Friday, June 02, 2006


So I was watching the Scripts Howard National Spelling Bee on ABC primetime last night. I was in a state of euphoria - finally a celebration of intelligence! It should probably come as no surprise that I'm not a fan of the adulation heaped on athletes in this country. There is something wrong with a society that pays a guy millions to throw a ball into a hoop but just a few thousand for someone who goes into burning buildings to save lives. Also the rampant culture of maniacal egotism and corruption that is associated with so many athletes today (the ones we see on television), is not only an impurity of the athlete but the sport.

It's a nice change to see the praising and publicizing of children who have the amazing ability to spell. Taking a word and just from its definition and etymology being able to spell it, entails some genius, no? I'm certainly impressed. Its been my experience that those who spell well and have an extraordinary commend of the English language are very smart (high I.Q.'s).

Mock them if you are that shallow (yes the kids seem to fit a certain stereotype) but most of them will laugh last because unlike the millions of kids who try to make it to professional sports, these students have a better chance of succeeding in the world. They all have Ivy League written over them.

As I get older and more cynical, it is nice to see the joy a spelling bee, something so particular to children, can induce. For once, instead of idolizing some 12-year old in a belly shirt who shakes her ass while lip-synching we can make celebrities of bright kids who have an amazing ability to spell.

ps - I was also elated that 3 Indian kids made it to the top ten - desi's represent'n!


Blogger Molly Malone said...

you should watch "spellbound," a documentary about the 1999 spelling bee. i loved it!

10:16 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

That girl's face when she realized she had spelled the world correctly was so very priceless.

I didnt watch, but I caught the higlights.

I agree. We put so much attention on the physical, we forget about the cerebral.

It's sad.

6:54 PM  
Blogger Merci said...

Yes, it is nice to celebrate intellectual accomplishment for a change.

10:36 PM  
Blogger Virginia Gal said...

Molly - its on my list of things to watch - I've heard its very good and gives an insider look at this national event.

Tony - It was sweet when that girl realized she had won, but I also felt so bad for the girl against her when she heard that bell, her face just fell. It is sad how much emphasis we put on atheletism vs. intelligence.

Merci - It is nice, no? I was happy!

9:08 AM  
Blogger JoeinVegas said...

But where are the million dollar spelling contracts?
Maybe just kids that might look forward to a better life because they are smart and getting educated. Sounds good to me.

3:48 PM  
Blogger Virginia Gal said...

Joe - sounds good to me as well. These kids look like they have sensible heads on their shoulders and that is a good thing, I think.

9:02 AM  
Blogger Laurie said...

Hear, hear!!!! I totally and completely AGREE with what you've said! The priorities in this country are just effed up beyond belief.

I won my 8th grade spelling bee, but these kids blow me away..

3:50 PM  
Blogger Virginia Gal said...

Laurie - so you are a good speller - I'm so jealous! I can't spell worth crap, thank God for spellcheck!

Yes I have a serious issue with the overemphasis we place in this country on athletes, I mean they are talented but moreso than someone with high intelligence? It's all relative I suppose.

8:44 AM  
Blogger Belinda said...

It looked to me like desis RULING! I thought it was totally unfair to have all those foreign-language words (like Turkish--wha?!?). Seems like those should not be allowed, unless they are in common use in English. Oh, well. Alex swears that the one kid (you know the one, the boy who was talking or whatever into his fist) had Asperger's or was Autistic or something.

I did love the all-girl finale.

1:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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3:13 AM  
Blogger Virginia Gal said...

Belinda - I loved that in the top four, three were girls!!

Yes I was wondering about that kid also, I thought he might be cheating, talking into a mic, but than I realized that is stupid, cause everyone is watching, hee hee.

9:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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4:25 AM  

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