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Oh, SmAlbany!

Daily posts and occasional longer essays about politics, culture, and life in the Capital Region...updated M-F, midmorning


"I write this not as a booster of Albany, which I am, nor an apologist for the city, which I sometimes am, but rather as a person whose imagination has become fused with a single place, and in that place finds all the elements that a man ever needs..." -W. Kennedy, from O Albany!

I before E...

The local spelling bee champ is off to Washington this week for the national spelling bee finals:
Liane Libranda - a seventh grader at Oneida middle school in Schenectady - has been successfully spelling her way through bees ever since, though this is her first time in the national contest.

She edged out 105 other spellers at the Capital Region bee March 14, winning the contest after correctly spelling "prestidigitator," a noun meaning a show of skill or deceitful cleverness.

In preparation for the national bee, Libranda has been studying about two hours every day, in between her normal schoolwork.She will be vying against 272 other contestants ages 9 to 14 who have progressed through local and regional spelling bees to get to the national contest.

The field of contestants will be whittled down over the course of two days, beginning with a 25-word written test today successive oral rounds. Thursday's championship rounds are broadcast live on ESPN.
I used to think the national spelling bee was neat. But then I saw Spellbound, and I realized that anyone who wins it is at least partially crazy, and definitely has crazy parents. Liane will not win. 2 hours a day of studying is what the winners do before they eat breakfast. But, as I said, it's not clear to me that you'd even want to do what it takes to win this thing.
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