It's today. The first round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee began for Speller 128 at 4:30 p.m. Tex, a.k.a. Speller 128, a.k.a Daniel, will be a guest blogger later in this post, but for now, Barbara will chronicle the day for you.
We began our day with a tour of the Capitol, and continuing with our Amazing Race theme, we managed to get the only cab driver in DC who did not know how to get to the Capitol Building. It should be no surprise to many of you that we were running late and this cabbie's less than stellar navigation skills added to our stress level. Michael took out our pocket map and guided the cab driver to the destination. The Capitol Building's architecture and art are awesome; after the tour we decided to drop in our Senators' offices.
Senator Kennedy's office is full of memorabilia covering his brothers John and Robert and his own career in the US Senate. His aides were very interested in Daniel and his spelling prowess and encouraged him to continue on with his studies. Upon our leaving the office we were invited to come back and told to bring Murphy, our Portuguese Water Dog, next time we visit.
We had open access to the Hart and Russell office buildings; it was interesting to look into all of the Senators' chambers. We were able to follow the underground tunnels which was helpful, since it was a blustery, rainy day in DC. Too bad we couldn't talk our way on to the subway system used by the Senators, but it was not without trying.
Most exciting was the fact that we were outside the Supreme Court Building when the announcement was made regarding Justice Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Court. There were lots of reporters and, believe it or not, people already protesting her nomination. We'll be touring the Court on Thursday and hope to have more information for you after that visit.
Daniel's favorite DC restaurant is the Mitsitam Cafe, in the National Museum of the American Indian. Mitsitam means "Let's Eat," in the language of the Delaware and Piscataway Peoples, and the restaurant features Native foods of the Western Hemisphere. Michael's meal came from the Great Plains; Barbara's meal came from South America; and Daniel's meal came from Meso America. Everyone's choice was flavorful and fresh, three satisfied customers.
We didn't have much time to tour this beautiful building, but we made it a point to see the Fritz Scholder exhibit. Scholder was the 20th century's most influential, most successful, and most controversial painter of Indians. Daniel and Michael's favorite piece was an acrylic on canvas, Heart Indian (2004). Barbara's favorite piece was Indian No. 1, an oil on canvas from 1967.
Comic Art Indigene, an exhibit that explained how comic art has been used to tell the story of the Native American experience, was another stop on our too brief visit.
We returned to the hotel in time for Speller 128 to take a rest prior to his Round 1 test. When we got into the room there was a voice mail for Daniel from David Biderman, a reporter with the Wall Street Journal. Biderman is covering the Bee for the WSJ, and wanted to interview Speller 128 about baseball. We'll post the link up when the article appears.
Now, for our guest blogger, Speller 128 himself.
Today has been the most jam-packed and hectic day yet. I'm ready for bed, but I have to have my say first. Our trip to the Capitol was really interesting. If Mr. Shull, my Social Studies teacher, or Mrs. Sands, my Latin teacher, are reading this, wait 'til you see the pictures I took of Latin and Greek architecture! I most enjoyed the House Gallery, because I thought it was very cool seeing seeing the place where the House of Representatives meet.
Of course, coming into the Bee my mom was telling me I wouldn't get interviewed, and not to expect anything. What a shock when earlier today I found an interview request from Mr. David Biderman of the Wall Street Journal. Apparently, my mention of the Cubs in my bio, had piqued his interest, as sports fans are few and far between in the National Bee. I had a nice chat with him, and it will be featured in the Wall Street Journal sports section on Thursday.
Soon after my interview, I headed into the dreaded room, the place where spellers' wills are broken. I entered the room to take my written test. Sworn to secrecy, I cannot say anything but this: As put in Paige Kimble's own words "I feel like I did a great job." I will update all my fans on the details of this test late tomorrow evening.
Early this evening, we headed to an assembly to discuss the rules and responsibilities of spellers and officials. Here I reunited with my good buddy Kennyi, we met in the 2007 Bee.
Finally, we headed to the room where I decided to quickly review my Round 3 words and blog about my day. I have to get up at 5:30 tomorrow, so it's time for me to hit the sack. Peace.