Tuesday, June 1, 2010

CONSIDER YOURSELF INFORMED: Among the third-timers returning to the Bee this year is Rahul Malayappan of Danbury, Conn. I note this because Rahul and his father Ramesh maintain Rahul's Hive, a spelling-centric blog, which was a joy to follow last year and remains one now. Among the posts is a nice update the status of returning spellers (including links to the local articles on their regional Bees) and a rather strong takedown of a newspaper columnist's complaint that kids who have only been in America for "16 minutes" are doing so well in the Bee. Bookmark it.

Also, a note on a rather interesting rule change: as opposed to previous years in which all 22 Canadian regional winners qualified for the Scripps National Bee, for 2010 only the Canadian national champion will compete in Washington. You can read about Laura Newcombe's journey to her second Canspell title here, but the sad part for regular readers of our coverage is that it means an end to one of our favorite traditions, the annual Canadian Bloodbath Round -- whichever rounds sees the most of our NttN fall, a round we've described in the past as:
"The worst Canadian disaster since Glass Tiger broke up," "the worst Canadian disaster since Thicke of the Night," "must be like what it was like when the Quebec Nordiques and Winnipeg Jets left the country," "like when Neil Young moved to Topanga Canyon," "like when Vince Carter started mailing it in so that he could get traded to New Jersey" and "like Eric Lindros insisting to the Nordiques that he wanted to play for the Flyers," "the worst day for ONttN this year, even more so than Steven Page's leaving Barenaked Ladies" and of which Shonda said in 2008:

"The Canadians fall, the Canadians fall, the Canadians fall like trees. It's a Spelling Bee Battle Field -- these poor Canadians rushing to the microphone only to be beaten back with a horrifying ding. Were they not prepared for the rigors of TV? The joy of ESPN? Because these words did not seem particularly hard to me. But just like that, we have lost SIX CANADIANS IN A ROW. ALL THE CANADIANS ARE GONE. It's tragic. Oh, Canada..."


  1. SarahC9:47 AM

    I wonder what the reason for the Canadian rule change was? Complaints of too many Canadians/non-Americans in the Bee?

  2. Heather P9:49 AM

    Although I am, as usual, incredibly excited about the Bee, I am well and truly bummed about the rule change. The Canadian Bloodbath Round has been a source of inspiration and hilarity and I will miss it so. Also, I am in complete denial about the fact that it has been 27 years since my Bee. Pass the Geritol.

  3. I've tried Googling for an answer but have come up short.  Can anyone determine why the Canadian change?

  4. SarahC10:17 AM

    <span>Hey Heather, I was snooping around on Youtube, and I found this newsclip of the '82 national bee. A year before you, and it's only a minute long, but maybe it will bring back memories. 

  5. isaac_spaceman12:04 PM

    We need a cute little title like "Canspell."  I suggest "US Spell Good." 

  6. BeeFan6:36 PM

    I don't for sure why only one Canadian is coming, but I can guess:

    It costs too much for sponsors to send a speller to Ottawa AND Washington.  Canspell lost sponsors this year.  Did you know Laura Newcombe had to beat Veronica Penny to win her regional bee?  The Hamilton sponsor (Veronica won the Hamilton bee last year) dropped out so the Hamilton kids were allowed to compete in the Toronto regional.

  7. J. Bowman8:45 PM

    "Is Our Children Spelling?"

  8. Genevieve1:34 PM

    Aw, I really liked Veronica Penny last year.