Spelling B Girl

Shawn and I watched part of the middle school National Spelling B last night...We saw the grand finale, the spell down between a girl who resembles Winnie from The Wonder Years and a super dorky girl with a round moon face and blond hair. She won. You could tell whenever one of them was familiar with the word because she would be swallowing back a smile even while asking for the definition and the origin. Here are a few of the words they were asked to spell:

Aijyjhkhgatsis (Japanese; means hemorraging of the left eyeball)

Floughtlie (pronounced "Flute," the last several letters are silent; means the nightgown your grandmother wore on her honeymoon).

Triiiriririrrskank (German; defined as the shoes a gnome is said to wear on New Years Eve).

You have to wonder what it's like to be that kid who goes to spelling B's, whose parents quiz her or him every single day; they must dream about letters and words all the time; they must spell all the time. I remember just from watching that documentary about kids in these competitions, how for about an hour afterward, I couldn't stop spelling anything I heard. "Does this Coke have caffeine?" "C-a-f-f-e-i-n-e." Would make a good subject for a short story or a book, because I can't imagine that someone who spends so much time studying words and definitions and origins could interact normally with others. I know if it had been me winning a national spelling B at age 14, I would've dorkily imaged how it would catapult me into stardom and how I'd get a phone call from some hot movie star wanting to meet me, perhaps to whisper ten syllable words in his ear. I have to find a picture of me in middle school. You would die. And not only was I dorky looking, I also had an overactive imagination. I remember staring out the window in my bedroom while listenting to Journey on the clock radio, imagining how Kimble Frazier and I would go on a picnic together and how he'd take me on a rowboat ride. In all of these fantasies, I believe I was wearing a hat.


made from dust said…
those spelling bees are nuts. who ever uses those words? it looks like you might like art. if you have the time, drop by my blog and let me know what you think of the photography in the comments section. thanks.
j "Floughtlie" nic said…

First of all, it's a spelling BEE. And second, you have to read Cintra Wilson's novel Colors Insulting to Nature. In fact, I'm not totally sure that "Cintra Wilson," isn't, in fact, your pen name.