We're back home in Marblehead, but do want to close out Bee Week for you.
Last night was the closing banquet, a formal affair with a lovely dinner followed by a DJ and dancing for the Spellers. The Spellers sit at banquet tables in the front of a very large ballroom, the parents and other supporting family members are at tables in the back. All in all, there are about 1,000 folks in attendance.
The evening began with a Presentation of the Colors by the Joint Armed Forces Color Guard, followed by The United States Marine Band Brass Quintet playing "The Star Spangled Banner."
After this fanfare, there is a slide presentation that honors all 293 of the Champion Spellers, Daniel tied for 42nd place.
Once the five course meal has been enjoyed and the tables cleared, there was a wonderful speech given by 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist, Shawn Johnson. She was a very eloquent speaker, we were all very impressed. She told the kids that she was only a few years older than them, but had already realized how important it was to stick to your dream, to remain true to yourself, and to welcome new opportunities as they present themselves. Shawn will be a high school senior in the fall, with aspirations to go to Stanford. She wanted the Spellers to understand how important the discipline they developed in studying for the Bee was and how "cool" it was to be smart.
Kavya Shivashankar also gave a brief speech. Kavya made four appearances in the Spelling Bee, it was not until her fourth try that she achieved her dream of winning. Kavya too, pointed out the importance of the discipline she acquired in studying for her Bees. She urged the Spellers to be thankful to their parents for the time they put in helping them studying. You cannot imagine the feeling the parents had when all of the Spellers gave their parents a standing ovation.
The dinner ended and the fun began. We headed out to the lounge while the kids blew off a lot of pent up energy.
Now, we're back in Marblehead, we've been able to see Speller 128's appearance on the local ABC news. We haven't yet watched the Spelling Bee, but we'll get to that before too long.
Tonight, Michael and Barbara went to the Friends of the Marblehead Public Schools Summer Soiree. The company was great, it was fun to see friends and talk about adult stuff, although, each conversation did begin with the Bee. The Friends event is always fun - we loved the casual theme this year and the food from Kelly's Roast Beef rivaled any meal we had in DC last week.
So, this ends my first blog experience. I enjoyed it, would have like to have learned more about layout and design, and think that I just might continue blogging under a fun nom de plume.