If asked to spell professor, I could only spell it one way. D. O. R. R. E. N. Dorren Robinson comes to mind immediately when I think about a meaningful class I took or an exceptional teacher I have had during my time at Belmont. I recently learned, however, she wears more hats than mother, wife, professor, and journalist.
Robinson also has Spelling Bee coordinator to add to the list. Spelling bees have been a part of Dorren’s life for over ten years now as the self-proclaimed “word freak” shares, “I think because I have an English accent, people think I’m good with spelling.” Robinson first got her start with spelling bees when she was working at a newspaper and asked if she could take charge of the local Metro spelling bee. Robinson sarcastically shares how that spelling bee ended in and hour and half of appeals.
This year marked her tenth year hosting the Regional Spelling bee for Middle Tennessee. Robinson shared how many of the families have become staple participants over the years, and how she has watched younger siblings of spellers grow up and become spelling bee participants themselves.
When asked about being a spelling bee participant herself, Robinson quickly recalls being 11 years old, living in New Jersey and getting out on a word due to differences in pronunciation.
One word she will not get out on if put to the test, however, is liaison. Robinson confesses she highlights that word in every dictionary she comes across.
Robinson’s most interesting tale in the spelling bee world would have to be the time a kid with autism memorized the entire book of assigned words. Unfortunately, the mother of the gifted child had mispronounced one of the words when reviewing, which ended in quite the upsetting spelling bee.
Another word Robinson knows all too well is Wagnerian pronounced with a V, which has proved to stump a number of spellers in the past.
This year proved no different for a kid who missed it as well.
Robinson is sure to continue helping with spelling bees and live out her love of words, misspelled or not.