My Reading Bowl Competition

The Problem

In the 4th grade Reading Bowl, I fell into a sort of fear-type sinkhole. I didn’t study any of my books, I didn’t attend any of the practice competitions or pay attention to my Coach. The reason that I did all of this is because of my fears. I was afraid to be in a position of trust. I was afraid to be in a position of importance.

I was afraid because I imagined this dreadful scenario: My team and another team were tied, and I got the question. I got the answer wrong and my whole team started blaming me. I was afraid of this scenario. Even though my friends called me a Book Monster Worm, I didn’t get into my Reading Bowl Competitive Team, the team that goes to the competition and represents the school. I was angry, depressed and confused for having missed my opportunity to represent my school in the competition.

My Reading Bowl Coach was very disappointed. I talked it over with my parents and promised them and myself that I would get selected for the Reading Bowl next year. When it was time to apply for clubs during 5th grade, I selected Reading Bowl once again and wrote a very inspirational application explaining how I had realized my mistakes and how badly I wanted to be part of the team.

When the club selection results came, to my surprise and extreme delight, I got into the Reading Bowl Club.

This time, I changed my mindset. For the first time in my life, I felt a huge sense of shame and regret. I thought,” Why didn’t I take my chance earlier”? I changed my mindset to competitive mode. What pushed me to feel this way was my parents and Coach’s disappointment. I was very ashamed of myself and I was going to make my Coach and parents proud. Prouder than they’ve ever been.

The Solution

In 5th grade, I got into the Reading Bow Club. “Okay”, I thought to myself, “I’m gonna work harder than Steve Jobs when he was building Apple!” So I did. I worked day and night, reading the selected books over and over again, asking my parents to quiz me on the books to make sure I knew everything. I won all my practice competitions at my Reading Bowl Club. I memorized the study guides that my coach gave me. I memorized the exact words of the book. I finally got selected for my school’s Reading Bowl Competitive Team. The competitive team is the best out of the best, the Mount Everest of Mount Everest.

There are about 5 people on the competitive team. I was one of them. Sadly, in the Regionals Competition, we lost. We did not advance to the States Competition. Reading Bowl is the hardest academic team to advance in because they only allow the top 2 teams to advance. We got 3rd place. SO CLOSE.

In the next Reading Bowl meet after the competition, my Coach gave out those participation certificates that you get at every competition you go to. Then my Reading Bowl Coach announced that there were going to be 3 MVP awards for the people who made the most contribution to the 300 points that we got during the competition. “Well”, I thought, "It isn't going to be me.” Then, the first name she called out was “Mr. Kavin!”. My mind went blank. Then, I came back to reality. I accepted the award and my mind exploded.“YES YES YES YES YES YES!!!!!”. I felt my heart explode with joy and victory.

The Aftermath and the Praise

When I got home, I showed my parents my great achievement. I soon found out that it wasn’t something that the teachers just decided to give to appreciate the student who got the most points, but it was given by the Head of Fulton County to me. This was a great honor. That’s the reason that you're reading this blog right now. I was featured in the school newsletter, with my picture.

The only problem was that they spelled my name wrong. They wrote “Kevin” instead of Kavin. I was a bit upset. But I was also pretty happy. Now the whole school knew who exactly won the most points in the Reading Bowl Regionals Competition. Me, Kavin Imaya Kumar.

I have a long way to go but, this is something that I feel truly proud and happy of!