Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Did you get the memo?

Last week our school hosted spelling bees for the primary, intermediate, and middle school grades. I was asked to be an announcer for the kindergarten through 2nd grade spelling bee. I was so excited to take part in a fun, educational activity! Of course, it wasn't without a few snafus so I am here to share them with you...and yes, you'll get a few laughs on my behalf.

First a little background....

Prior to the spelling bee we had the Great American Spellcheck, where students basically took a spelling test on a list of 25 words appropriate for their grade. Any student that received a perfect score got to participate in the spelling bee. A couple weeks ago I read the 5th grade spelling words for the Spellcheck, which was broadcast from the "tv studio" in our school to the 5th grade classrooms. A few days before the spellcheck, the spelling bee committee gave me the list of words for 5th grade and told me I needed to make up sentences for the words. Sounds easy, right? It actually was a lot harder than I expected so I made AJ do it for me. When I showed up in the tv studio the day of the spellcheck, there was a binder filled with sentences for each word. I was kind of annoyed that I (okay, AJ) didn't need to create sentences, but I just let it slide.

When I was asked to announce the words for the spelling bee the coordinator told me I didn't need to make sentences because I would have the binder with me on stage. Perfect! So I show up to the spelling bee empty handed, and of course when I get to the podium....the only thing up there is the list of words. NO SENTENCES. I tried not to panic and kept telling myself these are kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade words....it will be easy! This was only partially true. Making a sentence for cat or boy or red is not too difficult, but beyond that it gets real hard, real fast. Those kids ran up to the microphone when it was their turn and I barely had two seconds to take a breath, let alone think of a good sentence.

I had plenty of fine sentences, but of course those don't stick out in anyone's mind. First, I tried changing the tense of a word by adding "ing"....in the middle of a sentence. Here is what I sounded like: Fly. I do not like flying in... oh wait....Sorry, let me start over. Fly. I do not like to fly in airplanes. Fly. Here are my golden sentences that the staff is still laughing at this week.

1st: GIVE - We should all give blood.
2nd: GET - Did you get the memo?

I mean really? I was facing a crowd of little kids! I am pretty sure they have no idea what giving blood means. Or it could have scared them because my school is in a rough neighborhood and who knows what giving blood means there. Same for the memo sentence....apparently I transported myself to an office environment for a brief second. Luckily both of the kids spelled those words correctly so I didn't feel bad...but still! I don't know what I was thinking. Both times the staff cracked up. And I couldn't help but laugh at myself too. I also skipped over the word Itself because all I could think of was The toilet cleans itself. Cue uncontrollable little kid laughter.

So please, if you are ever organizing a spelling bee, make sure your announcers have sentences in front of them. Otherwise you never know what you're going to get!


  1. lol hilarious story. I wouldn't be able to come up with sentences for kids on the spot either.

  2. Haha! I love the "memo" sentence. Too funny!

  3. So hilarious! I can't stop giggling about it :)

  4. This made me laugh so hard! I would have totally gone blank if that had been me.

  5. hahaha oh jackie. this is awesome. "give blood" to a group of little kids??

  6. Hilarious!!!!! "Did you get the memo?" Love it!

  7. Bahahahahaha. This is AMAZING and really...a hilarious story!!!

  8. Well, this is amazing. Seriously. Amazing.

  9. You are hilarious, but oh so frustrating! I bet you were so irritated!