NH speller braces for national bee
It's no wonder that Emma Ciereszynski is competing in this week's Scripps National Spelling Bee. With a name like that, she said, she had to be a good speller.
“People will say, 'Her last name is so long, of course she can spell long words,'” the 14-year-old eighth-grader at Dover Middle School said.
In March, Ciereszynski beat out more than 200 school-level champions to win the New Hampshire spelling bee, which was sponsored by the New Hampshire Union Leader. But she said the national bee in Washington, D.C., is a completely different ball game.
“I'm very excited but also pretty nervous too,” she said. “There's a lot of pressure on me to do well, but I think it will be exciting as well.”
She said she would be thrilled to make it past the preliminary rounds, which begin Tuesday and end up in the finals, to be televised on ESPN.
“Once you get to the finals, the words get pretty obscure,” she said.
Last year, Sukanya Roy of South Abington, Pa., won by correctly spelling “cymotrichous,” which is a really long and difficult way to say “wavy hair.”
Ciereszynski said she is a visual learner who prefers studying alone, rather than being quizzed over and over. That doesn't stop her mother, Donna, from looking for long words to challenge her daughter.
“She prefers to study independently,” Donna said. “Mostly it's Emma-driven, but I'm always on the lookout for obscure words.”
Ciereszynski said she can remember words once she sees them, and she is the type who phantom-scrawls words on the back of her hand or the back of a card to help her recall spellings.
“If there are any kind of words that could cause me trouble, it would probably be one of those long French words,” she said.
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