tabling at Elk Grove HS November 2, 2017

When I started unpacking my stuff at EGHS, I was horrified to discover that all my candy had been stolen from my box of peace materials that I had stored in my garage. It had all the signs of a mouse attack in the box. It shredded all my Starburst wrappers, left the shreds, and ate all the candy. I found one factory wrapped berry pomegranate Starburst unmolested. Maybe mice don't like that flavor??

When I arrived I was greeted by a pair of 12th grade girls offering to help.  Sweet young women.

Since I was focused on cleaning up rodent damage, which I didn't want to dump on them, I chatted with one of them about peace club. Evidently she hadn't been contacted about the meeting this past Monday, although I'm pretty sure she had signed up.  I asked her to write down her name and contact info for me.

For the first time in history, I'm trying to counter recruit without candy. This is not pretty. :-(

A security guy, a friend of Esther, began lambasting me about his belief that the guy who was arrested for the attack in NYC should not be hospitalized at taxpayer expense, but should be shot. "The Bible says, 'An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth," he said.

I advised him not to start on the Bible with me, because I'm a minister, and I know more about the Bible than he does. I excused myself to go to the lady's room.  (I didn't tell him I had to go wash sticky little paw prints off my plastic sign holder.  Yech.)

May I please go home now? :-)

The special needs student who tries to take all the peace buttons asked if she could have the game cubes/dice Shari had given to me. Libby, Shari gave me 2 sets, one of which is for you. The special needs student declined to play. The student added two buttons to her collection. She picked her favorites.

I haven't gotten anybody to play the game, except for the young woman interested in the peace club, who won, but I had no candy prizes. :-(

A nice student has dropped by the table a couple times today. She told me her name.  I failed to get her to play the game.

Now that I been at the table for a while, the security guard wanders by and chats. I can always have cordial conversation with Navy veterans like him, because my brother Curtis was in the Navy, and served 2 years active duty at Gitmo during the Cuban Missile Crisis.  And because my nephew, Curtis' son Tyler, is a Marine sergeant now.  And because I grew up in a Navy town, where my parents owned and rented out apartments, mostly to Navy families.  Veterans return to special times in their youth when they tell me about their experiences.  It's easier to chat with them that way than argue with them about nonviolent conflict resolution. And they learn I'm not their enemy, but a sister and Aunt of guys like them.  And maybe I have something worthwhile to say?

A couple girls came by just now. One played the game and won the peace button of her choice. One of them took a peace patch.


tabling at WHS October 9, 2017

Wheeling has a new rule, implemented this year, which forbids students from entering the hallway until the bell rings. Since outside groups sit in the hallway outside the cafeteria, this means we can only talk to students during the passing period which isn't long. They can ask to come to our table and the security staff will let them. I put a sign up that said "Answer the question; pick a lollipop." The question was "What has the US war in Afghanistan accomplished?" It helped a bit to attract students to our table.

The answers were revealing. One young man told me the war had ended in 2007 or 2008; he wasn't exactly sure. He was shocked to find out it's actually still going on after 16 years with no end in sight. Other responses: "Shoot"; "Longest war in US history, right?"; "I have no idea" (my favorite).

Sigh. These students have nothing but war. One student told me her mother was 3 months pregnant when 9/11 happened. Another student told me she was only a couple of months old. The ignorance about this war is staggering. The fact that we get no information through the mainstream media is pathetic.

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tabling at PHS October 3, 2017

Kind of a strange day overall. This was my first visit of the year. New rule - no food in the commons area where I have my table which means I can't pass out candy. Horrors!

Although I didn't have too many visitors, those that did drop by chatted for a long time. One young man is in JROTC. He said he likes it which I understand although I told him that in general I didn't think much of military programs like JROTC in the public schools. Another young man wants to go to college to study business and computer science and then he wants to join the Marines. He feels like it would be a way to serve plus he admits he's attracted by the excitement of it. He talked about a business idea he had but then discovered someone already secured a patent for it. Smart kid.

A young woman stopped by for a minute. She attended the vigil we had in September in response to Charlottesville. She interviewed us then but I haven't checked the student newspaper to see if the interview made it in. Shortly after she left another young woman dropped by to interview me. It was right in the middle of passing period so very loud. Difficult to say how much I got across.

Several interesting discussions with security guards about Afghanistan. I've yet to find anyone that thinks we're accomplishing anything and when I point out that Saturday marks 16 years, they're flabbergasted.

I had contacted in advance one of the teachers that supports our cause. He now teaches world religions. He took flyers about the vigil to put up in his classroom.

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tabling at WHS September 12, 2017

New principal; new set of rules. Students are not allowed in the hallway until the bell rings. And since our table is in the hallway, that means we get no visitors. The security guards are supposed to let the students come to our table if they ask to do so, but we will need to figure out a way to get them to come over. Passing periods are too short to really engage. I did confirm that the military is subject to the same rules. So, will need to figure out some way to attract their attention. Hummm. Ideas?

I did have a chance to meet the new college and career counselor. Very impressive.


tabling at BGHS September 11, 2017

When I first walked into the school I was greeted by a therapy dog. His handler said he brought the dog because it was 9/11. I pointed out that most of the students weren't even born when 9/11 happened. Nice gesture but ...

Helped quite a few kids make cranes. In retrospect, should have downloaded a YouTube video for them to watch. They are much more tuned to video vs reading directions. Many had made origami things as children but had forgotten.

Many students interested in joining a peace club. Here's hoping. We will need to find a faculty sponsor. I have a couple of people in mind.

Theme for September is International Day of Peace which falls on September 21. Link here to read about it.  Libby

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