Why I Love Watching the Scripps National Spelling Bee

(Even if I have to watch a recording the next day.)
  1. Playing Along at Home
    I was always a good speller, but not this caliber. Still, for some reason,I'm still pretty excited to get some words right.
  2. The Parents
    They're so invested and earnest. This year one of the Indian moms was holding the hand of one of the white girl's moms while they watched her daughter spell. It was supportive and sweet.
  3. The Kids
    They're such a quirky bunch to get involved in this hobby. It's a fascinating look at personality and behavior.
  4. The Mistakes
    I think if the kids cried it would be harder to watch them screw up, but they seem so proud to be there. Of course they're disappointed, but generally they're weirdly poised for their age.
  5. The People Who Run the Bee
    They're all so invested and all so kind to the kids. They seem to set a very supportive tone.
  6. The Drama/Humor/Irony
    My favorite was one year an Indian American kid in the final round got the word "Darjeeling." He looked confused. When he asked the language of origin there was a shot of his dad hanging his head, because it was clear the kid didn't know this word, this town in India. His dad wasn't ashamed, but you could tell he was punched by the irony. The boy did not spell it right.
  7. I love that the competition is both methodical and emotional.