Thursday, May 31, 2007

SOMETHING PLEASANTLY INSIGNIFICANT: While we're busy learning about the Final Fifteen (Isabel Jacobson's favorite hard word? kakistocracy -- government by the worst men), the WaPo's Dan Steinberg catches up with Nebraska's Sarah Mirza, bounced in round six:

She was asked what lessons she'll take away from this experience. "I don't know," she said. "I'm trying to think of something pleasantly insignificant. But I haven't really, apart from how to spell lots of useless words."

She listed her interests as "reading, writing, ranting, raving, running and alliteratio," and apologized to the local reporter for excessive snarkiness.... "I've been doing this, people have been trying to train me for it since fourth grade," she explained. "I made it this far. I'm happy with that. I don't have to be trapped in a room being interviewed over and over and over for the next six hours until finals .... Between now and then I would much rather be a tourist than in a room not being able to get back through security."

Her mom stepped in to clarify a few things; like, for example, the fact that Sarah has actually only practiced spelling a total of one hour since March. Sarah said she got lucky. She also said she was glad to be eliminated before the finals, due to the since-proven-true rumors of a White House visit. "We didn't want any part of that, even being from what state we're from," her mom said.

"We went and heckled the President when he came to Grand Island to convince us to vote for his Republican buddies," Sarah said, and just imagine what would have happened if she actually had made the Finals and was asked about her super-duper White House visit.

I asked whether she didn't think this was a useful skill that would boost her standing in life, this spelling thing. "Well, I've always known how to spell," she said. "I mean, yeah, being able to spell is a good skill to have the rest of your life. It'll make your CV's look better and stuff like that. But being able to spell whatever my word was? I don't even remember, mouchoir? No. I'm never going to use it again."

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