Friday, May 23, 2008

Spelling Bee

Last night I was on the team representing the library in the Spellbinder Spelling Bee, benefiting the Northern Nevada Literacy Council. It's been going on for about 10 years, but last year was the first I'd heard of it. It was held at the Siena Casino in downtown Reno, just a couple blocks from the downtown library.


My teammates were friends Marc Tiar and John Andrews. As a big part of the event is costume silliness and audience participation, our team was the "Three Wiz (wise) Guybrarians." We were dressed in graduation gowns, decorated outsized novelty mortarboards, and matching "guybrarian" t-shirts. (Thanks to Andy Tavener for pulling all the great costumes and paraphernalia together.) Our cheering section all wore matching, somber black, and had noisemakers, whistles, and some REALLY loud voices.

The word list was given to contestants before the Bee, and the words in it weren't really that hard. So, only one or two of the seven teams were eliminated with those words. At a certain point, they started pulling words from "Mrs. Byrne's Dictionary of Unusual, Obscure and Preposterous Words." These were HARD. In fact, the first one was misspelled by every team but one, so that team were the winners - IGT, the defending champions. I don't even remember what word it was we lost on - I'd never heard of it. Something to do with soil. We then spelled off for second and third place, and promptly were bumped out there, too, on another word no-one had ever heard. It took a few more words to determine second and third, and I could've spelled a few of those, but for the most part, those were unspellable words. Wish there could have been a middle ground between the semi-hard words in the early rounds and the impossible ones. Like "lagniappe." That was one from Mrs. Byrne's dictionary that seemed hard but doable..

Anyway, we had a good time, and our fans won the "Best Cheering Section" trophy. Yeah. Those are some LOUD librarians.

5 comments:

Gail said...

I didn't know librarians could be so goofy or noisy! Loud/librarians - those words together seem oxymoronic! Looks and sounds like you had a blast.

MarcT. said...

Nice post and pics, can you send me whatever other good photos you got? The words we missed were pinguidenous and shrievalty.

Corinne said...

Wow, you made a great showing, all of you! Wish I'd been there! Next year!

Turi said...

Just to note: google returns TWO results for pinguidenous. More for shrievalty, like 41,000. Still...

SnowLeopard said...

Do they have a contest for who could the most amount of words wrong? I bet I could do some serious damage there! Ha ha! Wish I could have been there, despite the challenging unspellable words! Like Corinne said, next year. Great job to all three! :)