tabling at Prospect HS October 4, 2016

Sort of slow. But it is homecoming week so . . . it's a zoo. Today was dress up day. Seniors wore togas; juniors 80's; sophomores Hawaiian; freshmen sports. And I was sitting next to a table of young men selling pastries for their club. (Not exactly sure how many of the pastries actually got sold.)

Had a long talk with a young man who is of Greek heritage and had heard his father talk about having to serve in the Hellenic Army. He saw the information about women registering for Selective Service and was intrigued.

With most students I talked about about the fact that October 7 marks the 15th anniversary of our invasion of Afghanistan. War is all these students have known. Although they are for the most part removed from it and shielded from news by media that completely ignores most everything except the latest gossip about some movie star, it's still a sobering thought.

Also talked to a young woman who is trying to get a peace club started at school. She is involved with "Children of Abraham" which is an interfaith peace group. I told her to keep us posted.

tabling at Elk Grove HS May 26, 2016

Spoke with a Senior today. She is thinking about joining the military so she can "help people". I told her if you join the military you will NOT have a chance to help people.  You'll learn how to KILL people! By the time she left the table she was going to look into being a nurses aid. Hope she follows through.

The only other interesting encounter was with another Senior that will be taking some classes at Harper and also L who begins pilot lessons; a dream of his since childhood.


tabling at Wheeling HS May 13, 2016

Friday the 13th.

Not a lot of traffic at the table but had several good conversations. I was talking to one  young man about his plans for the summer and he told me he planned to spend it in Mexico with his father who has been deported. The young man was born in this country but neither of his parents were. His father was deported; his mother is at risk. His father has adapted and seems to have no interest in returning. He is a Sophomore and has no idea what  he wants to do. He would like to go to college but the whole process of college application is overwhelming. He has no idea how to start and cannot rely on help from home. Plus he doubts he will ever have enough money. So his future is not particularly hopeful. Ideally he could benefit from resources at his school. But that leads to the next item.

My contact at the school is a woman who works in the College and Career center. She told me that her job has been cut to half-time. She's not sure she'll even be back next year. She is divorced and although her kids are grown, she's still too young to retire and can't afford to. Of all the programs they could cut, the college and career resource center should be low on their list based on the story of the young man (above) and countless other students who need a lot of guidance as they try to figure out their path. I told her they should consider cutting the NJROTC program down the hall instead - she chuckled.

One of the security guards told me that on Monday they have to take turns escorting a young Wheeling student around the school because he is getting released from jail (yikes!) and the police officers can't be bothered to do this. (His words).

Two young women paused at the table. I offered them a sucker. One said "I don't want one but I'll take one home for my kid." (Yikes again).

Final note - results of our "scientific" poll to the question "Should women be required to register for Selective Service" - 3 yes; 1 no.


tabling at Hersey HS May 12, 2016

The following are the highlights of my visit to HHS today:

        AP testing was being conducted in the gyms

        R, the fellow I’ve been talking with for the past couple of years, who is enlisted in the D.E.P. for the Marines, stopped by to say hello

        A number of young women stopped by for buttons and Starbursts – and I gave away a few zines

        At one point I had 6/8 young men at my table talking about the selective service, women’s involvement in the service, gangbangers in the army, the draft - discussing the pros and cons of the draft … we actually had an interesting conversation with input from a number of the students

        Then R stopped back to hang out for a few more minutes -  he’ll be graduating next month and going into basic training in July. He received an A on his ASVAB test and hopes to be an electrical engineer in the Marines. R has a couple of family members in the service now, as well as, his father and uncles served in the past - his mind will not be changed. We said our good byes today in the event I don’t see him in June. He’s a good guy – I wished him well and told him I hope he’ll be safe.


tabling at Buffalo Grove HS May 9, 2016

Again, I placed the display with the question "Should women have to register for Selective Service?" Many students were ambivalent because they thought we should get rid of the entire system. But we didn't ask them that question. So, there were 12 "yes" (yes, women should have to register for Selective Service") and zero "no". Many of the students knew what the Selective Service system is; very impressive.

The young woman stopped by that had wanted to write something for the zine but didn't get it done. I gave her one of our cards and told her she could send us something anytime. We certainly won't be doing another zine before school is out but hopefully next year.

This is our last visit for the year.


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