Hey everyone, this is Catherine (or Cat, if you’d prefer) Cojocaru – I finished 8th place in the bee in 2008, and have loved liveblogging the bee with everyone at Throwing Things in the years since. I’ll be liveblogging again with everyone tomorrow night, and I’ll be online partway through the championship rounds.
I’m 19 now and just finished my first year at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo. I’m studying journalism and political science. I’m not completely certain of what I want to do as a career yet – I’ve been writing all my life and I love it, but I am not ruling out broadcast news reporting either. We’ll see what I decide when I apply to my emphasis area come September. Visions of law school have been dancing in my head recently as well, so any insight on civil rights law or media law would be greatly appreciated. In addition to school, I work at our university’s main library, have written for The Maneater, the campus newspaper; and I am a member of the Eta Chi chapter of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority.
In regards to the bee, I’m really excited to see how the semifinal and championship rounds progress. The words so far have been relatively easy for spellers who have studied their Spell-It and words that have been used in national bees past. But I know that the words are going to get crazy very soon, and it seems each year they increase in difficulty. With the new vocabulary test and more selective requirements for semifinal contestants, spellers have to work ridiculously hard (and have good luck) to advance to the later rounds.
Also, my former spelling coach, Jeff Kirsch, a professor of languages at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has another student in the bee this year. Her name is Grace Remmer, and she is speller number 39. She’s a four-timer, and her chances look promising. I’m rooting for her and all the other amazing kids at the bee this year.