Friday, June 02, 2006

Spelling Bee Reactions

Some of my initial reactions from yesterday's spelling bee:
  • A lot of the kids had personality and spunk. ABC did a great job of having individual bios for a lot of the kids and really brought out their personalities. I feel bad for calling them "socially awkward".
  • One of the finalists goes to Daniel Wright and is going to my high school next year. (I may have not noticed until Bob called to point it out).
  • If you think I'm sick in the head for recording and watching the spelling bee, don't read the rest of this comment. I couldn't help but think (more than once), "Hey, she's pretty cute for a spelling bee chick... And for being 13... and... oh my god... uh... wait... I didn't just think that... LA LA LA! I wonder how the White Sox are doing..." But seriously, girls are allowed to be cute at 13. And some of them were.
  • Be honest with yourself for a second here. Weren't you pulling for the other girl at the end, just a little bit, cuz she had that Winnie Cooper look to her?
  • Weren't you also sort of rooting against the Winnie Cooper girl since she's from Canada? How could we have a Canadian win our national spelling bee? It's like when the Blue Jays won the World Series.
  • Does Samir Patel not making the finals rank up there with Reebok's failed "Dan and Dave" decathlon competition? I was equally devastated by both.
  • Those kids are really impressive. How many times did they get a word and you think to yourself... Hmm... "Sitasism". Then the 13 year old spews out "p-s-i-t-t-a-c-i-s-m". "OH! The 't' is silent!" Then you justify to yourself that you got more than half the word right and with a little practice you'd have the competition in the bag.
  • The bell is very deceiving. It's a sound associated with a right answer. It's a very peaceful way to tell someone that they're hopes and dreams have been crushed and they're out. Where's the "Family Feud" 'X' buzzer?
  • Did you see the girl who got incorrectly knocked out? On a personal note, I spelled the word the same as she did and I somehow felt a sense of personal redemption when the judges let her back in. It's like when you watch Jeopardy and they return from a commercial break with different scores. Alex Trebek then has to explain that some answer (question) previously given was actually correct and explains away the error.
  • A lot of kids were of Indian and otherwise Asian decent. And not one of the kids was black.
  • Having an announcer that was also a former spelling bee finalist as a kid was a good idea. And a bad idea at the same time. It was bad like most ice skating announcers are bad. He was overly critical of some of the kids. He'd say things like "If he thought about it longer and realized that the word was from Italian, he would have realize that the 'jo' sound is 'g-i-o'." (ABC tried to counter his dorkiness with a feel-good female announcer that was all motherly and protecting of the fragile children). At the same time, the ex-speller guy helped get into the mind of the spellers. It's like watching poker with Mike Sexson announcing. Since Mike Sexson plays poker at some of the highest levels, he can give better insight into the minds of the players and what they're thinking. So overall, I was pleased and now have a better understanding of how it all works.
  • This is probably the most (only?) profound reaction I had. Most adults I know (myself included) could learn a lot from these kids. They obviously worked harder on their spelling than you and I have ever worked on anything in our lives. On a national stage (with the incessant clicking of cameras - couldn't they have drown that out?), they did what you and I could never do. And in their ultimate moment of disappointment and defeat (*ding*), knowing they lost their dream that they've worked their entire lives to accomplish, what did most of them do? They said "thank you". And they'd walk off. How many of us take our failures, get corrected in front of the entire nation, keep our heads high and simply say "thank you"? Not me.
  • The other day I was joking about being sick in the head. I got home from softball after 10:00 pm last night and stayed up until after midnight to watch the finals. And now that I've written a semi-well-thought-out post about the spelling bee, I'm convinced. I'm one sick puppy.

No comments: