Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Spelling Bee

Just before Christmas my oldest daughter won her school spelling bee. The ability to spell is a talent that she inherited from her mother, or acquired via hard work. She certainly didn't learn it from me.

Today we drove over to Bakersfield so she could compete in a spelling bee there. She was joined in this competition by 6 other students from the other smaller private schools in the county. The winner of this competition would represent this group of schools in the overall county spelling bee in February.

I had never been to a formal spelling bee before so I didn't really know what to expect. It was surprisingly interesting. It started out with a minor controversy. The second word in the first round was "bowl". However when the pronouncer said the word, I heard "bold". Apparently so did the competitor, and most of the rest of the audience. When the student repeated the word before starting to spell he said "bold" and then as all three judges started to stop him to correct his error he blurted out the letters b-o-l-d, said the word bold and was immediately told he was wrong. His mother immediately objected that the word was not clearly pronounced in the first place. I think the judges were swayed by the entire audience nodding in agreement when the little boy's mother objected that the word sounded like "bold" not "bowl". So after a brief conference the judges decided to use this little boy as an example to the contestants to ask for definitions or sentences. Then they allowed him to approach the microphone and they gave him another word.

This may have not been the correct thing to do, in the strictest interpretation of the rules. But the audience believed it was the fairest thing to do. The contestants didn't mind, and it did serve as a good lesson for the rest of the students. Granted some of the other parents may have complained if this young man had won, but he was the second contestant eliminated, 3 rounds later.

My daughter did very well especially since she didn't study very hard for this. She finished in a tie for 4th place and was eliminated in the 6th round. The word she missed was "nausea". So immediately her Principal, who had gone with us, and I started making jokes about her being asked to spell what her stomach was feeling at the time.

It didn't help that she admitted after the event was over that her stomach didn't hurt any longer.

She laughed the jokes the first couple times, but by the time I got done telling her mother this evening she informed me that it wasn't funny anymore.

1 comment:

The Grouchy Old Yorkie Lady said...

Congratulations to Chaos! (Especially for going ahead with the contest even though her nerves were making her sick!)