It was that time of year again, when the spelling bee fans were out tailgating in the Grand Hyatt parking lot, sucking down alphabet soup and throwing long Scrabble tile passes to prep themselves for the big event. Yes, the 2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee champion was crowned last night and this year's winner is 13-year-old Kavya Shivashankar who spelled the word "Laodicean" to clinch the title.
Other words these children spelled effortlessly in order to make every adult in the world feel stupid? "Geusioleptic," which is a word describing flavorful food, according to Yahoo. And "apodyterium," which has to do with Greek baths. One poor child misspelled "maecenas," which I always thought was a Greek king but which today apparently means some sort of cultural benefactor. The young man was duly booed by classical Greek enthusiasts who'd snuck in from watching "Troy" in the suite next door.
I love watching the spelling bee for the very simple reason that these kids rock. They're total geniuses and they work their tails off to get to this stage of the competition. It's massively nerve-wracking, and difficult and they deserve all the credit they get. Also, you gotta love how endearingly spazzy half the field is. It brings back many a fond childhood memory...and also reminds me I need to crack a dictionary every now and then.
On a totally different note, Nerd Man of the Month will be announced tomorrow...