Last Sunday, I was a judge at Macy's Spelling Bee, a part of their "Book a Brighter Future" campaign in support of Reading is Fundamental. What is it like to judge a Spelling Bee? Can you spell the word "intense"? There was the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. (The agony came with a ding from an official Spelling Bee bell. Yes, it was an officially sanctioned Spelling Bee bell!)
Towards the end, you could cut the tension with a knife. These kids were tenacious. "Tenacious. T-E-N-A-C-I-O-U-S. Tenacious."
Here I am hoping the contestant spells the word correctly, so that I don't have to ring the bell.
Some of the brave contestants awaiting their turn on the stage.