The National Scripps Spelling Bee championship was held today, and Anurag Kashyap, the California eighth-grader who won it all, did so by correctly spelling a musical term: appoggiatura. It was cool to hear a somewhat obscure term like that all over the radio today, even if most of the newscasters gave a rather minimal definition of the word; "a musical tone" was what I was hearing a lot of the time. (Most of my older students know what an appoggiatura is, and even how to tell it apart from a "regular" grace note.)
Incidentally, the second-place finisher was from Colleyville, here in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. Also, the blog Throwing Things has been liveblogging the bee for the past couple of days (scroll down a few posts).
UPDATE: More on the bee from the Blogfather, who also links to an earlier post that sheds light on why many of the spelling bee finalists are from immigrant families (most notably from India). He also links to an even more thorough definition of today's winning word.
A place to play, and...a place to play? The opening of Firewheel Town Center here in Garland just keeps getting closer, and I'm getting really psyched every time I drive by the site (which is pretty much daily) or read a new story about its progress. A story in today's paper notes that, not only will the center have a big open park-like space for kids to play, but there will also be a place for concerts. I'd love to get TD/D involved in that at some point, especially since four of the six of us have strong Garland connections.
In that story, the mayor of Garland is quoted as saying that the first thing he'll do when the center opens (on October 7) is buy a suit (since, evidently, that can't be done within the city limits at the moment). Me? I'll either go see a movie or buy a Frappuccino...
Anniversa-rents: Happy Anniversary to Mom and Dad! We'll have a big collective celebration when they come up for my birthday sometime after my trip (their anniversary is eight days before my birthday, and yes, there were some years in between that, too).
In case you missed it, I had some interesting anniversary facts at the bottom of this post last week.
UPDATE: I talked to Mom tonight, and she said that, for possibly the first time, she actually mentioned the anniversary when making their restaurant reservation for tonight, and when they got there, they were treated like royalty. Maybe they should've made a big deal out of it this whole time...