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My Geography Bee Experience

A Sixth Grader Shares His Geography Bee Experience

By Ashwin Veeramani, Guest Writer

Geography Bee

The geography bee is a wonderful opportunity for students to become interested in the world around them.

Carlos Davila/Getty Images
I was in fourth grade. My eighth grade friend announced that he was taking the school geography bee written test the next day, along with his classmates. Something in his tone told me that he was not looking forward to the bee. I could not understand! Why would anyone not want to know about the land he was living in, going to school in, playing games in, and basically growing up in? It sounded like a lot of fun to me.

All day, I found myself wishing I was in middle school so I could participate in the geography bee. I don't know how it happened or what made me do it, but during my lunch break I walked up to my social studies teacher's classroom in the esteemed middle school wing and asked her if I could participate in the bee for middle school. She seemed genuinely surprised, and happy, I thought. But she did hesitate a bit. I told her that I really loved to learn about our earth, its rivers, mountains, all the human cultures thriving in it, and the things that happen naturally and are man-made. She was still not convinced but finally said, yes. I was ecstatic!

That next morning it felt really good. I was going to be in the school bee, as a participant and learn things I was really interested in. I was not nervous one bit, instead just very excited to be doing something I really loved. We had four written rounds two on the United States and two on the world. I did surprisingly well and placed in the top ten, beating some of the strong seventh and eighth graders. I lost in the oral round the next day, but won the attention of my teacher. More importantly, my interest was piqued. I came home and looked up the answers for the questions that I and other contestants lost on.

This was the beginning of my quest; my quest for learning about my country, neighboring countries, and, countries beyond. Wikipedia, geography.about.com, and Nationalgeographic.com became my friends for life. Atlases and almanacs became my favorite books. I placed second in my school the following year, but more importantly, I realized that I really loved geography and enjoyed the time I spent learning it.

I may have lost that first bee, but I won the world; a love for that world; love to explore that world one country, one mountain, one river, one landform at a time; and that is certainly the biggest win for yours truly!

Ashwin Veeramani is in sixth grade in Ohio.

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