There is one day a year I am guaranteed to spend glued to the television all morning, and that's the day of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. I love the spelling bee, and I don't really understand why. It's a bunch of kids I don't know, standing at a microphone and spouting off words I couldn't possibly hope to spell. Maybe it's the drama of it all. Unlike adults, these kids wear their emotions on their sleeves. I root for every single one of them to succeed.
There's one girl I'm rooting for more than the others this year: 10-year-old Dhivya Senthil Murugan of Denver, Colorado, who is at her first national bee and is sponsored by my employer, The Denver Post. And she is one of 13 spellers who has made it to the finals. She has spelled words including usufructuary, helichrysum and kagura (none of which my spell checker liked just now). And she is 10 years old. Did I mention that? Wow. At 6:30 p.m. tonight, we will find out whether she can go all the way.
Update: Our Denver girl finished in the top 10, which is a huge achievement. The bee went 20 rounds and was won by Sukanya Roy of Pennsylvania.