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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Worst Interview Ever: Can you spell D-O-R-K?

With college football news of any real importance still a bit thin this time of year, we turn our attention to America's other national pastime - the National Spelling Bee.

Check out this excruciating interview with the youngster who just won the title. Tell me the woman doing the interview didn't want to just smack the living shit out of this kid.

My God, this is like a warning video against home schooling your kid.


Out of Conference said...

I got to the 56 second mark and had to turn it off.
Yeah, you can bet your ass when this kid finally let's go of mom's apron strings and goes to college, he's going to be wild fucking open. He won;t know how to deal with that muich freedom. He won't know how to act around girls since it will likely be the first time he'll be around them without parental supervision. The poor guy. I feel sorry that he's brought up that way. It's like that Discovery Channel show about the home schooling religious zealot family that has 16 kids. They look nice, but something just gives you the creeps about them.

Out of Conference said...

wild - wide and other errors- just ignore
Obviously I was public school educated since my grammar sucks nuts.
And for what it's worth, I got second in my school spelling bee and lost in the 1st round at the county competition. I screwed up the word, "Awful."

Enrique said...

I tapped out at 50 seconds. )=

MGoBlue93 said...

I had a chemistry class with a student like this. She sat front and center and pestered the hell out of the prof; no social skills whatsoever. Freaking brilliant student though; she was first in the class with a 93% (I was 3rd with a 47%... it came to our attention this particular prof thought of his course as a weed-out course for pre-med wannabes and made it ridiculously tough).

Last fall I had a home schooled girl on the soccer team I coach (U-12). It was her first organized social contact with any kids outside of her family in her entire life. The family just moved to town as dear ol dad realized his life long goal of getting a job at Focus on the Family and he thought it was time for his oldest kid to do something. As you can imagine, no social skills... but this kid is freaking brilliant. I wouldn't be surprised if she had a degree by 18.

My heart goes out to these kids. They have no input to their lot in life. The one thing they have in common is they're members of the unlucky sperm club. I'd rather be born in Columbus than grow up like that!

No doubt these kids grow up intellectually superior; but they don't hone skills to help them navigate through the real world. I think in the parent's minds, they think they're doing the right thing but it's almost criminal how these parents don't prepare those kids for the real world.

MGoBlue93 said...

More on this kid here.

katherine said...

Sure, he's kinda nerdy, but it doesn't have as much to do with home schooling as you think. I'm pretty sure this kid is autistic. My cousin has Asperger's syndrome (almost exactly what I see this kid has the more vids I watch of him) and is like genious at random things like memorizing stuff. He's good at like science and music but has absolutely NO social skills, comes off as a total jerk to those who don't know him because of his lack of social abilities and ability to understand emotion/affection, and he sounds slow when he talks. Like, he doesn't laugh when people tell jokes...he understands them, but he just doesn't think they are funny.

I haven't done any research on the spelling bee kid, but he seems like he has all of these symptoms. Kind of a genius of sorts, but you wouldn't know it by speaking to him.

katherine said...

cue feeling like an a-hole in 3..2..1.

MGoBlue93 said...

but it doesn't have as much to do with home schooling as you think.

Couldn't disagree more. Are there home schooling success stories? Absolutely. Should the posters of this forum indict homeschooling because we have anecdotal evidence about 1 or 2 kids? Absolutely not -- that would be like throwing the baby out with the bath water.

But homeschooling in general creates academic robots where the kids have no clue about contemporary life. In the case of Evan, there's no doubt he's autistic. That does not mean he's retarded or disabled. I saw an interview with his dear ol mom and what Evan needs is some stimulation and not being sheltered constantly. Evan may not respond to jokes like the rest of us, but he can learn some manners.

god of the whoppers said...

RE: mgoblue93
Born and raised in Columbus, went to a private school for kindergaten, but then went to a public school till i graduated (1-5 in columbus public schools, 6-12 in a tiny farming comunity just outside of columbus). so born at osu med center raised in columbus, die hard michigan fan (can't remember ever rooting for osu) but would never trade it for home schooling or going back to a private school. my girlfriend went to a private school in toledo (st. ursula acadamy), and her parents paid more for her to go to high school than they are paying for her college (U of toledo). anybody that thinks they need to spend the better part of $20,000 on a private high school needs to be shot. warren buffet went to a public high school, les wexner (owner of The Limited, and most of columbus) also went to a public school. Private schools just produce a high gpa, not higher intellect. i bet this kid will end up shooting up a krogers because the cashier gave back the wrong amount of change.
go public schools!

katherine said...

Mgoblue (this is long, but you might learn something)...no offense, but it's obvious you have no idea what Asperger's or autism in general entail or are close to anyone who is autistic, assuming Evan is (which seems pretty obvious). Yes I understand homeschooling doesn't help in social development. However, the social awkwardness and preceived poor "manners" has a lot less to do with homeschooling than it does with autism. If Evan is indeed autistic...that's a scientific fact.

One of the main components in universally all types of autism is impaired social interaction. For example, autistic children get massive anxiety by being in unfamiliar settings, hence the attachment to close family and homelife. What we perceive as being socially confining is what works best for autistic children. People learn best when they are comfortable. Putting them in environments with different children is actually very scary and quite cruel, but you see it as sheltering and a hinderance. It's difficult to learn when you're too busy having anxiety.

Another thing. Many times, children with autism don't like being around a lot of other children, this even includes playing. Why put them in a situation that is uncomfortable for the sake of their "social development." You say children who are autistic aren't retarded. This is true, but they DO require different learning strategies and special teaching methods. Autism has less to do with intelligence as is the case with mental retardation, however, it still requires special learning methods and treatment.

katherine said...

As for the bad manners comment...I know with Asperger's, it has much to do with the lack of awareness of others' feelings/emotions. If you can't read someone's emotion, you may come across as rude or insensitive (as was the case in the CNN interview). The CNN reporter was trying to tell jokes, but Evan couldn't tell so he took her literally. When she messed up his name, he noticed it and called her out on it because Asperger's doesn't allow for much if any introspection. He doesn't realize how his actions effect others emotionally, hence why he didn't seem to care that he was pretty much embarassing her on national television. Also, kids with Asperger's feel obligated to fix someone's mistakes regardless of who it is, so they come across as arrogant and impolite.

We take things like that for granted. Yes, he's an amazing speller, can create beautiful music, and is a way better mathmatician than I'll ever hope to be...but he has trouble with simple things like reading emotion, which is absolutely ESSENTIAL when trying to become socially competent.

It's a real disease, you know. The behaviors that autistic children display aren't a product of their environment like you seem to suggest, they're biological. Seriously, look it up.

MGoBlue93 said...

Katherine, thanks for the info. I'll keep my reply shorter:

1. You make a lot of assumptions about my background and experiences in your reply. For someone as politically correct as you (RE: Memorial Day comments), I'd expect a bit more leeway. And not once in my posts did I ever suggest that his "condition" wasn't real!

2. Anxiety is the fear of the unknown. I obviously have zero experience with Evan, but it seems to me that if he can handle ABC, ESPN, CNN, and the Jimmy Kimmel show, he's not as backwardly social or afraid of unknown situations as some suggest.

3. If you've seen his mom, you'll understand why I made the assumption that she shelters the heck out of this poor kid... and if he can handle the national spotlight (#2), I don't think it is the least bit unreasonable to take him to a park/playground or putting him on a recreational youth sports team. It's time dear ol mom quit leveraging his condition as an excuse.

katherine said...

Just a heads up...katieg is not me. I didn't post on the Memorial Day comments, just an FYI. Even more interesting is that I disagreed with her comments, but whatev. Misunderstanding.

Regardless, I'm wasn't trying to assume you thought autism wasn't real even with my last comment...however, you say his awkwardness has to do with his homeschooling and that you "couldn't disagree more" with the fact that autism plays the majority of the role in social ineptness. Honestly if someone knew anything about AS or autism, they'd know that it is biological, not environmental so the homeschooling doesn't matter as much as people are make it seem. That was my claim, and it wasn't unreasonable, so I get offended when people think autistic kids are the way they are because of homeschooling, an environmental issue. Many times, homeschooling, in fact, is the best way for an autistic child to hone their intellect. In many cases, social abilities will never develop, regardless of forced social interaction.

So why hinder their learning abilities at the risk of alienating the kid? Kids are freakin a-holes to dorky, social inept peers. Especially if they don't know that they are "special."

Also, sorry about the long post, but I just am really involved in the study of autistic behaviors being around my cousin and the program at my old h.s. I just wanted to set the record straight that they aren't like normal children in their learning abilities and social efficiency. They're not "nerdy" because they don't get social interaction and are sheltered. That may play a part, but again, it's risky to attempt. I'm obviously very passionate about this so I apologize if I'm sounding arrogant or offensive.

Yes, I have seen the vids with his mother. Just because she is enthusiastic about his skills, and is pretty nerdy herself, doesn't mean she "shelters" him. Just so you know, the kid is in recreational athletics...he's a black belt. Unless he gets private lessons in that too, he is around other kids, and can prolly kick their butts.

All of this argument is of course, if Evan even has autism or AS, which both of us agreed that he probably does. If he does have it, it's not a severe case. He's a lot better socially than most kids with AS and autism that I've met (still not saying much)...so the homeschooling, again, isn't as big of an issue as people make it seem.

MGoBlue93 said...

I get offended when people think autistic kids are the way they are because of homeschooling, an environmental issue.

That was not the intent of any of my posts. Do I have some issues w/ homeschooling, heck yes. Did I mean to imply that kids who need a little extra attention are that way simply BECAUSE of homeschooling, no. Do I think Evan could learn to conform a bit more socially, yeah.

A buddy of mine as a daughter with Downs. As such, I do some work with his foundation in the local area. Instead of sheltering these kids, we challenge them, monitor progress, and stand back and watch them shine. Some kids can handle more stimulation than others but generally I'm of the opinion that you can give any special kid as much as they can handle (and this requires a lot of work that a lot of adults aren't willing to do).

Thanks for the discussion on this topic!!!

katherine said...

Anytime. your input on this discussion is much appreciated! Interesting to talk about something other than football, beer bongs, and lesbian ASU cheerleader kissing! lol

MGoBlue93 said...

Interesting to talk about something other than football, beer bongs, and lesbian ASU cheerleader kissing!

really? I always find a lesbian ASU cheerleader kissing interesting!

PUBoiler78 said...


I appreciate your concern with autism and Asperger's, but in no way should you make assumptions or diagnosis based on a few videos of a kid you've never met. Nevermind that psychologists are coming up with new things to call a particular personality everyday (and I studied neurobiology and minored in psychology) that kids today are given psychological disorders instead of being taught how to actually interact with people. I'm slightly aloof and don't really care for parties or large social gatherings, but I do interact when I am in those situations. I haven't been tested for it, but based on what I've read, I probably would be diagnosed with either autism or Asperger's. I don't believe in using that as a crutch, and it's wrong to treat people with mild social "disorders" as pathetic individuals in need of our pity and all that.

Kelly Reed said...

OK, in my time in public education, I went to five different schools. I remember kids like this at 4 of them, older (5-9th grades) the more pronounced.

This kid would likely be this way whether he was homeschooled or in public education. For whatever reason (speculation aside) some kids are socially awkward and it won't have anything to do with exposure or education. Other kids are fine then they hit puberty and the hormones do strange things to their bodies and behavior.

Don't worry about this kid--he'll probably grow up and be fine. In fact, he'll probably be the youngest executive VP at your company in a few years. Be careful that you might be calling him "boss"!