5/30/14 Patel OK with bee results

Patel OK with bee results
Spelling champ disqualified on computer round
The Times-News 5/30/14  
Reprinted with permission.

   The good news is Shiv Patel can now sit back and enjoy the rest of the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington.

   “I guess I got close to the semifinals, so I feel good about that,” Patel said Thursday.

   Patel, two-time winner of the Times-News Spelling Bee and two-time speller at the national bee, fell short of the semifinal round of the national bee Wednesday evening.

   Patel did well on stage Wednesday, getting through three rounds correctly spelling “dichotomy” (division into two or differentiation into sharply opposed groups) and “dissentience” (the quality or state of disagreeing).

   “I felt good spelling it correctly on stage,” Patel said.

   He got caught at the same bottleneck he did in his first national bee in 2011: the computer-based fourthround testing.

   Unlike 2011, half the score of the spelling bee is now computer-based vocabulary testing. There is vocabulary testing in each round, but not on stage, and the first and fourth rounds are a combination of computer-based spelling and vocabulary questions.

   The fourth round started with more than 250 spellers and ended with 46.

   Patel said spellers answered 24 spelling questions in the fourth round and 24 vocabulary questions, but only half of them count.

   “You don’t realize which ones count until you get the results,” Patel said.

   Spellers had to get to 28 points to get to the semifinals Thursday. Patel said he got 22.

   Patel studied spelling and spelling rules for hours a day to get through the Turrentine Middle School and Times-News spelling bees. Now that he is going into high school, he will not be able to compete in spelling bees any more. He has not decided what he would dedicate all that energy and discipline to next.

   “I guess I’ll still be into spelling, but probably other things too,” Patel said.

   For now, he said, he is enjoying watching the rest of the bee and exploring Washington with his parents Dilip and Manisha.

   When he gets back to Burlington, he will have to make up some exams he missed while he was out of town this week