I am having a severe case of geek flashback. The Scripps National Spelling Bee is today (and yesterday)! Right now I really wish I was at home so I could be watching it -this is the first and only time I have wished for a TV while at school.
As a two-time competitor in the Bee, watching all of those terrified kids takes me back to when I was standing on that stage, nervously misspelling theodicy to pronouncer Jacques Bailly (who won the Bee himself in 1980). This is true of all spellers: I constantly run into the word theodicy now.
I placed 47th in 2004. In 2003, I was 85th. I can't even put into words how much fun the Bee always was for me (even when I lost). Even now, I bring one of my two copies of Merriam Webster's Third New International Dictionary to school with me, and I use it regularly.
If you have some time to watch the Bee, it's on ESPN or ESPN3 and ABC as well. Even if you don't know how to spell the words, some of the kids' antics are hilarious, and it's always amazing to me to see how intelligent they are.