March 15, 2006

Spelling rocks

OK, maybe I'm a little bit nerdy when it comes to such things, but I think spelling bees rival any other sporting event for sheer tension, drama, and excitement. Getting down to one putt to win a huge golf tournament might be about the equivalent of the massive tension involved in the later rounds of a spelling bee.

And as someone who's spelling challenged myself (I found 3 spelling errors in this post the first time through) I really appreciate how tough it must be.

Bonny Jain is the local equivalent of Tiger Woods, when it comes to spelling in the clutch. Simply put, he kicks ass.

If any local kid came close to the equivalent accomplishments in say, football or basketball, he'd be a hero and their name would be on everyone's lips. But competitions which don't require physical size, strength, or endurance don't seem to get the attention they deserve. It seems that if you sweat from running, it's ok, but if you sweat it out challenging your brain to spell difficult words in front of a large audience where one wrong step means you're dead, it's not so big a deal.

I wonder how many star athletes would crumble under the strain? It would be like being in sudden death overtime for hours.

Bonny Jain is our local spelling whiz, won the regional competition and is going to the nationals for the second year in a row. I think it's very cool and wish him luck.

And hats off to the Dispatch/Argus for their sponsorship of the regional bee.

Bonny, an eighth-grader from Wilson Middle School in Moline, won his third regional spelling bee in four years, a first for the event, sponsored by The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus.

He spelled "lieutenant" and "haggis" to win, after JohnPatrick Brown, an eighth-grader at Glenview Middle School in East Moline, was sidelined by the word "phyllo" in the 15th round.

The bee went 38 rounds last year before Bonny won, beating close friend and fellow Wilson student Sachin Raghunathan.

Dispatch/Argus photo by Eric Davis

5 Comments:

At 3/15/2006 4:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would have been nice if they had informed me ahead of ime about the event. What a great way to spend an evening.

 
At 3/15/2006 4:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nerd alert!!!! (just kidding) :)

 
At 3/15/2006 5:14 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

If you really want some edge of your seat action, tune in to the national finals, which, if I remember correctly, is actually carried on ESPN.

It really is nerve-wracking to watch these kids. And their various techniques and styles are interesting as well. I think it was last year that the tension and pressure was so intense that one contestant started spelling his word and just passed out cold at the mic.

Knowing that every one of these kids, boys and girls of every ethnic group, (though a large percentage are Indian or Oriental) urban, rural, rich, poor, has worked their tails off to get where they are, and are also incredibly bright, and then to have it all end with so much as one wrong letter... it's pretty intense. But equally amazing is how well most of the kids take it when they get eliminated.

I just think these kids do everything the jocks do...just like them, they train, train, and train some more, they have to endure the stress of competition and keep their cool. They have to gut it out and perform under intense pressure. They have to prevail against very tough competition, and those at the top are truly gifted.

They do everything atheletes do, but yet are dismissed and considered nerds.

I guess the only consolation is that these kids will probably out-earn jocks by about 4 to 1 . haha!

 
At 3/15/2006 5:16 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

note... strangly enough, today's Simpsons revolves around Lisa being a finalist in a spelling bee. The organizers want her to throw the contest so a cuter kid can win and get more publicity for the bee.

 
At 3/16/2006 4:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats to Bonny for his victory. Now maybe he can tutor Jacobs and his cronies!

 

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