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Friday, June 02, 2006

Beauty and the Bee

Last night my daughters and I watched a New Jersey girl win the National Spelling Bee. The final three contestants were all females though my kids were rooting for the boy from Illinois.

Championship spelling requires considerable memorization as you'd expect but it has a mathematical aspect as well. One needs to know how to put together words using very specific rules that depend often on the word's origins, which the spellers can ask about.

A major network (ABC) broadcasted the spelling bee for the first time. ABC once televised the Miss America Pageant, which has since moved to a small cable station because of lack of viewer interest. Amazing to see Beauty lose to the Bee.

3 comments:

  1. Isn't that a good sign ?

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  2. Why glorify a skill that requires considerable memorization and that is no longer important today? And just how much thought is really required in the mathematical aspect that you mention?

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  3. Why glorify a skill that requires considerable memorization and that is no longer important today? And just how much thought is really required in the mathematical aspect that you mention?

    Wow, somebody is in a snarky mood today.

    I say anything that encourages kids to study (whether it be the dictionary or something else) can be a good thing. While they may not exactly need the ability to spell strange and obscure words later on in life, they might be able to make use of the study habits that they picked up.

    What I do have a problem with, though, is the parents who force their kids to do this. I noticed a lot of those kinds of parents, both in this year's competition and last year's.

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