Top Ten: The Road to State PSIA

A couple of months ago, I shared that Will was our big winner at the district Private School Interscholastic Association’s (PSIA) district contest.  We were thrilled he advanced to state in spelling.  What I did not share was how UNexcited I was that he had to study two more months.

I thought I’d share a bit about his prep and our really fun day at the state competition in Ft. Worth.


1.  These kids are really smart.  No, I mean really smart.  His competition was stiff, both at district and state.  He tied for first at district, but that mean out of 60 words he couldn’t miss any.  That’s how close the competition was.  I would get speller anxiety, but he did not.

2.  The studying was brutal.  By nature, spelling is something that comes easily to Will (he loves to read).  Because of that he always thinks either a) he doesn’t really need to study and b) if he does need to study, he can always do it tomorrow.  There were a few cross words shared between the two of us.  They mostly centered on making a commitment, following through and representing yourself, your team and your school with integrity.  I have no problem if my kids don’t want to do something again, but Will committed to the competition this year and Scott and I made sure he finished it.  At the end, he was happy he stuck it out.

3.  The trip to Ft. Worth was precious time.  Because his competition didn’t begin until 11am, we opted to get up early and hit the road at 7am, making it a day trip.  He only zoned out and took a short nap, but the rest of the time I quizzed him on words and we chatted about all sorts of things.  He even wanted to hang out with me when we got there.  Bonus.

4.  The TCU campus was gorgeous.  It’s been a long time since I’ve been to TCU.  Back in my Protestant days, I spent time there at some camps and even applied there for college.  To think, I could’ve been a Horned Frog.  Even Will was impressed.  He told me it’s a contender for college – we shall see.

5.  He was more nervous than I thought.  He insisted we get right to the building, find his buddy Max and stay close to the room, even though we were there a full two hours before the competition.  One thing I’ve learned is that Will needs to be settled before he can perform well.  And, he hates to be late.

6.  He came out of the room with 100% confidence.  In fact, I think he said, “I totally aced it, Mom.”  We may  need to work on his self-esteem issues.  I reminded him it’s totally okay to be confident, just wait until you get out of earshot of the other contestants before declaring yourself the winner 🙂

7.  I served as a judge, so I knew he did well, but I wasn’t 100% positive.  All the tests were ranked by contestant number, not name.  I was just as nervous as he was at the awards!

8.  The awards were great fun and he practically floated to the front of the room when they called his name.  He and his best buddy, Max, tied for SECOND.  They almost couldn’t contain themselves.  I was so happy for both of them, mostly because they are extremely competitive and the tie was a great ending.  They were giddy.  It was quite cute.

9.  After the awards, we packed up and headed back to the car.  Well, at least we thought we were headed to the car.  I got a wee bit turned around and we, um, got lost.  After sweating 8,000 buckets and walking two miles, we finally found the car, headed straight to Sonic and made Happy Hour with 30 seconds to spare.

10.  On our drive home, we stopped off at Rudy’s BBQ for a light dinner.  We watched a little of the NFL draft, chatted some more about the day and enjoyed some great BBQ.

Will, my main man, my heart isn’t quite big enough to hold the love and pride I have for you.  You are definitely spell checking all my correspondence from now on.

1 Comment

  1. Lisa Schmidt on May 31, 2012 at 11:15 am

    Congrats, Will! What an achievement! And hey, TCU is in the Big 12 now. You could chose worse, say like … A&M! 😉

    K – this post made me tear up. Thanks for sharing such love between a mother and her son. And I *super duper like* this: “We watched a little of the NFL draft…” I sit here looking at my son, as he sleeps soundly in his swing, dreaming of the day he and I can do the same. Here’s to football-watching mamas!

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