June 12, 2006

It’s the Spelling Bee, and I’ll cry if I want to

Last night we finally finished watching the Spelling Bee. Since the kids this year were so freaking brilliant, it ran long and our fabulous Comcast DVR didn’t catch the ending. So (e) downloaded it (in HD, no less!) and we were able to watch the ending. Before watching the final night of televised Bee action, I knew the name of the winner. So I should not have been surprised when, in Round 19, Finola Hackett from Canada missed her word: weltschmerz. Chalk it up to extreme nerves. With just one other speller left to beat, Finola started the word with a “vee” instead of a “double-you.” This, after slam-dunking cachinnate, bdelloid, tutoyer, and koine. Just like me and the word choice (I spelled it C-H-O-I-S-E in our spelling bee. I’m still in therapy over that one.), Finola will never misspell the word used to describe “sadness over the evils of the world, especially as an expression of romantic pessimism.”

All was not lost for Fiona though. Katharine (Kerry) Close still had to spell her Round 19 word correctly, plus another word. Could she do it? Ok, well, yeah. I knew she could, I just wasn’t sure if this was IT. Would this be the final round?

In response to Finola’s unsuccessful spelling of weltschmerz, Kerry had to spell kundalini, As in the song Kundalini Express by Love and Rockets. I so knew how to spell that! Kerry being nearly one-third my age, has never heard the melodic tones and dance grooves of Love and Rockets, I’m quite sure. But the word was a gimme anyway, so she easily managed the spelling.

She had one more word to spell to become the 2006 National Spelling Bee Champion. You could cut the tension with a knife. The sports photographers stood by shooting frame after frame, waiting for the Hail Mary shot in this awesome athletic event.

Kerry’s word? Ursprache.

You could tell from the calm, yet excited look on her face that this little girl knew exactly how to spell her final word, just as I would be able to spell car.

And the tears fell.

Not from the 13-year old who just cemented her place in Word Geekdom for all eternity.

Yeah. I’m talking about me.

I cried at the conclusion of the 2006 National Spelling Bee.

one person has roominated about “It’s the Spelling Bee, and I’ll cry if I want to”

  • Alison says:

    I never had the, uh, balls to enter a spelling bee. A girl named Lisa did, though. She lost our middle school’s bee by misspelling the word “travesty.” She said T-R-A-V-I-S-T-Y.

    Later on, during high school, Lisa and I were friends (our mutual love of Duran Duran cemented the friendship), and I asked her if she would ever forget the travesty that was her loss in the spelling bee. She said “No. I will NEVER forget that word. Ever.”


roominate on this yourself