Eldest daughter, for her second and final year, placed first in her school spelling bee and so was able to attend the Chester County Spelling Bee. Yeah, we live in Pittsburgh. Westchester is a suburb of Philadelphia. Cyber schools are funny that way.
The Chester bee is a qualifying round for the Scrips National Spelling Bee. She was hoping that she would win the whole enchilada  - which However, that was not to be . A pleasant young man by the name of Jacob George advanced on to the the first round of the nationals in DC, while my daughter placed a very happy second. As she came in fourth last year, she was quite satisfied with her penultimate placing.
She insists that Jacob had the much easier final words with "acquittal" and "bandicoot". Such is the luck of the draw. While she was able to puzzle her way through "adiabatic", alas, she inserted a stray "d" into "hegemonic", and so had to cede the Chester championship.
The fault is mine. If I had only had her read "Ender's Game", she no doubt would have crushed poor Jacob into the dust. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.
As a consolation prize, she received a deluxe version of Scrabble, a $25 Amazon gift certificate, and a strange object - crafted from dead trees - that the announcer referred to as a "dik-sha-nary". The later is apparently some sort of manually operated index that can be used as an aid to spelling. Quite a cunning little device. I am sure that it will be incredibly useful to her. She's always looking for something nice and heavy she can prop the iPad against.
Meanwhile, the lovely Mrs. Robb is somewhat relieved that we have reached an end to the incessant spelling drills. For eldest daughter, at least. We still have two school spelling bees coming up, and a couple of younger sisters who now have a glint in their eyes and a sibling's bar to raise.
 Which was, by the way, one of the spelling words.
 No pun intended. Well, maybe a little.