I mentioned in a previous post during the A to Z challenge that Eason were in their 4th year of the competition and it's still growing.
It starts out in the school when the 5th and 6th classes compete with each other to be the school champion. Once the school has registered and the champion chosen they go through to the county finals and that's where I come in. I've spent the last few weeks and months working as the Eason Spelling Bee Master, which means I had the list of words and called them out. Some of the words were quite tricky and there were one or two I struggled with too....Some study may have taken place to ensure I knew how to pronounce the words and definitions. Who knew the latin words were so tricky?? Once the county finals were over and we had a county finalist for each county we were ready to roll onto the next round which took place in Connacht, Ulster, Munster and Leinster. Each county finalist competed against each other until we had one finalist ready for the All Ireland Final.
|Annette, Elizabeth & I|
I had the joy and luck to work with some amazing people too, I couldn't ask for better, nicer and more fun girls then Elizabeth, Catherine and Annette! Thanks guys! We had so much fun away together that it's very weird being home now without planning our Spelling Bee trips and where we want to go, where to eat and who's going to get us lost next! For the record I only got us lost the once...there was a diversion up around Londonderry/Derry and I've no idea where we ended up but we finally found Limavady! Thankfully!
The finals week was chaotic, we started in Castlebar on the Monday then drove to Belfast for the Tuesday morning, Youghal for Wednesday and Carlow for Thursday before the All Ireland on the Friday in RTE radion centre. Yes that is a lot of driving.....a lot of miles. A lot of counties. A lot of pit stops. Each day started out with breakfast, quick run through our day and the words for me, making sure I could say them all and they were phonetically spelt ready for Ryan Tubridy. Who was airing the final week on his show. Once I was happy it was almost time to go to the 2FM roadcaster, better known as the Chip Van for a quick chat with Tubs about the Spelling Bee and all things Education.
*Whispers* I have to admit I enjoyed the radio bits, it was fun having the chat on air talking about all things educational and especially all things spelling! I even brought Ryan some Easonology bits to play with in Belfast and we had fun with a Tangle, Manga Rocks, a globe, and astronaunt food! I could totally do that full time! I'm working on having all the podcasts available on my soundcloud here on the site, keep and eye out!
|Me and Ryan in the Chip Van|
I was lucky enough to meet some amazing people when on my travels, including Nicky Bryne (your man from Westlife) who my bestie Joy loves! I even met An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, that was surreal. He was telling me about George Boole and spelling and maths all in one sentence. Of course the Connacht finalists who met him weren't entirely sure who they were meeting but I think their parents got it and some of them found it to be quite fun!
By the final we had winners from Galway, Belfast, Clare and Louth all competing to be the best speller in Ireland in 2014, the competition was fierce and the spellers were fantastic! There were some words that even Ryan found tricky enough! But they spelt them...and kept spelling until Amelia from Belfast was crowned the winner when she spelt Vermicelli! Amazing!
It was a great experience and one I'd love to repeat next year....hint hint!! I've had a ball and made some wonderful friends in the process, some amazing memories and seen some places I never thought I'd see. Congrats to all in the Spelling Bee team and to Amelia again, our 2014 Spelling Bee Champion
|Nicky Bryne & Jenny Green|
|Me in Carrigstown|
|Me & Ryan|