Did anyone else watch the National Spelling Bee last night? I never would have guessed, but boy did that make for good television! I was on the edge of my seat. It was dramatic and gripping, and most surprisingly the pace was good. I thought it would be slow and tedious, but they really keep things moving. Anyway, the bee came down to a battle between 2 eighth grade girls, one from Canada and one from New Jersey. They went back and forth like 4 or 5 rounds, each spelling their words correctly - and I really thought it was going to end up as a tie. I didn't realize this before, but apparently they only pick a set number of words each year. If they run out of words before the contest gets down to a single speller, then the contest ends in a tie. But apparently that hasn't happened in like 40 years. So these two girls are going back and forth, totally unflappable, spelling these crazy words until the Canadian girl got the word 'weltschmerz.' You could see by the look on her face that she had never heard the word before, and as her time was counting down you could hear panic creeping into her voice as she repeatedly asked for the definition and pronunciation. She ended up spelling the word with a 'v' rather than a 'w.' A mistake I found surprising since she knew the word was of German origin. The girl from New Jersey won the competition with another Germanic word: 'ursprache.' In contrast to her competitor, it was obvious from the expression on her face that she HAD heard the word before and she knew how to spell it.
So all in all it was a very enjoyable evening of entertainment. I'll watch again next year.