May 5, 2017, Adrian, Michigan – Eleven Adrian Dominican Sisters may very well have a greater sense of empathy for their former elementary school students after participating in their own spelling bee April 26 at the Dominican Life Center.
The event was a joint effort of Sister Mary Margaret “Maggie” Mannard, OP; Nilda Rau, Director of Resident Services, and the Resident Services staff; and Sister Carleen Maly, OP, who conducted the bee.
“The purpose was to sponsor an event that was intellectually stimulating and a friendly competition – and fun for all involved,” Sister Maggie explained. “We were successful in all three areas.” She was inspired to suggest the event after visiting a man at a senior center and learning that they were participating in a spelling bee.
Winners of the spelling bee were Sister Ann Patrice Remkus, OP, first place; Sister Betty Jenkins, OP, second place; and Sister Jean Annette Rudolph, OP, third place. Also participating were Sisters Susan Kresse, OP, Anne Liam Lees, OP, Miriam Joseph Lekan, OP, Theresa McCall, OP, Mary Ellen Plummer, OP, Lisa Rieman, OP, Sarajane Seaver, OP, and Anne Bernadette Stein, OP.
“We used ordinary, everyday words, but with tricks to them,” explained Sister Maggie, who chose the words. Some words included nuclear, azalea, ecstasy, minestrone, abdomen, and jackal.
Sister Ann Patrice, the spelling champion, noted that the first reading for the Mass that day was particularly appropriate: “Clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another” (1 Peter 5:5b).
“The contestants lived this out,” Sister Maggie noted. “It’s difficult to miss a word in front of your peers, mostly all teachers.”
Sister Ann Patrice connected her success in the spelling bee with her experience as a teacher. “It was worth [all those years of] checking and grading English papers,” she said. In tests, she habitually gave her students two grades: one for content and one for spelling and grammar.
Sister Carleen was impressed by the quality and attitude of all of the participants, who took the spelling bee to seven rounds. “I had to hand it to the women,” she said. “They saw this as an intellectual exercise and they took it very seriously.”
But the event also included elements of fun and enthusiasm – including an encouraging and enthusiastic audience and a special treat from Resident Services: homemade cupcakes featuring edible letters.
Feature photo: Sister Ann Patrice Remkus, OP, left, was the spelling bee champion, and Sister Betty Jenkins, OP, came in second.