National Spelling Bee contestant

National Spelling Bee contestant

Don’t know how many people (in the US) are aware, but the National Spelling Bee was just aired on TV last week. Has become one of those weird fascinations in the US and has begun to receive serious media coverage, almost kind of like what has happened with poker.

OK, so what does this have to do with ITM? Apparently one of the contestants plays the tin whistle competitively. He’s a contestant from Missouri whose name I won’t mention in order to protect anonymity. ITM isn’t exactly a huge phenomenon, so I thought it was pretty cool when I heard about this contestant’s interest in the music.

Anywho, point of this post really is to find out if anybody actually knows who I’m talking about? I’m a school teacher and I help my students take interest in educational competitions like the Bee, especially when they receive such huge national attention. I thought it would be kind of cool for my students to hear directly from one of the contestants.

So, if you happen to know this person, would you mind emailing me through the site with a contact email address? Or, if you happen to be this person, would you mind contacting me through this site in regards to the hard work you put into the spelling and learning in general? I did the usual member search, but didn’t come up with anything. This contact would go a long way in helping them take an interest in spelling and learning.

Thanks,
Jason

Re: National Spelling Bee contestant

Trust me, the National Spelling Bee doesn’t get any kind of media attention over here (thank God).

The contestant you’re looking for is Connor Spencer. He attends the St Vincent de Paul Academy in Kansas City. As he is a minor, I would not provide you with an email address but would recommend you contact the school with your request.

Re: National Spelling Bee contestant

I understand the minor issue and know how I could go about contacting him through the school. I just kind of figured when I heard about the ITM connection that I could simplify things by expediting the process, ask around this site, and get a response like "Yeah, he is on this site under the screen name xxxx".

In regards to the Spelling Bee, it really is oddly intriguing. It’s grown on me over the yeara. Also kind of humbling to see the words that are spelled by people so much younger than me. Kind of like a session when a younger musician lights up the place (gotta make sure I bring it back to the music 🙂 ).

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That’s pretty cool…I ALMOST went ot the national level a few years back (Fahrenheit…) but that’s exciting that there are ITM-involved contestants!

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Uncle Nobby, just wondering how u know who the contestant is. I assume u don’t watch the spelling bee ("doesn’t get any kind of media attention here thank god") and am now really curious as to how u know who the whistler is. Do u know him personally?

PS I know it shouldn’t bother me, but i read this earlier and came back to it and this issue is just puzzling me now.

Re: National Spelling Bee contestant

It’s shameful how little encouragement is given to the orthographically gifted in Britain. When I was 8, my parents returned from a school open evening, having been told by my teacher that I was "*very* good at spelling". Just think - had I been born in the US, I could have been someone.

Re: National Spelling Bee contestant

if he was on national television, why would you need to protect his anonymity?

Re: National Spelling Bee contestant

People now seem to be in awe of those who can spell or do arithmetic without electronic assistance.

Re: National Spelling Bee contestant

Like someone like me from the pre-electronic age !
However, there’s nothing like forgetting to proof-read to make your missals seem to come from a semi-illiterate moron.

Re: National Spelling Bee contestant

"…in regards to"….?

Proper grammer would be "…with regard to…"

You are a school teacher?

Re: National Spelling Bee contestant

Yep, and as a school teacher who considers himself a good speller, I can tell you that the word is "grammar" with an "a", not an "e", unless this is an alternative spelling, but there is no judge here to verify that 🙂.

As to the anonymity brought up by Rob, I kept my request intentionally vague because I am not looking to bring more attention to the individual. I figured most people around here probably would not have watched the Bee because despite it’s increasing popularity, I think it is still very much a cult-ish kind of thing. Therefore, the only people who I figured would have any information that could help me were people who knew specifically who I was talking about because they play in sessions with him, or are in fact him.

Finally, regarding oldstrings, I don’t know if you’ve ever watched the documentary "Spellbound" (released a few years ago), but if you have, hopefully you would be in awe too. The amount of time and effort that these students (no older than 13 I think) dedicate towards spelling is insane. Studying the dictionary? Coaches to teach them several different languages? Just crazy.

Re: National Spelling Bee contestant

I haven’t watched it, Jason G, but probably would have, just to see others who enjoy words (if that was their motivation).
I am arrogant enough to eschew computer assistance in spelling, and occasionally read the dictionary for pleasure. (In short bursts).

Re: National Spelling Bee contestant

Good to know that I’m not the only person around here who enjoys perusing through the dictionary. Never know what kind of good words you might find that can be dropped into conversation at the pub.

Re: National Spelling Bee contestant

Jason, your tact never ceases to amaze me. A true gentleman as ever I’ve met. I would’ve had a few other "improper" things to say, but I’m not half the man nor musician you are.

The wife and I love the Bee, and watched “Spellbound” with our jaws dropped throughout the whole thing. Talk about nerdy: I sat in a pub at lunch watching the earlier part of the Bee. I saw the bio segment for the contestant you’re talking about, but I missed that he played Irish music in particular on the whistle.

The most intriguing part of "Spellbound" for me was the father of the young Hindustani boy who pledged that if his son won the Bee, he would donate enough rice to feed 2000 (I think) poor people in India. But his son didn’t win! I guess one village got just a little less sagwala that night. Another good movie about the Bee—fictional and glurgey, but good—is "Akeelah and the Bee". It might even be a good "last day of school" flick for your students… What I like about the Bee is that it demonstrates that language is not an exact science, and the rules are fluid, and so it is very easy to make mistakes—in fact, it’s necessary to make mistakes. This year’s Champ said it’s all memorization, but I think it’s worse than that: it’s like staring at a huge tree and trying to memorize the exact positions of all the branches and every leaf on them, as well as every leaf that ever grew on it but isn’t there anymore.

I used to read "Finnegans Wake" with a group of far superior professors; if you don’t know of it, one reads it with the OED (and a few dozen other books) beside him. This led to perusing the OED for fun, so you’re not alone. But be careful: the last time I used a big word at Fergie’s Darin accused me of being "Brainy" and working at a "Think Tank". Then Brendan gave me a wedgie and hit me in the eye.

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Excuse my English ignorance, but why is it called a ‘Bee’? Why not make use of alliteration and call it the ‘Spelling Spider’?

Re: National Spelling Bee contestant

it’s an effen bee if you get it wrong

Re: National Spelling Bee contestant

Good ol’ Fergies. Thanks for having my back Rob. The part about the contestant playing tin whistle is only on the Bee’s website. I don’t think it was mentioned on TV. Actually watched "Akeelah…" a few weeks back and it was a good enough movie. Unfortunately there were a few swear words, so in terms of showing it to my students, I have to choose segments wisely.

In regards to the memorization piece, I keep thinking there is some link between the Bee and playing Irish music. I’m sure there’s an obvious connection, but it’s not quite hitting me. Is it the whole memorization versus really feeling the words/music debate?

Regarding the "Why is it called a Bee?", I’ll post that information later. I had found some history on the whole thing, but I guess I should really go eat lunch and do more teacher-y things.

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there’s no F in Bee Danny! boom boom!

We used to have working bees at school (where parents came to help at weekends, sometimes we would have a "fencing bee" where everyone came to help build a fence) - a "bee" of any sort was a line-up or roll-call as I understood it but I’m sure someone will trump me with the aid of google. We had spelling bees as well but there was no celebrity attached, quite the opposite.

Posted by .

Re: National Spelling Bee contestant

Huckleberry Finn invented the painting (whitewashing) bee, and it’s been downhill ever since.
"work party" sounds rather Siberian.