A Penn student has won $100 for spelling "prospicience" in the "Steiny-D Spelling Bee," the first of its kind, held on Nov. 28. The word "prospicience," that means "the act of looking forward," was the winning word given to Wharton and Engineering junior Vatsal Jayaswal.
Sponsored by the Wharton Communications Advisory Board, the spelling bee asked 20 competitors to spell words related to business, from “enterprise” and “Keynesian” to “pococurante," meaning "indifferent, nonchalant."
After two intermediate rounds, a difficult round, and a few close rounds between the last few competitors, Jayaswal won the first-place $100 prize, with College junior and DP Associate Copy Editor Michael Schwoerer coming in second and College junior Lena Greenberg coming in third.
Jayaswal said he competed in local spelling bees in elementary and middle school but felt challenged in this competition. “This was pretty brutal,” he said, “I thought it was a bloodbath.” He said he plans to donate his winnings to his fraternity.
Tuesday's event was Schwoerer’s first spelling bee. He said he “decided to wing it,” but used his knowledge of Greek, German, and Latin, which helped him decipher difficult words. However, he added that this knowledge was not as helpful for spelling proper nouns, and that this ultimately led to his downfall. “Haurlan,” referring to Haurlan Index, a technical analysis indicator developed by economist P. N. Haurlan to detect market breadth, cost him first place.
Greenberg is a seasoned participant in spelling bees. She competed in the Scripps National Spelling Bee when she was 14 and won fourth place.
“This is a little better," she said. "Third — I’ve improved!”
When another speller was eliminated for misspelling "abacus," he received encouragement from the audience. "It's okay, you're still handsome!" someone shouted from the back of the room.
The spelling bee is the first CAB event of the year. Board member and Wharton sophomore Julia Govberg said the group aimed to have an event that was new, creative, and something Wharton does not usually offer, adding that “[WCAB] thought it would be a fun way to use your communication skills.”
Audience member and Wharton sophomore Rhea Vasani said that she enjoyed the sight of her peers taking a break from classes to compete in a fun event, especially one that reminds her of her childhood. She hopes to see the spelling bee become a tradition.
“Hopefully we’re going to do it next year as well, so we just want to gain some traction and get that precedent set,” said Wharton sophomore and WCAB member Robert Naruse.
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