Those new service sector jobs average is over spelling bee tutor edition

by on June 1, 2017 at 10:30 am in Economics, Education, Games | Permalink

In the world of competitive spellers, Sylvie Lamontagne is known as a juggernaut. She placed fourth in last year’s Scripps National Spelling Bee, and ninth in 2015. Last summer, she traveled to California and won the Spelling Bee of China’s North America Spelling Champion Challenge, a contest for kids in the United States and China.

Now that the 14-year-old from Denver is no longer eligible to compete in this week’s National Spelling Bee at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Maryland — which is televised on ESPN and often turns kids like Sylvie into momentary celebrities — she’s focusing on a new vocation: spelling bee coach.

Sylvie’s rate? $200 an hour.

Hiring coaches isn’t new. But bee aficionados say a recent surge in competition, and a tightening of rules meant to limit co-champions, has spawned a demand for younger coaches such as Sylvie: high-schoolers or college kids, months or just a few years into their bee retirement, who can pass along fresh intelligence on words to memorize and how to decode bizarre words based on their language of origin.

That is from Ian Shapira at WaPo.

1 Hadur June 1, 2017 at 10:49 am

Spelling bees are a perversion, possibly only because English orthography has not kept up the pace with English phonology.

2 joe June 1, 2017 at 11:10 am

Hƿæt?

3 Anonymous June 1, 2017 at 12:05 pm

I remember when I was learning German, they gave us one or at most two pages of rules for pronunciation. Stuff like “a vowel followed by a single consonant is lengthened, a vowel followed by 2+ consonants is read shortened”. These rules are pretty much ironclad and we had them down within a week. If you can hear something you can write it down correctly.

Spelling in English on the other hand fails at its only job, which is to represent the spoken language.

4 rayward June 1, 2017 at 10:56 am

Covfefe

5 msgkings June 1, 2017 at 11:52 am

LOL

6 Mark Thorson June 1, 2017 at 12:59 pm

Pronounced “bazooki”.

7 Cold War Kids June 1, 2017 at 11:01 am

look unless we all meet in person and film ourselves there’s no point talking about the what ifs and coulda been, the back thens and the waffle substationary’s. No one says we anymore; no one says they anymore. They say he said and she said and riff raff wino cutlery. I mean hell fire stepehen a smith. The guy can’t stop taking about things that don’t exist. They talk in delusion. It’s highly scary. I get alarmed sometimes.
Unless Mike and LBJ are going to play one-on-one, I think y’all better spend some time talking about the teams involved. What’s going on in a team that allowed you so badly understand the individuals?
s

8 The Other Jim June 1, 2017 at 11:59 am

Hey everyone, we found Nancy Pelosi’s speech writer!

9 athEIst June 1, 2017 at 1:16 pm

LOL +1. It is seldom I can read a whole paragraph without understanding one word.
look unless we all meet in person and film ourselves there’s no point talking about the what ifs and coulda been, the back thens and the waffle substationary’s. No one says we anymore; no one says they anymore. They say he said and she said and riff raff wino cutlery. I mean hell fire stepehen a smith. The guy can’t stop taking about things that don’t exist. They talk in delusion. It’s highly scary. I get alarmed sometimes.
Unless Mike and LBJ are going to play one-on-one, I think y’all better spend some time talking about the teams involved. What’s going on in a team that allowed you so badly understand the individuals?

10 Steve S June 1, 2017 at 11:23 am

Question: does success in spelling bees correlate with future life success? Can we point to anyone who won a National Spelling Bee and went on to a highly lucrative career? Or are they all English professors?

Are these people chasing spellin bee titles for 15 minutes of fame and a college scholarship?

11 Yancey Ward June 1, 2017 at 11:46 am

I would wager it does correlate with success. You have to have a prodigious memory and work ethic to even get beyond the local level in spelling bees- both are good things to have for any endeavor.

12 John Hall June 1, 2017 at 12:28 pm

I’m sure the winners all have above average memory and verbal IQ.

It is interesting that the recent winners of Scripps all have Indian surnames.

13 zbicyclist June 1, 2017 at 7:51 pm

But why spend the time on this?

Just to name a couple of things that these kids could spent their time on: math competitions, robotics competitions, chess teams.

I admit it: I was our school spelling bee champion and was rewarded/punished by going to the regional competition. This means that I spent what now were clearly worthless hours spelling words of dubious usefulness to me then and now, preparing for that regional competition (which I exited early).

Basic spelling is necessary for literacy. Beyond that, it’s not worth spending time on relative to all the other wonderful things there are to learn out there.

14 Anonymous June 1, 2017 at 8:03 pm

if you follow the coverage . most of them do spelling bee and a whole bunch of other things. And most of them seem to be very successful at least academically later on.

15 Thiago Ribeiro June 1, 2017 at 11:30 am

Such is life in America.

16 The Other Jim June 1, 2017 at 12:00 pm

Prosperous indeed!

17 Cold War Kids June 1, 2017 at 12:51 pm

May 20, 1934
Dustin
Hughes County
Oklahoma, USA

Educated at Harvard, he wanted to be a time enduring judge, he’d still be working. At forty-one he still retained his teaching permit.

It was the axiom of Hawaiin people that wherever they go they could always ask invariably a first question: And do you Sonny Granderson?

Brother is Robert F “Tooter” Withrow

18 Thiago Ribeiro June 1, 2017 at 1:26 pm

Pathetic, wasting time with spelling bees and juiceros and fidget spinners. Also, Brazilian Portuguese is widely known as the most phonetic natural language there is, the one with a scientific ortography.

19 Thor June 1, 2017 at 2:05 pm

If you Brazilians are so smart, how come you don’t have your own (post-colonial) language?

I realize that in many if not most respects you have surpassed your European founders in civilizational accomplishments, but surely you should have your own lingo.

20 Thiago Ribeiro June 1, 2017 at 3:28 pm

We made Portuguese our own language, to the point it is very different (and much more logical) than the European version.Our literature and music are deliberate exercises in lifting Portuguese from the European mood. And, under former President Lula, we forced the Portuguese to accep our ortography, which is way superior. The Portuguese-speaking universe is, in certain ways, our Lebesraum and we have no reason whatsoever to give it up.

21 Napoleon June 1, 2017 at 7:09 pm

Besides that winter that comes to mind, I rather enjoy the summer.
Edmond dantes is confirmed to be the daughter of an almond named dantes and a hound from Baskerville but allright, i’ll see you later, later man, catch you later, take it easy Edmond, okay uberalles we carry our umbrellas with a lipid steretytpe. On radio.

22 Skip Intro June 1, 2017 at 7:40 pm

Thiago has a lot of good points.

I grew up with continental Portuguese as my second language, in a part of the US with a lot of continental speakers and Portuguese-language media. There were some Brazilian grad students in my program, and my wife, who speaks some Spanish, could generally understand them better than I could.

23 Thiago Ribeiro June 1, 2017 at 8:15 pm

Thanks. Brazilian vocabulary – influenced by the Natives, the African slaves and wave after wave of European and Asian immigrants – is radically different from the Portuguese one. Brazil’s scientific ortography was radically different from Portugal’s until we forced it to adopt ours. Brazilian syntazx is much more modern and efficient. Brazilian pronunciation is much more elegant and logical than the Portuguese one (what you read is what you say). A few years ago, I was listening to a Moldovan radio station (the Moldovans are basically the Brazilians from Europe) and I found their languge prerty beautiful, then they started playing a Portuguese fado and it seemed like it was a Martian broadcast. As we say in Brazil, Portugal and Brazil are two countries separated by the same language and Brazil’s general superiority. Ask the Cape Verdeans who is better, the Portuguese aggressor or tne friendly Brazilians.

24 Nattering Nabob June 1, 2017 at 11:35 am

I focused on the phrase “bee tutor” in the title of the post, and am now disappointed that it isn’t about a push to get complacent
insect-Americans out of the ZMP rut they’re stuck in by teaching them to code.

25 Thiago Ribeiro June 1, 2017 at 3:30 pm

Trump has slshed the budget for bee-teaching, he said bees are sad losers and they lost the popular vote.

26 Napoleon June 1, 2017 at 7:10 pm

Sleep tight Thiago.

27 Thiago Ribeiro June 1, 2017 at 8:24 pm

Thank you. I hope you sleep tight, too.

28 AlexG June 1, 2017 at 12:03 pm

Interesting — I’ve recently heard of a market for tutors in competition maths (Olympiads and suchlike) charging similarly extortionate rates. I’m not certain the students are getting their money’s worth in this case– while performance at such contests is looked on favourably by colleges, my experience is that skill at them is very difficult to teach.

29 rayward June 1, 2017 at 12:15 pm

I read an article this morning about the absence of African Americans in MLB. One reason is that baseball is expensive. Baseball? Youth baseball today isn’t the youth baseball of summers long ago. Today, youth baseball is a year-round sport with “travel” teams. I was one of the organizers/coaches for my Godson’s “travel” team. Traveling is expensive, with hotel rooms, meals, entry fees for tournaments, not to mention uniforms and equipment. But what may surprise readers is the use of professional coaches for these children. I engaged a former professional baseball player to teach my Godson the finer points of swinging a bat. And it made an enormous difference, as his swing looked much like what you see in MLB. Baseball, spelling bees, chess bees, you name it, they all have professional teachers, coaches, instructors, trainers, which gives children from affluent families a huge advantage. I will mention Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993), a very entertaining movie about youth chess competitions. The central character in the movie was taught by a professional chess instructor (played by Ben Kingsley). The movie is based on the prodigy chess player Joshua Waitzkin. I recommend the movie. As for baseball, who would have thought that baseball, America’s game, would become so expensive that only children from affluent families can play. Chess, I understand, but baseball?

30 BC June 1, 2017 at 12:29 pm

New York should offer “free” baseball instruction for everyone. Developing a MLB swing is a right.

31 Cold War Kids June 1, 2017 at 1:09 pm

47 119 08-16-1961
Billy Pierce

61 163 10-01-1961
Tracy Stallard

15 45 06-04-1961
Russ Kemmerer
Chicago Right Away 3rd
33

32 Cold War Kids June 1, 2017 at 1:10 pm

can’t forget about ole lullalibi creeping pierce, that ole bloke what a one-armed freak

33 alex June 1, 2017 at 1:17 pm

All of these things are also true about basketball, and that remains a black-coated sport.

34 alex June 1, 2017 at 1:18 pm

“black-dominated”

35 Butler T. Reynolds June 1, 2017 at 12:26 pm

After I studied some German in high school, my English spelling drove into a ditch.

English and Javascript are similar in that they are taking over the world, but they are both quite a mess.

36 ladderff June 1, 2017 at 12:49 pm

English can be fashioned into a beautiful mess though, which I hesitate to say of Javascript.

37 mikeInThe716 June 1, 2017 at 6:21 pm

I’d give JavaScript a pass given it’s age and need for backward compatibility.

The main esthetic crime with newer languages is the lack of Python Elegance.

38 Cold War Kids June 1, 2017 at 12:39 pm

to dive from the beach into this, to fly into the air off racing feet, turn in mid-flight so that heels are up and head is down, and so to enter the water headfirst, requires wisdom of waves, timing of waves, Barton’s Stanford, a travellin band

-Jack London (The Kanaka Surf)

And the clothes I’m wearing are not mine own but the road goes on forever.

39 athEIst June 1, 2017 at 1:22 pm

China’s North America Spelling Champion Challenge, a contest for kids in the United States and China.

I sorta wonder who this means?

40 Bill June 1, 2017 at 3:44 pm

This student demonstrated foudroyant prosipience in seeking both chrematistic and eudaemonic work. Of course, that is my insouciant comment.

41 Bill June 1, 2017 at 4:03 pm

I just ate a rainbow.

42 Bill June 1, 2017 at 4:16 pm

Not this Bill.

It is not true that a Bill is a Bill is a Bill.

All Bill’s are unique.

Re: the rainbow. How did it taste. What was your favorite color, or did the complexity of the combination surpass the individual components.

43 Napoleon June 1, 2017 at 7:32 pm

The creatine was mad depraved but I must say the fluorescence was my favorite giraffe caused anomol. I cu 2.

44 Axa June 2, 2017 at 2:25 am

I had to consult a lawyer yesterday. The invoice will arrive at $300 per hour……old service jobs win.

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