Monday, November 05, 2007

I feel like such a dumbbell.

If you ever want to feel really, really stupid, just attend a Spelling Bee.

At first you'll sit there all smug with your shoulders back and your spine straight when it all begins.

"AWWW... the first grade words. They are soooo EASY! I remember that!"

Then you realize it is only the warm-up rounds and it has been thirty years since you have been in the first grade. Even then, you were reading about Spot running and running and running (that dog never stopped) and how Jane kept seeing Spot running and running (that Jane needed to get a life.)

Kids today are reading real books with real plots, learning phonics and words like "discombobulated."

OK. That last word? Notsomuch.

The Bee was in a church and the hosts were phenomenal. Hospitality at its best. However, I don't know if it was a matter of timing or what, but somehow the church bells didn't know that there was a spelling bee going on.

Maybe they thought it would be over within an hour and then the bells would chime away in a big, pomp and circumstance finale, but these kids were smart and it took a while for the eliminations. So when a sweet little boy stood up to spell his word, the bells began to ring.

And ring.

And ring some more.

Fortunately, the judges were quite fair and gave the young man another word.

He began to spell again and then the bells rang. Again.

And played a hymn.

OK. One more try. One more word. Here goes...

Another hymn.

I started to get out the hymn book and just sing along, but my daughter would've died. Instead, we all waited and the young man waited patiently yet again for another word.

Until the bells stopped playing.

In the silence, we all watched, slumped down in our seats, feeling a little less smug and less-than-confident in our own spelling skills as the young man, with his shoulders back and his spine straight spelled his way to second place.

And on to the State Spelling Bee.


Roxanne said...

Oh, bless his heart. I'm hoping the bells didn't play "Nearer My God to Thee" like on the Titanic when it was sinking.

Susanne said...

Oh my. I would have wilted under the pressure. Good for him!

Spelling bees amaze me.

His Girl said...

Spelling bees bring out the worst in me! I am ashamed at how happy I am when children spell a word wrong, because I know my child is safe a bit longer. It's just ridiculous the glee I get when I know they messed up. I always leave just a little less smug about my character.
It's good to know not all the moms in the audience are wishing ill on totally innocent children! ;)