The Eighth Page

From A Wastebasket In The Admissions Office: The Lost Non Sibi Day Promo

Do you love helping people just one day every year? Does the prospect of handling medical supplies arouse you sexually? Do you wake up with bad breath and messed up hair in the morning? If you answered “yes” to any of those three questions, we urge you – no – beg you to keep reading. If you answered “no,” quit being a smartass. This Saturday, over (one-thousandth of) a million Phillips Academy students, faculty, staff, alumni, and parents will take part in the greatest community service initiative ever witnessed on Academy Hill. It will be perhaps the most epic goodwill initiative in world history, behind Live Aid, Comic Relief, and only 560,000 others. It will be a gala of goodwill, an affair of altruism, a jambalaya of joviality. It is known all over the world by one name. Non Sibi Day 2009. What is Non Sibi Day, you ask? The answer is complex, yet simple. Multi-faceted, yet one-sided. Rich, yet… stale. The day gets its name from the Latin phrase “non sibi.” At first glance, they may seem like just two words. Well, fine, they are two words. That was a stupid way of making a simple phrase seem like it has a deeper meaning than it actually does. Damn it. Regardless, it is a phrase that boasts multiple translations. Just a few include “not for sibzzzzz,” “Overused Admissions Tagline,” and “O.J. Did It.” However, the majority of Latin scholars most commonly translate it into “not for self.” The debate rages on. In a phrase, Non Sibi Day is a day to serve. But anyone who has been a part of it knows it’s more than that. It’s a day to celebrate community. A day to give back. A day to get that nice smug feeling of being better than someone else because you just volunteered. They didn’t. But you did. You know why? Because you’re the greatest person in the world. Congratulations. Have yourself a brownie. It tastes good, doesn’t it? Eat that brownie. You deserve it, champ. For the third consecutive year, members of the Phillips Academy community from near and far will participate in various community service projects, both at school and abroad. Last year, PA alums engaged in community service projects in a total of 54 international locations, as well as 13 projects in third world countries, including Zimbabwe, Guatemala and Alabama. Of course, the consistent staples of the Non Sibi Day repertoire like volunteering at the Boston Food Bank or Ironstone Farm still boast extensive community involvement. However, some imaginative alumni have started projects of their own. For instance, Jill Volmers ’83 will dress her cats in adorable outfits and parade them in front of homeless people in Central Park. Recent graduate John Rastenplattz ’07 will shotgun Busch Lights for Oxfam at his fraternity. Even former President George W. Bush ’64 will try to stuff 25 marshmallows in his mouth to benefit “whatever charity Bono’s in charge of these days.” So please, join us in celebrating Non Sibi Day 2009. You have nothing better to do. Plus, I’ve seen what you usually do on Saturday mornings, you freak. – B.J. Garry