Come read about my third trip to Washington, D.C., and my competition in the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Day Seven: Homeward Bound

I think the order of business is to pick up where I left off last night - before the awards banquet.

So you can get a general idea of the banquet hall... this was my table

They showed a slideshow of each speller in order of placing... this was my slide

The guest speaker - Josh Foer, author, Moonwalking with Einstein:  The Art and Science of Remembering Everything

They have an after-party immediately following the banquet - this is Elli and Meghan, the first ones on the dance floor, as usual

Some lady who photobombed Dad's picture

I don't know if you can tell - the one with the yellow cuffs is Arvind, this year's winner.  Every time someone came up to ask him to sign their book (here, I tried) his friends would swoop down around him crying, "Human shield!" then dash away.  Paparazzi - they're always in your hair.
Then, this morning, we drove into Princeton, NJ.  As one who has never been there, it was funny to watch Mom and Dad reminiscing and talking about all that had changed in the *cough*20 years*cough* time since they'd been there last.  For example, the apartment complex they'd lived in had been completely torn down - they can tell you how distressing that was...

We had lunch at the Princetonian Diner, where they used to eat - and it was amazing, by the way.  Definitely recommend it.

Mom, in front of the preschool she used to work at - it's still there!
A tree (the little one in the middle) that Mom and Dad planted at the preschool 20 years ago before they left...

We were in Princeton at possibly the busiest week of the year - graduation.  So there was almost no parking, and like everywhere on the East coast currently, it was blisteringly hot to walk around.  Oh, well.

The Princeton band did a little mini-parade into the... um... "graduation arena"?  Not sure what to call it...

 So now we're about halfway from Princeton to Anderson - at a hotel in Hershey, PA.  The plan is to tour the chocolatey landmarks of the area tomorrow morning, then be back by late tomorrow night.

There's not much else to blog about today, but I will show you this:
Elli laughing - pictures taken on Thursday at lunch

Yeah.  Not much to say about that.  I think it captures the, ah, essence quite nicely, don't you?  :)


Friday, May 31, 2013

Day Six: Another Trek Downtown

As I predicted, last night it was Arvind Mahankali who won the 2013 Scripps National Spelling Bee.
Um... yeah.  I ended up in a 10-way tie for 33rd.

Here is a link to a nice conclusive Herald Bulletin article about my time at the Bee.

Also, I encourage you, if you haven't already, to check out the Spelling Bee website and look at all of the neat things they have to offer about this week - for example, I believe you can take the actual Preliminaries test that we took now on their homepage.  Anyway, check it out.

Today was our "DC Tour" day.  So we were up and out of here at 8am and onto a bus.  It was mostly a driving tour, but we did stop and get out of the bus occasionally.

Arlington from the back side of the Lincoln Memorial
The Washington Monument, from the bus.  It's encased in a scaffolding - a recent earthquake damaged it a bit, so they're working on trying to fix it.
Korean War Memorial
Jefferson Memorial, from the bus
A National Park Service Mountie
Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall
On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial
One of the pillars surrounding the World War II Memorial
So after we toured around for a bit, we got dropped off at the Smithsonian Museum of American History.  Don't have many pictures of that, sorry...

Tonight is the Awards Banquet - usually there's a special guest speaker, but I guess I'll have to save that for tomorrow night's post.

Tomorrow we're heading out of DC *sigh* and driving to Princeton, NJ before arriving home Sunday the 2nd of June.  And then we have to go to school!


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Day Five: Round Five (and Six)

Half of the 42 spellers, before Round 5

The same half of the 42 spellers, after Round 6
So, as predicted, there are no finals in my future.

I took another computer test last night - a total of 30 points.  I got 12 of those - one three-point vocabulary included.  Then, I missed my Round 5 word - it was ignimbrite, and I spelled it ignembrite (I knew "-mbrite" and "ign-", but I guessed wrong on the vowel).  Oh, well.  So I had a grand total of 44 out of 72 points over today and yesterday:  61%.

So not great in the Semis, but that's not the point.  I made the Semifinals and got on TV, which has been my goal all three years I've been there.

I'm not sure who I want to win tonight...
Mom's pick is either #256 Vismaya Kharkar or #44 Nikitha Chandran.
I don't really have one, but I have seen #163 Arvind Mahankali spell - he's really good, and he has probably the most experience of anyone in the field right now.  He's certainly got what it takes to win.

We shall soon see!  :)