tabling at RMHS October 7, 2014

I did have a nice chat with a young man at Rolling Meadows High School.  His name is Jimmy.  He wants to be a police officer when he grows up.  He said he was going to go into the Navy, which will give him experience he needs to prepare for a career in law enforcement, and when he got out he would go to college, major in criminal justice, and then become a policeman.  He was a really sweet young man.  I told him that the best preparation for the police academy was to go to college and earn a degree--at least an associate's degree--in criminal justice.  NOT the Navy.  That degree makes you a very desirable commodity.  I learned this when my ex-niece was finishing her degree in criminal justice and planning to become a police officer.  Chicago PD did not snap her up fast enough, so Dallas PD wooed and won her.  She was told by police officers (before she finished her degree) that such a degree was the most desirable path to the police academy.  Jimmy obviously had been hearing a recruiter's spiel.  I very respectfully gave him a different perspective.  I asked him to come back to see me next month.  I told him that getting GI bill benefits from the Navy was not automatic if he joined; I explained how it works.  How he'll be better off going to college out of high school and not risk spending eight years being shot at and killing people.  I like Jimmy.  He seemed to be listening to me.  I hope I'll see him again.  If I manage to influence Jimmy away from the military and toward education, all my time with NWSUBPEP and sitting at peace tables will be worth it.


tabling at EGHS September 18

My table was quite busy today; I probably spoke with, at least, 20+ students.

I found the following interesting: I asked each student I spoke with how they felt about ISIS and what POTUS is proposing…not one student agreed we should be there…some were very vocal at how much they were against our going back to the Middle East in any way!


tabling at WHS 9/8/2014

This was our first visit of the year. Since September 21 is the International Day of Peace we decided to build peace cranes as we've done in the past. The theme for peace day this year is "The Right of Peoples to Peace". We had quite a few students stop and take origami paper and instructions to build their own crane. Some already knew how. One young man created an origami heart; another young woman created an origami flower. The origami crane has become an international symbol of peace through the sad story of Sadako Sasaki, a young Japanese girl. She was born in 1943 and was only two years old when we dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. At the age of 11 she develped Leukemia which people in Japan referred to as the "atom bomb disease". While in the hospital she was told an old Japanese leged which said that anyone who folds a thousand paper cranes would be granted a wish. Sadako hoped that by folding the paper cranes she would get well again. So she began making the cranes and completed over 1000 before dying on October 25, 1955.

We also had a sociology teacher stop by and express an interest in having someone from our group talk to her class. We gave her all our contact information.


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.

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