Tuesday, January 29, 2013

turn on your headlights and speak clearly into the microphone

It's FOGGY here today.  I can only see 1/8 of a mile which makes for some mighty scary driving conditions.  I left the house once already to announce a spelling bee.  You should've heard me practicing these words at home for the past week to make sure I could say them okay.  Pantisocracy. Payn-ti-sah-krass-y.  Pan-tsi-craw-see.  Pan-ty-sew-cray-see.  (FYI: that's a utopian society where all people rule equally.)  I hadn't even seen some of these words before in my life and I worked really hard learning how to say each one correctly.  Talk about goofy, but I'm a stickler for good pronunciation. 

The room was abuzz with nerves.  I felt bad whenever I had to tell someone they spelled a word incorrectly, but most of the students seemed more relieved than disappointed when they got eliminated.  The second-to-last round eliminated the last 3 standing so we did a final round where only 1 kid remained.  I was relieved not to get to the last hundred words on the list.  Even though I practiced, some of them were REALLY hard to say!

A few kids came up afterwards to see how to spell words they missed.  I told a couple that I'll never forget how to spell "embarrassed" because that was the word I stumbled on when I was in a 4th grade spelling bee.  The double-r screwed me up, but never again!

It rained ice last night and this morning I saw lightning outside my window.  It's supposed to snow half a foot or more starting tonight.  Whether you think this wonky weather is due to climate change or just a fluke, there's no denying it is WEIRD out there.  Forty degrees today and down to five by Friday.  Good grief!  It's a Meteorological Mash-Up outside.

Spill it, reader.  Did you ever compete in a spelling bee? What word did you get wrong?  I bet you still remember!


  1. Yes, the weather is weird. We got 12" last night after the freezing drizzle yesterday. Schools closed, and we ended up closing work. Now I hear it is supposed to start blowing tonight. what we have on the ground is going to move a lot, so tomorrow maybe another snow day.

    as for spelling bees, well not me, although I was very good at spelling, but my father still tells the story of the only spelling word he ever got wrong. Wash, and why? because the majority of the folks he knew pronounced it with an "r" warsh, so that is how he spelled it. That would have been about 75yrs ago when he was in the 3rd?4th grade.

    Last week, my grandson who is in 1st grade competed in a spelling bee with all the other 1st & 2nd graders in his school. He got 3rd place. according to his teacher, only 1 other in the 16yrs she has been teaching has gotten that far. Yeah! Go Ben! (he was reading chapter books before he went to kindergarten.)

  2. I just barely remember doing a spelling bee once, but I have no clue what word eventually tripped me up!

  3. How can it be that we never had a spelling bee? I was a great speller!

  4. I was never in a spelling bee, but I'll admit I avoided stressful-on-stage situations as a kid :-) I do enjoy learning how to pronounce new words, though.

    We had lots of thunderstorms last night too, and we're supposed to have a few more this evening. I'm just hoping the water drains/dries before our temps plummet!

  5. Stationary. I spelled the wrong one.

  6. We don't do spelling bees in Holland so I never had the pleasure. We started today off with icy roads and school delays, which later turned into dense fog and school closures. And now we're expecting snow. I thought I was going to make some decent work hours this week. Guess not.

  7. I loved spelling bees! All the reading I did at a young age paid off. I was in the Scripps Spelling Bee in 5th grade and advanced to regionals....it was a big deal for St. Bernards....so much so that I got to miss First Reconciliation in order to attend the big bee! I, sadly, was eliminated in the first round by the word abalienation.

    Abalienation: the act of alienating something.

    I missed the -ie- part.

    but now, over 20 years later, I can still rattle off abalienation at the drop of a hat. :)

  8. First grade, I always mixed up g and j. I spelled log wrong. Luckily, it was best 2 out of three or some such thing, because I made it to the all-school bee over the intercom. Up against 8th graders even. First round, I got the word bluejay. I spelled it bluegay. Stupid, stupid g/j!

    We went from 20 on Friday, 60 today, and 15 tomorrow. For the love, can we get some consistancy please??

  9. Fifth grade. I was the last 5th grader left standing against a 6th grader. I lost on "gadabout."

  10. I've had a hearing impairment most of my life, so I've hated spelling bees for that reason. And I'm a GOOD speller.

  11. We did not have spelling bees in Holland, but did write down long lists of difficult words and I was always very good at them in tests. I am also good at them in English because in my head I pronounce them phonetically and picture the words.

    Good luck with your weather. All the snow here is gone due to the rain and higher temperatures. We all breathe a sigh of relief.

  12. My spelling is terrible always has been thank goodness for my dictionary which I can not spell unless looking at the cover of the dictionary.....lol

  13. Pantisocracy - it's not rule by panties and socks?

    When I was in 6th grade, I entered the elementary school spelling bee and won! This meant that I went on to the county spelling bee. I came in second place, missing the word "parallel" (It was a double "l" rather than a double "r" that got me.) I was thrilled to be second, because the second place winner won a gallon of chocolate ice cream and a dictionary (how clever a prize, eh?). The first place winner had to go on to the state spelling bee, which meant more studying and anxiety, but no ice cream.

  14. My small parochial school played "Spelling Football." Two classes would line up across a classroom from each other. A Football field was drawn on the chalkboard and a student from the "home team" was assigned to move a pointer up and down the field as the game progressed. One student on each team, the "quarterback," would give a spelling word appropriate for that class to the student at the head of the line. If the student spelled the word correctly, the pointer moved 5 yards in the direction of the other team's goal. When a student misspelled a word, the "ball" moved to the other team who would start spelling words to move down the field. The team with the highest score at the end of the game won.

    My 3rd grade class won the school Spelling Superbowl. The trophy was a pair of stuffed hugging autograph dogs. (It was the mid-70s...) They held a place of honor in our classroom for the rest of the year. During the last week, when we were cleaning out the room, Mrs. Broeren held a Spelling Football tournament. The winner would get to keep the autograph dogs and carry the pride of being the best speller in the school.

    I think I still have those dogs in a box somewhere. :)

  15. In eighth grade it was sophOmore and in ninth parAllel. Yet i kept reading voraciously even today. I follow over 200 blogs and read science, politics, health and craft articles every day.

  16. I was never in a spelling bee, but I'm awfully glad to hear you practiced the words beforehand - when my Edie made it to the last 3 in her school's spelling bee a few years ago, the word she was given, which I have totally blanked on right now, was mispronounced, which led to her spelling it incorrectly and going out.

    Snow and in the teens all weekend, 70's yesterday and today and supposed to be cold and snowy again by Friday. Fingers crossed for 4 days of school this week.....

  17. In fifth or sixth grade, I won the class spelling bee with the word parochial. There was only one problem with that. The teams had to be even and we had more girls than boys on the team. So, of course tomboy Kim had to go to the boys team.

    The boys said they won. And did they ever rub it in to the girls..all year. I was treated like a traitor by the girls for weeks. :(

    But I still like the fact that I spelled the word right.

  18. Spelling Bees are nerve wracking. I've never been in one but just watching Joey was enough to make me sweat. And you're right. No one wants to be the first kid out, but after a while I think they are relieved when they are out. Pressure off! ;)

    The weather is WEIRD. Yesterday it was raining all day, foggy, and 53 degrees. Today it is 25 and snowing. Tomorrow I don't think we are supposed to make it to double digits. Good grief!


Spill it, reader.