tabling at Buffalo Grove HS January 8, 2018

First day back from winter break at BGHS and the cafeteria was crowded. Unfortunately, that didn't translate into much traffic at my table. But I did talk to one young woman, one of my regulars, who gave me a couple of names of teachers who might be interested in sponsoring a peace club. This particular young woman is interested in being in a peace club.

tabling at Buffalo Grove HS December 11, 2017

Another first - I talked to a young woman, a Senior, that is planning a Gap Year after she graduates. In fact she is moving to Canada with her boyfriend; plans to do a Gap Year in Canada and possibly, at some later point, go to college. She is doing the Gap Year because (surprise!) she's not sure what she wants to do. I just wish more students did this because so many don't really know what they want to do and waste a lot of time and money trying to figure it out. I congratulated her on have the presence of mind to realize that and the confidence to not bow to peer pressure. I told her that New Trier hosts a Gap Year fair every year in January. Which reminds me that we should put a flyer out on our tables in January.

She is planning to become a Canadian citizen. And she noted that college is so much more affordable there than here. Oh Canada!



tabling at Wheeling HS December 12, 2017

When I got there I was a bit taken aback to see that two Army recruiters were occupying the table right next to mine. That’s been the only restriction in our tabling at D214 schools; they don’t want us there on the same day as the military recruiters.

I asked the guy (young Hispanic male) how was business. He responded “So So”. I then went on to ask him about the recent changes in policy to allow people with some mental illnesses and drug use into the Army. He was unaware of these changes. He told me that his regulations had not changed. He said they still screen for t hose things. I got his card and intend to forward the articles. One came out of Military Times. (I’ve posted them on our Facebook page). We talked a little bit about Erik Prince's proposal to the top military brass to outsource the Afghanistan conflict to his company. Part of his pitch is that it will pay for itself because they US will be able to extract all these precious metals like lithium. He agreed it didn't seem like it was such a good idea.

I was also amazed by how extraordinarily ignorant this guy was. He had not heard of the guy that killed 26 people in Texas; the guy that had been kicked out of the Air Force. I brought that up because they guy had a history of mental illness and violent behavior. It just happened in November; not like it was years ago.

A little later they started giving out water bottles and lanyards for kids that would do 25 pushups. I briefly toyed with the idea of dropping and doing 25 myself but I didn’t. (Assuming I could do 25!)  That’s the first time I’ve actually witnessed this practice although I know it happens. I did not, thankfully, see the recruiter take down anyone’s contact information. He gave out his card but he had no sign up sheet. That surprised me a little.

Around noon my contact at the school wandered by and that was the end of it. She discovered they were supposed to come on Wednesday; not Tuesday. She told them they could stay since they were already there, but they packed up and left.

One young woman I talked to said she thought about joining the military but couldn't because she has bipolar disorder and PTSD. Didn't have the heart to tell her that it seems the Army has lifted that restriction.


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.


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