National Spelling Bee
“Some butterflies before the bee”
from the Contra Costa Times
Before Contra Costa County’s 31st annual spelling bee began last weekend, more than 100 elementary and middle school students gathered in a conference room for an orientation.
While visions of trophies danced in their heads, butterflies fluttered in their stomachs. When judge Peggy Marshburn asked how they felt, the group shouted in unison: “Nervous!”
But that didn’t stop them from grilling Marshburn about contest rules.
After Marshburn informed students they couldn’t cross out a letter after starting to write a word on a piece of paper, some searched for a loophole.
“Can you cross out the whole word?” asked one girl hopefully.
“No,” Marshburn said.
“If you spell it wrong,” asked one boy, “can you use another card?”
“No,” Marshburn replied.
Participants peppered Marshburn with questions about capital letters, accent marks and other details. Then, one boy cut to the chase.
“When you win the whole bee,” he asked, “what do you get as your prize?”
The answer — a trip to the national bee in Washington, D.C.