Thursday, June 02, 2005

King Bee


[Pic Courtesy Spellingbee.com]

Appoggiatura. That word, which apparently is a melodic tune, helped Anurag Kashyap, an eighth grader from California, become the spelling champ at this year's National Spelling Bee! Congrats Anurag!

10 Comments:

At 2:30 PM, Blogger Orange Fronkey said...

Man.. lil smart kids make me feel dumb =(

 
At 5:45 PM, Anonymous ram said...

they're smart, no doubt about that...but do u think they really get anything out of this contest? how creative is it?

 
At 7:53 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

ram, always wondered about that. but i think they're gonna get something out of any contest. while knowing the spelling for appoggiatura may never help anurag in his life, the spelling bee improves the participants' vocabulary, memory, etc. and the fact that he stood before a huge audience and didn't buckle under pressure means something...

 
At 8:05 PM, Blogger Orange Fronkey said...

But.. "ilam kandru bayam ariyaathu" endu solluvaanga... =P

So standing before a huge audience... is that somethign really? Then again, if I think about it... it is I suppose. I'm a big chicken when it comes to that.

Ah man.. brave kids make me feel like a chicken

 
At 10:01 PM, Blogger bhuvan said...

Oh, anyone seen that great spelling bee documentary SPELLBOUND (2002, Jeffrey Blitz)? If not, check it out: it's one of the most tense and funniest 'competition movies' I've ever seen.

 
At 5:54 AM, Blogger IBH said...

such competitions are good for youngsters to make them focus on something constructive...apart from that he gained 28K for his college studies...isnt that a great thing in this country which deprives most of the students of their college studies coz of huge fees structure?

I just saw his interview in GMA this morning and Anurag is defly a champ....

 
At 9:47 AM, Anonymous ram said...

http://www.musicindiaonline.com/ar/i/director/988/3/general/2/
nice interview with Mani Ratnam...
tho i didnt like his answer to the q. regarding Nayagan's similarity to "The Godfather."

 
At 10:25 AM, Anonymous Gopi said...

Just watched highlights of this competition on TV while lunching out with my colleagues. Yes, they definitely gain experience by being before an audience. Although the actual "words" used to move up in the competition may not make much difference later on in life, as the kids are unlikely to find actual use for some of those words.

 
At 2:46 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

asokan, no havent seen it. will check to c if its on netflix.

ibh, good point. i completely missed the financial aspect of it.

gopi, reminds me of all the words i studied for GRE!! i don't think i've ever used most of the words i learned for that :-)

 
At 1:10 PM, Anonymous Prakash said...

When I first heard about the Spelling Bee, my thoughts were similar to Ram's "What good is learning to spell? Why the hype?".

But then, why is hitting a round object 100m or putting a ball through a hole 25ft away such a big deal?

Things get attention for whatever reason. Given that this has become such a big deal in the US, winning the competition is definitely a big achievement.

It means that the winner has learnt valuable lessons like the importance of preparation, handling pressure etc.

Since not all competitors get the same words, the winner also had a big slice of luck. Which is important in life as well!

Definitely check out 'Spellbound'. Very entertaining documentary.
MINOR SPOILER ALERT:
--------------------
The movie profiles a bunch of kids in one of the Spelling Bee competitions.

One of the parents made it seem like a matter of life and death, and made me cringe with the pressure he was putting on his son. For eg, he had hired a few foreign language tutors because a lot of words have foreign roots!

But he took it real well when his son lost. He said something to the effect of "Well, my son lost. But I hope he learnt something from the experience. Applying pressure on oneself to be better is a good thing."

 

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