Friday, May 29


Kavya Shivashankar, 2009 National Spelling Bee champ

AND, okay, her little sister spelling along behind her through about the eighth round was a more compelling story, and she beat out Tim Ruiter, the home-schooled sci-fi nerd and fan of They Might Be Giants, who was the sentimental favorite Chez Riley, and third-place finisher Aishwarya Pastapur was the night's hero, handling xebec, Caerphilly, and Neufch√Ętel, all of which I happen to know, mostly because two of them are cheeses, but which bristle with lexical landmines. And yes, that reminds us there's too much emphasis on adjectives formed from proper nouns in the late rounds, particularly when two such decide things. And, no surprise, but won't someone please take the thing away from ABC? Thank god it runs long; otherwise one of the times it threatened to turn the thing into Dancin' With The Pubescent Stars would have taken off.

Still, delightful as always, because of the kids, though I have no idea how my Poor Wife, or anyone else, has ever survived teaching that age group. And the Hoosier State will have to content itself with Kennyi Kwaku Aouad being the star of the show, since we realize we can't win every year (2004, 2008). And Kavya--four top ten finishes in four years, and now the trophy--job well done. Now go kiss some boys. Or girls. Or both.


R. Porrofatto said...

Thank you. I love watching these kids, thought Spellbound was nifty, and one of my favorite radio shows -- now on teevee if you can find it -- is From the Top. This is probably because we are childless and want to pretend that such multi-talented and future wealth-producing prodigies are how our children would have turned out, instead of the more likely meth-addled serial killer who's "Sicko of the Week" on America's Most Wanted, and who robs me of the best years of my dotage.

Grace Nearing said...

Leave it to the whingers: Right Pundits published a column -- "Kavya Shivashankar Can Spell, Obama Cannot" -- which, yes indeed, included a misspelled word.

HelenWheels said...

SO awesome, she was on Rachel Maddow's show. I'm a word-nut (crossword puzzle addict (NYTimes sunday puzzle ONLY), boggle champion, avid reader, etc.) so I love seeing the youngsters excelling at this AND it being put front and center.

Jeff V said...

I can spell Caerphilly, but I was born twenty miles away.

D. Sidhe said...

Now go kiss some boys. Or girls. Or both.I got that exact advice after winning my first regional spelling bee, but before getting any trophies. I have to say I've never regretted it, but I'm less ambitious than many.

Joyful Alternative said...

It's rote memorization and the reason for dictionaries.

Nevertheless, a local loon asserted in the local newspaper that the champion should have an asterisk, like the steroid athletes, because eighth-graders who had passed more than two college-credit courses were not eligible to compete.

So we should assign our so-called gifted children to memorizing "antidisestablishmentarianism"?