Spelling Bee Saga

Parents should be banned from school spelling bees. As my husband likes to say, "Kids are never allowed to LOSE anymore". Everyone gets a medal, everyone is special, yada, yada. Except in spelling bees. Spelling bees are the last hangers-on in our PC schools, where someone is crowned the best speller of the grade, right?

I will be un-inviting myself from future spelling bees, I promise.

7yrold has a knack for reading and pretty much everything else academic. It just comes easy for her. She won her 1st grade spelling bee on the word 'SUFFICE'. (I had to spell check it just now, for crying out loud).

5thgrader… not so easy. She has to work for everything, and in the previous years she has always studied and scraped her way past her class bee and into the grade bee. She then misspelled on round 2 or 3. Which was fabulous for her and she knew it.

Back to this year. -- 5thgrader again made it to the grade level bee and I attended the showdown, she wants my support I figured? She passed off her 1st word, and then a second and a third (the third word was LINX--what the heck is THAT?) and then whoa (!) she was one of five left! Yay, go girl! Every time she got up to spell MY heart would nearly smash through my throat (and I was only WATCHING). Two more kids got out and then she spelled another word correct and the kid after her got out, and OHMYGOSH she was one of two left. And then...the other kid spelled a word wrong...I'm thinking wow, how cool is that to have TWO kids in the same day, same household as spelling bee champs!

(it gets tricky here, so stay with me)

All day, in the other grades at this point in the bee the rules change--the last two go into a sudden death approach and instead of sitting down when missing a word, the remaining kid standing must spell the missed word correctly, and then becomes crowned winner of all things spelling.

My daughter stood up to re-spell this incorrect word, I kid you not, she had the microphone in her hand and had opened her mouth....when...

A gentleman (hard to type that calmly) stood up and decided to rail on the poor volunteers who had been running the bees all day (and last year for that matter). He argued, how could this be fair to the kid who had just gotten out and labeled third? Why didn't THAT kid get to be allowed to have his word 'corrected' (or not) and possibly stay in the running? This man (and this kills me the most) walked over to the volunteers and bullied them into changing the rules. I didn't dare say much, he was scary.

So the third placed kid comes back into the queue. They start a new 'round', and yes you guessed it, by the time it's all spelled and done, my 5th grader catches third place and the original third place kid wins 1st. How sickening. It was like a bad afterschool movie, but there I was in a real school. Nice lesson for them to learn, eh? Bullies get what they want, and if you are a man and large all the better, you win. I was too upset to stick around long; I kissed my kid, and made her spell out loud the word she was never allowed to respell (the one that would have made her the winner)--Serenity. (how fitting) She couldn't understand what had just happened, neither could I. And then I zipped on out of there. I was much more upset than she was.

She told me after school that a decision was reached, and both kids were awarded 1st place. How very PC of them. Like kissing your sister, the one who did win the spelling bee.

Here they are, my two Spellers!


Paul & Megan Hawkes said...

What the heck. What an *$$, sorry for the profanity. What are we teaching our kids. That is so unfair. I hope he knows what a jerk he is. Who want's to win that way? Congrats on third. I think that is a great accomplishment.

Good & Crazy said...

I know. I've calmed down now (it was a week ago). And don't even ask how mad my husband was...I'm sure glad HE wasn't there too, there seriously could have been a fight.

Oh my heck! I was featured. And it didn't hurt or anything!