Okay! It’s One-Year Anniversary Week here at the Jacke Blog, and we’re counting down the most and least popular posts of the year, as voted upon by you the readers (via your page views these past twelve months).
But this is more exciting! The countdown to the most popular! And here we are at number 5.
Jacke Wilson’s Blogiversary Celebration
Most Popular Posts of 2013-2014 #5
This is the story of a young man who was an excellent speller. He won seven spelling bees in a row, dominating the competition year after year after year. And then, in the eighth grade, with a trip to regionals (and state! and nationals!) on the line, this champion lost for the first time in his life, shocking the town.
How could this happen? How did he stumble?
Readers, I have some tough news to deliver. A difficult set of truths.
The Eighth Grade Spelling Bee of Cadbridge, Wisconsin, in the Year of Our Lord 1984, was fixed. Completely rigged. The boy, the potential champion, lost on purpose. For reasons that remained murky for years, he threw the bee.
I know because I was that boy.
It was the worst thing I ever did. But not for the reasons you might expect. Keep reading…
Ah yes. The story of attempting to throw a spelling bee, with a couple of surprise twists. A tough one to write. An easy one (hopefully) to read. Enjoy my misery, people!
I’m not surprised to see this one here. People remember those spelling bees, and they remember the feeling of being an adolescent longing to fit in, and they remember teachers like the one in the story.
I’ve gotten a lot of feedback on this one, including an email from an eighth grade classmate, who himself is now the principal of a school. “I could still kick your ass for doing that,” he said. If only I’d known that at the time! I was in a strange place called Puberty, where chemicals race through your body and your brain is hyperaware, hyperfocused, and often hypermisguided.
But I’m glad the story came through and resonated with readers. At least there’s that.
Congratulations, Coffepot! You’re the fifth most popular post of the year!