when i was in junior high i won the 7th grade spelling bee and made it to the all-school competition. after making it to the final 5 i got the word "exhausted." the good news was i knew how to spell exhausted. the bad news was that when i went to spell exhausted i said "E - A- ah, i mean X..." i don't know what possessed me to pronounce the letter X as an A, but that blunder will forever haunt me.
the scripps national spelling bee is a true test of american athleticism.
it is also a test of endurance. how many months will you study for? how many hours? how many languages will you conquer the rules of? and will these months and hours and languages lead to an endless replay in your mind of that moment on national television, espn nonetheless, of you spelling "appoggiatura" wrong? for some, it will.
one of my few claims to fame in life is knowing the scripps 1999 spelling bee champ nupur lala (yes, of spellbound fame). i even hung out in her dorm room. i had been trying to track her down on campus for months, and when i finally met her i acted as though i was completely unaware that she was super super famous. i found out later that my friend who had introduced us had told her beforehand that i was arguably obsessed with her. nupur won on the word "logorrhea" which is a tough word, but not that tough if you know how to spell the gross word that rhymes with it.
last year's winner of the spelling bee, evan o'dorney, was a big jerk on cnn. i don't blame him. if i was the winner of the national spelling bee i would be a jerk to everyone too.