Life Isn't Fair
Since I read ALOTT5MA and since they are big Spelling Bee followers (and I think I first heard of them in reference to their Bee coverage), well, this time of year I learn a lot about the bee. An interesting decision occurred today when the semi-final round, which has seen a lot of spellers spell out, was cut short in concern that there would not be enough remaining contestants to create an interesting prime time. Now, I realize that TV has rules, and that's part of participating in something televised. The spellers who had not yet had their turn will go first and then the remaining spellers will be considered official finalists. And, sure, in some ways it's a little like a rain delay and these things happens, but I can imagine that if I had spelled out in the early portion of the semi's I'd be pretty ticked that the others got extra study time.
In eighth grade (which is actually the upper end of these guys) we had snow on exam day. The carpool that I was in had a sneaky habit of skipping my sister and I when they were running behind and I ended up having to scramble and get my dad to drive me, so I arrived about thirty minutes into the exam. In anticipation the school had stated that teachers would allow extra time for students who hadn't been able to get there due to snow (or carpool snafus). I did indeed get the additional thirty minutes, however, I hadn't planned my time well and still hadn't finished some of the questions. That was, of course my fault. However, the teacher had let everyone stay an extra thirty minutes, not just me. And at thirty minutes exactly we were instructed that if we didn't stop writing right then, we would not be graded, so myself and the other stragglers turned out exams in. Well, I got a crap grade on the exam. And no, it hadn't been a strong subject of mine, and yes, I should have raised the time inequity sooner, but I had hoped that the parts I had filled out were magically perfect enough that it wouldn't matter. The school talked to the teacher who told them that she had allowed everyone all the time they needed. I found a student who specifically recalled her telling us to hand ours in, but in the end, after discussion with my mom, decided that since I had her for the rest of the year, being right was probably going to hurt me more than it helped me. And I passed the course in the end and moved on to ninth grade and mostly managed to avoid that teacher.
But I still remember how unfair it seemed, so I hope that these spellers are able to remember the fun of this trip to DC and not linger too much on the strange way the semifinal turned out.