tabling at PHS 5/6/2014

Very quiet today. First warm day in what seems like forever; I think the students just wanted to get outside.

Talked for a bit with two freshmen about drones and drone warfare. They seemed to share the same concerns that we have. They are using drones in places like Africa to catch poachers which seems like a good thing but can we trust the government to curtail the use of drones to protecting elephants and not spying and killing? Probably not.

Long talk with one of the security guards. He has been there for many years but started talking to me more this year for some reason. He seems concerned about the future his grandkids will be facing.

This will be the last visit at Prospect for the year.


tabling at WHS 4/22/2014

The young woman who is a former Buffalo Grove student and now mentor with AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) stopped by the table. She was the one who told us about the Zine Fest. I told her we didn't sign up in time to get a table but one of our members was able to get some of our zines there anyway. We will try to remember in December to register.

Rather long chat with a young African American student who wants to study forensics. He's also in several sports - including football. We talked about the changes in football with the recent attention on concussions. The current football coach at Wheeling used to be the football coach at Prospect so I'm familiar with him.  He has no intention of joining the military.

Our tabling theme this month is drone warfare. I think most students, being generally removed from any armed conflict that is being waged by our country, think of drone warfare as a way to protect ourselves from the "bad guys" while protecting our own military from harm. But when I tell them that recent studies have shown drone pilots suffer from PTSD and that the several second delay between when they press the button from their seat in Nevada to when the drone strikes in Afghanistan can result in a small child walking into the target area, they pause. It's clear this information is disturbing. We need to think of ways to promote that message.

tabling at WHS 2/11/2014

I saw a lot of "Vamos Gatos" t-shirts and sweatshirts today. The Wheeling mascot is the wildcat; hence the "gatos". It also reflects the fact that Wheeling is almost 51% Hispanic. I was under the impression that it was more like a third but my information was quite dated. The website for District 214 posts school report cards which break down a lot of the this data.

I talked for a bit with a young African American girl who is planning to attend Columbia College in the Fall. She wants to pursue photography. She was particularly interested in scholarship information I had. Several other students dropped by and we talked a bit. Sadly, I couldn't help but reflect on how irrelevant the whole "war and peace" issue is to most of these students. For all they know, the United States isn't involved in any armed conflicts anywhere in the world. There's nothing in the news. And unless they know someone personally, they are blissfully unaware. I suppose that's why they keep enlisting.

Most of the traffic bypassed my table for the adjoining table that was selling valentines to your "secret admirer".


tabling at BGHS 2/10/2014

Early in my visit to BG today a young man who I think must be a regular came by the table.  He took a zine, which he said he had not seen previously.  He said that in the fall he will attend Columbia College and study photography.  He appears to be safe from recruiters.

I saw the little boy who hassled us in December and January.  He walked past the peace table with his eyes averted.  Maybe he didn't recognize me without Libby.  Nobody hassled me today.

A couple of 9th grade girls came along.  The submissive member of the pair was sweetly sharing Hershey's kisses.  The dominant one took a zine.  She said that when she graduates from High School she will go to college and study psychology, sociology and spiritual geometry (?).  She explained, when I asked, that the last of these is patterns for spiritual developments in the world, especially in the middle east.  (Sounds like she's talking about a numerology-based thing for ancient temples more commonly called sacred geometry.)  She loves conspiracy theories.  Her disciple does, too.

Very few people came by.  Mostly they seemed interested in candy.  Nobody expressed interest in the military.  Those thinking about the future all planned to attend college.

I saw a girl who bore a strong resemblance to the Navy veteran Libby and I met a few years ago who had been raped by a NCO while in boot camp at Great Lakes.  The girl who looked like her had a U. S. Navy sweatshirt.  No doubt there's no relationship between them, since the vet was a Californian.  But seeing another beautiful girl apparently drawn to the Navy made me sad.


tabling at PHS 2/4/2014

After seeing the 4th or 5th male student with bleach blonde hair I began to wonder if this was a new fad. I am told that they are all on the boys swim team and this is something they do as a team. When my kids were in high school the members of the boys swim team shaved their heads. I'm not sure which I like better.

Anyway, I had a few meaningful conversations with students but otherwise it was pretty quiet. Since we come to the school on the first Tuesday I try to make the association with the civil defense siren which also sounds on the 1st Tuesday of the month. Most of the students know what I'm talking about.

One of the social studies teachers I know stopped by briefly and we talked about the student privacy issue and inBloom. I directed him to the article on our website. I've now talked to 3 or 4 teachers about this and not one has heard of it.


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