Jake was sitting all alone in the classroom. All the other children were gone for the break. Jake sat there gloomily thinking about the ‘C’ he had received in his spelling test.
‘I knew I was getting it when I was giving the test, but I just can’t help feeling unlucky to be bad at spellings,” thought Jake. He was good at other subjects, especially in Maths, and he couldn’t bear seeing a big ‘C’ on his test paper.
After the break he had Maths’s lesson, but instead of the Maths teacher, the Spellings teacher came in. The whole class stood up surprised.
“Good afternoon students, I am here to make an announcement,” said Ms. Kaur, the spelling teacher. “We will be having the Spelling Bee Contest in our school. Whoever wants to participate must tell me till school ends tomorrow,” she said looking around at her class.
Alisha and Elora were excited because they were good at spellings. Others wore bored expressions.
Ms. Kaur went out of the class. Jake was still worrying about his test, he didn’t bother about the contest. He certainly was not participating in a spelling contest.
While going home he was scared his mother would scold him about the test, and surely, she was angry.
“Why can’t you study for Spellings as you study for Maths?” she asked him, looking at the paper. “I am tired of you getting ‘Cs’ in your Spelling tests, I have a good mind to tell your teacher that you never work for spelling tests!”
Jake wanted to score well in Spelling tests too, but he couldn’t focus on spellings.
He sat there thinking about what to do, and suddenly he got a great idea, he thought about if for some more time. Finally, it seemed the best thing to do, a great chance to achieve something in spellings.
Next day at school, in the break he went to Ms. Kaur and said, “Excuse me ma’am, I would like to participate in the Spelling Bee Contest.”
“What? But you don’t like spellings, do you? What made you to come to this decision?” asked Ms. Kaur surprised.
“Well, I thought I might study hard and do something good in spellings, so I want to participate,” he replied.
“I am proud of you Jake, you are the inspiration for those who are bad at some subjects and don’t work for them either,” said Ms. Kaur beaming at Jake. She wrote down Jake’s name in the list of ‘Spelling Bee Contest’.
Jake was proud himself too. He knew it took courage to do something you are bad at. When Jake was going out of the staffroom, he met his best friend, Lincoln.
“Hey, what were you doing in the staffroom?” asked Lincoln
“I went to tell Ms. Jones that I was participating in the Spelling Bee,” replied Jake smiling
“Golly! Is that really you? You told me a few days ago that you will never work for spellings if you could help it and now here you are telling me you are going to participate in Spelling Bee! Woah, you have changed,” said Lincoln amused and surprised.
“Well, I guess I have, but I really wanna do something good in spellings now, and this is a great chance, the window of opportunity,” said Jake.
When Jake was home, he told her about his decision, she too was surprised but she was proud of Jake. She thought it was her scolding that made Jake participate in the contest, though she didn’t know that it was Jake himself who had encouraged himself to do it.
That day itself Jake started working for the contest, he poured over the spelling books feeling sleepy now and then. He felt sure he would sleep with the boring spellings. But he didn’t give up, he went on working.
In the school, his whole class knew he was participating. Alisha who was participating herself went over to him and said, “Good to know I have a competitor as you, I am pretty sure I will win,” she said haughtily.
Lincoln heard this and patted Jake on his shoulder, and said, “Its okay old thing, let her talk like that, you don’t bother about her.” Jake nodded.
Soon the day for the first round of the contest came. Jake was to be the last to be asked the word. He swallowed the lump in his throat, he felt nervous. His legs felt wobbly, he didn’t know why.
“Jake Johnson!” called Ms. Kaur. It was his turn. He walked on to the stage and sat down on his seat. Ms. Kaur nodded her head encouragingly. She asked him the word, Jake wanted to dance right there. He knew the word!
“E-N-O-R-M-I-T-Y,” he answered. Ms. Jones smiled at him and nodded. Jake was very happy as he went down the stage.
Ms. Kaur came to the mike and said, “Now its time to hear the name of the students selected for the next round: Alisha, Michael, Oliver, Elora and Jake!”
There were claps from the audience, and Jake was happy himself.
Ms. Kaur came down the stage and patted him on the back, “Great job, Jake! You were really good, I could see you worked hard,” she said. Jake smiled back.
When Jake told his mother that he was selected she was really very proud of him. Though Jake had passed this round, he was sure the next would be much harder, so he worked hard for the next round also.
The other participants felt that they could pass the next round and win as easily so they didn’t study.
The next round came soon. Jake was nervous again. Alisha came to him and saw his expression, “Are you nervous? Well, you should be. I think you know you will not pass this round,” she said laughing mockingly.
When Jake’s name was called, he felt his heart beating loudly, and felt sure Ms. Kaur could hear his heart beating.
Before asking the word, Ms. Kaur smiled at him. Jake smiled nervously. But when he heard his word, he was no more nervous.
“C-O-U-N-C-I-L, “ he answered. Ms. Kaur’s face told him he had done it. Yes, Jake had won the Spelling Bee! The subject in which he got bad grades!
He went down the stage feeling happier than ever. After what seemed a long time to Jake, he was called to the stage along with Michael. He was given a gold medal.
“YOU DID IT JAKE!” shouted Lincoln. Jake gave him a thumbs up. Yes, he had done it.
Opportunities come and go. You must take the opportunity and go on, and never give up. You must climb through the window of opportunity. “The secret of success is to be ready when an opportunity comes.”- Benjamin Disraeli