Friday, May 29, 2009

Laodicean, Kavya Shivashankar and the 2009 Spelling Bee

Kavya Shivashankar is your 2009 spelling bee champion, the new Akeelah if you will. She won it by spelling her last name. Just kidding! Laodicean was the decisive word. Yes, yes, we're thinking what you're thinking: what the heck does laodicean mean? Here's the definition: lukewarm or indifferent in religion or politics. You can object to the early rounds of the spelling bee being televised on ESPN since it's not a sporting event, but the finals were in primetime on ABC this year. If you want to object to anything, object to that. Little kids in primetime being asked to do extraordinary things. But seriously, why object? It's awesome television.Get a look at some of the words in the final round these kids were asked to attempt to spell:

Seriously, these are words? These aren't words. These are those security captcha code words that make you turn your head in nine different directions trying to figure out if that's an "r" or an "f" or an "a" or an "n." Shivashankar, a 13-year-old girl from Kansas, wrote out every word on her palm as she outlasted the other 11 finalists for 16 rounds. She even gets to bring more than $40,000 in cash and prizes and one huge champion's trophy back home. NIce payday for a 13-year-old. It appears she won't be able to spell "recession" any time soon. But here are three letters Shivashankar should get real familiar with: I-N-G. Put that money in an account ASAP at let it help pay for college. The 2009 tournament was Shivashankar's fourth appearance at the bee, having finished 10th, eighth and fourth over the last three years.

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