Bee Season (2005)
I connected to this film above and the news story below because I was the spelling champ at Fulford Elementary in North Miami Beach in the early 1970's. This was long before spelling champions had mothers that looked like the multi-talented and adorable Juliette Binoche, above. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000300/
She has been a longtime personal favorite of your faithful blogger since I first saw her on the big screen my first year in D.C. in 1988's The Unbearable Lightness of Being.
Then, five years later, I promptly fell head-over-heels into the deep Bleu end of the pool after seeing her in the Krzysztof Kieslowski Three Colors trilogy of Bleu, Blanche and Rouge.
I even had the posters from the films -in frames from Ikea, of course!
This was when I was in my Juliette Binoche/Irène Jacob phase, having already seen Jacob twice in Kieslowski's 1991 creative wonder, La double vie de Véronique.
Krzysztof Kieslowski, now there was a director who knew how to tell a tale and put it all up on the screen!
That was all facilitated by the two Cineplex Odeon theaters in Georgetown that showed first-run foreign films -and then cap the night off with some good food and drinks with friends.
And then, if we still had some energy left, a stop by our beloved Au Pied De Cochon.
Mon dieu, I miss that!
So chic, so civilized, so much fun!
I see now how much I took it for granted that I could do that with my friends (in the pre-Cell phone era) without even having to think about it, because of my proximity -to the action.
The complete opposite of the situation I'm living in -maintenant.
March 12, 2011
The name of the elementary school winner of Thursday’s Miami Herald Spelling Bee was misspelled. Reva Dixit won first place at the competition for Miami-Dade and Monroe students.
Palmetto Middle student is county spelling champ
By Jaweed Kaleem
Claire Zuo, a student at Palmetto Middle School, competes in the spelling bee competition of 6th, 7th and 8th grade spellers held at the Parrot Jungle March 10, 2011. Zuo came in first place, which means that she will move on to compete in Washington, D.C.
Claire Zuo, a seventh-grader at Palmetto Middle School, had competed in the Miami Herald’s spelling bee every year since fourth grade, but only this year did she become the champion.
The correctly-spelled word she has to thank for her upcoming trip to Washington, D.C., where she will vie to be the nation’s best speller at the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee?
Cerumen – commonly known as ear wax.
While most kids asked and repeated several questions about the words they were given at the Jungle Island competition – “Can you use it in a sentence?” “Can I have the origin?” “What part of speech is it?” – mild-mannered Claire didn’t need many hints secure to her title.
She just spelled it.
“It was easy,” she said afterward as her mom and dad snapped photos of her first plaque and a heavy, unabridged Merriam-Webster dictionary that was her prize.
She wasn’t being big-headed. She just knew the word from long hours of studying over the last week and from years of practice that finally paid off. Her focus this year: Latin and Greek roots to words. Cerumen comes from the former.
“And she may have had some help from her secret weapon,” quipped her mom, Sharon Mei.
Every year since her first foray into spelling competitions, Claire has kept a small, oval-shaped silver charm in her back pocket that a teacher at her then-school, Ludlam Elementary, gave to her. It says “Peace” on one side. The teacher who gifted it was the one who first encouraged Claire to start competing.
“Yeah, but it didn’t completely help the entire time,” Claire added.
Claire was the only contestant left and was moments away from winning Thursday when she flubbed the championship word the judges had given her to seal the deal: tracheotomy. That mistake meant there would be a new final round with the four students she defeated coming back up to challenge her.
“I didn’t even expect to get this far,” said Claire, who had to first be deemed her school’s best speller before competing against dozens of middle schoolers from across the county in two successive rounds of elimination: written and oral. Claire said her school didn’t host its competition until Friday, so she only had a few days to brush up.
Not a bad result for such quick prep.
At the national competition in June, she will join Glenn Medina, a 12-year-old from Ramblewood Middle in Coral Springs who won the Miami Herald Broward County Spelling Bee on Tuesday.
Thursday’s second place winner in the Miami-Dade middle school contest was Allegra Hill of Palmer Trinity School. The third place winner was Ryan Diaz of Miami Lakes K-8 Center.
The competition also included an elementary school portion, but it’s only the middle school winner who goes on to nationals. First place was Reva Dixit of Archimedean Academy. Second place was won by Ryan Tie-Shue of Alexander School. Third place winner was Amber Robinson of Air Base Elementary. All are in the fifth grade.
This is the 71st year of the Miami Herald competition, which gives a plaque, a savings bond, a dictionary and an all-expense paid trip to nationals for kids and their parents to first-place winners each year. Winners of Thursday’s competition will also get gift cards from TD Bank.
Claire, who uses mostly free online dictionaries, said she’s glad to finally have a real Merriam-Webster dictionary, which spans almost 2,000 pages.
“You can’t find every word online,” she said.