Yesterday afternoon on the way to work I had occasion to question the soundness of my mind. I had parked outside the Yoga studio, and the heat inside the car was sweltering, but NPR held onto me so tight I couldn't make myself get out into the fresh air. Why? Because they were reporting on the national spelling bee, in perticular, the part where a twelve-year-old boy spotted a mistake on the part of the judges, saving one child from wrongful elimination.
Anyway, my issue with all this is, simply, just how big of a dork am I? Pretty big I guess. This kind of shit thrills me. I don't know why, but I find it all very touching, particularly that completely entertaining documentary from a few years back. Maybe it's watching those well-meaning kids trying so hard, or maybe it's watching the tension they go through. Reminds me of the intensity of all those piano recitals and state competitions I had to endure in grade school. But this is better than that, because these kids seem to be having fun. It's the same jazz you get from watching sports, or some lucky bastard who just got told his granny's lamp is worth $35,000 on Antiques Roadshow (one of the only things I'll watch on tv, btw). In some circles I could be lambasted for comparing those two, but I'll take the risk.
It seems some grad students found the spelldown amusing enough to create a drinking game. This somewhat ameliorated my fears of complete nerditude, though I hadn't swilled anything, which probably placed me right back in the category of my fear. But then, they're grad students, so I guess we're in the same boat.