A great sport any way you spell it11/11/2015
Admit it. You don’t think of spelling as a sport. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. But when you see kids on ESPN spelling words you didn’t know existed in the English language, you have to give them the props they deserve. Not since the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show has there been such secretly captivating entertainment. Rather than asking why this sort of competition would be shown on ESPN, maybe ask why it isn’t shown on more channels.
Now is your chance to step up to the Pomerantz Stage at Drake University for the second annual Adult Spelling Bee presented by Drake University’s Adult Literacy Center and sponsored by Bankers Trust. The fact you can have a good time for a good cause is an added bonus.
Last year the event was featured at the Des Moines Social Club. But due to increased interest, it had to be moved.
“Before last year’s first Adult Spelling Bee, the Adult Literacy Center had not had a formal event as a fundraiser,” said Anne Murr, CEEO (Chief Enthusiasm and Encouragement Officer) for the Adult Literacy Center at Drake University. “It makes sense to have a fundraiser for a program that teaches adults to read and spell to have an event that incorporates words and spelling.”
But seriously folks, when does a spelling bee not deliver on its promise? The competition is never the same. You can compete right along with the athletes. You learn (maybe not retain) dozens of words that — even if you do remember their proper use — you’ll never be able to use in casual conversation. The tension is unbearable at times. And, best of all, the whole thing becomes a sort of “Mystery Science Theater” when you watch with friends.
The competition will be team-based, so don’t worry if spelling isn’t your forte. Teams of four or five will compete in three rounds of the spelling bee. Each team will have 20 to 40 seconds to consult and spell out the word depending on the round. At the end of the time, one person from each team will be asked to come onto the stage where he or she will stand on their team logo. Emcee Steve Berry was a crowd favorite at last year’s event, keeping everything upbeat and fun.
While everybody is vying for bragging rights, Murr notes that, at the end of the day, this is “a friendly event.”
“We celebrate words, celebrate learning. Adults enrolled in the Center represent lifelong learning from a unique perspective — learning to read,” said Murr. “Teams and spectators have the privilege of contributing in some small way to this endeavor.” CV
Adult Spelling Bee
Olmsted Center (Pomerantz Stage) Drake University
Friday, Nov. 13 from 6-8 p.m.
Any and all are invited to participate, either as a team member or spectator. Cost for a team is $200. Admission is $20 for spectators and $5 for Drake students.