Kids get their spell on this weekend

I’m pretty p-u-m-p-e-d for this Saturday. Yes, the KU men’s basketball team is taking on Oklahoma State, but it’s what’s going down before the game that I’m excited about.The 2009 Douglas County Spelling Bee. WOOT!That’s right. The cream of the Douglas County crop (specifically Baldwin, Eudora, and public and private schools in Lawrence) are all convening at Southwest Junior High this Saturday to spell their pre-teen hearts out. The added bonus? I’m the host. And the coordinator. Don’t ask how I got roped into that one. (Kidding! I love it! It fits so nicely into my already crazed and insane schedule! I do it for the kids!)Anyway, 27 spelling superstars will be letter-battling this weekend. I’m pretty excited. Our online editor, Jonathan Kealing, will be pronouncing, so at least parents will go after him before they come after me. We’ve been practicing. I’m a pretty stellar speller myself. (At least, I play one while I’m working in the journalism field. Thanks, copy editors!)Here’s a list of former champions and the words they spelled to take home the…honey! Get it? Bee? Honey? (It’s official — I’m going into stand-up comedy.) “Guerdon” was the 2008 word (which, by the way, means “a reward, recompense, or requital.” I won’t lie — I looked it up).Think you’re a great speller? Check this out — you can have your very own spelling test. I’ve been playing with this all week. Here’s a sweet roundup of some amazing spelling bee moments (including the infamous fainter who then went on to wake up and spell his word correctly!) from the Scripps National Bee.Did you win any spelling bees while you were in school? Or do you still remember the word you lost on? (Ask my boss about that. He missed “Hanukkah,” but I will say it has like 5 million spellings. He’s still salty about it.)