Sadly I had to compete with a bake sale for AVID. That never works out well. AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. It’s a college readiness system for elementary though higher education. I don’t know how many of the D214 high schools have an active AVID program. Obviously Wheeling does. I talked for quite awhile with two young women who are at Wheeling as mentors for AVID. And, ironically, they both attended Buffalo Grove High School. Of course, they never saw us. The cafeteria at BG is huge and we are always placed at the West end. Students tend to sit in the same spot and sometimes even the same table every day.

One of the mentors really liked the zine. She suggested we check out the Chicago Zine Fest. She said it costs a little bit of money to have a table there, but might be worth. I will certainly do so and report back at our next meeting.

Libby

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Lynne joined me today and we both concluded that we could table two times/year at BGHS and that would probably be enough. No one comes over. I wasn’t there in October because it was Columbus Day and November the 2nd Monday was Veterans Day.

The only excitement was a rather contentious discussion with a young man who told us that the reason the drone operators work 12 hour shifts is that money was taken away from the military by the human rights groups. He claims this was the subject of an article in the Foreign Policy Journal in July. Seems very unlikely to us, but I will look for the article anyway.

Libby

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The first lunch period at Rolling Meadows today was pretty quiet.  Mostly the occasional student came by the table and enjoyed some candy.  Things became livelier in the second lunch period.

Dumb question of the day:  ”Is this [table] for snowboarding and ski club?”   I shook my head no, and the inquirer walked away quickly.  What about a table occupied by an old fat woman with brochures about peace suggested snowboarding or skiing? lol

Two boys strolled past, gave me a glance, and muttered something about the military.  They said to each other that they were not interested in the military and kept going.  It’s surprising how many kids assume that an adult at a table in the cafeteria wants them to enlist in the service.

Most of the students who came by were either planning to go to college, or had no clue what they wanted, or both.  I gave out quite a few check lists about applying for college and financial aid.

One girl came by and seemed to like what she saw of our literature.  She was wearing a sweat shirt from a from a state university in Wisconsin.  She said she was going to go there and become a vet tech because of her love for animals.  She didn’t seem to grasp that she could go to Harper for a few months and get all the certification she needed to be a vet tech.  *sigh*  She had thought about becoming a zoologist, but that would require a Ph.D.–too much school.  She indicated she didn’t want to stay in school long enough to actually become a vet.  She seemed sweet and smart, just uninformed.  I trust somebody will tell her what she needs to do to accomplish her goals of caring for animals.  She’ll be a good vet.

A boy in the 11th grade came by and chatted.  I asked him what he was going to do after high school.  He said he was going to open his own business–shoes.  Or clothing.  Or maybe a restaurant.  At least he was not interested in the military.

Two girls in hijabs came by together.  I think they said they were juniors.  Girl A said she liked peace and picked up a zine and some other material. Girl B said she was going to join the military.  When I asked why, she said she thought it was really interesting.  ”Killing people is interesting?” I asked.  ”I want to heal people,” said B.  Then A explained that B wanted to be a military doctor.  Why a military doctor rather than a civilian doctor, I asked.  B didn’t seem to know, but she liked the military recruiters.  B said she wanted to join the military and had talked with he recruiters at school.  She had made an appointment for the recruiters to come to her home and talk with her parents, but the recruiters never shown up.  So I asked B about her plans for education.  She said she planned to attend Harper.  It became clear that she had no clue of how far beyond Harper she would have to go to become a doctor.  I encouraged her to complete college and med school before committing to the military.  I guess the recruiters had not taken the time to tell her about how the military might pay for her education.  Maybe the recruiters were afraid of her hijab?

Our friend Daniel came by.  He said he was planning to audition to be in the school play next semester, when they’ll do The Laramie Project.  Good for him!  I remembered going to BGHS a few years ago when they did The Laramie Project and Westboro Baptist Church said they were coming to protest against it.  Westboro never showed up, of course.  I didn’t mention that to Daniel.  We’ll see what happens when RM does the play.  I hope to see it and support Daniel.

During the 2nd lunch period a girl and boy were hanging out together near the table.  They were rough-housing quite a bit.  She seemed to keep trying to do massage-like moves on him and hurting him. He told her to stop and kept yelling in pain.  I told her, “Don’t do that.  It hurts.”  She replied, “What?” I told her to stop hurting him.  They seemed to settle down.  After a long while I looked over and saw that she was at it again.  I gestured for her to come over.  They both came.  I told her she needed to think about how she was treating this young man.  I told her my son’s girlfriend in 9th grade had hurt him like that and it had ended badly.  She said, “We’re just messing around.”  I said, “So were they.  Hitting and hurting each other is not healthy and it’s a bad habit to get into.”  I hope they’ll think about treating each other more respectfully.  If an old lady I didn’t know had called me out on my behavior, I would have given it some thought (eventually).  But who knows.

Moments before the bell rang to close the lunch period, a girl dashed over and grabbed a brochure about what girls need to know about the military.  I asked her if she was planning to join the military.  With a confident smile she nodded and said yes.  ”Then you definitely need to read that,” I told her.  She took off as the bell rang.  I didn’t get to talk with her.

I did a candy experiment today.  In the past we have observed that Starburst seems to be a favorite among students, even beyond chocolate, which I don’t personally understand.  One girl at RM greets us as the “Starburst people.”  Today I had three dishes:  one of Starburst, one of small candy canes, and one of Werther’s Original.  All were enjoyed, but Starburst was again the clear winner.

I don’t know if I accomplished anything today.  Most counter-recruiting days you never know.  All you can do is plant a seed or two.

Lynne

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Lynne, Lana and myself, were looking forward to this visit since I’d talked with a female, senior, last month that had paperwork from the Navy and was set to enlist either right after graduation or possibly sooner into the DEP (Delayed Entry Program), as a friend had done.

I viewed it as promising that she came over to talk, accompanied by a couple of friends, and we talked for quite a long time. As her friends wandered off, we probably talked  almost her entire lunch period. We discussed a lot of things pertaining to enlisting in the military. Of course, I was discouraging her from enlisting right out of HS and to think about it some more.

Well, you can imagine my joy when she came back to our table again this month with a solid plan for what she’ll be doing after graduation that doesn’t include the military. She has assured me that she will not be joining and in fact has talked to that friend enrolled in the DEP and now the friend would like to back out…we gave her the information to pass on to her friend and, hopefully, that young woman will also decline final enlistment.

In addition, some of our old student regulars, as well as, other new students stopped over. All in all it was a good day and made our time there worthwhile!

Esther

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Very quiet with some old student-regulars stopping by the table to say hello and also a group of young boys came over – I think at first they were going to hassle me but I ignored their antics and they came back to talk for a little while… one boy has a brother in the military another a cousin – none of them seemed interested in enlisting and each indicated a desire to attend a college. Two senior girls also stopped over and both are going on to nursing schools —there were, of course, others but nothing outstanding; so, it was a quiet but pleasant afternoon.

Esther

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Very busy at the beginning on the lunch hour. One girl (I hope) has been talked out of joining the Navy – the recruiter continues to try to contact her on Facebook. She has no phone so that’s good and she said she’ll block him on Facebook. She promises to stop back again to talk. I gave her a lot of reading material – she says she’ll read it.

Also had a young man who brought over several friends to talk. All that plus the usual regulars made for a busy day.

Esther

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We had copies of our latest zine today; fresh from the printer. A group of young men all took a zine. The content related to something they were studying. They got away before I could find out exactly what.

Talked with one young man about the federal budget and how much goes to the military. I’ve been trying to interest some D214 students in developing a film for the “If I Had A Trillion Dollars” film contest. The deadline is not until January of next year. But no takers so far. I left the information with one of the English teachers.

Talked with a group of young women about their future plans. One said she was considering architecture and cosmetology. That seemed an odd combination but . .

Libby

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Interviewed for the school newspaper today. That should be interesting. She asked what message I wanted to send. My reply was that the students own their own futures; it is theirs and not their parents or school counselor or teachers. And we just want to make sure that if the military is in their future, they understand what they’re getting into. We also talked about the American Public Health Association’s policy about banning military recruiters from high schools.

Otherwise, pretty quiet day. We had some copies of the new zine available.

Libby

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Talked to a number of students about drones. Good? Bad? Some of both? One student knew quite a bit about them. He had been studying them on his own. (A bit scary). He identified the type of drone in the picture we had on our flyer. One of the security guards made an interesting comment. He said that in the old days, a combat unit would have to send out a scout to see where the enemy was. Now they can use a drone. He has a point although that presupposes we need combat units out scouting for enemies; that assumes we will always be at war.

The school seems a bit edgier this year. Got the distinct impression that the students were testing the boundaries with the security guards.

Libby

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Talked to a number of students about the pending attack on Syria. None were in favor. Although I couldn’t get anyone to write something for our survey, several did take a card and promise to send us something via email. We shall see.

I did find one person that thought we should do something – one of the security guards. And he was not gung ho – he just thought the chemical attack deserved some kind of response on our part.

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