Scripps National Spelling Bee

After having recently watched “Akeelah and the Bee,” I thought it would be fun for us to watch the finals of the 2008 Scripps National Spelling Bee. It’s just started, and there are 12 really awkward-looking adolescent finalists on stage.

Chloe is already frustrated, because after 30 seconds, there’s already a commercial. Actually, it’s the introductory credits.

If nothing else, I hope these little kids will inspire her. And I hope the show isn’t going to put us to sleep. Chloe’s clapping – a good sign. She’s not sure she’s interested in aspriring to the summit of spelling bees – the first finalist just got the dreaded bell for misspelling “tralatitious.” Which means passed along or handed down.

Uh oh – another commercial. Chloe’s calm this time, however. I think she’s a bit intrigued. But now she’s trying negotiate popcorn. And staying up until 9. She’s a tough one, my little Chloe. The problem with this spelling bee thing is that it would require one of us to coach her. I love to read. But reading dictionaries just doesn’t do it for me.

The smallest kid in the bunch just spelled “cryptarithm” (a cipher). And spelled it correctly without hesitation. Impressive. How about “hemeralopia” (a defect of vision)? The 13-year old just got that one right. Or “basenji” (a type of dog)? So far, no more kids have fallen for word traps. Maybe “empyrean” will do the next finalist in. Nothing doing. These kids are scary.

I think I’ll start reading the dictionary to Chloe tomorrow. We’ll start with the middle of the alphabet to keep it interesting and unpredicable.

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