As someone who spent a lot of time with the orange tabloid spelling bee word lists in elementary school (fifth-grade champ!), I enjoyed this Quora thread asking, “Is being a spelling bee champ really anything to crow about?”
No it isn’t, says 2002 second-place national champ Deepti Arora. “Spelling bees are kind of a circus,” she writes. “There are many awkward kids, many with autism or Asperger’s, who are so galvanized by their parents’ enthusiasm that they can’t remember why they’re even there.”
If I could go back ten years and talk to my parents, I would tell them to encourage me to instead:
Pick a cause that I was passionate about and figure out how, as one person, I could raise money and increase awareness
Join a sports team of some kind and learn how to better interact socially with kids my age
Learn how to create something. I wish someone had told me to try to compose, write, program, or draw something new, rather than just memorize what’s there.
Any spelling bee stories to share? Please post them in comments.