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Just watched Spellbound. Boy, am I glad that spelling bees didn't exist anywhere near where I grew up.

I can't believe how stressful it is to stand there are just spell! "Spell... 'borborygmus'." It's insane. I actually watched a telecast of the National Spelling Bee on ESPN once, and one boy FAINTED onstage!! *thwump* like a tree. Who ever thought that spelling could be so exciting?!

Watching Spellbound, however... as smart as those kids were, I was surprised at how little they knew. Yeah, so some of them were just 11 years old. But if they can read the dictionary for fun, surely they can read books and supermarket labels and newspapers. There was the Indian boy who got stuck on "Darjeeling". The girl who got stuck on "wheedle". And the boy who got eliminated on "banns"... Aren't those considered simple words? Sure, maybe they're stressed out, but if they can spell 'andromonoecious' and 'gibleh' and other bizarro words, it's just... weird.

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Who ever thought that spelling could be so exciting?!
Kids like that have a LOT of pressure on them, mainly from parents. Personally, though, I've never done very well in things like that (to include "geography bees") because I refuse to learn things for the specific purpose of answering it in some kind of competition. I learn things because they're either usefull or interesting to know. And because I have a REASON to know these things, I tend to retain them better. I was only ever in one spelling bee and that's because everyone in the entire school was in it. I got eliminated on, like, the second word at the classroom level. A guy I met later in high school had done really well in a spelling bee (won his school's bee I think) but by the time I met him, I think I was a better speller than he was. Yeah, occasionally, he'd surprise everybody by being able to spell some bizzare word correctly but how often do you use bizzare words?

Strangely enerf, fater I wrote "borborygmus" in that entry, I've been experiencing more and more borborygmi recently. Not that anyone hears them but me. But still. How odd.


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