Marsya was among the 10 pupil chosen to represent her school for RHB-NST's Spell It Right (SIR) Challenge. The place: Danga City Mall, on a beautiful Saturday morning.
I sent her to school, and she went there with teachers and fellow pupils. I went back to fetch the rest of the family as they were still asleep when Marsya and I headed out earlier.
The competition was supposed to start at 9.00 am. I arrived there from home at about 9.30am and Wan Zaleha Radzi was still doing a mic check. Well, that's the most important thing for this kind of event. I didn't check what the time was when the emcee finally introduced her as the event anchor, but looking at my camera's timestamp, it must be after 10.00 am.
I'm pretty sure the audience (other than those who were nervous) were mesmerized with WZR's opening speech. She elaborated about the wonderful, weird and exciting world of the English language, before proceeding with the competition's details. Her spoken English is excellent. Being pretty is a bonus, actually. I wouldn't mind if it was Adibah Noor on that day, for I know she would fare as good, English wise.
There will be 9 - 10 pupil on the stage at one time for the first round, and only 1 will stand to go for the next. For that, each will go turn by turn according to their numbers. Those who failed to spell the correct word within 20 seconds would have to leave the stage (read: can already go back). Those who spelled correctly would have a go for another word if there were more than one who did so, until the last man standing, so to speak.
Marysa was number 049, and her turn was at 12.22pm. I could understand the nervousness and being bored at the same time, while waiting for her turn to come. Been there, done that, except for a much different setting. We used to have competitions in a school hall, or an indoor setting not really open for general public. Nowadays the large corporations behind all this decide to do it out in the open.
Her word that she has to spell infront of friends, strangers and the general public?
from the Concise Oxford Dictionary (10th Ed.) it means "(of voice or other sound) deep and husky"
Okay, that's not familiar to me at all.
She went "t, h, r, o, a, t"
Cleared her throat
"t, r, o, a, t, i"
Teeeetttt, the buzzer went off denoting the time limit.
Marsya went away from the stage.
Well, I must say that she did well amid her nervousness. Anyway, I'm sure the experience is the most valuable thing she got from the event. And I'll support her for every other such events in the future, insyaAllah.