Captioning a spelling bee

Chase Frazier

So what do you do when you are asked to report a spelling bee? If you have the opportunity to do so, Chase Frazier, RMR, CRR, of Murrieta, Calif., says that it can be a fun experience and suggests making sure you know what the company you work for wants you to do. Here, he shares his experience.

JCR | Were you on-site for the spelling bee?
Frazier | I was remote. I believe it was a state spelling bee. The kids were 13 years old and under, I believe. It lasted about four hours.

JCR | Did you get the list of words early? Did you have the list printed next to you or did you have them all in the dictionary?
Frazier | I wasn’t allowed to write the word when the judges said it. I would write: “Spell ____.”

Then, I would write everything else and then fingerspell the student’s spelling. They didn’t want there to be any way for cheating, so I was not given any prep. And when they used the word in a sentence, I had the blurb (contest word) come up in place of the word.

It wasn’t that hard to just drop the word because the words were crazy. I’ve never heard of most of them, so it quickly became natural to write the blurb.

When they spelled, I could fingerspell the word; but when the judges were saying it, I couldn’t.

JCR | Did you feel for any of the contestants when they missed or were you just too focused on what you needed to do?
Frazier | It was cool to see them do so well, but it was sad to see some go because they did so great in previous rounds.

JCR | Did you end up adding those words to your dictionary or did they seem too esoteric? Or did you pick and choose?
Frazier | Most of the words were just so far out there. They were spelling bee words, so, no, I don’t think I added any of them. I may have added a couple that seemed reasonable, though.