On the 14th of August 2015, Cameron Arps and Tiaki Huria attended the Wellington Regional Semi-Finals of the New Zealand Spelling Bee.
They had placed within the top 200 spellers in New Zealand in the initial test, so they joined 58 other Year 9 and 10 students at Circa Theatre, feeling very nervous.
The written exam came first; 10 words from the list of words we had been given to study, and 10 unknown. The first 10 went alright, but the next 10 were words like diphthong and braggadocio. Then we all had one oral word (from the list, luckily), and the first round was over.
Then was the oral rounds. The top 23 students sat on the stage and took turns spelling words. I panicked when I learned that these words wouldn’t be from the list, but it was all right. There were words like inertia and facetious. Things that wouldn’t be too bad, when it got to me. Tiaki came 15th in the region, while Cameron got out 13th, and came 10th in the region.