Spelling Bee Zonal rounds
A horde’s worth of about 1400 students has now been compressed into that of about a hundred plus. In addition to the vast change of participants to cater for, the dynamics, agenda and requirements has also been remoulded. Fortunately, the time span we were given was about a month, a less taxing and less burdening time constraint compared to the rushed 2 weeks we were given for the preliminary rounds.
Not too long ago, the Diploma of Business Informatics (DBI) students joined us, on 4th march. Not only a steady form of manpower for us to repurpose, they also turned out to be valued company. We learn from them just as much as they have learnt from us too. Shuffled and merged, the class seemed ever noisier, but ever more fun too. Social circles enlarged and conversing outlets opened up as we melded in with our new surroundings.
Essentially, the EMRS class, now compromising of about 25 people had to be split up into 4 zones; North, East, South and West, with about 6 per zone. Not only did we need to prepare for a new set of stickers, participant bibs, with self-formed designs, and other miscellaneous components, we had to prepare and jot out 4 different venues’ floor plans and deployment. Suffice to say, we were glad that we had much less students to accommodate for, but in turn, had to cater for the manpower branching.
With our new donned level of adaptability and acute precision from the preliminary rounds, we tailored a new system and structure, stitching up the loose ends here and there, in pursuit of a more impeccable performance for the Zonal competitions.
With the assumption that the structure of various items, like presentations and registration lists, had to be similar for all 4 zones, we had to closely check against the other ‘zone teams’ to ensure that we are all on the right track together. A single mistake or difference gone unnoticed and discovered too late would not confuse, but it would also cause inefficiency. We guess you can say it was important to uphold clarity while communicating well. In a sense, we had to be a little more perfectionistic.
As for the event itself, we proceeded to our own destination; namely, Tampines’ Library.
More focused to our duties in the hall, we believe that we carried them out well, as all the needs of students, parents, supporters, and judges were accommodated for.
Overall, everything went impeccably. Winning participants reigned victorious while those who lost retreated to their parents in some humiliation and disappointment. On task with fluent execution, there was no remarkable issue reported, which implied meant that the team had worked well and effectively together.
Students began to flow in rapidly even before 8:30am, our designated registration time. Nervous and queued up, we synced with each other and registered the participants, who all turned up for the occasion, quickly and on time before their briefing.
Some of the parents wanted to pin the bibs on their own children out of a little overprotectiveness, complaining that the pins were rather small and difficult to use. In any case, this sped up our registration process, regardless.
With the exception of one missing student, participants were embraced by the unusual warmth of the library, prepped to listen in to their briefing. In addition to minor problems encountered, one of the participant’s bib was torn by its safety pin holes with that safety pin missing. Easily rectified, we fixed the bib up and sent all the students to get ready for the start of the event.
Emcees nullified the nervousness of participants and the audience by entertaining them with comically-induced sarcasm and jokes. For example, the emcee wanted to entertain everyone by singing a song, only to be sadly rejected by one of the participants who confidently said “No, thanks”.
With that, and the introduction of the officials by the front row, the event began promptly. Words continuously became larger and more confusing, what’s even more surprising is that the contestants successfully spelt them with ease.
Throughout the event, microphone adjusters, ushers and the time keeper did their jobs flawlessly, causing no delay and proving ourselves competent.
Anti-climactic as it is, the champion was quickly decided upon as the other two contestants had spelt their words wrong. What made it even more anti-climactic was that the second and third place took forever to derive.
Through it all, we think that we did a good job and the event went well with very few problems.