Tuesday, February 23, 2010

heated competition

Tonight I took photos of our elementary school's spelling bee as a favor for a friend.

I haven't been to the spelling bee since Max was in it about four years ago. This one was a lot longer -- those kids are seriously good spellers!

One controversial word was "hazmat." I thought that was spelled with a hyphen. I thought it was considered an abbreviation. Apparently it's one of those newfangled words. The unfortunate boy who got that word was out, and his family was in a bit of an uproar. A low-key uproar, if you will.

Of course I was spelling all the words in my head to follow along. You'll be relieved to know that I knew them all. But I was wondering if I knew words like that when I was in elementary school, there were some really hard ones!


The most fun for me was watching all of the kids, their nervousness, their body language.

There was the kid who is totally offbeat, most likely a complete mystery to his peers, who joked with the judges in every round. The one who looked like a younger Avril Lavigne. The one who was chewing gum and looked like he was too cool for spelling bees, but lasted until quite late in the game. There were kids who mumbled and kids who had perfect enunciation. There was a girl who is a bit ungainly and wears glasses, but looks like she could become a supermodel. And then there was the winner, who looked shocked and heaved a huge sigh of relief after every word she got right.

It was awesome.


Neighbor Jane Payne said...

What a great photo! I love how it captures the experience.

I also loved the description of the kids. I can already tell that "a complete mystery to his peers" is a line I'll be borrowing in conversation.

Hazdat. Who knew? I didn't even know what it was until I just looked it up and it is indeed just what it sounds like--no broken phonetic rules in that one.

Impressed to hear that spell check has not weakened your ability and you got them all right.

Jill said...

That's a cool picture! You could also write an article for the paper with your keen observations, you made it sound rather appealing so now I feel like I missed out on something.

Melinda said...

I am with you on the tights but I thought all of the mens outfits during figure skating were so darn hideous. What were they thinking? No man looks good with what they were wearing. I think there was a malfunction in wardrobe.

This is such a cool picture. I really enjoyed your description of all the kids. I love to people watch.

charlotte said...

I love your spelling-bee observations! I was in a spelling bee once in sixth grade; my crowning moment was spelling "Freudian" correctly and when confronted with the problem of me not specifying that "Freudian" was capitalized, I quickly inserted that I knew Freudian is capitalized, because Freud was a psychologist. Hahahaha. That was the only spelling bee I ever participated in.

Have you ever seen the National Spelling Bee broadcasted on ESPN? Crazy.

Amy said...

I agree with Jill. This could definitely be an article for a paper. I'm a people watcher myself and the little sort fascinate me as much as the big.

Anonymous said...

I can not wait for this phase of school-hood to reach us. The awkward kid watching taken to a new level. Sweeeeeet. Though- I do feel like I could have been sitting next to you here, you described it so very well :)

Amy said...

Sounds like fun! I love your descriptions of the kids. I love going to things at school just to watch to kids. They are all so different, funny and fascinating.

Barb said...

I liked your people watching/describing skills - I feel like I was there!
I would have hyphenated hazmat for sure. What a weird industry word to throw in there.

rebekah said...

My spelling has fallen victim to the Spell-Check Era. So sad.

Michelle said...

Ooh...spelling bee controversy! I love the drama! I particularly love the description of all of the spellers.

Christine said...

I hope you don't mind if I print this article for my spelling bee archives. It's a perfect description of the night.

Oh, and thanks a MILLION, for taking the photographs, they are amazing as usual.

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