When Fiorella was in the eighth grade, she placed first on the DAR history test and won a medal, but the situation was fraught. The administrator handing out the awards gave the medal to Bonnie Jackson first, then realized her mistake and called Bonnie back down the aisle of the auditorium to return the medal and give it to yours truly. Bonnie cried all the way down the ramp and Fio felt awful, even trying to give the medal back to Bonnie. Everything worked out okay because the next award, the ninth grade English test medal, went to Bonnie legitimately, but Fiorella could still feel the rancor of the other students. Bonnie was the hometown favorite. Her father, a popular minister, had died recently, and, because her mother had to get a job to support the family, Bonnie had a driver's license at age twelve to drive herself to school. Needless to say, Fio did not receive many congratulations on her way to the next class. After all, she was the girl who stole the history medal from sweet Bonnie Jackson.
Winning the Ready Writing contest when she was in her first year of high school didn't do much for Fiorella's popularity either because it "should have" gone to Darby Ann Boyd, who was a couple of years older than Fio and had come out on top the year before. Addendum--Fio won Ready Writing the next year too, and even placed in state. (She didn't do Ready Writing the third year because the date of it conflicted with the state Junior Classical League convention, and she was the editor of JCL's newspaper.)
Fiorella would like to tell you that somewhere along the line she learned to raise her shields and protect herself against what other people were saying, but she didn't. She's still over-aware and oversensitive.