tabling at Hersey HS May 12, 2016

The following are the highlights of my visit to HHS today:

        AP testing was being conducted in the gyms

        R, the fellow I’ve been talking with for the past couple of years, who is enlisted in the D.E.P. for the Marines, stopped by to say hello

        A number of young women stopped by for buttons and Starbursts – and I gave away a few zines

        At one point I had 6/8 young men at my table talking about the selective service, women’s involvement in the service, gangbangers in the army, the draft - discussing the pros and cons of the draft … we actually had an interesting conversation with input from a number of the students

        Then R stopped back to hang out for a few more minutes -  he’ll be graduating next month and going into basic training in July. He received an A on his ASVAB test and hopes to be an electrical engineer in the Marines. R has a couple of family members in the service now, as well as, his father and uncles served in the past - his mind will not be changed. We said our good byes today in the event I don’t see him in June. He’s a good guy – I wished him well and told him I hope he’ll be safe.


tabling at Buffalo Grove HS May 9, 2016

Again, I placed the display with the question "Should women have to register for Selective Service?" Many students were ambivalent because they thought we should get rid of the entire system. But we didn't ask them that question. So, there were 12 "yes" (yes, women should have to register for Selective Service") and zero "no". Many of the students knew what the Selective Service system is; very impressive.

The young woman stopped by that had wanted to write something for the zine but didn't get it done. I gave her one of our cards and told her she could send us something anytime. We certainly won't be doing another zine before school is out but hopefully next year.

This is our last visit for the year.


Tabling at Rolling Meadows HS 5/3/2016

Today I'm at RMHS. Its a very quiet day. Our friend J came by. He's writing more articles. He emailed me one during the first lunch period.

Students are helping themselves to candy. I refilled the dish during the break between lunches. Then I went to the restroom. When I returned, ALL the Jolly Rancher hard candies were gone. Just a handful of Starbursts remained. Good. I need to unload my supply with summer coming.


tabling at Wheeling HS April 12, 2016

Tuesday, April 12, Equal Pay Day. I was planning to have something on my table with information about Pay Equity but forgot. Darn!

Continuing with the theme of women and Selective Service - more students are voting "no" to the question "Should women be required to register for Selective Service". It's not because they feel women should be treated differently; they're opposed to the entire concept. This is different from last month when the vast majority of students voted "yes".

But the display did generate a lot of discussion. Most students are pretty clueless. In Illinois, as in many other states, the process is more or less invisible. When young men get their driver's license their information is taken and then when they turn 18 they are automatically put in the Selective Service database. At least that's the way it's been described to me by a Coast Guard officer who is on the board. I figure he ought to know. He also told me that there is a provision that lets you not have your information go to Selective Service but not many do that.

I shared a table with some students who were selling packages of "puppy chow" (or "muddy buddies") to raise money for Operation Snowball. Here is the Wikipedia definition: "Operation Snowball is an international alcohol, tobacco and other drug-use prevention program focusing on leadership development to empower youth to lead drug-free lives. The name originates from the idea that having a positive impact on an individual can "snowball" into positive results for an entire community and beyond." Hard to compete with that; even with our free candy and trinkets.

I was upset to find out from my contact at the school that her position (college/career assistant) is getting cut to part-time along with other positions in the College/Career departments and registrars. This is due to the budget crisis in Springfield. I suppose they consider the College/Career counselors non-essential since they aren't teaching staff but I think the departments were  understaffed even before this development. My observation is that because of limited staffing the focus is almost entirely on the college-bound student which leaves many underserved or unserved.




tabling at Buffalo Grove HS March 14, 2016

I'm at BGHS today. Here I am in my red top with little Scottie dogs printed all over it. Few Students visiting table. Table is covered with a purple cloth printed with peace signs and flowers. Two young women came by together. One insisted I was a military recruiter. Her friend was adamant I was not. LOL. I explained why I was there. They were not particularly interested. The confused one had a friend interested in the military.

A young man came by. Supports peace and took a button. Took a brochure about our group. Two other young men came by together. One wants to be a computer engineer. The other plans to become a fire fighter after completing a degree at Harper. Said Harper had the best fire science program around. Two girls came by. One took candy. Not a lot of interest in why I'm here.

Two boys came by together. The 9th grader plans to go to university, then join the military as an officer. The 10th grader plans to enlist in the Marines as soon as he graduates. I told him my nephew had done that years ago and is a Marine sergeant. The younger boy didn't understand how I can be proud of my Marine nephew, yet seem to be anti-military. I explained that I was anti-war, pro-peace. And you don't have to agree with somebody about everything to love them. This was hard for the younger boy to understand, but the older one seemed to get it.

No sign of the future journalist I met here last month. I was hoping she would write an article for our zine.



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