Fact: I'm unhealthily obsessed with the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
I vividly remember watching a documentary, "Spellbound," in Mrs. Delebo's Honors English class in 9th grade, and completely falling in love with the world of the spelling bee. In elementary school, I was that weird child that never once got a word wrong in spelling...on Monday pre-tests...let alone on the final post-tests. I read around 10,000 pages a quarter in sixth grade. And I never got less than an A on any written assignment. In short, the spelling bee seemed right up my alley.
These kids in the documentary, though? Totally different level. They trained hard, reading the dictionary, studying Greek and Latin, and even going so far as to learn other languages to better understand cognates and roots. I fell in love with their weird quirks and oddities...the kid who tried to eat the microphone, the way they tapped or spelled the words in the air...and competed to spell words right along with them.
Last Thursday, Kelsie and I went to Rojo post-manicures for margaritas, and the spelling bee finals were on in the bar. Despite the fact that we were having a great conversation, I kept getting distracted, watching the TV over her shoulder and thinking with every word, "I could've spelled that!"
There were two winners this year, for the second year in a row...these 13 and 14 year olds actually spelled through the entire list of words. Gokul Venkatachalam and Vanya Shivashankar won, respectively, on the words "scherenschnitte" and "nunatak," and will each be taking home giant trophies and $35,000 toward college. How cute are they?!
I went home, started packing for Kansas, and streamed the preliminaries on my laptop...all four hours of them. While this may prove beyond a shadow of a hint of a facsimile of a doubt that I'm someday going to die alone with cats, let it be known: I didn't spell a single word wrong.