Spelling Bee Saved


This is a picture of a shocked Krystian Doss (left), losing contestant in the Annual Cullman County Alabama spelling bee, after judges used a video replay to prove that he misspelled the word “kudzu.” (Please repeat the word: kd-zü. Language of origin: Japanese. Definition: An Asian vine of the legume family, used for forage and erosion control. Word in a sentence: “Hanako was glad the ecologically friendly kudzu preserved the Japanese environment so ably.” Repeat the word, please:kd-zü.)

Despite Doss’ claim that he spelled the word correctly, the evidence was damning and judges awarded the crown to Christina Oanca (right), who clearly radiates elation.

I was a hardcore homeschooler, the type who wanted to have Josh Harris’ babies and came within one letter of going to the 1999 Annual Scripps-Howard National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. I misspelled “ichnolite” after setting a record for the highest number of rounds in an Albuquerque Tribune Regional Scripps-Howard Spelling Bee.

I now confess I threw the bee. (At that point, I was boring myself.) But spelling bees are serious stuff. People scream, contest, protest, threaten, and sometimes kill for the scholarships at stake. As an ex-hardcore-homeschooler, I applaud the fact that judges are using advanced technology to ensure spelling bee justice. Pro sport referees use video replay to determine outs, after all, and the kids of rabid homeschool moms don’t play pro sports.


~ by stultiloquence on January 31, 2008.

10 Responses to “Spelling Bee Saved”

  1. I think that, if you are going to follow the pro-football trend, you are going to have to give each mother a red challenge flag. When Mrs. Danielson thinks that her precious child prodigy –Little Timmy– has been disenfranchised because he makes the other children look bad, she can throw her flag onto the stage. Then comes the replay. If the challenge is valid the ruling on the field should be reversed. However, should undeniable video proof rule against our coddled protagonist, there must be a substantial penalty. Perhaps a 500 point deduction in SAT score.

  2. maybe he is more sad that his parents decided to spell his name Krystian.

  3. you could have been in one of the eighteen spelling bee movies that came out recently! you missed your calling.

    i would like to further comment [since numbers matter] that kudzu is all over the south, and people there talk about it with the same sincerity that west-coasters bash starbucks [but drink there anyway]. so extra fie upon him for misspelling it.

  4. James – You should know that all spelling bees provide Challenge Forms for the parents. Parents whose prodigies are unfairly eliminated have the opportunity to rush the stage and file a challenge before the end of the round — the equivalent of a red challenge flag. How do you not know this?

  5. *cough* obviously, james is not a prodigy. *cough*

  6. Practical Homeschooling: How to “Bee” a Spelling Success


  7. you didn’t throw the bee…. did you?

  8. I’m not sure. I know I wasn’t trying very hard at that point.

  9. If you were going to throw the bee (or jump the shark) you should have misspelled bergschrund in the next round since Erin had misspelled Nietzchean when you slipped on ichnolite.

  10. You little twerp! Throwing the spelling bee? We could have had a lovely and memorable trip to D.C.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: