1) The mother of the 2nd child eliminated acted like a total nutjob. When her child was eliminated, she stood up in the audience and shouted “That word wasn’t on the list!” The librarian, who was running the bee, calmly explained to Ms. Crazypants that it was on the 3rd grade list, which they were using because the spellers had already completed the 1st and 2nd grade lists. Ms. Crazypants then complained, while the rest of the audience looked away in embarrassment, that they hadn’t used ALL the words in those lists, to which the librarian responded that they only use 25 randomly chosen words from each list to avoid a never-ending competition before quickly calling forth the next speller. Ms. Crazypants sat down in a huff and spent the rest of the bee reaching across the aisle to hold her son’s hand. Did I mention that this event was being broadcast via closed-circuit television into ALL of the kindergarten and first grade classrooms? AND at the end of the bee, she accosted the principal to complain even more. Loudly. In front of all the other competitors and their parents.
That poor kid has to grow up with Ms. Crazypants as his mother. What a frightening thought.
2) Another child who was eliminated early on completely melted down and openly wailed throughout the REST OF THE BEE. But instead of removing him from the library in order to maintain a modicum of the kid’s reputation (not to mention any courtesy to the other parents) the kid’s mom just moved to the back of the room and tried to settle him. Unsuccessfully.
3) Holding true to stereotype, the final two spellers were an Indian girl and an Asian boy. Now, I’m no more racist than is inherent in all people (I’m a bleeding-heart liberal tree hugger for goodness sake) but it makes me laugh that this was the outcome. My wife texted me at the start of the bee with the joke “there’s a Patel competing. [Our daughter] doesn’t stand a chance.” But seriously, they went head to head for a ridiculous amount of time before the Asian boy finally came out victorious. First of all, way to go Asian boy and Indian girl for being great spellers! Secondly, why are the kids from Asia always so smart?!? (I mean, not ALL of them are. I’ve taught my fair share of Asians duds, too). Is it a matter of evolution and genetics? A more educationally focused home environment? I wonder if our culture needs to take a page from their education book, or if they need to just chill out a little bit. Probably the answer lies somewhere in-between. Regardless, I found the situation amusing!
Bubba enters kindergarten next year, and I am eagerly awaiting the Great Rushly Spell-Off! And it always makes me feel good to be around other parents. After all the troubles we are having with our daughter and all the guilt and self-doubt that accompany them, it’s comforting to be able to say “at least we’re not like THOSE parents.”