Saturday, March 20, 2010

Getting Spellbound, or: A Late Night Blog Post

Just finished watching the 2002 documentary 'Spellbound', and decided to wax a little nostalgic.

I doubt there are many of you who have never been part of a spelling bee. I remember one at school when I was in 4th grade. I don't remember any of the words I spelled correctly, but I'm sure I made it through a few rounds. In a cruel twist of fate that is likely the rule for most, I remember the one word which tripped me up: cafeteria. It's the only moment I can remember perfectly. I just remember standing in front of the microphone and hearing a ding. It's not emotional at all; I don't remember the feeling of losing. It is literally just the sensory memory of that moment. And the word.

I also remember the next year, telling my teacher in front of the class that one word I could definitely spell was cafeteria. I'm not sure why, I think we were talking about spelling bees for some reason or other and a few of us were in front of the class as an example of how it worked. My teacher asked me to spell a word, and I offered cafeteria, saying that because I mis-spelled it last year I would always know it. Of course, I instantly felt the panic of how awful it would be to then incorrectly spell this word for the second time, this time after having promised I knew it.

Thankfully, I got it right that time.

It's funny the things you remember. It's also funny the things you think of when watching these kinds of things. Because, almost without fail, whenever I see anything dramatic which has to do with kids, anyone younger than a junior or senior in high school, I instantly think, "Well, that's going to make a good college applications essay." Everything. From this documentary about studying and stressing out to a degree which cannot be healthy for a twelve year old, to watching crime dramas where a kid makes it through safe and sound. It's a little weird, but watching an episode of 'Criminal Minds' about kids who are kidnapped and kept for years, when they were finally rescued I thought, "He could get into any college he wants with that story." Isn't that a sick tribute to how desensitized I am to violence? It's also a testimony to just how college-centric my life has always been. Everything is about getting to that one point. Might be why I'm missing it so much now.

So this is what you get when you watch a movie and write a blog post on the fly. Some memories, some disturbing insights, and yet another woe-is-me post-grad moment. Good night and good luck.

Oh, that's right. I went there.

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