31 May 2006
"May I have the language of origin, please?"
Competition has begun at the Scripps National Spelling Bee! There are four rounds today and by the end of it, there will be less than 45 spellers left from the original 275 spellers. The preliminary championship rounds will be on ESPN tomorrow from 11-2 and the Championship rounds will be on live on ABC from 7-9 tomorrow night. The list for Round 1, which is a 25 word written round is here and starts out easy but finishes incredibly hard. Follow the results here. The Des Moines and Omaha kids are both still in it. Of course, my love for statistics led me to this section. I was surprised that 70% of these predominantly seventh and eighth graders (although there is 1 FOURTH grader) attended public school. 13% were home school and another 15% attended private/parochial/charter schools. Also surprising, there are five spellers that have a twin sibling. 27 spellers have had an immediate family member take part in the National Bee. And there are two spellers who are returning for the fifth time! Of last year's top finishers, the only one returning is Samir Sudhir Patel from the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram. He tied for second last year. Check out this for a list of all the past champions since 1925 and their winning word. I was smitten in 1997, the first time I watched it live and got hooked by Rebecca Sealfon and her uniquely bizarre methodical spelling. That and 'Spellbound' have made me a big fan. Enjoy!
- middleson at 12:15