Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Bush Pushes Free Trade at Cat Plant

Here's what the president was saying Tuesday. (LA Times)

A sample quote:
EAST PEORIA, ILL. — Using two huge yellow earthmovers as his backdrop, and giddy over driving a third, President Bush sought Tuesday to calm fears about globalization, the nation's economic future and the risks of easing trade barriers, arguing that free trade benefits U.S. workers.

"The temptation is to say, 'Well, trade may not be worth it, let's isolate ourselves, let's protect ourselves,' " Bush said, adding: "It's a bad mistake for the country to lose our confidence and not compete."

Here's the entire transcript.

The Governor's speech at YVCC's Graduation

Here's the link to her speech.

Here's a quote from it:

In his book, The World Is Flat, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman has pulled all these trends together.

He sees a convergence of forces creating a global, web-enhanced playing field that allows for multiple forms of collaboration, the sharing of knowledge, and work in real time without regards to geography, distance or in the near future, even language.

It has, he said, flattened the world

Others call it globalization.

It is the defining characteristic of your generation and this new century.


Today, is a call to action for you. Globalization is no ordinary force, and this is no ordinary time. You can do it—seize the day! You now have your degree, and I hope you’ll think of education as lifelong learning.

In a world as connected as ours, you must.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Day 17 Lab Friday

English 102 Lesson Plan Day 15

1. Create scoring guide for Rubric

2. A story about plagiarism.

3. Integrating sources.
a. Four Parts to every quote
i. Signal phrase (As Ehrenreich notes, “alsdkfja;lsdj”)
ii. The quote, set off in quotation marks.
iii. Parenthetical citation
iv. Make use of the quote-paraphrase, explain, connect

4. Punctuation goes before quotation marks.

2. Parenthetical citation (Ehrenreich 53).

a. No pg. pp. etc.

b. Period goes at very end.

c. Page number and name, if not in signal phrase. Page number alone if signal names author.

4. A couple of tricky bits

a. If you are taking words out of a single sentence, use …

b. If you are taking words out between sentences, use ….

c. If you need to include a word not in the original quote, use brackets [ ]

d. If you are quoting someone else, who is quoted someplace else, use “qtd. in”

e. Do not use … at the beginning or end of quotes (considered redundant).

f. If the work has two or three authors, they must be named in either the () or the signal phrase. More than three use et. al.

g. When the author is unknown, use the title of the article. You may abbreviate the title.

h. When the page numbers are unknown, use only the author’s name if there is one.

5. What to avoid:

i. Quotes that just lay there (PUT THEM TO USE)

ii. Dropped quotes.

iii. Not using quotation marks correctly.

iv. Not quoting accurately.

6. Works cited, see List of Works Cited

7. MLA Practice exercises
a. One
b. Two
c. Three

January 29: Draft Two Due. Bring two copies

Reading Schedule for The World is Flat week one

Please have through the pages listed prior to class on that date.

January 30: pg 24

Jan 31st: 47

Feb 1nd: One chapter from “Ten Forces that Flattened the Earth” assigned in groups.

Feb 2rd: The Triple Convergence 173-181

Feb. 3th: 181-200

Feb. 4th: The Great Sorting Out 200-208

Feb 5th: 208-222

Rubric Essay One

English 102 Rubric Essay Two

Presents an identifiable arguable THESIS and sustains coherent SUPPORT for that THESIS

(AR—Supports claims with evidence)

Unacceptable (1)

Developing (2)

Acceptable (3)

Proficient (4)

The student’s essay does not have a clear focus and includes little credible or relevant evidence.

The student’s essay has a focus and offers some relevant supporting evidence, but also offers additional claims, evidence from questionable sources, and/or evidence of questionable relevance.

The student’s essay has an identifiable claim; the student supports his or her claim with appropriate evidence that is generally relevant to that claim.

The student’s essay has a unique, arguable claim; that claim is supported using appropriate, sufficient, and relevant evidence from credible and varied sources.

Integrates relevant outside sources, documents them according to MLA conventions

(AR—Applies discipline-specific conventions)

Unacceptable (1)

Developing (2)

Acceptable (3)

Proficient (4)

The student produces an essay that does not use MLA documentation appropriately (i.e. lacks in-text documentation or lacks a reference page; paraphrases border on plagiarism, etc.).

In the essay, the student includes sources information, but does not fully integrate them; the student demonstrates some understanding MLA documentation, but struggles to consistently and correctly apply it.

The student produces an essay in which sources consistently and accurately quoted or paraphrased and are cited (in-text and on Works Cited page) according to MLA format.

The student produces an essay that complies with discipline standards: the essay is formatted correctly; sources are integrated effectively and are properly quoted/paraphrased and cited in-text; Works Cited page is complete, accurate, and correctly formatted.

Demonstrates reasonable command of standard written English

(C — Uses contextually appropriate language and conventions; AR – Methods)

Unacceptable (1)

Developing (2)

Acceptable (3)

Proficient (4)

The student’s essay includes many major errors—in grammar, syntax, and diction—that distort meaning and interrupt flow of reading.

The student’s research essay includes a number of distracting minor errors or some major errors that distort meaning, though overall meaning is not lost; at times, sentence structure disrupts flow, and word choices lack variety and precision.

The student’s research essay contains few distracting errors in syntax, diction, grammar, or mechanics, and the errors do not detract from the meaning;

The student’s essay contains few or no noticeable errors in grammar or mechanics and errors do not distract reader; sentences fluency and word choice enhance the readability and “voice.”

Addresses and integrates perspectives(s) different from the writer’s (COUNTER ARGUMENT)

(AR — Identifies perspectives)

Unacceptable (1)

Developing (2)

Acceptable (3)

Proficient (4)

The student’s essay fails to consider other viewpoints or perspectives, often relying heavily on a single source of information.

In the essay, the student acknowledges, but does not explore perspectives outside his or her own.

In the essay, the student recognizes and addresses viewpoints different than his or her own.

In the essay, the student analyzes and evaluates different viewpoints appropriate to the issue, demonstrating an understanding of the issue’s multiple dimensions.

MLA Paper Format

Back to Hall of Handouts

Creating MLA Format with Word



Standard font such as “Times New Roman” or “Arial” in size 12

MLA format requires that you use a standard, readable font like those named at the left. Please avoid using decorative fonts in the body of your writing or font sizes that are too small (10, 8, 6) because they are difficult for readers to see. Also avoid font sizes that are too large (16, 18, etc.); they can give readers the impression that you’re simply trying to fill up space.

Font names and sizes appear at the top of the document screen. You may change them before you begin typing by clicking the corresponding black arrows and making your selections. Or you may “select” some text first by pointing the mouse cursor (the one that looks like a capital “I”) at the beginning of a line or passage, pressing down the mouse key, and dragging the cursor to the right or downward until the text you want to change is highlighted with a black background. Release the mouse key; then select the font style and size. Clicking anywhere in the darkened background will display the text normally again.

1” margins

The default page settings in Word are normally set at one inch. To check, click the “File” menu and select “Page Setup.” A window will open showing the margin settings. If the left and right margins are set at 1.25” that’s fine. If, however, the margin settings are too large or small, click the black arrows next to each setting until it shows 1”.

Heading in the upper left-hand corner of the page

1. Move the flashing cursor to the top of your document by pointing your mouse cursor in front of the first line of text and clicking once.

2. Press the “Enter” key a couple of time to create some space between the first line of text and the heading you’re about to create.

3. Point your mouse cursor at the top of the document screen and give it a click. Make sure the “Align Left” button on the toolbar is selected.

4. Type your full name. Press “Enter.”

5. Type your instructor’s name. Press “Enter.”

6. Type the name of the course. Press “Enter.”

7. Insert the date by clicking “Insert” on the menu bar. Click “Date and Time.” Click the date in the format you want it to appear; then click the “OK” button.

Centered title

1. Insert two lines after your heading by pressing “Enter” twice.

2. Use your mouse arrow to click on the “Center” feature on the toolbar (it should look like a button with six rows of centered lines). The flashing cursor should move to the center of the screen.

3. Type the title of your essay. The first letter of each important word in the title should be capitalized. (Note: Capitalizing small words like “a,” “the,” “in,” etc. is optional unless one of these is the first word of the title.)

4. Note: There is no need to underline the title of your essay.

Double-spaced text

1. “Select” the text of your essay by pointing your mouse cursor in front of the first line of text you want to double space.

2. Press the mouse key and do not release it.

3. Drag the mouse to the right and down the screen, blackening the text you want to change.

4. When you’ve reached the end of the document or the end of the passage you want to double space, release the mouse key.

5. Click the “Format” menu and then the “Paragraph” option.

6. Find “Line spacing” near the center of the window and click the small, black arrow for spacing options.

7. Click “Double” and then “OK.”

8. Click anywhere in the blackened area to return the text to normal.

Header with your last name and page number

1. Click the “View” menu at the top of the screen.

2. Click “Header and Footer” to open the “Header and Footer” screen.

3. Inside the “Header” box, type your last name and then press the spacebar once.

4. Next click the “Insert Page Number” button which looks like a small white page with a bent corner and a # symbol in the middle. A page number should appear after your name.

5. Click in front of the first letter of your last name to move the flashing cursor to the beginning of your header.

6. Click the “Align Right” button on the toolbar at the top of the screen. (The button shows six lines that match up on the right side.) This will make your header appear in the upper right-hand corner of each page.

7. Click “Close” in the Header and Footer window to return to the normal screen.

(Page one of an MLA formatted essay)

Anna Bautista

D. Forrest

English 101

June 5, 1998

Conquering Circumstances

Cory and Waverly, two main characters in August Wilson’s drama Fences and Amy Tan’s novel “Rules of the Game,” struggle against issues that are at once current and age-old. Cory and Waverly are both minorities in a White dominated world. They also have in common a struggle with a dominating parent who strongly influences their lives and beliefs. Each in their own way strives to make a mark for themselves by excelling in particularly American activities. Cory, on one hand, works hard at the very physical sport of football, gaining recognition from his coach and even from college recruiters. In the same manner, Waverly, a Chinese girl who has been taught to have “inner strength,” studies the intricate game of chess and eventually wins tournaments with her ability.

Each of these works comes to a climax when Cory and Waverly challenge their parent’s authority. Though neither Cory nor Waverly “win” the power struggle, Cory succeeds at least in breaking some negative patterns that his father’s example had set for him. Waverly, on the other hand, is unable to make her “invisible strength” sustain her under the persecution of her mother’s rejection.

(Page two of an MLA formatted essay)

Bautista 2

Cory grows up in a Black neighborhood and probably goes to school with all Black students. As he grows up, he learns that Blacks are not treated with the same respect . . .

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Works Cited Notes

Your Works Cited List

The works cited list should appear at the end of your essay. It provides the information necessary for a reader to locate and be able to read any sources you cite in the essay. Each source you cite in the essay must appear in your works-cited list; likewise, each entry in the works-cited list must be cited in your text. Preparing your works cited list using MLA style is covered in chapter six of the MLA Style Manual, and chapter four of the Handbook for Writing Research Papers. Here are some guidelines for preparing your works cited list.

List Format

  • Begin your works cited list on a separate page from the text of the essay under the label Works Cited (with no quotation marks, underlining, etc.), which should be centered at the top of the page.
  • Make the first line of each entry in your list flush left with the margin. Subsequent lines in each entry should be indented one-half inch. This is known as a hanging indent.
  • Double space all entries, with no skipped spaces between entries.
  • Keep in mind that underlining and italics are equivalent; you should select one or the other to use throughout your essay.
  • Alphabetize the list of works cited by the first word in each entry (usually the author's last name),

Basic Rules for Citations

  • Authors' names are inverted (last name first); if a work has more than one author, invert only the first author's name, follow it with a comma, then continue listing the rest of the authors.
  • If you have cited more than one work by a particular author, order them alphabetically by title, and use three hyphens in place of the author's name for every entry after the first.
  • When an author appears both as the sole author of a text and as the first author of a group, list solo-author entries first.
  • If no author is given for a particular work, alphabetize by the title of the piece and use a shortened version of the title for parenthetical citations.
  • Capitalize each word in the titles of articles, books, etc. This rule does not apply to articles, short prepositions, or conjunctions unless one is the first word of the title or subtitle.
  • Underline or italicize titles of books, journals, magazines, newspapers, and films.
  • Use quotation marks around the titles of articles in journals, magazines, and newspapers. Also use quotation marks for the titles of short stories, book chapters, poems, and songs.
  • List page numbers efficiently, when needed. If you refer to a journal article that appeared on pages 225 through 250, list the page numbers on your Works Cited page as 225-50.
  • If you're citing an article or a publication that was originally issued in print form but that you retrieved from an online database, you should provide enough information so that the reader can locate the article either in its original print form or retrieve it from the online database (if they have access). For more about this, see our discussion of electronic sources.


Author(s). Title of Book. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication.

Book with one author

Henley, Patricia. The Hummingbird House. Denver: MacMurray, 1999

The Other Side of Outsourcing

Friday, January 19, 2007

An Emotional Appeal--POV

Sites you found and sites students from last year found

On the tradition of the "Work Ethic" (from Gina)

On Employer Ethics statements and moral (from Gina)

from last year

1. Living and Minimum Wage Debate

Canada has some of the same issues--
Anti-Living Wage points here. (Pro website)

Department of Labor

2. Housing issues:
Housing and Urban Development

Tenants Association Washington States

Rentals in Yakivegas

More on Yakima housing help

Yakima housing here, but what if it gets cold?

3. Poverty Issues
NPR station in Ohio has a good page here.

Lesson Plan Day 12

By the end of the period, an outline. The more detailed the better.
10 pts.

Before the end of the period, talk to me about your outline. The sooner the better.

Monday: Bring four copies of your essay (3-5 pages, double spaced, stapled, photos don't count toward page total). 20pts.

  • Outlines

  • Intro paragraph—often written last

  • Hook

  • State background of the case

  • Lead naturally in to:

  • Thesis statement towards end (Arguable, Narrow, One-Three Sentences, changeable)

  • Body Paragraphs—pick your best point and write that paragraph first then your next best until you get to your least persuasive point.

  • Topic sentence at the top.

  • Sandwich quotes

  • Signal phrases.

  • Evidence.

  • Connect the evidence.

  • One paragraph, at least should be devoted to making the case against your ideas and then “unmaking” them. Try, Some might argue that… but I argue that…

  • Conclusion

  • Keep it short.

  • Reinforce main point

How’s your outline look?

  • Part of this is developing critical thinking skills. Analytical reasoning. That’s why I can only go so far to help you without doing the thinking for you. There are two skills we are working on, skills that will keep us out of the same jobs we are writing about: communication and analytical reasoning. That’s where the money is. And in taking risks.

Peer Editing, a crash course. Your peer editors will have different topics than you do, so that you can better judge how clear it is to a fresh audience.

  • The Two Rules of Peer Editing

  • Be Kind

  • Be Honest
  • Handout copies.

  • Someone other than the writer reads it aloud.

  • Mark it as you go.

  • Fill in form.

  • Discuss form with writer

  • Writer asks questions.
What is the main idea for each paragraph?What supporting evidence will you use?This can be a mix of anecdote and secondary sources(the two+ outside sources, and the book).

For most questions this mix should lean towards the use of printsources.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Lesson Plan Thursday Jan 18th

In the lab.

What $1.2 trillion can buy (you don't want to look)

Living Wage Slide Show

15 Years Slide Show

Get into groups (1-9) according to essay topic.
Share quotes--page numbers

Work through it.
If you are stuck, just start freewriting. Re-read the book. Research. Re-read the question.
Ask: What are the issues? What do you want to say? Where can you get information?

Essay format, from book (C5-g)
Show more options for model papers on line here.
Talk about the traditional organization.
The 5 keys to a good argument:
Introduction, Statement of the Case, Proposition, Refutation, Confirmation, and Conclusion.

Thesis statement on Hacker?

We have to keep moving this fast until we hit a rough spot.
So far we're good.

Now: Two ways to go.
1. Form a thesis first and look for evidence to support it. Like Ehrenreich?
2. Pick an interesting questions, look at the evidence, form a thesis.

Today, start your research are here.
Use google to find other links and email them to me so I can post them on this site.

For documentation:
Keep track of url's, titles of articles, names of authors and overall name of site.

Homework: Read Hacker on outlines. C1-d
Create an outline for your essay for End of Period Friday.
Finish reading 15 Years on the Bottom Rung

For Outline, Ask:

What is the main idea for each paragraph?

What supporting evidence will you use?
This can be a mix of anecdote and secondary sources
(the two+ outside sources, and the book).
For most questions this mix should lean towards the use of print

Friday, January 12, 2007

Bonus Point or Absence Retrieval

To make up one absence or to earn five points towards your prewriting score (30% of total grade) attend and take notes. The NEXT DAY, turn in a one page typed summary and review (what happened and what was your reaction to what happened) of the event.

18: The Right to Dream
Part of the Diversity Series, this Living Voices presentation will take place at 7:00 pm in the Parker Room at YVCC. Tickets are $5.00 for adults, no charge for children, seniors or students. Call 574-6800 x3151 for more information.

31: Faculty Lecture Series
Kendall Hall, 7:30 pm. Free lectures presented by YVCC faculty members on a variety of subjects. Topics were not set by press time. For more information, call 574-6870.

15: Journey from the Dust
Part of the Diversity Series, this Living Voices presentation will take place at 7:00 pm in the Parker Room at YVCC. Tickets are $5.00 for adults, no charge for children, seniors or students. Call 574-6800 x3151 for more information.

21: Faculty Lecture Series
Kendall Hall, 7:00 pm. Free lectures presented by YVCC faculty members on a variety of subjects. Topics were not set by press time. For more information, call 574-6870.

15: Women Creating Peaceful Communities
Part of the Diversity Series, this presentation featuring Rosalinda Guillen will take place at 7:00 pm in the Parker Room at YVCC. Tickets are $5.00 for adults, no charge for children, seniors or students. Call 574-6800 x3151 for more information.

Sprawl Mart

South Park and Wall-Mart

Evaluation Questions


1) In her Evaluation, Ehrenreich details an argument about a group she refers to as the "disappearing poor." This argument is a complex one involving several kinds of reasons.

1. Read this series of paragraphs (p. 216–221) carefully to absorb her conclusions;

2. then be able to discuss those reasons why the "poor" are less visible among us than their numbers or the near-desperation of their situation would warrant.

3. What supporting anecdotal evidence can you cite from elsewhere in the book?

4. What larger social outcomes do you think might result? — note particularly her assertion that these "working poor" are the major philanthropists of our society.

5. And why doesn't this group function as a powerful force dictating the behavior of the free market?

2) If Ehrenreich wrote a book about high-wage or rich people, could she use the same tactics?

3) Each of the author's jobs can be classified as a "service industry" position, yet in each Ehrenreich comes to see the customers as impediments to doing her job well:

What do these observations tell us about the relationship between worker and customer, or the relationships among worker, customer, and management?

4) What does it mean to be an ethical employee or an ethical employer?

Lesson Plan Friday, Day 8

English 102 Lesson Plan Day 8

1. Quiz, Names/Faces

  1. Selling in Minnesota, footnotes and study questions

3. Handout essay options and read solo.

4. Free write for five minutes about the options.

5. Discuss at tables what looks interesting to you.

6. Meet in groups to discuss your second choice.

7. Meet in groups to discuss your first choice.


Choose an essay topic by Monday.

The first chapter we will read in The World is Flat (TWIF) is “While I Was Sleeping” We won’t be discussing it for a while, but you can start now and try to get ahead.

Outline of Evaluation Chapter, using the questions below

2. Outline the following, according to the EVALUATION CHAPTER:

a. How did she do as a worker?

b. How did she do at “life in general”?

c. Why are the official poverty rates misleading?

d. If productivity is increasing, why aren’t wages?

e. What keeps the workers from finding better jobs? Where is the friction?

f. Explain the “vicious cycle” of labor costs described by the book.

g. What makes the working poor invisible?

h. List some of the complaints the middle and upper class have about the

working poor.

i. Summarize the problems facing the working poor.

j. What are the solutions to these problems?

k. What are the objections to these solutions?

l. Why does Ehrenreich call the working poor the most philanthropic of all

social classes?


Jan 16th: Prewrite on which question to take on.

Jan. 17th: Complete discussion of Nickel and Dimed. My best shot at what’s a good paper.

January 18th: Paper format. Research. Writing. (lab)

January 19rd: Outline of your essay.

January 22th: Rough Draft Due. Bring four copies for peer editing.

January 23th: Complete Peer Editing. Introduction to using sources.

January 24th: Sources continued. How to integrate.

January 26th: Draft Two Due. Bring two copies.

Essay Topics N&D

Essay Options, English 102 Winter 06. Nickel and Dimed

Guidelines for every option:

3-5 pages.

Typed drafts.

Double spaced, 12 point font.

Use N&D as a source.

Use two sources from the web or elsewhere.

Explain your main point. Explain criticism of your main point.

Refine/Defend/Concede/Expand your main point.

We are looking for good solid ideas—original and well supported.

We are looking for real questions and real answers because these are issues that affect our lives everyday.

You are in school because of the issues raised in this book.

Keys to your future, whatever kind of future it may be, are in this book.

That’s what we’re looking for.

1. What is to be done?
This question will deal with the “Evaluation” chapter a great deal.
People that work 40 hours a week should be able to survive. Right now, they live on or over the edge. How do we fix this problem?

Here’s a quote from Salon Magazine:
But [the book] also half-raises questions without truly answering them….[She] shoos them off again without letting us get a really good look at them and generally shies away from admitting that however intolerable the conditions …may be, any viable alternative to tolerating them is far from obvious.

Salon’s right. Ehrenreich’s evaluation has some flaws. What she observed is pretty convincing, but when she attempts solutions or when she confronts criticism, she is vague. That may mean there’s a problem with her premise. It might simply mean that she fumbles the final push but that the issues are still real.

Here’s what I’ll be looking for in a good paper:

Highlight Ehrenreich’s attempts at solving the problems.
What are the problems and what are her solutions?

Second, highlight the “objections” she raises about her solutions.
How does she address these objections?
Now, you take over the argument.
What should be done?
Maybe she should have said, You’re right.

If you tend to be more conservative, this might be a good option for you to write about.
What would the conservative write for an “Evaluation” of the events in N&D’d?
Maybe she should have explained why the criticisms were wrong. Defend her points where she has left them open.
Maybe the criticisms, being part right, don’t change the fact that there’s a problem, they just point out adjustments needed to your argument, to the solution.
Once you think you’ve got it all figured out, ask:
What are the objections to your ideas?

2. YakTown This is for the investigative journalists in the class. People who have time to drive around and know how to use a digital camera and aren't afraid of bad neighborhoods or acting like a renter.

Figure 30% of Minimum wage in Washington State.
What does that rent in Yakima? Investigate and report.
Where are you going to get the information? The Big Picture? The best evidence? How about “first, last, and deposit” issue in Yakima? What is the norm? Where do the motels rent for by the week? Where are they?
Safety concerns? What does that say about housing in Yakima?
Use N&D to compare conditions. What do your findings mean to the premise in N&D that housing held back many people?

3. Working Poor, For Men
Nickel and Dimed focuses on minimum wage jobs for women.
How are men affected by the issues raised in N&D?
What jobs are available in Yakima?
What about housing? Physical toll? Mental toll? Dignity?
Do a want ad search in Yakima. Make some phone calls. Pick up some applications. Take some screen test.
What other ways can we get information?
What does your investigation turn up?

4. What Problem?—Or—Does This Mean You’re Going to Miss Your Shift?

The working poor blame their situation “on personal failings or lack of initiative.”
Are they right?

From Salon:
A recent survey of attitudes about poverty…suggests…resistance to classic left ideas about poverty is fairly common among the poor. For example, the low-income Americans surveyed were only slightly more likely than the affluent to blame the plight of the poor on circumstances beyond their control, rather than on personal failings or lack of initiative.

So the poor don’t blame the rich. They blame themselves.
The easy answer seems to be “case closed”—but as the book points out, there might be other “circumstances” at work. Explain what those are.

How does the working poor’s inability to “see the real problem” influence the solution to the problem?

Another way of asking this is:
From Salon:
Ehrenreich's image of the working poor as, in fact, simply victims of an unjust social order clashes with their need to believe that they have some say in their own fates -- and to hold the people in their lives morally accountable.

One of the issues that comes up in the discussion of this book is Ehrenreich’s position as a tourist in the land of the working poor.

Explain the cultural “clashes” created by her attempts to right the wrongs of the social order and her coworkers desires/beliefs. She sees them as victims and they see themselves as what?
In what sense are the working poor victims?

How do the working poor want to see themselves?
Who’s right?

Who is the audience for this book? Why do you think Ehrenreich wrote to that audience? What sections of this book do you think would offend the working poor? Why are they included? How do these clashes effect her credibility with her intended audience?

5. In the real world, there’s friction—This produced several fine essays last year.
What does Ehrenreich mean when she mentions “friction” of real life as opposed to the theoretical, “Economic Man”? How do we overcome that friction so that workers move towards their highest level of financial and professional abilities? Use N&D for examples.

6. To Be Good
After reading N&D explain:
What does it mean to be an ethical employee?
What does it mean to be an ethical employer?

Which question is easier to answer? Why is that?
Use N&D as examples of do’s and don’ts.

7. From the Headlines
The conversation of the moment, when it comes to the issues raised in Nickel and Dimed are two:
a. Living Wage Jobs or Minimum Wage Jobs—Federal House and Senate Bills
b. Wal-Mart having to kick in more for health insurance, Wal-Mart’s new ad campaign.
Both are controversial and well documented issues.
Pick a dog in the fight and back it up with well researched evidence.
Should we have a national “Living Wage”?
How responsible is WalMart for their employees’ health care?

8. Satire of investigative report on the “working rich”—Only if you know what satire is, and only if you can do it in an academic way as well.
Pick this one if you agree with Ehrenreich and think satire is a good way to persuade people. You will be making gentle fun of the “working rich.” Spend a day “undercover” to observe the conditions and behavior of the working rich. You could use your imagination, but why not experience it directly? How could this be done? What rules would you set up? What level would you not let yourself sink to?
The working poor have to deal with incredible stress, emergency situation all the time. From housing to broken down cars, to their health, there is much good evidence that the working poor have difficult conditions. But what about the rich? Doesn’t anybody think about the stress they have?
This would be an easy assignment to make mean. That is not the point. The point is to highlight how difficult the working poor really do have it, compared to the issues many of us consider difficult.

9. A Frame of Mind—This is an easy topic to get a very bad grade on. I’m offering it against my better judgment.

Explain how poverty is a “frame of mind”.
This has two sides to it. There is the idea that you aren’t poor unless you allow yourself to be poor of spirit and hope.
Then there’s the idea that after awhile, we believe we are worth what we are paid. That conditions cause “the relentless grinding down of dignity and, by extension, hope.”
Explain how both frames of mind are at work in the book. Give examples.
What do these two frames of mind suggest about possible solutions to the problem?

From Salon:
While it's not true that everyone has a “broke diary”, plenty of people do. I can remember times during my college years when for weeks I ate only a meagerly topped baked potato for dinner each night -- my best friend referred to one such period as "the Depression." The fact that he could joke about my [poverty]…serves as a reminder that poverty is more than a matter of low income; it's also a frame of mind. So perhaps worse than the grim mathematics of the life Ehrenreich sampled is the relentless grinding down of dignity and, by extension, hope.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Minimum Wage Flash Movie

Um...funny, but pg13, so consider yourself warned.
Music by "They Might Be Giants"

Lesson Plan Day 5

1. Continue Introductions (830 only)
2. Review Notes on Serving in Florida, first in groups, then as a class.
3. Homework: Read Scrubbing in Maine and complete study questions.
4. Next week, we will be outlining the jobs she's had so far and looking at the chapter "Fifteen Years on the Bottom Rung" in Class Matters. No assignments on this yet, just a heads up.
5. If you get going on N&D, keep going.

Eliminate Min. Wage?

George Will in the Washington Post says yes.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Scrubbing in Maine

Scrubbing in Maine

1) Ehrenreich writes, "The main thing I learn from the job-hunting process is that, despite all the help-wanted ads and job fairs, Portland is just another $6-$7-an-hour town. This should be as startling to economists as a burst of exotic radiation is to astronomers" (59-60).

· Why should this be startling?

· And why is it happening?

None of Ehrenreich's jobs in Nickel and Dimed lends her much dignity, but her position with The Maids turns out to be particularly demeaning in certain ways. She explains, "Maids, as an occupational group, are not visible, and when we are seen, we are often sorry for it"(99).

· In what ways are she and her co-workers at The Maids not visible?

· Why do you think she includes herself here, using "we" to designate those who work in this area—after all, isn't this just an experiment for her?

3) In one episode with The Maids, Ehrenreich takes up for one of her coworkers, pointing out that she need not feel such loyalty to Ted, the manager.

"What's all this worrying about Ted? He'll find someone else. He'll take anyone who can manage to show up sober at 7:30 in the morning. Sober and standing upright."

"No," Holly finally interjects. "That's not true. Not everybody can get this job. You have to pass the test."

The test? The Accutrac test? "The Test," I practically yell, "is BULLSHIT! Anyone can pass that test!" (113)

Ehrenreich sees this as a moment of unity with her coworker, Holly. However, the moment proves to break what has been a good relationship between them.

· Why did this end the good relationship?

· In what ways might Ehrenreich have been misguided in her effort to empower and support Holly?

The author gives us a pretty cynically humorous account of a visit to a tent revival in Portland, commenting that "Christ crucified rules, and it may be that the true business of modern Christianity is to crucify him again and again so that he can never get a word out of his mouth" (68-69).

· How is this commentary a response to her experience, and an explanation for other observations she has made about human nature?