Saturday, May 30, 2009

Spelling Bee

As the risk of resorting to a terrible cliche, desi kids winning the Spelling Bee has become as predictable as a cherry on a sundae. It is about yet another contest and yet another desi winner who wants to become a neuro-surgeon when they grow up. We seem to have a little system going there. Blogosphere has been buzzing with desis ruminating on the topic and I figured it would not hurt to thrown my two cents at it.

I don't fully get the point of the Spelling Bee but then I don't get the point of quiz contests or trivia challenges either. It is something desis apparently get and get really good as well. I can understand why I might enjoy watching a figure staking contest or a tennis match - there is deep admiration for the talent the contestants have and amazement at their proficiency. Both are very positive feelings. With a Spelling Bee, my initial reaction is one of concern for the kids who will not win - as a parent I wonder how they will cope with the disappointment after having worked so hard and come so far.

Once, I am over that and get into the groove of things, the contest is like a high stakes, high adrenalin reality show - except the contestants are really young children. If I believed in the concept of the Bee, then enjoying the show would be perfectly legitimate - I would be in awe of the ability of the kids. Since I do not, finding it entertaining is tinged with guilt - I have no right to derive any pleasure out the frenzied efforts of a bunch of tense, totally stressed out kids.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Same goes for American idol or Miss teen USA and any other child contest out there. Personally, adults are as bad or even worse at handling failures. Most Children are actually better as they tend to move on to other things much faster.