DISCLAIMER: This original document can be found on the ABCNEW.com site, copyright 1997, all rights reserved.

Interview with Rebecca Sealfon

Rebecca Sealfon, who won the National Spelling Bee Thursday, joined ABCNEWS.com for a live chat from her hotel in Washington, D.C.

The interview is over, but you can read the transcript below.

ABCNEWS.com Moderated Forum
Interview with Rebecca Sealfon
(questions will not appear until posted by moderator)

Moderator Forum at 10:13pm ET
Rebecca Sealfon has joined us live from the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C., and we are ready for your questions.
envious in nyc from disney.com at 10:16pm ET
How many hours a day did you study for the contest? To win something like this, can you actually have a life? Do you ever party?
Rebecca Sealfon at 10:17pm ET
About 3, 5 days a week. Of course I got to party. I went to a spellers' party tonight.
cheryl from disney.com at 10:17pm ET
what was the first word you learned how to spell?
Rebecca Sealfon at 10:18pm ET
I don't remember. I don't remember a time when I couldn't read.
kappy from disney.com at 10:18pm ET
at what age did you learn how to read?
Rebecca Sealfon at 10:18pm ET
before I was 2
Zim-Zum from [] at 10:19pm ET
What was it like when you spelled that last word? Was it really suprusing?
Rebecca Sealfon at 10:19pm ET
It felt great. I'd been wanting to win for 2 yrs. & I was incredibly lucky to do it.
LYNN from disney.com at 10:19pm ET
Rebecca Sealfon at 10:20pm ET
I don't really know but I like fantasy books like Lord of the Rings by Tolkien & The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander.
HELENE from disney.com at 10:20pm ET
What are you going to do with the prize money
Rebecca Sealfon at 10:20pm ET
I'm probably going to put most of it in my college fund.
alissy from disney.com at 10:20pm ET
do you speak any other languages?
Rebecca Sealfon at 10:21pm ET
I'm not fluent in any others but I know some Hebrew & Latin.
Cmom from sunlink.net at 10:21pm ET
As a parent, I am studying spelling words with them once a week. Do you have any hints how I can make these drilling sessions fun and educational?
Rebecca Sealfon at 10:22pm ET
It's impossible to make them fun. But play a game, how many do you get right in a row.
adk from disney.com at 10:22pm ET
why do you whisper the letters into your hands before saying them to the judges? when did you start doing this?
Rebecca Sealfon at 10:23pm ET
Because I don't want to have a slip of the tongue and it helps me picture the words.
tony from brooklyn from disney.com at 10:23pm ET
You obviously knew the word "euonym". How on earth had you come across it?
Rebecca Sealfon at 10:24pm ET
I think it was in some of the books I studied, plus the prefix & suffix were roots I'd known.
Moderator Forum at 10:24pm ET
We have heard that you are schooled at home -- do you miss being with other children while you are learning?
Rebecca Sealfon at 10:25pm ET
To some extent, but home schooling allows me to go at my own pace.
jillvivhel from disney.com at 10:25pm ET
Rebecca Sealfon at 10:26pm ET
I don't really know, but I definitely want to be a writer.
Doug from [] at 10:26pm ET
Should English drop its historical spellings for a phonetic, rule-based dictionary?
Rebecca Sealfon at 10:28pm ET
I have mixed feelings about that. a) you wouldn't be able to tell where they come from. b) few people would misspell, which is good. c) It's a lot of inertia, & many people wouldn't like to learn all the new spellings.
Rebecca Sealfon at 10:28pm ET
Thanks a lot, it was nice talking to everyone. I really enjoyed this opportunity.

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