Over at Throwing Things, they can't seem to say Samir Patel often enough. Pay some attention to our Isabel!
Hey, Isabel has a blog. Here. She hasn't posted since Tuesday, though. Let's not needle her about getting her blogging done, though. She's got spelling to do. Let's see what she wrote on Tuesday:
Before coming here, I was curious about what the other spellers would be like. Now I've met a few of them, and there's quite a variety. Some are as normal as anyone at my school. But some are not so normal. Quite a few are geniuses in other fields besides spelling. One boy I talked to is a nationally ranked chess champion. Another girl seemed very normal, until she revealed that she's been taking college-level math courses.Well, you made your goal, so is it all just for fun now? I've got to think all 45 finalists really want to win. I can't help thinking she sounds way less hardcore than most of them.
I studied for four hours the day before we left, but now that I'm actually here I haven't studied much; I feel like I'm as ready as I need to be. My main goal is to make it into the top 45 spellers, who will go on to Thursday's competition. I don't really know what my chances of this are; I've never competed at this level before, so I don't know how tough the other spellers are. I guess I'll just have to wait until tomorrow to find out.
UPDATE: A quote from Theodore Yuan: "It's kind of hard to enjoy spelling, but I do it because I'm good at it."
ANOTHER UPDATE: Well, Isabel made it to 14th place and went out on the word "symminct." The prime time final rounds went very quickly, especially when it came down to Fiola Hackett and Katharine Close battling for first place. Both girls seemed to know all the words and spelled them with few questions, until Fiola paused a long and hard before making the gaffe of spelling "weltschmerz" with a "v" ... when she knew it was German! How??? It was like the boy who had to spell "giocoso" and, knowing it was Italian, began with a "j." How can you get that far and not know such basic sounds in such common languages? Do they just hit the wall and get tired, get spellschmerz? So Fiola couldn't hack it, and Katharine didn't just come close, she won ... on that word she totally knew, ursprachte!
MORE: Or was that ursprache?