My mom made me wear a dress to the middle school spelling bee. It had pink flowers all over, a bow in the back, and puffy sleeves. I consented because—truth be told—I was totally psyched for this day. One of my favorite movies back then was a made-for-TV Disney film called The Girl Who Spelled Freedom, about a Cambodian refugee who overcame a lot to become a spelling champion (in a dressy outfit).
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