Susan's Blog

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Bee’s Knees

So today was the Brookline Education Foundation Annual Spelling Bee. The BEF is a private organization that raises (lots of) money for the schools, like an additional PTO or something. Teachers get grants to travel to other countries for the summer and study there, stuff like that. They also pilot programs in the schools — they did one for Asperger’s a year or two ago — and if the programs are successful, the School Committee steps in to put it into the budget. Many good programs have started out as a BEF pilot. So it’s a good cause.

The Bee is one of my favorite community events. Businesses and organizations but tables of three (three to a team) and then they get three people to spell for them. The PTOs all get teams and so do the people running for local office, as well as some school officials. I have been in the Bee in one capacity or another for about 10 years, starting as a Co-Chair of our SPED Parent Advisory Council, then on the School Committee, and lately, as a committe chair on the PTO (I’m the Newsletter Editor!). I’m a total Brookline dork.

Contestants try to get a clever name, playing on the spelling or the bee themes. There are “Spellbinders,” dressed as wizards, or “Alphabet Soup,” people with soup cans on their heads. As you can guess, the costume part is my favorite, although I am a pretty good speller, too. Every year I have come up with increasingly outlandish costumes for my team, but I have never yet won.

This year, along with Lisa, my teammate from last year, who is a friend and a real sweetheart. I also invited a newer friend, one of Ben’s friend’s moms, whom I didn’t know as well but had always liked from afar. She is very creative; she designed the school logo, that kind of thing. So with Toni on board, I figured we’d have some interesting stuff happening.

At first I thought I’d just tease up my hair and use all my bellydance hair extensions:

but Toni had other plans…

Toni took me to this amazing costume store in Cambridge: two stories of shlocky costume stuff!! I was in heaven. So was she. She had a strict vision of what she wanted us to be: the Bee-52s, complete with huge beehive hairdos. We bought yellow and black feather boas (get it?) and three beehive wigs, two red and a blonde. I figured I’d spray-dye my red one black. We also bought false eyelashes. Toni had the thing planned down to the shirts we should wear. I have never been with another person who was even more into costumes, camp, and glam than I am!

We looked great. Toni’s the blonde, Lisa’s the redhead.

We spelled — well, not so great. Lisa’s a doc, so she was our Chief Speller. We got out on the words “Chrysalis” (I insisted on two L’s but there’s only one, dammit!) and “Septuagenarian” (ua!). So after that, we just sat there and drew funny pictures and held them up instead of words, to get some laffs. When “balalaika” came up, I wrote it in Cyrillic letters (I know Russian). It went right by the judges! (Not even a smile.) I thought we should have gotten to be back in the swarm with that stroke of genius. Oh well.

But — we won the costume! Yay! Beeyoutiful.

What do you think?

A new look for me?

Don’t bee crazy.


That look makes me want to drone, honey.

— added by Someone Said on Sunday, March 8, 2009 at 10:02 pm

I hope your tears of joy didn’t rust the tin roof at your Love Shack in your Private Idaho. However, cooking up some Rock Lobster while you and Ned Dance this Mess Around might be more fun on Planet Claire due to the lower gravity. You might end up Bouncing Off the Satellites while you wear your Wig.

— added by Don on Monday, March 9, 2009 at 8:46 am

Don, how far did you Rome to get all those jokes?

— added by Susan Senator on Monday, March 9, 2009 at 8:59 am

Love love love the necklace too.

What a great and creative idea.


— added by Anonymous on Monday, March 9, 2009 at 3:32 pm

If there’s one thing I do know, there’s a lot of ruins in Mesopotamia! Lisa

— added by Anonymous on Tuesday, March 10, 2009 at 10:50 am

Out in the fields like a wild potato!

What does spelling matter when you look so fabulous?

— added by Mom to JBG on Wednesday, March 11, 2009 at 10:32 pm

%d bloggers like this: