I am bursting with pride! Scout was the runner up in his Geography Bee competition! He lost only by one question to a 5th grader who won it last year. He’s been attending the ‘practices’ for about a month now, all leading up to the Bee. (here’s a random question…why are these things called ‘Bees’??!)
The sad fact is I wasn’t even able to attend the championship. With my new full-time job I just couldn’t get away. A blessing with Asperger’s, at least in Scout’s case, is that he really wasn’t all that disappointed. He of course wanted me there but his response when I told him I wasn’t able to be was a sweet, “Oh, that’s okay, Mom.” This was really all about himself, not pleasing anyone else….which of course is really the ultimate goal. Luckily tho Coreman was able to attend and he caught every question of Scout’s on video, so I almost felt like I was there!
I was so impressed with my son, watching that whole process. Not just intellectually, that goes without saying. The fact that he could just answer most questions without even a second thought is astounding to me. (who knows that the city of Fez is in Morocco??!) Some were oral, some required each student writing down the answer at the same time and then holding them up. As each question was asked, one by one another student would disappear. But there was my Scout, hanging in there with one other boy to the championship round. In that round there were three questions….Scout missed 2, the winner missed one. And that was that.
What I was most impressed with is the fact that Scout was able to miss questions without getting sad or frustrated. If he missed one he would quietly say darn or gesture with a downward fist and then just went onto the next. He was so focused throughout the entire process. When he got one right, he would get the biggest smile on his face and maybe pump his fist up in victory. 🙂 And he was utterly and completely happy and satisfied with getting 2nd place. This is HUGE in the Asperger’s realm, let me tell you! He may as well have been the champion. Of course it helped that everyone told him how impressive it was to have a fourth grader do so well and he got to help make the morning announcements right along with the boy who won first place. I guess they each got to make up a geography question ‘on the air’. Scout’s was, “What happened to Santorini, Greece in 1645 B.C.E.?” uhhh…??? * I asked him what he thought of this whole experience:
“I felt kind of worried but I had a lot of excitement because I was thinking in my mind what place I would get. I got second and I was very proud of myself.”
Needless to say, Scout’s already gearing up for next year’s Geography Bee. I am so happy he was able to participate! Of course for any child finding something they can excel in and feel good about themselves is so important, and I think for someone with their own special challenges where they may feel inferior to others it is something that is priceless. It’s a chance for Scout to feel proud and do something that most other kids (or grown-ups!) would not be able to do. I have to think this could help his social standing, too–at least in 4th grade it’s still pretty cool to be smart!
On one hand I don’t know if Scout is affected by his Asperger’s in the way of feeling inferior. Thank goodness, at this point he’s very proud of his condition because he knows it helps him in ways like being extraordinary at geography. I would love to think he will always feel this way, but I don’t dare count on it come those teenage years. But a Mom can hope…!
*(the answer is Santorini, being a volcanic island, erupted and destroyed most of itself. who knew?!)