Friday, January 30, 2009

Day 19

English 102 Lesson Plan Day 19

  1. Essay progress.
  2. Your second essay.
    1. I'll focus links on this next week
      1. Washington Learns
      2. Distribution/Tourism/Other
  3. Links for today. I must be stopped.
  4. Reading for the weekend: The Quiet Crisis.
    1. Tuesday: This is Not a Test
    2. Wednesday: How Companies Cope
    3. Thursday: The Unflat World
    4. Friday: 11/9 v 9/11
  5. Quiz Monday.
  6. Comments on blog for BP due Monday. Don't rush a bunch in this weekend. If you want to go back in time and comment, start on Wednesday of this week and go through today. Plenty of stuff to post on just in those few days. (Like 24, so far)
  7. Did I say Quiz Monday?
    1. The Untouchables
    2. The Right Stuff
      1. U-Make Quiz: For each chapter--
        1. 5 True False
        2. 5 Multiple Choice
        3. 5 Matching
        4. Please provide a key.

Stump the Chump?

Triple Convergence

The Triple Convergence (page numbers are approximate, but off)

203: First around 2000, all ten flatteners started working together

Second, people started getting it.

Third: China, India, USSR all joined in

  • 204: Convergence I: Simultaneous improvement of complimentary goods, reinforced each other

  • 206: II: People needed time to get comfortable w/ the "horizontal" playing field.
    • Like distance ed?

    • The previous model was vertical silos.
  • 179: went from top down to side to side

  • 211: III: Add 3 Billion People
    • 182: Prev. it had been NA, West Europe, Japan and East Asia with similar education, wages, workforce size "Gentlemanly competition"
    • 183: Some countries simply skipping a step—like cell phones in China
  • 184: Zippes in India: Generation Z.

  • 185: You can innovate without having to emigrate

  • 229: The other triple convergence:
    • com bust (actually helped the world, but scared us)
    • 9/11
    • Enron
    • Other things?
      • X-box; 100 channels of tv; reality tv;
    • 198: Politicians in 2004 were not educating us, they were making us stupid
    • Now the real IT revolution is about to begin

The Great Sorting Out
234: from command and control to connect and collaborate

  • 238-39: Dissolving of feudal, national and religious id, giving universal citizenships
    • (NOW, 1989?)
    • BIG PAGES 237-239: Mixed blessing: Bumping up against the world of friction
    • Nickel and Dimed; which are sources of friction we should try to protect?

    • What extent should we lean against the current for the sake of values the global market can't supply? (Religious faith; national pride; social cohesion—copyrights? Worker protections; min. wage—see today's paper)
      • (Global min wage?)

Sorting Out:

  • India v. Indiana: 240: wow. Whose values to protect?

  • 242: Where do companies start and stop?
  • Whose values will govern a particular company and whose interest will that company respect and promote? GM goes, so goes America. But not today.
  • 210: IBM and Lenovo: Would you call this an American company? A Chinese company?

  • 212: Rolls Royce and Germany and Russia

248: Command and Control to Collaborate and Connect:

  • Colin Powell and Google and blackberries
  • 213: Amy's job and blackberry

  • 250: Wal-Mart and our conflicting identities. Walk through this one up to page 250

  • 216: When you flatten the world, you take humanity out of life
  • 216: Vioxx example
  • 253: Who Owns what? Intellectual Property:
    • Napster; video; Google Books;
    • The Blog? The film? Chapbooks?
    • What about Amy's work?
  • 218: AOL Passwords, in your will?

  • 255: Death of a Salesman
    • 220: Tommy all anyone cares about today is price.
    • But fat is what gives meat it's taste

221: What about politics?

  • Wall party (labor and far right social crowd)
    • v. Web Party (conservatives in Business and social liberals who want a connected world)

Globalization 1-3

  1. Globalization 1.0
    1. 1492-1800
    2. Shrank the world from large to medium
    3. Countries and muscles
      1. Horse/steam power
      2. Inspired by religion or imperialism or both
      3. Where does my country fit in?
      4. How can I go global and collaborate with others through my country?
  2. Globalization 2.0
    1. 1800-2000
    2. From medium to small sized world
    3. Interrupted by Great Depression and WWI/II
    4. Multinational corporations
      1. Dutch/English, Industrial Revolution
      2. Looking for market and labor
      3. Powered by steam/rail
      4. Then telecom (telegraph, phones, pc, satellites, fiber optics)
      5. Breakthroughs in Hardware
        1. Steamships, rails
        2. computers
      6. Where does my company fit in?
      7. How does it take advantage of the opportunities?
      8. How can I go global and collabaorate with others through my company?
  3. Globalization 3.0
    1. After 2000
    2. From small to tiny/flat world
    3. Not countries. Not companies. Individuals.
    4. Not horsepower, not hardware, but software
    5. Where do I fit in?
    6. How can I, on my own, collaborate with others globally?
    7. Driven by every corner of the world (not Europe and America)

The Freedom to Write

Here's why China is still behind us in ideas and why our freedoms matter.

From a post titled, The Freedom to Write:

We take it for granted. In China, not so much. Liu Xaobo was arrested last December for signing a petition calling for peaceful reform of the Communist dictatorship. PEN is organizing online to seek Xaobo's freedom. You can read the text here. More info, including a sample letter to the Chinese government, here.

Why Not Let Cities Set Minimum Wage

The logic isn't there, but here's a law that bars it in Michigan.

Cost of Tuition

Here's a good article from NYTimes on the subject.

Conclusion, growing out of reach for many.

Over all, the report found, published college tuition and fees increased 439 percent from 1982 to 2007 while median family income rose 147 percent. Student borrowing has more than doubled in the last decade, and students from lower-income families, on average, get smaller grants from the colleges they attend than students from more affluent families. '

“If we go on this way for another 25 years, we won’t have an affordable system of higher education,” said Patrick M. Callan, president of the center, a nonpartisan organization that promotes access to higher education.

“When we come out of the recession,” Mr. Callan added, “we’re really going to be in jeopardy, because the educational gap between our work force and the rest of the world will make it very hard to be competitive. Already, we’re one of the few countries where 25- to 34-year-olds are less educated than older workers.”

Drop out rates and minimum wage

The argument doesn't seem to work.
Compare 2000 to today.
The numbers should be increasing with wages, but they are dropping.

A Cleaner Stimulus Package or a Bigger One

David Brooks, again, on what he'd like to see.
He's a center leaning conservative who openly supported Obama earlier and now has some ideas on how to improve the house bill.

Paul Krugman's take. Here's a left leaning columnist who wants to see a bigger stimulus. And he just won the Nobel Prize for Economics.

Friedman Got Pied

Last year on Earth Day

Why? Biodiesel, globalization, market forces, technology.

Google Earth and Terrorists

The Flat World Gives and Takes

Criminals have used telephones and mobile phones since they were invented. Drug smugglers use airplanes and boats, radios and satellite phones. Bank robbers have long used cars and motorcycles as getaway vehicles, and horses before then. I haven't seen it talked about yet, but the Mumbai terrorists used boats as well. They also wore boots. They ate lunch at restaurants, drank bottled water, and breathed the air. Society survives all of this because the good uses of infrastructure far outweigh the bad uses, even though the good uses are - by and large - small and pedestrian and the bad uses are rare and spectacular. And while terrorism turns society's very infrastructure against itself, we only harm ourselves by dismantling that infrastructure in response - just as we would if we banned cars because bank robbers used them too.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ag Exports Keep Growing

Here's a link that helps explain why we trade with other countries

Key stat:

Exports from Washington of agricultural commodities were valued at $9.26 billion in 2007, a 38 percent increase from 2006, accor-ding to a news release from the state Department of Agriculture.

10 Flatteners

And Agriculture

Friedman's achive

From the NYTimes

Day 18

English 102 Lesson Plan Day 18

  1. Look for essay topics that interest you.
  2. I'm going to talk for awhile
    1. Globalization 1-3
    2. Ten Flatteners.
    3. Triple Convergence.
  3. Your turn
    1. America and Free Trade
      1. What's the main idea?
      2. What's our advantage?
  4. Your turn, part two
    1. Untouchables
      1. In groups
        1. Definition
        2. Example from book.
        3. Example locally.
  5. Homework: Read: The Right Stuff

Please, make it stop

Here's an article I wish I didn't know about--More bonuses.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Big Fix

Here's a great source for information on the stimulus and what Leonhardt thinks we should do.

Key quote--note the bold I've added:

So for the first time in more than 70 years, the epicenter of the American economy can be placed outside of California or New York or the industrial Midwest. It can be placed in Washington. Washington won’t merely be given the task of pulling the economy out of the immediate crisis. It will also have to figure out how to put the American economy on a more sustainable path — to help it achieve fast, broadly shared growth and do so without the benefit of a bubble. Obama said as much in his inauguration speech when he pledged to overhaul Washington’s approach to education, health care, science and infrastructure, all in an effort to “lay a new foundation for growth.”

Day 17

Lesson Plan Day 17, Winter 2009

  1. Essays back in about a week
  2. The final essay will combine pieces of all three books. Make some connections.
  3. Policy on revision
    1. Save Everything.
    2. It's not where you start it's where you finish.
    3. You may select one of the three essays you are writing to REVISE for an improved score.
    4. These will be due the second to last day of class.
    5. You can't get a lower grade by doing this.
  4. Keep the idea of improvement in the front of your mind.
  5. It starts all the way back here, at the beginning of talking about it. You should be listening for ways into the assignment based on the book and discussion.
  6. Improve on this part. Take more notes. Ask questions during class. Interrupt me. Write down your ideas. Read the chapter twice.
  7. Here's my take on the book:
    1. Very well organized
    2. Organized like a good essay
      1. Intro/History/Background
      2. Business
      3. Education
      4. Counter Argument
      5. Conclusion
  8. Essay options and due dates, subject to change.
  9. What stood out from the first chapter?
    1. Globalization 1.0-3.0
  10. 10 Flatteners
  11. Triple Convergence
  12. Read: The Untouchables for Thursday.

The Case for Doing Nothing

The case for doing nothing.
Very few are making this argument (and I'm not one of them). Even Republicans think it's a good idea to pump huge amounts into the economy to get it moving (see "Foreclosure Alley" video for what might be coming north). But there's the "tough love" approach too, and it fits into Friedman's "This Is Not a Test" chapter.

Here's a sample quote:

Many of the Do-Nothings argue that a painful recession is the best way to destroy America’s runaway culture of irresponsibility and debt. Economic turmoil, after all, has a way of grounding Americans.

Dramatic belt-tightening across the board is the only way, they say, to stop the endless cycle of borrowing. “Our standard of living needs to come down to the point where it can be supported by organic output,” says Schiff.

Frieman on Colbert and Stewart

I can't get Colbert to play with current flash version.
Sorry. Try at home.

Same with Daily Show.

Friedman on Charlie Rose

The Other Side of Outsourcing

Foreclosure Alley

Education, Poverty, Stim

Here's one on education.
Here's one on joblessness and health care.

And here's David Leonhardt's take on hits and misses with the stimulus.

Triple Convergence

Triple convergence

In addition to the ten flatteners, Friedman offers "the triple convergence," three additional components that acted on the flatteners to create a new, flatter global playing field.
Up until the year 2000, the ten flatteners were semi-independent from one another. An example of independence is the inability of one machine to perform multiple functions. When work-flow software and hardware converged, multiple functions such as e-mail, fax, printing, copying and communicating were able to be done from one machine. However, around the year 2000, all the flatteners converged with one another. This convergence could be compared to complementary goods, in that each flattener enhanced the other flatteners; the more one flattener developed, the more leveled the global playing field became.

After the emergence of the ten flatteners, a new business model was required to succeed. While the flatteners alone were significant, they would not enhance productivity without people being able to use them together. Instead of collaborating vertically (the top-down method of collaboration, where innovation comes from the top), businesses needed to begin collaborating horizontally. Horizontalization means companies and people collaborate with other departments or companies to add value creation or innovation. Friedman's Convergence II occurs when horizontalization and the ten flatteners begin to reinforce each other and people understand the capability of the technologies available.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, countries that had followed the Soviet economic model—including India, China, Russia, and the nations of Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Central Asia—began to open up their economies to the world. When these new players converged with the rest of the globalized marketplace, they added new brain power to the whole playing field and enhanced horizontal collaboration across the globe. In turn, Convergence III is the most important force shaping politics and economics in the early 21st century.

10 Flatteners

Ten flatteners

Friedman defines ten "flatteners" that he sees as leveling the global playing field:

#1: Collapse of Berlin Wall--11/'89: The event not only symbolized the end of the Cold war, it allowed people from other side of the wall to join the economic mainstream. (11/09/1989)

#2: Netscape: Netscape and the Web broadened the audience for the Internet from its roots as a communications medium used primarily by 'early adopters and geeks' to something that made the Internet accessible to everyone from five-year-olds to ninety-five-year olds. (8/9/1995). The digitization that took place meant that everyday occurrences such as words, files, films, music and pictures could be accessed and manipulated on a computer screen by all people across the world.

#3: Workflow software: The ability of machines to talk to other machines with no humans involved. Friedman believes these first three forces have become a "crude foundation of a whole new global platform for collaboration."

#4: Open sourcing: Communities uploading and collaborating on online projects. Examples include open source software, blogs, and Wikipedia. Friedman considers the phenomenon "the most disruptive force of all."

#5: Outsourcing: Friedman argues that outsourcing has allowed companies to split service and manufacturing activities into components which can be subcontracted and performed in the most efficient, cost-effective way.

#6: Offshoring: The internal relocation of a company's manufacturing or other processes to a foreign land in order to take advantage of less costly operations there. China's entrance in the WTO allowed for greater competition in the playing field. Now countries such as Malaysia, Mexico, Brazil must compete against China and each other to have businesses offshore to them.

#7: Supply chaining: Friedman compares the modern retail supply chain to a river, and points to Wal-Mart as the best example of a company using technology to streamline item sales, distribution, and shipping.

#8: Insourcing: Friedman uses UPS as a prime example for insourcing, in which the company's employees perform services--beyond shipping--for another company. For example, UPS repairs Toshiba computers on behalf of Toshiba. The work is done at the UPS hub, by UPS employees.

#9: In-forming: Google and other search engines are the prime example. "Never before in the history of the planet have so many people-on their own-had the ability to find so much information about so many things and about so many other people", writes Friedman. The growth of search engines is tremendous; for example take Google, in which Friedman states that it is "now processing roughly one billion searches per day, up from 150 million just three years ago".

#10: Wireless: Personal digital devices like mobile phones, iPods, personal digital assistants, instant messaging, and voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

White House Website on Poverty

Among other things:

Expand EITC,
Green Jobs,
Career Pathway Programs
and...$9.50/hr. min wage by 2011.
Here's the text:

Raise the Minimum Wage to $9.50 an Hour by 2011: Barack Obama and Joe Biden
believe that people who work full-time should not live in poverty. Even
though the minimum wage will rise to $7.25 an hour by 2009, the minimum
wage's real purchasing power will still be below what it was in 1968.
President Obama will further raise the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour by
2011, index it to inflation and increase the Earned Income Tax Credit to
make sure that full-time workers can earn a living wage that allows them to
raise their families and pay for basic needs such as food, transportation,
and housing -- things so many people take for granted.

Bloody Monday

70k+ jobs lost in one day.

Day 16

English 102 Lesson Plan Day 16


  1. H/I one copy of your essay
  2. O/R Y? N?
    1. Intro and conclusion only
    2. Y= +5 points
    3. N= -5 points
  3. O/R
  4. How you should be feeling—
  5. Read TWIF: America and Free Trade for Wednesday
    1. The Untouchables for Thursday
    2. The Right Stuff for Friday
    3. The Quiet Crisis for Monday
    4. CM: College Dropout Boom for Tuesday
    5. CM: No Degree, No Way Back to the Middle for Wednesday
    6. TWIF: This is Not a Test for Thursday
    7. The Unflat World for Friday
    8. 11/9 v 9/11 for Monday

What Life Asks

This is a conservative editoral writer at the New York Times on "institutions". I'll link to another of his articles soon, but I thought this was worth looking at. Not required.

John Thain

Remember this guy?
He finally got fired.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Day 15

English 102 Day 15

  1. Essays due Tuesday.
  2. H/I study guide for "While I Was Sleeping"
  3. Reading Homework: The World is Flat, One of 10 "Flatteners"
  4. How to grade this?
  5. In text citations
  6. Works Cited
  7. Paper Format
  8. If you want to get a good grade
    1. Keep it simple.
    2. A clear thesis statement.
    3. A counter argument.
    4. Each paragraph has a main idea/topic sentence.
    5. Each paragraph has 2 or more pieces of evidence.
    6. The evidence comes from N&D'd, CM and three other places.
  9. If you want a good grade, continued:
    1. Work Harder.
    2. Change your habits/attitudes.
    3. Read/Review Hacker.
    4. Read more closely.
    5. A more detailed outline.
    6. More drafts .
    7. Writing Center.
    8. See Me.
  10. Peer Review Review
    1. What do you do with this feedback?
    2. Look for patterns in comments.

Look for obvious needs.

Works Cited

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.
Here are some guidelines for preparing your works cited list.

List Format

Basic Rules for Citations



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

Book with one author

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

Friday, January 23, 2009

Day 14

English 102 Day 14

  1. Hope video is up. If there's time, if not Monday.
  2. Essays due Tuesday.
  3. Reading Homework: The World is Flat, "While I Was Sleeping"
  4. Complete Study Guide
  5. Complete Peer Editing
    1. Begin by reading aloud 2nd Essay
    2. Answer question asked by author
    3. Review Worksheet with author
    4. Move on to 3rd essay
      1. Ask questions
      2. Read essay aloud
      3. Answer questions
      4. Worksheet
      5. Review with author
  6. Peer Review Review
    1. What do you do with this feedback?
    2. Look for patterns in comments.
    3. Look for obvious needs.
  7. If you are at a dead end
    1. Go for Option 1
      1. We've written most of it in class.
      2. It uses both N&D'd and CM.
      3. It has a built in C-A
      4. It has an easily formulated thesis
      5. There's a good outline for it online.
      6. You'll need to find the quotes and make a choice.
  8. If you want to get a good grade
    1. Keep it simple.
    2. A clear thesis statement.
    3. A counter argument.
    4. Each paragraph has a main idea/topic sentence.
    5. Each paragraph has 2 or more pieces of evidence.
    6. The evidence comes from N&D'd, CM and three other places.
  9. If you want a good grade, continued:
    1. Work Harder.
    2. Change your habits/attitudes.
    3. Read/Review Hacker.
    4. Read more closely.
    5. A more detailed outline.
    6. More drafts .
    7. Writing Center.

See Me.

I Hope So Too

Inspired by the NYTimes interactive feature, I Hope So Too

Music from Ray Charles, The Boston Pops and Jimi Hendrix

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Another Sample Essay

Dan Peters
ENGL 102
17 March 2008
Stop Tricking Yourself, America
Today, the country has gone a long way toward an appearance of classlessness. Americans of all sorts are awash in luxuries that would have dazzled their grandparents. Social diversity has erased many of the old markers. It has become harder to read people's status in the clothes they wear, the cars they drive, the votes they cast, the god they worship, the color of their skin. The contours of class have blurred; some say they have disappeared. But class is still a powerful force in American life.
—Fred R. Conrad, Class Matters, "Shadowy Lines That Still Divide"
What is class? According to Class Matters, "class is one way societies sort themselves out…. Classes are groups of people of similar economic and social position…. Put ten people in a room and a pecking order soon emerges" (8). The book Class Matters describes Americans' perception of class: "A recent New York Times poll on class found that 40 percent of Americans believed that the chance of moving up from one class to another had risen over the last thirty years, a period in which the new research shows that it has not. Thirty-five percent said it had not changed, and only 23 percent said it had dropped" (5). Seventy-five percent of Americans are disillusioned about the reality of class. Class summit is more difficult than they think. However, if the opportunity to arise from the dust is still available, typical Americans will continue to view class as normal American life. Class Matters describes Americans' stand on class: "There are poor and rich in the United States, of course, the argument goes, but as long as one can become the other, as long as there is something close to equality of opportunity, the differences between them do not add up to class barriers" (2-3). People will always organize themselves into classes. As long as the roles aren't written in stone, the American dream will continue to exist. According to the New York Times poll, however, Americans think it is easier to ascend up the pecking order when, in fact, it is harder. This misperception is because race, religion, political alignment, and appearance do not indicate class anymore. Class Matters states, "Diversity of all sorts—racial, ethnic, and gender—has complicated the class picture" (18). It also says, "Religious affiliation, too, is no longer the reliable class marker it once was" (Conrad 18). Explaining the change in political alignment, Class Matters states, "In the 1950s, professionals were reliably Republican; today they lean Democratic. Meanwhile, skilled labor has gone from being heavily Democratic to almost evenly split" (15). Class Matters explains appearance similarities: "Banks, more confident about measuring risk, now extend credit to low-income families, so that owning a home or driving a new car is no longer evidence that someone is middle class" (15). People can fake class presence nowadays. Are class barriers conquerable? Of course. We should listen to Ernie Frazier, a sixty-five-year-old real estate investor, and Diana Lackey, a sixty-year-old homemaker and wife of a retired contractor who were both quoted in Class Matters. Ernie Frazier states, "I don't think life is necessarily fair. But if you persevere, you can overcome adversity. It has to do with a person's willingness to work hard, and I think it's always been that way" (Conrad 5). Lackey says, "Times are much, much harder with all the downsizing, but we're still a wonderful country" (Conrad 7). Lower class Americans can still work hard and obtain an education in order to become upper class Americans. The question is: Will they, if they can appear like the wealthy with their cell phones and flat-screen TV's? When Americans can obtain "status" with the swipe of a credit card, when they distract themselves with chaotic schedules, ridiculous media, and unnecessary stuff that is portrayed as the "happy American life", will they be willing to work harder than in years past in order to actually become upper class and stop faking the upper-class life? America's perception and the reality of class are unlikely to change because Americans have become distracted with chaotic schedules, misleading media, and unnecessary stuff. Americans are tricking themselves.
Americans are way too busy. In the book The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman, Malcolm Davidson, a fifth grade teacher, is quoted describing the life of many of his students: "Sadly, many…white, American, middle class parents [told me] that the 5th grade work was too hard on their kids, they couldn't possibly complete it and have time to 'be a kid.' Soccer, gymnastics, [music] lessons and dinner out squeezed their education time" (357). Education opens up the way to get out of lower class life. When "being a kid" is more important than being a successful adult and "being a kid" entails instant gratification, Americans won't discover what class is actually like in America, and lower class Americans won't get the essentials to overcome their fate. Thomas Friedman describes how parents need to buck up and show their children tough love. He says, "I am suggesting that we do more to push our young people to go beyond their comfort zones, to do things right, and to be ready to suffer some short-run pain for longer gain" (Friedman 397). Parents shouldn't expect their kids to excel at everything. Parents need to prioritize time so their children will have adequate time to perform well. Parents need to focus on their priorities and not let their kids give up and try something new when the going gets tough. If life revolves around the individual—doing this and doing that—the individual won't take time to discover the big picture of class in America, and Americans "stuck" in lower class life will be too busy to overcome their fate.
Americans are way too concerned with abstract, unreal, misleading media. They need to put down the remote. Thomas Friedman states, "Our love of television and video and online games helps to explain our third dirty little secret" which is Americans lack of ambition (354). Without ambition, lower-class Americans cannot change the reality of class in America, and many other Americans will be too busy talking about American Idol, the latest celebrity, and upcoming movies to get a hold on America's class barriers and how hard it is to move up in class. Thomas Friedman writes, "There comes a time when you've got to put away the Game Boys, turn off the television, shut off the iPod, and get your kids down to work" (395). This task is difficult when the kids are not the only ones addicted to brain-numbing pastimes. The March 2008 edition of Focus on the Family magazine describes the media's coverage of Paris Hilton, "when her partying led to a drunk driving arrest and a jail cell, the television news covered her story round the clock, devoting time to her that might have been given to more important topics, such as the war in Iraq. But the public ate it up" (19). Why would Americans want to feast on Paris Hilton's mistakes? How is it relevant? Thomas Friedman compares America's celebrities with China's saying "In China today, Bill Gates is Britney Spears. In America today, Britney Spears is Britney Spears—and that is our problem" (Friedman 365).When the world looks at Americans, they see rich people. Why? Because Americans like to sit at movie theaters, eat popcorn, and talk about how hard their lives are. Again, we need to put down the remote and buckle down. The world is not always going to want to serve us.
Lastly, Americans are way too concerned with stuff. In the Yakima Herald Republic on Saturday, March 1st, 2008, Cal Thomas writes,
Some of the lust for bigger and better is human nature, but a lot is the result of consumerism. The Timex watch is no longer enough. We now must have a Rolex, though both accurately tell time. The adequate low-end automobile is insufficient. We must trade up to a luxury car with numbers and letters on the rear that mean nothing, but convey "status." And the house we are living in, which would have been more than adequate for our parents and certainly our grandparents, must be upgraded to larger digs in order to impress, if not growing families, than enlarged egos.
Americans won't escape their low-end situations if they don't sacrifice some of their wants. In the book Class Matters, the author, Angel Franco, writes about Juan Manuel Peralta who illegally came to the United States seeking a better life. After fifteen years without moving up the economic ladder, Peralta has lost hope and ambition to arise from the dust. Yet, in his financially unstable situation, Peralta has "middle-class ornaments, like a cellphone and a DVD player" (Franco 123). He even admits he has other inhibiting factors like his temper, gambling, and drinking. If Peralta would sacrifice his cell phone, gambling, DVD player, then maybe he could get closer to getting out the apartment that he shares with nine other Mexicans. In the United States, it is harder than before to move up the economic ladder. Lower class Americans can't afford to buy the up-and-coming if they want to overcome their situation.
American's perception and the reality of class are unlikely to change because Americans have become distracted by chaotic schedules, misleading media, and unnecessary stuff. We need to sacrifice our wants for awhile and focus on our needs. This sacrifice will help lower class Americans change the reality of class and other Americans see the reality of class. Americans need to stop tricking themselves.

The Land of False Hope

Dan Peters
English 102
April 18, 2008
The Land of False Hope

The American dream lives in the hearts of millions of people not just in America, but worldwide. This dream leads people to believe that hard work and perseverance can turn anyone from a low class worker to a middle class citizen. America as a whole appears to be living extravagantly; they all appear to be living the good life. The media spills forth stories of men that once lived on the streets and now own large corporations or of women that were left with nothing, but a houseful of children and now have patents for several multi-million dollar inventions. Stories like these make it appear as if movement between class lines is at an all time high. While class seems to be less of an issue in today's society, a closer examination proves that class lines still deeply divide America and because these lines run so deep, America's social structure is unlikely to experience much change.
As you drive down the streets of America, you can't help but notice that there are thousands of brand new cars coating the streets. As you walk through the local mall, you can't help but notice that nearly every woman is dressed to impress. As you make your way through country roads, where there used to be nothing, but orchards and farmland, you can't help but notice that now there are only gated communities with homes so large that they could house twenty people. On appearances alone, America seems to be thriving and our high-class citizens seem to be growing at rapid numbers. With news of our economy doing so poorly, why does it appear that there are so many wealthy people in America? The book Class Matters, a collaboration of pieces written by correspondents of The New York Times, states that class appears to be less of an issue, but in reality the lines are now deeper than ever. Some believe these divisions will change because of the ever-elusive American Dream, the feeble attempts at education reformation, and the way the people of America present themselves in society; however, I believe that class lines will stay as they are because of the extreme isolation and separation of the people in this country, the inheritance that makes and breaks people, and the vast extent of globalization.
It was less than a half of a century ago that it was easy to distinguish who belonged to what class. You could look at their clothes and know instantly what tax bracket they fell into. Only fifty years ago, you could look at the make and model of the family car and know if the patriarch of the family was a blue-collar worker or a corporate tycoon. It was just decades ago that the rich worshipped an Episcopalian god and the poor worshipped the god of their choice. In addition, in a country that was once torn apart by racism, it seems unimportant what color a person's skin is when it comes to the social makeup of the nation. It also used to be evident what class you belonged to by the political party that you supported. None of these things hold true anymore. Class lines seem to have faded and "some say they have disappeared" (Class 2). It now seems as if mobility, the ability to move from one class to another, is at an all time high. It now seems as if the American Dream is more obtainable.
In addition, the government is trying to take action to close the education gap among the people of America. In the past few years, several programs have been implemented to try to keep children on the right track when it comes to education. In Washington, one such program is the WASL. This testing program is to make certain that all high school students are on the path to ultimate success. In recent years, this program has not many results. The schools that were at the bottom of the education list ten years ago are still there today. What makes an education effective then? The answer is simple enough, money. The schools that are located in a generally richer demographic tend to offer a better education program. So while the government offers help through the form of tests, maybe what they should do is provide funding for the ill educated instead. Barbara Ehrenreich, the author of Nickel and Dimed, feels that the government turns a blind eye to the impoverished because they feel it is easier to avoid the situation than to correct it. The outcome of the pending presidential election could change it all. A new president could not only reform education, but could also provide health care for all Americans and help fight poverty by raising the national minimum wage and offering low-income, government subsidized housing in safe neighborhoods.
Yet another reason why many people feel that class lines are beginning to blur is the appearances of the low-income citizens. People are able to dress more extravagantly than they can afford, courtesy of thrift shops, retail stores, and swap meets. People like Joan, from Nickel and Dimed, may appear to be well off by the way that they present themselves, but they are in reality broke and homeless. The media also portrays a positive image for the people low on their luck by pumping out miracle stories of people that have risen above adversity and now live a high-class life. This causes the people of low-income America to have a "rags to riches faith" (Class 23). It is because of stories like these that "more Americans…believe it possible to start out poor, work hard, and become rich" (Class 5).
Unfortunately, most of this is a falsity. It is now harder in America to move up the social ladder because, first of all, the rich have isolated themselves in gated communities, private schools, and expensive country clubs. In today's society there is a
scramble to scoop up a house in the best school district, channel a child into the right preschool program, or land the best medical specialist…all [in] a quiet contest among social groups that the affluent and educated are winning. (Class 4)

The rich have the money to do such things and because of this, their children will take over their position in the upper class society. The rich also isolate themselves in a sense when it comes to medical care. The upper class citizens tend to have better insurance, meaning they can afford to see the doctor for almost anything. It is because of this that "class differences in health and life span are wide and appear to be widening" (Class 2).
Furthermore, the wealthy are able to pass on their class rankings to their children because in today's society "Americans are arguably more likely than they were thirty years ago to end up in the class into which they were born" (Class 4). To elaborate, the rich are able to use their money to place their children in exceptional education programs. This education will put them ahead in life. It will also present them with opportunities that they might have otherwise not experienced. Take Juan Manuel Peralta, from Class Matters, for example. He came from poor education and had no extra money to take courses to improve his English. Therefore, Peralta was stuck in a vicious cycle of minimum wage jobs, poor education, and slim opportunity. The rich on the other hand are at the complete opposite end of the spectrum. Those in the upper echelon of society will stay there because their parents will pass on the wealth, education, and connections. Also, those in the upper class most often marry in the upper class, making them a part of an elite club that is near impossible to get into, taking nothing short of a miracle to join them.
There is also the fact that Americans seem to be living so richly because Americans are allowed to tumble into the dark trap of inescapable debt. Since globalization has brought expensive, high-class items to the mainstream market for a mainstream price, people are beginning to buy an excess of these items all in the hush-hush scurry to keep up with the "Joneses." While it is good for the self-esteem to buy such luxury items, it is not good for the pocketbook. Even if the items are "discount" they are excess luxuries, which are frivolous extra expenditures that are not needed in the average American household. At the same time, globalization and technology tarnish many opportunities for advancement on the social ladder because they are "killing jobs that were once stepping-stones to the middle class" (Class 19). These factors combined with many others have actually widened the gap between the rich and the poor and solidified the lines that separate them.
A dream is nothing more than a dream if there aren't goals, tears, and sweat behind them. In America, some are born lucky, but it is imperative to remember that their family hasn't always been that way. It took a lot of hard work for the rich to become rich and because of this they don't want others to be given the life of luxury so easily. It may be because of this that the lines that deeply divide America will not be erased any time soon. Maybe it is just human nature to have a pecking order that defines society. Perhaps class lines will never change and the world will always remain divided into three distinct categories, those that live in a life of poverty, those that live a mediocre lifestyle, and those that live in the life of afforded luxury.

Class: Divided?

Dan Peters Eng. 102 April 9, 2008 Class: Divided? Having come from a working class family with a moderate income, I have seen the vision of equality among classes and have felt the differences that keep us separated in class. Clothing, cars, material belongings, place of employment, and religious affiliation, just to name a few, defined the class people belonged to. Today the class division is not as noticeable. According to Class Matters, "Shadowy Lines That Still Divide"(1-26),"It has become harder to read people's status in the clothes they wear, the cars they drive, the votes they cast, the god they worship, the color of their skin. Today the contours of class have blurred; some say they have disappeared."(2) With brand label clothing being marketed off the rack at outlet malls, cheaper material items, and the changes in gender and race roles, the class division is unnoticeable. Looking at the people around us, we see the class division as unnoticeable. This is due to many changes in society and the economy. People no longer are separated by the appearances as they once were. In 1970-1980 the comparison of clothing was very noticeable. Now, due to new marketing, cheaper copies of clothing and material items, it is no longer a divider. According to Class Matters article, "Shadowy Lines That Still Divide", quality possessions, appearances, and material goods are becoming more readily available for cheaper prices. The article says, "The economic changes making material goods cheaper have forced businesses to seek out new opportunities so they now market to groups they once ignored. …BMW produces a cheaper model with the same insignia. Martha Stewart sells chenille jacquard drapery and scallop-embossed ceramic dinnerware at Kmart." (15) Another thing that has made appearance of class equality seem less noticeable is the fact that race is no longer a divider in class. "Shadowy Lines That Still Divide" states, "Diversity of all sorts-racial, ethnic, and gender-has complicated the class picture."(18) This is because a person's race, gender, or ethnicity no longer dictates which jobs, communities, and businesses they are allowed in. Religion is also no longer a factor in determining where a person is on the societal ladder. "Shadowy Lines That Still Divide" that this is due to the changing economy. The article states, "The growing economic power of the South has helped lift evangelical Christians into the middle class and upper middle classes…" (18) But this isn't all there is to see in our society When one is willing to look deeper at our society, the stark differences are blatantly noticeable. Our country is taking steps to help every student, young and old, to succeed in school. The reality of it is the upper class children and adults will still receive a better education. The upper class is able to provide their children with personal computers and a private room for homework and studying. The upper class is better able to provide their children with a private tutor, such as Sylvan Learning Center, and to offer incentives for the child to strive towards. As the child grows into adulthood, the upper class is able to afford a better college education. This is discussed in "Shadowy Lines That Still Divide", which states, "Clearly, a degree from a four-year college makes even more difference than it once did. More people are getting those degrees than did a generation ago, but class still plays a big role in determining who gets one or not." (21) One of the biggest topics in our society today is healthcare. So how does this make a difference in class? The upper class has more abundant resources available for insurance premiums, prescriptions, and better medical attention. "Shadowy Lines That Still Divide" approaches the topic with, "Life expectancy has increased overall; but upper-middle-class Americans live longer and in better health than middle-class Americans, who live longer and in better health than those at the bottom." (22) Also the changes in healthcare will have an effect on class divisions. There are more government subsidized programs, as well as low premium insurance plans, such as Basic Health, which allows the poor to have access to healthcare. The coverage includes prescriptions, and prophylactic health plans. But this isn't where it ends; this is only the beginning. So, will our classes always be this divided or will it change? I believe it is likely to change in our future. Right now there are more programs being funded by our government for college education opportunities for the lower class people. There are grants that are offered to the poor to help supplement funding for college. There is the Pell Grant, Equal Opportunity Grant, and the State Need Grant to name a few. Also to give the poor student a greater opportunity there is a State and Federal Work Study program that is offered, if they are willing to work. For our children who qualify for the Free Lunch Program and are able to maintain C's and above, the government sends them to college for free. On you can find many resources for access to education benefits such as No Child Left Behind Act. There are many outside programs that are designed to help the low-income person rise in education. People for People offers a program to people in the Worker Retrain Program that pays for tuition, books, transportation, or any other assistance needed to help the person obtain the goal of a higher education. So will this close the gap by itself? No. There are also more opportunities available to the immigrants. In almost every school, welfare program, and safe haven in the communities, there are English as a Second Language classes being offered for free, or on a grant subsidy. Our schools, from K-12, are also using a bilingual method of teaching our children. One half of the day is in English and the other half is in Spanish so all get an opportunity to learn equally. There are housing loans and credit being extended toward the immigrants to help them succeed. Our government is even taking steps to help immigrants become legalized citizens. In Class Matters, "Fifteen Years on the Bottom Rung", Juan Manuel Peralta was given an opportunity to get his immigration papers, he didn't grab hold of this opportunity and is still struggling to make it on his own, as an illegal immigrant. John Zannikos, on the other hand, was willing to take any help offered his way and is now a prominent citizen and an owner of 3 Guys Restaurant. By taking hold of the opportunities offered, Zannikos was able to make a success story of his life. I believe this is the secret to climbing the social ladder and rising above the social class you are in. You must be willing to take hold of the many opportunities available. I have only mentioned but a few, and there is numerous more available to those who are willing to look, to ask, and to grasp. Unfortunately, not everyone agrees that things will change. Many feel that class division will not change because there are still too many barriers that are in the way. What could be deemed a barrier strong enough to keep people from finding their dreams and success in life? People say that education is still a major barrier because most low-income can't afford a higher education, and because the public schools their children attend are not as equally funded in many poorer neighborhoods.

The Lost Rung

Dan Peters
English 102
The Lost Rung
Does class really matter? It does when you are middle class or the working poor. In today's society when you look around do you see the poor? Probably not, because they have almost become invisible to the human eye. Many people believe that the gap between the rich and poor has lessened. So why is it that we cannot see the poor or why does it appear that the social ladder has come closer together? It has laot to do with our perception and reality of the economic ladder and how things fit together.
In the books "Class Matters" by Bill Keller and "Nickel and Dimed" by Barbara Ehrehreich they both discuss some major issues we face today with poverty. Bill Keller found that we believe our perception of of class is easier to move up in the social brackets. Although in rality there is a bigger gap in our social economic ladder today and runs deeper the ever. The big question is can people still move up in the social economic ladder and will things change for the better.
The middle and working class appear more invisible today then they did thirty years ago. According to Keller "Social diversity has erased many of the old markers. It has become harder to read people's status in the clothes they wear, the cars they drive, the votes they cast, the god they worship, the color of their skin. The contours of class have blurred: some say they have disappeared" (2).
The middle and working classes are able to receive credit or loans to buy luxury items that they want, new cars, houses, cell phones, big screen TV's. The lower classes vote any way they wish, were as in the past they voted democrat. Keller says "Skilled labor has gone from being heavily democratic to almost evenly split" (15). They also belong to any religious affiliation they want, in the past the poor and the rich belong to a religion that would show their social status. It doesn't matter what ethnicity you are you can be any race and run for president if you wanted. A quote from Barbara Ehrehreich who says "Joan, who has fooled me with her numerous and tasteful out fits... the clothes are from (the) thrift shops" (26). These are the reason lower class people are viewed as invisible because our perceptions of mobility are so meshed together it's hard to tell which people fit into what class. You can look at anyone and you wouldn't know where they belonged in society.
Peoples perceptions marked by keller says "A resent New York Times poll on class found that 40 percent of americans believed that the chance of moving up from one class to another had risen over the last thirty years a period in which the new research shows that in has not" (5). People perceive that they can move up the social ladder because of the american dream, though hard work, ambition, becoming a self made millionaire. You can buy almost anything you want, go on fancy trips. People see others with material things and believe that they are doing good and making it in life. Anything is possible in the land of opportunity.
Are we really in the land of opportunity? Truth maybe told when our perceptions are shattered, and reality sets in. As Keller points out there is "New research on mobility the movement of families up and down the economic ladder, shows there is far less of it then economists once thought and less then most people believe" (2). This is partly do to the way economists took polls, they would ask participants questions that could not be narrowed down to correct figures. Keller brings up the fact that "Initial mobility studies were flawed, economists now say" (11). We are now finding out that past research was incorrect to our economic studies, and we have to find better ways of doing our research. In reality there is a bigger gap in our social economic ladder today and it runs deeper then ever. Having credit cards, bank loans, only puts the lower class into further debit. Reported by Pat Muir and Ross Courtney with the Yakima Hearld Repubic interviewed a young woman named Syas "I was just paying my bills when the credit and getting thing I couldn't afford (now in) $40,000 of credit card debit" (10A). If we look further we can see that the living poor have health care issues, need money for education, paying for bills, food, globalization taking over jobs, rich isolating themselves, voting in the wrong direction, housing costs, wages are to low to survive, language barriers, and no help from the government. As recent study has shown peoples perception is change and their starting to think more realistically. According to Social and Demographic Trends, Pew Research Center "Nearly eight in 10 of all people, or 79 percent, said they believe it has become more difficult compared with five years ago for the middle class to maintain their standard of living up from 65 percent in 1986" (6).
Now that more people are thinking critically about the middle and working classes. Can people still move up in the social economic ladder and will things change for the better. There are may things working against these people. That is' hard for me to see the people work there way out of these problems without major assistance. One issue their facing is health care, most people including myself, avoid the doctor because they don't have enough money to take proper care of themselves. Ehrenreich is working for a maid service when one of the maids, Holly, sprains or breaks her ankle while walking "Holly just keeps crying and talking about how she's already missed so may days of work in the last few weeks" (10). Even though our health need to be taken care of it takes time and money to care for ourselves. Which is a luxury the working/middle classes don't have. Most middle wage jobs don't have benefit programs for their employee's; so most workers are left to hand out to dry. Keller brings up a good point he says "One way to think of a person's position in society is to imagine a hand of cards. Everyone is dealt four cards, one from each suit: education, income, occupation, and wealth, the four commonly used criteria for gauging class"(9). We are dealt these four cards when we were born, it's then up to us to acquire the skills to use the cards. First you need education, but if your on the bottom rung how are you suppose to educate yourself if you don't have the means to do it. Everything that that falls after education really depends on what you've achieved thorough college. If your uneducated your either find a job that is "unskilled" or go work in a factory were you might be able ti move up. But wait their a problem with that... what about globalization. Keller explains how this fits into the puzzle "Globalization and technological change have shuttered factories, killing jobs that were once stepping stones to the middle class... Skills and education have become more essential then ever." (19). How are we suppose to move up in class when we don;t have health care, we are illy educated, and our jobs are moving to 3rd world countries?
Well Maybe there is a way we can move up the social brackets, we can get college scholarships, or take part in the no child left behind act, we can raise up and say NO WERE NOT TAKING THIS ANYMORE AND DEMAND THAT WE GET PAID AND TREATED BETTER. It's up to us the working poor to bring poverty to our government and fellow americans attention. If we don't then we will remain where we are, nowhere but stuck.
Is the government doing everything they can? According to Ehrenreich "Official poverty level still calculated by archaic method of taking the bare-bones cost of food for a family of a given size and multiplying this number by three" (200). How is this helping us statistically? Well if you look at it as far as housing costs, food, money spent on health care, and how much a low wage worker makes they you might be able to actually show how may americans are in poverty. What if the government did go though and do these reports; we would notice a big problem. One, why hasn't the government done something sooner. Two, how will it effect the rich and three what are we going to do to solve the problem. It seems to me that if we want something done about our living situations we have to be the people to bring it out in the open. The american dram may not be everything it's cracked up to be. But if we don't have it then what is going to carry us though our lives We have ti believe in it, its the only thing that might give us the strength is hold on and take control of our lives. Showing the government and the rich that we are not invisible. We need to work together to succeed as a country. We need unity prosperity, and guts.

Some of these will help some of you

Sojourners, a Christian magazine aimed at social justice, registration required

Living Wage on Wiki

Maximum wage? on Wiki

Renters, check here.

The Catholic Church in Yakima and Housing

Lower Valley Gets Help from UW in housing

ORFH--or office of rural and farmworker housing

Low income housing issues in YHR

Help Wanted Ads, YHR, for men?

The Psychology of the working poor (a disturbing report)

Salon article I keep referencing is here

Employer ethics

Best places to work (this is really interesting stuff)

NPR on best places to work

NPR on Minimum wage

NPR on Employers view of Min Wage (good page)

Poverty and Mental Health

"Poverty is a state of mind" HUD official raises uproar

Min. Wage Hikes Don't Hurt Economy, Much

here, too:


No New Students This Spring

Homeless Survey

Census takers sought by The Homeless Network of Yakima County.
Last year they counted 1,023.
For more information, 574-1520.
Yes, it counts for Bonus, but do it for other reasons, please.

Intros and Conclusions


A glorious powerpoint for all to behold

Sample Outlines


All four essay options.

Day 12

English 102 Day 12

  1. "I Hope So Too" video tomorrow
  2. Rough Drafts due tomorrow, 4 copies, stapled, typed.
  3. Thesis statements
    1. On board
      1. My take on your take
  4. Sample outlines
  5. Intros
  6. In text citations

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Day 11

English 102 Lesson Plan Day 11

  1. Change to Rough Draft Schedule
    1. Due THURSDAY, not Wednesday
  2. Because of today.
    1. Your kids will ask you about today.
    2. General discussion?
    3. According to the polls: Most people have high hopes, and are willing to be patient.
    4. Our country hasn't been in this kind of tight spot in 80 years and it's going to take years before it gets better, most experts predict.
    5. But, many have never felt so hopeful.
    6. I Hope So, Too
      1. NYTimes
      2. Your Turn
        1. Pick your topic, write for 5 minutes
        2. Video
  3. Thesis statements
  4. Sample Essays—They're ok, but maybe not A papers.

Sample Essays

Housing Essay 1:

Housing Essay 2:

Minimum Wage Essay 1:

Friday, January 16, 2009

Day 10

Day 10

  1. BP?
  2. Selling and Evaluation chapter

    1. The writing process
    2. Essay overview
    3. Hacker-style: pages 5, 11, 16
  3. Thesis work

    1. Guidelines

      1. Practice
  4. "In text" citations in Rough Draft.
  5. "Works cited" due with final draft.
  6. Rough draft due Wednesday. Bring four copies.
  7. Research ideas:

    1. Gregoire's stimulus plan.
    2. Obama's stimulus plan.

Class Systems in History

Basic system for figuring out who's rich and who isn't, according to Monty Python.

Local Angle

Middle class struggles in Yakima


Supporters of the minimum wage claim it has these effects:


Opponents of the minimum wage claim it has these effects:

Where will the money come from to pay for all this?

Follow the money.

or here.

Or maybe here.

Or this guy.



One effective way of ordering the supporting points is to rank them in order of importance and then arrange them as follows:

1. Second most important point

2. Point of lesser importance

3. Point of lesser importance

4. Most important point

Adapting the Argumentative Pattern

Except for the fact that an introduction by definition demands the first spot and a conclusion the last, other sections can be moved around in a variety of effective ways. If the traditional order--introduction, statement of case, refutation, confirmation, conclusion--doesn't suit your needs, try an alternative.

1. Open with the introduction.

2. Refute the strongest opposition point.

3. State the case.

4. Confirm your proposition.

5. Refute the weaker opposition points.

6. End with the conclusion.


1. Open with the introduction.

2. Offer your proposition as an open question. (NOT ON THIS ESSAY)

3. State the case.

4. Examine and refute the opposition.

5. Examine and confirm your proposition.

6. Conclude that your proposition should be accepted.


1. Open with the introduction.

2. Offer a rival proposition.

3. Offer your own proposition.

4. Confirm your proposition.

5. Refute the opposition.

6. End with the conclusion.