tabling at Prospect HS December 5, 2017

Finally I had an opportunity to distribute the brochure "Signed Up For The Military And Want To Get Out?" A brochure about the DEP (Delayed Enlistment Program). It explains what you can and cannot do if you've agreed to enlist but then had a change of heart and it includes a sample letter that you can send to the command. A young man stopped by - big kid, senior, plans to join the military right after high school. We talked for a few minutes. He seems pretty clear on what he's getting into. I honestly don't think he has any illusions about how messed up the situation is. I didn't think about the brochure until after he had left but fortunately he passed by again and I handed him a brochure.

Long chat with a young woman who wants to go into journalism and we talked about how few investigative journalists there are left anymore. She was reading a book by a woman who was embedded with the Taliban and ended up writing a book about her experiences because her newspaper or magazine wouldn't publish her stories. Stories about the real situation. Apparently the situation on the ground didn't agree with the newspaper's narrative so they squashed her story. Pitiful. But not surprising.

Young man stopped by wanting to know if we had information on the West Suburban Faith Based Peace Initiative essay contest. I don't believe they've launched the contest for 2018 yet but I'll try to remember to check. It would be awesome if he writes an essay. He wants to be a diplomat and we talked a bit about how diplomacy seems to be taking a back burner these days.


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tabling at Rolling Meadows HS December 5, 2017

This morning Libby dropped off posters and materials for my peace table. ☮️ I put them all into my big, wheeled box in my car and made sure the lid was securely in place.  I drove to RMHS and parked in their lot.    I pulled my rolling box towards the school.  Suddenly the wind grabbed the lid and blew it away, along with the nice plastic bag of stuff Libby had brought me.  I chased it. I managed to capture the lid, as well as sheets about international Human Rights Day and fastest growing jobs. I took everything into the school and left it all with the sweet security lady while I went outside and found a few more sheets, which were blown all the way to the fence past the east end of the parking lot. I found no trace of the lovely cardboard posters Libby had made by hand.

Feeling shattered, I went into the building, retrieved my purse and visitor badge, and set up my peace table in the cafeteria. I was so windblown, students were probably afraid to approach me. But a nice substitute teacher stopped by and asked if I was okay.

Our prolific writer came by and showed me on his tablet articles he had written for us.  He then emailed them to me. I'll send them to the group later.

To make everything perfect, I realized I had left my candy home in the kitchen cabinet. I left between lunch periods. I found more of my stuff blown against the fence, including one of Libby's two posters and the black plastic bag in which she had brought stuff. I found more of her sheets on human rights day.

I went home and grabbed my candy.  Then I returned to the school. My table there is near a window from the cafeteria to the kitchen. A 9th grade boy I have noticed before, because he tends to emit a shrill tone (his voice hasn't changed yet), and seems very alone, joined me by the window. He said that was where he always ate lunch. He stood there and ate his cafeteria lunch. I tried to have conversation with him while I ate my lunch. Nobody else talked to me. At the end of the lunch period, two students came over after I was nearly packed up.  They asked why I was there. I told them the basics and gave them their choice of peace buttons.

Today I'm at EGHS.  Only one student has visited the table, at the end of first lunch. She loves our peace buttons, and took one.


Tabling at Buffalo Grove HS November 13, 2017

War Resisters International has designated the week of November 20 - 26 a call to action against the militarization of youth. We decided to work with that theme and explore the question "What is militarization". We came up with a list of things that demonstrate militarization of society; things that demonstrate de-militarization of society. Shari turned them into a bunch of cubes with the idea of having the students roll the die and identify if the thing demonstrates militarization or demilitarization. To date, the game hasn't been particularly popular. I had not seen the cubes until today so I wasn't prepared with a sign but I came up with one since and will try at Wheeling November 14.

In any case, we decided to give it another try in December. Maybe with some better signage; clearer explanation?

Otherwise it was rather quiet at BG today. Several students signed up for the peace club.

One of the security guards had not heard that the young man that opened fire on the Baptist church in Texas had been in the Air Force. He was horrified. Especially after I told him that the Army has decided to relax their prohibition on admitting people with a history of mental illness. They did this in August. It will be interesting to see if they reverse this after the recent Texas shooting.

Talked with one teacher that had signed an online petition to impeach our President. But he was disturbed to see his name published after he had done so. It made me wonder how cautious teachers are about expressing their political views.


Tabling at Rolling Meadows HS November 7, 2017

It has been a quiet day at Rolling Meadows High School.

At school, I was positioned near the soda pop and candy machines in the cafeteria. A student trying to buy something from one of the machines requested my assistance. The machine she was trying to use wouldn't accept the coin she had thought was a quarter. She asked to trade it to me for a quarter, and I obliged. She bought her treat from the machine and went on her way.

I examined the coin, and saw that it was a Polish zloty. According to the internet, it's worth about $.27. So I guess I made money on the deal. ;-) I'll pass it on to a friend who has a small international coin collection. They'll get a kick out of it.

The first lunch period I mostly saw folks who were interested in candy. At least I have packages of fresh Starburst candies.  I tasted a new flavor from my new package: blackberry. Pretty good.

Early in the second lunch period a couple female students came by, and we talked about colleges.  I'm still painfully aware, based on my experience with my kid, that the college and career office here is horrible. I think I was helpful to one of the future college students today.  Maybe?

I have seen a couple different boys sauntering past in U.S. Navy t-shirts. IDK if they have been recruited or what.

I haven't gotten anybody interested in the game. I have plenty of candy prizes if anyone comes along.  I have the Peace club sign up sheet on the table. No interest today.

Several students came by and took peace buttons.

A girl with health issues that make her ineligible for military service stopped by.  She seemed interested in the demilitarization idea, but didn't stay long enough to learn about the game.

Our prolific writer at RMHS stopped by the table. He said he had articles he had written. I urged him to email them to me.

As the final lunch period was drawing to a close, a pleasant young male student came by.  He wants to go to a culinary college in New Orleans. But he is convinced he can't get into college, let alone pay for it, without first serving in the military. I don't know who has apparently brainwashed this young person. I tried to convince him he had other options. I gave him one of our cards. I encouraged him to check out our website site. As bells were ringing, and he ran off to class, I urged him to talk with me at the table again next month.  I failed to get his name.


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.


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