Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Spite Charity

          Spite Charity

          A report from my daughter’s high school

          My daughter’s high school has completed Spirit Week, which pits class against class, sorted by color. This year, freshmen are red, sophomores are green, junior are orange and seniors are purple. Each cohort keeps its color as the years pass; so next year, sophomores will be red, juniors will be green, seniors will be orange, and the freshmen will inherit the color purple.
          This year, the seniors won; so the school gnome will be spray-painted purple.
          One of the many contests of Spirit Week is something that I call the Spite Charity. Each class sets out a jar; the cent value of any coins placed in a class’s jar is added to their points; but the cent value of any bills placed in a class’s jar is deducted from their points. This way the grades can sabotage each other. The money collected is given to a charity of the winner’s choice.
          When Hannah told me this, I gave her a small boxful of accumulated pennies, and a dollar bill. That was the spirit of the week.
          This year’s Spite Charity was a success. It gathered over $870 in four days. Hannah’s senior class got 52 sabotage dollars in their jar. They and the juniors got most of the sabotage dollars. The sophomores won that contest, mostly by being left alone. So my contribution was charity at its purest; from the unknown to the unknown.
          Hannah marvels that the natural animosity generated by competition, and the spite and sabotage, is here used for good!


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