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.


tabling at WHS 1/24/14

Although we had the usual stream of students that really just wanted candy but thought they had to talk to us to "qualify" for the handout, there were a few interesting discussions.

We talked for a few minutes to a nice young man who plans to join the Marines. I pointed out a few things he should think about. He said that he wouldn't kill innocent people and I pointed out that he just may not be given that choice. We're you're in the middle of a situation things often get out of control. You could see his eyes clouding over. I had to disappoint a young man but I certainly would rather he go into the Marines with "eyes wide open" than be disappointed.

I left a bunch of zines and a flyer advertising the peace essay contest with one of the teachers there. It would be great if a D214 student applied for to the contest.


tabling at JHHS 1/23/14

The following is a brief synopsis of activity that happened. There were visits from the usual students stopping over including:

  • A very nice tall, thin, young man who often stops by announced that he has turned 18 but did not register for the draft . . . it's his personal protest against the wars. I told him I very much appreciated his sentiments and asked him to look into something: Will he still be able to qualify for student financial aid at a community, state or private college? He'll let me know next month. I guess we know the answer but I want him to look into it himself.

Then there was some troubling news from a couple of students:

  • A senior plans on joining the military right after graduation from high school.
  • Another senior has already signed up for the Marines and will enter right after graduation.

And some that give a person hope yet:

  • A junior interested in taking engineering classes also was thinking about going into the military and work on equipment, etc. After talking, he has now promised to think it over and may even write a submission for the peace essay contest.
  • Another senior - very birhg - anticipates attending McGill University in Canada and will major in linguistics. She too may write and submit a peace essay.


  • Two teachers that just stopped by for a moment and when asked how they feel about private personal information of students being sold by the ACT - both said they were not aware of it or the lawsuit (and one teacher said it didn't surprise her) however both seem unfazed. I didn't even have a chance to ask what they thought of the inBloom project.


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