjo Bandyopadhyay products I used were New Nat's Notes vol. 1 and 2, and the Spelling Rules book. I found them to be extremely helpful because New Left (photo only): Speller Miranda Hulsey Nat's Notes had a lot of the words that were was sponsored by The in the bee. It has over 18,000 words to study, Valley Journals, Salt and it is ideal for getting down the Greek, Lake City Utah and is Latin, and French roots. I had a great time now in the 8th grade at studying it because the format is so easy to Wasatch Junior High learn, and the pronunciations are so simple, School in the same city. but effective. I also didn't have any problems Miranda is also a with understanding the definitions, because seasoned violinist, loves traveling, writing they were short, but amazingly accurate. The stories and is learning most useful part of the volumes was the to speak Chinese. etymologies though. The etymologies had the Thanks for sharing language of origin, the roots, and the definiyour photo with us tion of the roots. New Nat's Notes was an Miranda, and congrats of the stage. The pronouncer gave him the word, and the boy just looked bewildered for a moment. He started spelling, and when he stopped, DING, he was out. The next two spellers went up, and the same thing happened to them. This kept on happening until there were two people left onstage. The 2nd place winner spelled his word wrong, and Anamika Veeramani, spelled hers right. She had won the spelling bee. The only thing I was happy about is that both the first and second place winners were Indian. The next day, we had an Awards Banquet. The finalists were onstage, and they received their prizes. When I saw the prizes for the winner, I was awestruck. After the banquet, we had a speller good-bye party, where we all danced until midnight. The next we all said farewell to each other, and came home. I had no time to feel sad, because the next day, I had to get ready for my final exams. My mom was disappointed that I didn't win, but on my final exams, if I didn't perform well, there would be severe consequences. When, I went back to school the next day, people congratulated me, and I saw my name in the newspaper. Next year, I don't know what will happen, but I will try my absolute best to win. It was an amazing experience, and the coolest thing was, I met people from different countries like China, South Korea, Ghana, U.S. Virgin Islands, and from the different states. I was also excited to meet Dr. Bailly, who was the pronouncer.


on earning a spot in D.C.! Great work!

After A Spell Newsletter  
After A Spell Newsletter  

Hexco Academic's annual newsletter - A recap of the 2010 National Spelling Bee. Featuring words, statistics, tips, stories from spellers an...