Since we didn’t homeschool in the U.S., and were pre-Internet at the time, I thought that by the end of May bee-season was going on only in the garden.Â (our local bees are in recovery from a mite infestation and are buzzing around the catnip, penstemon, sage and, of course, roses, and I’m glad to see them)Â But even at the end of the usual school year, the buzzÂ from spelling bees continues.
The first citation on the Google alert reads more like a blog entry than a news report.
- Richmond.com, Richmond, Virginia, 2 June 2006, Alpha BetsÂ Â Â Â
8:04: We learn that from the 13 remaining contestants, Jonathan Horton is the only home schooler left. In other words, he’s the only finalist who won’t be getting wedgies on the school bus. Of home schooling, Connelly tells us that “it’s given him a life of quirky and appealing vitality.”
The second was dramatic.
- Winston-Salem Journal, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, 2 June 2006, Word ChoiceÂ Â Â Â
Samir, a home-schooler in the seventh grade who had competed in the national contest three other times and was runner-up last year, had been dubbed “this year’s rock star” by an ESPN commentator. Earlier in the day, he leaped in the air after he correctly spelled the words saponin and thymiaterion in rounds 5 and 6. But not this time.
Clearly panic-stricken, Samir asked the judges whether eremacausis – which refers to the gradual oxidation of organic matter from exposure to air and moisture – comes from the Greek work for air. The judges said they didn’t see the meaning listed.
Stalling, Samir asked the judges for bonus time, an extra minute spellers can request one time only. “Does not come from air,” Samir said quietly at the microphone. “Does not come from air.”
A bell indicating that it was time to finish the spelling of the word sounded. “Samir, it’s finish time,” one judge said. Samir spelled the word aeromocausis. Just like that, he was finished.
The dramatic ending capped the bee’s first appearance on prime-time television.
And the third was an international report of the same bee.
- Hindu News Update Service, Chennai, India,Â 2 June 2006, Â Girls dominate Spelling Bee, Indian American placed 4thÂ Â Â Â
Kavya, 10, a fifth grader from Kansas was out in the eighth round of the finals by spelling the word “gematriol” incorrectly. Among the hopefuls this year was Samir Patel, 12, a home-schooler from Cohleyville, Texas, who tied for second place last year.
Considered the “rock star” of spelling world, Samir breezed through all the rounds till he was asked to spell “eremacausis,” the word that finally knocked him out of contention and brought the remaining contestants down to 13.
The spell-checker went nuts over this post.