tabling at Rolling Meadows October 2, 2018

I'm at Rolling Meadows High School today. The main interest here has been candy. Some students in first have helped themselves to fistfuls of Starburst fruit chews.

I also met a delightful student. She's lovely, and very interested in peace AND in a peace club. I have her email address.

Our prodigious writer is also in school today. He zipped past me during passing period for first lunch, said he'd be back during second lunch and show me an excellent project he turned in today.

Second lunch is beginning.  My candy pile is still significant, buy reduced by greedy kids in first lunch.  Even at first lunch, most students politely took only one piece. But two or three acted like vacuum cleaners.  ;-)

My friend, Helen, who is a substitute teacher, dropped by the table. Her adult daughter lives in NJ and has worked about 17 years for Doctors Without Borders.  Helen has always been supportive of our peace work.  Her High School boyfriend was killed in the Army in Vietnam.  That cemented her opposition to war.

Students in second lunch haven't been greedy for candy. I've read that people tend to be greedy if you have a big mound of candy, as I did at the beginning of first lunch, but shy away if you only have a small amount, as I do now. 

OK. I added some more candy to the pile,  so students won't shy away from my small pile. ;-) As usual, some girls travel in pairs or trios, with one of them in charge. A pair just walked by. The submissive one reached out to take Starbursts.  But the dominant one grabbed her hand away and apologized to me, then both rushed away. SMH.

Our security guy friend who used to work at Prospect came by.  We talked about how everyone we knew who served in Vietnam came back messed up, and was unsuccessful in relationships.  I don't know any reason to expect different for combat vet's these days.

The main candy grabber came back during passing period after second lunch and took another huge handful. SMH.  I can only assume he didn't have any lunch. :'-( I have plenty.

TTYL - Lynne

tabling at Elk Grove High School September 20, 2018

Quiet day at Elk Grove.

My table was next to the table of Career Counselor Todd Braaten.  Nice guy.  For the first couple lunch periods BGHS' new college and career counselor, Rachel Valentine, was with him.  Nice lady.

A few students wandered by for candy.  No interest in literature or conversation or peace patches.

One nice student came by for candy and a refresher on why I'm here. I'll try to talk with Todd a bit more.


tabling at Buffalo Grove HS September 17, 2018


Welcome back! First visit of the school year.

I'm at BGHS today. On a whim I put out an old sign up sheet, and a couple girls have signed up. It's actually the peace group sheet. Maybe if I follow up with an email, they'll respond?

No table was in place for me when I arrived.  A pleasant security guy arranged for a table and chair.  We agreed that we're here, and most teachers are here out of love for young people, liking them and also being committed  their well being.

Well-mannered young people are taking candy. A few are taking literature, mostly zines.  The candy has been sitting in my hot car for a week, so I tried a random sample. It's fine.

Most students ignore my table.  Others grab candy and move on. Some stop and ask what this is about.  Their responses are invariably positive.  I don't think this school is fertile recruiting ground for the military.  Or maybe it is, and future recruits are avoiding any table.

A girl came by and said she wants to go into the biomedical sciences.  She also said she's in JROTC, and the military is a very real possibility for her future, but she's open to other perspectives. She took a copy of the old "What Every Girl Should Know . . ." brochure. I told her I was glad she had taken it, and it was probably the most important thing she would read today.  Note that I didn't hand it to her as I often do with girls who say they're going to enlist.  She chose it of her own volition.

I probably have some of the newer "What Every Girl Should Know . . . " brochures in my boxes.  I'll have to find them.  I don't think BGHS demographics would find them appealing. But girls at EGHS might.  Girls at RMHS might also.

I have our flier about Parkland students sitting front and center of our table. No notice by students. :-(

A tenth grader named Sophia stopped by and signed up that she's interested in starting a peace club. She's living up to her name, which means "wisdom." :-) Sophia hopes to attend NIU after high school and major in sociology or something related.  Sophia didn't linger long enough to discuss Parkland students.

Girls usually seem to travel in two's or three's, with one dominant girl.  The group of girls I mentioned earlier were a trio whose leader came to our table.  I've seen several pairs or trios where a submissive girl gazed with interest at the table, but kept following the leader.  Of course, I'm not allowed (by schools) to flag them down, even if one girl looks like she wants to be flagged down.

I have excellent literature on the table. Hardly anyone takes it.  Some do, though. Today's most popular literature has been old zines.

A number of students have taken peace patches. The ones with peace signs continue to be the most popular patches. Starburst candies are the most popular items on the table.

Lunch is finished. I'll head home now.


tabling at Wheeling HS May 7, 2018

Since Memorial Day is this month, we decided to do a display with the total number (251) soldiers from Illinois that have been killed in the current conflicts; since 9/11. We decided to group them by county. Shari and Jon put together these amazing tombstones for each county with the total number killed.

There certainly was more interest in the table because of that. The tombstones were very eye-catching and a number of people stopped by. It seemed to me that the teachers and staff were much more serious about what the tombstones represented than the students.

Two Hispanic boys took a flyer on the top 10 jobs. We talked about how several in the top 10 involve new green technology like solar panel installer, wind turbine installer, etc.

One women thanked us for being there.


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Tabling at Elk Grove HS May 3, 2018

I'm at EGHS today.  Our little cemetery is getting a little bit more attention than we got at RMHS.

Students in the dance program are selling cookies for a dollar apiece at the table adjacent to ours. They're getting a little more action than we are. The cookies look like frosted sugar cookies from Jewel, placed in individual plastic sandwich bags.

As planned, I crammed the whole cemetery onto a smaller table.  I still have room for a few stacks of our literature.  

A few students and security staffers have stopped by and asked about the table. Most either ignore it or take a candy and walk away. The few who have stopped to talk have seemed in agreement with our perspective that it's sad young people have lost their lives fighting for profits for wealthiest Americans.

It's hard to find an individual county's headstone in our little cemetery unless you know where to look. One security guy came over and said in an accusatory tone that Cook County wasn't here.  I showed it to him.  55 deaths.  He pointed out that in the same time period more people have died from gun violence in Chicago. I guess his point is that young people are better off going into the military than living as civilians in Chicago.

Students most affected by the loss of life we're showing are girls. Girls at the next table don't want to look at our table because the cemetery makes them sad.  It doesn't seem to occur to them that opposing U.S. wars might stop some people from getting killed.

The very sweet maintenance person who sets up our table each month came by. She looked at our display, and was sad at the number of people killed in combat.  

That's a typical reaction from young and old. Everybody's sad about it, but it doesn't seem to occur to them that we might intentionally teach young people not to kill other people.  Many well-meaning people still seem to think the military is noble rather than destructive.

I wish our democratically elected legislature didn't think it appropriate to force public high schools to be complicit in pressuring young people to become paid killers available for slaughter at the hands of paid killers from other nations. :-(


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