Article by: Dan Jachim
Photographs by: Sienna Hagedorn
Do I see 500?
December 18th, 1865. The 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is proclaimed. It stated that “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude shall exist within the United States”. Effectively, it made America, while not the last Western Nation to ban slavery, certainly the one that was most affected by it. Bearing this and the fact that slavery is illegal in all countries in mind, the ‘buying’ and ‘selling’ of people now has a new purpose. What was once seen as the pinnacle of inhumanity has been turned on its head, and while its new form is a mere mockery of its old form, the peculiar institution has finally found its meaningful calling– charity.
Every year, the National Honor Society (NHS), an organization of students who have achieved a high standard of academic excellence, hosts the Senior Auction. In it, students can bid, as one does in an auction, to attempt to ‘buy’ the Senior for sale. What exactly do they do with the Senior once he or she has been purchased? It varies from person to person, depending both upon who was sold, and who bought. For example, a trio of Seniors known as Pentagon Pictures, famed throughout the school for their filmmaking prowess, will most likely put their skills in film to use. However, not all are such an obvious decision. For example, one package sold included four people, and advertised the fact that they are all Indian. What will these four Indians do? Who knows? Cook delicious Indian food? Break out into spontaneous Bollywood style dancing? Whatever is chosen, let it be hoped that the one who purchased them puts them to good use.
As mentioned before, however, there is a much more helpful aspect to this buying and selling of Seniors. All the money raised (and what a sum it is! Some people sold for nearly 10,000 Php) will be used to fund charities that provide cleft lip and palate repair surgeries to needy children. These operations are both cheap and relatively easy to perform, but countless people go through life with so little money that they cannot afford this cheap, and sometimes life-saving operation. Thus, events like this are capable of not only providing an unimaginably better quality of life for countless children, but can also save lives.
Yevgeny Zamyatin, a Russian writer and satirist famously said, “a man is like a novel: until the very last page you don’t know how it will end. Otherwise it wouldn’t be worth reading”. In keeping with the academic nature of NHS, the Senior Auction is a perfect way to ensure that every book be completed, for the betterment of all.