Day 19  March 20, 2003

1. Names. Some things to give back. Reminder that “policy options” section is due in only two weeks—should be a survey of possible options in some detail, not your preferred option, which you will discuss in the final section.

I know I’m a book behind again on your responses. I hope to catch up someday.

On MLA style, see . That link also on web site.

2. In the news.

“Arab opinion of US hits all-time low” James J. Zogby

“When Democracy Failed: The Warnings of History” by Thom Hartmann

What various denominations have had to say about the war.


UNITED METHODIST: "It is inconceivable that Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior and the Prince of Peace, would support this proposed attack."


- United Methodist Church General Board of Church and Society


CATHOLIC: "Step back from the brink of war and help lead the world to act together to fashion an effective global response to Iraq's threats that conforms with traditional moral limits on the use of military force."

- U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops letter to President Bush


EPISCOPAL: "We do not believe that war with Iraq can be justified at this time."

- Episcopal Church House of Bishops letter to Congress


MENNONITE: "Peace and security are enlarged when authorities choose the path of non-violent diplomacy."

- Mennonite Central Committee statement


PRESBYTERIAN: "Oppose a precipitate U.S. attack on Iraq and the Bush administration's new doctrine of pre-emptive military action."

- Presbyterian Church (USA) general assembly council letter to members


UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST: "We fear war would only provoke greater regional instability and lead to the mass destruction it is intended to prevent."

- United Church of Christ leaders


CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN: "We will peacefully resist all efforts to resolve this conflict by military force."

- Church of the Brethren General Board


AMERICAN BAPTIST: "We call upon our churches and their members to enter into a time of prayer, intercession and witness in pursuit of peace."

- General Board of American Baptist Churches USA


Source: Des Moines Register, Dec. 22, 2002


Here are quotations from individual religious leaders opposing the war:


[Methodist] Bishop Melvin Talbert, ecumenical officer of the United Methodist Church: "No nation under God has [the right to invade another country, causing hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths]. It violates international law. It violates God's law. War only creates more terrorists and makes a dangerous world for our children.”

CNN, Larry King Live, March 11, 2003


[Methodist] Bishop Sharon A. Brown Christopher, president of the Council of Bishops, wrote to President Bush in February: "As the president of the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church and, therefore, one of your pastors, I write to you, a fellow United Methodist, because of the awesome burden that rests on your shoulders in these days. The human community stands at an intersection of decision that will shape its common life and international relations for years to come. In your hands rests in large part the path  we will follow. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a Gospel of peace. It calls us to transcend political ideology and national interests to act on behalf of the welfare of the whole human family. …"


[Catholic] Pope John Paul II: President Bush met with Cardinal Pio Laghi, a former Vatican ambassador to the United States, on March 5.


"I assure you, Mr. President, that I am praying for you and for  America," the Pope wrote, according to Laghi. "I ask the Lord to inspire you to search for the ways of a stable peace, the noblest of human endeavors." Without UN support, military action against Iraq is "illegal, it's unjust," Laghi told reporters after the session with Bush. "There are still peaceful avenues within the context of the vast patrimony of international law and institutions which exist for that purpose," Laghi said. "There is great unity on this grave matter on the part of the Holy See, the bishops in the United States, and the church throughout the world."

-- Multiple news sources


[Catholic] Bishop Wilton D. Gregory, president of the U.S. Conference on Catholic Bishops, hand-delivered a letter to Condoleezza Rice in September that read: "Given the precedents and risks involved, we find it difficult to justify extending the war on terrorism to Iraq, absent clear and adequate evidence of Iraqi involvement in the attacks of Sept. 11, or of an imminent attack of a grave nature … We respectfully urge you to step back from the brink of war and

help lead the world to act together to fashion an effective global response to Iraq's threats that conforms with traditional moral limits on the use of military force."


Also attending the White House meeting were the presiding bishops of the Episcopal Church, Frank Griswold, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Mark Hanson.


-- Multiple news sources


Full letter:


[Jewish] Rabbi Michael Lerner: In his article "The Triumph of Fear" in the March/April issue of Tikkun, Lerner writes: "How could it have come to this? The fundamentally decent people of the United States destroying the homes and lives of innocent Iraqis, just twenty-eight years after most Americans were so sickened by war-making that they chose to abandon the ill-conceived war in Vietnam! From my analysis of the psychodynamics that make this war possible comes a new strategy for the anti-war movement outlined in the second  part of this editorial."



[Episcopal] Most Reverend Frank T. Griswold, presiding bishop and  primate, the Episcopal Church, USA: "I am deeply disturbed that some Christians are animated by notions of a God of vengeance and retribution, and adopt simplistic views of good and evil. The task of people of faith, indeed those of the three Abrahamic faiths – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – is to point us all toward a God abounding in compassion and love for each one of us. … Those who argue

for war have said that war can be an act of service to the global community, and religious language is employed to justify such an action. How can this be when war would have a profoundly damaging effect upon countless innocent people? How can this be when war would further fuel the anger and frustration so many people around the globe, far beyond the borders of Iraq, feel towards our country?

Instead of waging war, our faith calls us to wage reconciliation. This involves the demanding and difficult challenge of loving our enemies and embracing policies of generosity of spirit that build up the global community."


-- March 13, 2003



[Episcopal] Bishop John B. Shane, the Episcopal bishop of Washington,  joined with church leaders on both sides of the Atlantic in signing a statement opposing a preemptive war on both moral and practical grounds. He told reporters that just-war theory makes a distinction between "anticipatory  self-defense, which is morally justified, and preventive war, which is morally prohibited." In this case, he said, "I don't see the threat from Iraq to the United States as an imminent threat, so . . . military action against Iraq is inappropriate."

-- Washington Post, Oct. 12, 2002


[Lutheran] Bishop Mark Hanson, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, said in February: "I think we're listening for the voice of religious leaders to at least guide the conversation about morality, if not give answers."

-- Tallahassee Democrat, Feb. 22, 2003


Hanson's letter to the ELCA about Iraq (


[Presbyterian] Based on our Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s "Commitment to Peacemaking," the 214th General Assembly (2002):" urges "all parties involved to actively and wholeheartedly seek a negotiated solution based on diplomacy and not violence, peace and not war".

Presbyterian Church U.S.A. General Assembly: A summary of General Assembly policy on Iraq:


Nation Council of Churches: Rev. Robert Edgar, general secretary of the NCC, representing Protestant, Orthodox and Anglican denominations, said in February: "The middle church is becoming as active as the religious right has been for the last 15 to 20 years. We have had a huge change in strategy. Until now, the middle and left had not used computers, there were no full-page ads or phone campaigns against policy. But everybody knows that to break  through the

maze of modern media, sermons have to be preached in new ways. It took organized religion 10 years to oppose the Vietnam War. During that time, people were thought to be un-American if they stood up against the war. Now it is considered very American for the church to stand up. The idea of a pre-emptive strike that does not have broad multi-national support seems strange to

many religious leaders."

- Chicago Tribune, Feb. 16, 2003


More Robert Edgar: "Imagine that the kind of time, creativity and money  that are being poured into preparations for war against Iraq were being poured instead into the challenge of ending poverty in the United States and around the world. … The war on Iraq is not a just war. It can be prevented if we mobilize the other 'super power' -- world opinion -- to stand up and say

no to war. In the absence of compelling evidence that Iraq poses an imminent  military

threat, we will continue to press for a peaceful solution in which the innocent families of Iraq are spared the terrible scourge of war. Even in the face of the Administration's insistence that a war is unavoidable, we believe America can win without war."

-- PR Newswire, March 2, 2003 interfaith prayer service in San Francisco


[National Baptist Convention] Rev. William Shaw, president of the National Baptist Convention USA Inc., said: "We talk about the number of lives  lost on 9/11, and that was devastating. But that does not justify the taking of tens of thousands of lives without any identity. … One way you wipe out any feeling about the loss of lives to opponents is to demonize them. When you demonize people, there is no sensitivity to killing. The case for this war has not been


-- Philadelphia Daily News, Feb. 27, 2003


Then there are the few stray religious leaders who support Bush. Here is what they have to say:


Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham, said on national television that Islam is "a very evil and wicked religion."


Jerry Vines, the former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation's largest Protestant denomination, said Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, was a "demon-possessed pedophile."


Jerry Falwell, another evangelical leader, recently called the prophet "a terrorist."



3. On Ehrenreich, Nickel and Dimed. Have you thought much about what it would be like to do what she does, to get by working at the bottom end of the pay scale? Student poverty, which is real and which I know well, is something different from what she’s exploring, isn’t it? And she knows well that her little experiment isn’t “true” poverty—she has all kinds of advantages, a car, credit cards, she can escape whenever she needs or has to.

Room and board at BC is about $5600/8 months, or ca. $8500/calendar year. If you worked 2000 hours at $5.45, you’d make $10,900 before taxes, probably about $9500 after. That would give you a thousand for “everything else”—clothes, medical care, transportation, entertainment. Think you could do it?

Another way of thinking about this: while you’re in school, working hard but mostly not for wages, paying for your living expenses and your tuition through some combination of loans or your parents or your savings or scholarships or whatever, your basic food and shelter needs are being fulfilled at what’s probably a higher level than you could expect if you were a single person working full-time, year-round, at a low-wage job. You don’t have to cook or pay utilities or drive to your day-to-day activities (well, mostly). You can eat as much as you want, or can stand, three times a day, and choose from a variety of foods that somebody else prepares and cleans up afterwards.

And what if you were a single head of household, with a child or two?

Introduction: what’s to notice there? What is her project, and what allowances and limits does she give herself? What does she recognize makes her different from a “real” person in a similar situation?

 For me, it’s that she recognizes her advantages, and how little good some of what we might consider advantages really meant.

So her experience, as she tells it, really comes down to basic elements, right? Shelter and employment are the big two. What does she find in those areas? What kinds of shelter are available? What problems? Convenience, cost, quality?

What about jobs? It’s not too hard to find work, but what’s the work like?  The jobs she got were demanding, and used up both her strength and her attention . . . What’s your experience? Are low-paying jobs easy?

Chapter One, “Serving in Florida.” From being a “consumer” to a “worker,” 11. She’s close to home, but no one recognizes her.

Finding a place to live, 12-13.

Finding a job, 13 ff. Applications, interviews, questions, drug tests.

16 ff: Her career at the “Hearthside.” Billy and Gail. The problem of feeling competent, and her desire to do it well, 18. Customers.

20 agape in the hospitality industry.

22-25: Two problems: management and money. The list of housing arrangements, 25-26. She’s able to live where she does only because she had $1000 for rent and deposit. “Starting conditions are everything,” 27.

So she takes on a second job at Jerry’s, 29 ff. The mess everywhere, smoking as “what you do for yourself,” 31. The pace there is furious, “a crash course in exhaustion management,” 32. Energy and pain.

35: customers are the enemy. The worst are the Visible Christians, 36, who complain and  don’t tip.

37 ff: George, the Czech dishwasher who gets in trouble for allegedly stealing.

38 ff: moving to a trailer, closer, to avoid the commute and try to work two jobs. She starts housekeeping at Jerry’s too. 43 ff: working with Carlie, who hurts all over and doesn’t move fast. Moving in this other world, eating lots of Advil.

46: the “perfect storm,” four tables full all at once. The fog of war, ten British tourists who have all kinds of demands. She just leaves. “it became a test of myself, and clearly I have failed,” 48.

Chapter Two, “Scrubbing in Maine.”

Whiteness . . . signs of lots of jobs. NOTE: as she says, this all happened during a boom time, when unemployment was at historic lows and jobs were going begging, supposedly.

Again, finding shelter, finding a job. Scary apartments and situations, 55-56, more tests 58-59. they seem aimed at finding stoners and conveying information to the employees: “You will have no secrets from us . . . we want your inmost self.” (59)

Work as “dietary aide” at nursing home. 65: Pete, who says he has piles of money saved but works there for the community.

66 ff: the “Deliverance” church.

68: versions of Jesus. They only talk about Christ crucified, not about the Sermon on the Mount.

70 ff: the Merry Maids cleaning service. Germs? 76, how to really clean. Well?

Student Responses



Nickel and Dimed is a very interesting perspective on the working class. 

I would imagine it would be quite difficult to take yourself out of a middle-upper

class situation and voluntarily live as a blue collar worker.

HoweverI do know a few people who live in voluntary poverty as a statement of faith.

It was difficult to read about the situations the majority of America deals with.  People

With just as much talent but not as much luck get put into the jobs that we all

Need done, but no one wants to do it.  I really found the way managers strictly

Run their business and treat their employees all like delinquents.  They can

Treat them so poorly because of the massive turnover of employment. 


I enjoyed the line that they “not only want your muscles and that small part of your brain that is connected to them, but we want your innermost self” (59).  However, when they are actually on the job they are hardly treated as human beings.  Life consists of only work and sleep, and paying bills.  This can’t be the American ideal we all hope to achieve when we are little.



As for articles, the prospect of the war has made me rather sad.  I found an article suggesting Americans should “prepare for loss of life”.  I thought this was incredibly ridicules.  What do Americans expect?  That the world will just let us go on our crusade in other’s homelands without casualties?  Idiots.


Jacob Boehr

Kelly Dietrick-

I have completed almost one-third of Nickel and Dimed, and so far it has been a fascinating piece of literature through the eyes of this "minimum wage earner" journalist.  I think that what she is trying to accomplish through this book is amazing, I don't think that I could give up the comforts of a regular routine to an unknown world of paying rent and trying to find a dead end job that barely gets me through the month.  She is amazing to me.  However, within her experiment I have a few problems with some of the "limitations" she places on herself and her unknown racist remarks.  For instance, when she is trying to find a low paying job that needs hardly any credentials in Key West she adds that she went to college for three years.  Which I feel if she really was a woman who just got off welfare and found herself back in the working world, I don't think she would have a college education, she would probably barely have a high school equivalence.  I think that if she just wrote in on her applications that she had a high school education than her search would be more realistic, however; I guess the jobs she did land did not entail any mental work that only a college graduate could accomplish.  Moreover, when Barb allows herself to drive a car it allows her to find better jobs that most would not be able to obtain without a car unless they were within walking distance.  I just felt that some of these limitations could have been applied to her experiment that maybe would have made it more realistic.  The biggest part of the project that I felt she did wrong was when she allowed herself to spend her "regular" money to pay for the deposit and 1st month's rent on an apartment in Key West.  I think she would have learned more if she found a place and a job like the people she is suppose to portray.

Also, sometimes I found myself getting mad at her when she would make comments about her being white and her being superior to some of her co-workers, allow that maybe in the working world this is true.  I just got a little upset because I see her as equal to them, especially since she is basically in the same living situation as they are too.  Which leads to another complaint I have about her when she comments that she is in a different class than these working class citizens, which is true, but the way she states things she acts like she is so much better than them.  Barb doesn't smoke or drink, she stays home and reads, which makes her better.  At least that's the feeling I got when I read the book.  But all and all I am enjoying the book and can't wait to find out more about the different jobs she has, and the people she runs into.

WAR WAR WAR, frankly sick of it.  I hate talking about the subject because I do not believe in going to this war with Iraq, on a different subject the NCAA says that they are not going to post pone the tournament for the "up-coming" war.  BOth men and women basketball games will go along as scheduled, but prays do go out to those leaving for combat and the family and friends that have to wait it out.  Means starts on Thursday and Women's on Saturday.  Miles Brand, NCAA president, comments that we need to go on as normal as possible, which I could not agree more.  I'm not saying that war is not a horrible thing and what is going on will not affect me in some inebt way, but we can not stop everything and focus on the war.  That would caue more chaos and destructive things I think.  Just like when 9-11 happened, everything seemed to shut down.  We can not leave in fear because fear will kill you.  I think the best way to fight and win at home is to go on with day to day activities and pray for those who are over seas.

Barbara Ehrenreich describes her difficulties trying to find a job where she is at living in Florida.  She does her best to find low income housing and low income jobs hopefully paying about $7 per hour.  However she is finding this a difficult feet to accomplish down in Key West.  She is seeing that to make the rent payments that she is going to have to start working two jobs or find better paying jobs.  She starts searching for housekeeping jobs, but is told that she would be good at waiting on tables.  So she takes the job because it’s a source of income with a steady pay rate and tips, but she does not like this work for the reasons that she remembered she didn’t like this work from being 19 years old.  Her back has been hurting and she goes and tries to find a different job.  Ending up waiting on more tables, she’s not happy and decides to move to a different state to see if she can do better than what she has been going.  Finding a job as a housekeeper, she has found a place to live in small quarters, but it’s a living space with decent rent.  Making every cent one earns and counting all expenses is very difficult to do, but Barbra seems to make every cent count in the best way possible, trying not to spend money where it’s not needed but where it is needed on the supplies to survive.  She doesn’t seem to have too many luxurious items, but who really needs them to live?

This site has quite an interesting subject of a new weapon that might be used against the forces in Iraq.  This new weapon “e-bomb” ‘creates a brief pulse of microwaves powerful enough to fry computers, blind radar, silence radios, trigger crippling power outages and disable the electronic ignitions in vehicles and aircraft’.  This could cause problems if our troops are in or near the area this confidential bomb is let off.  Does it just destroy enemy parts or all parts?  Is this what wars will come down to now is an ‘electronic bomb’?  Since most everything is of an electrical basis in the world, why don’t we just send email bombs or viruses that could do the same and not risk any people’s lives? 



-Beau Beidelschies

I am really enjoying this book so far. It was really neat to see her working jobs that did not pay much. She wanted to see what it was like to be in poverty working jobs. Many people are working a lot more in these kinds of jobs and are struggling just as much as these people that Barbara talks about. Right now people are losing their job because of the economy, so I feel it is getting harder everyday. People with higher class or even middle class jobs do not think about those people that struggle and worry about what they are going to eating that night for supper or even where they are going to spend the night.  Even though she was acting like she was a lower wage worker, she still did not to have problems with money. She said that even though some people were finding money, she always had money to depend on. Also, at the end of the first chapter, Barbara quit her waitress job. So many people can not do that in fear that they might not have another job. I think it is it a good experiment and I think that people should be in those people's shoes that struggle. Another thing that I was not surprised by was the boss’ that  she had.  She had struggles with all of them. The places that she worked in also did not surprise, because people that have problems work in places like that. They seemed like places that were not kept clean and supervisors did not care what it looked like. It makes me wonder what these peoples’ home life is like that work in these conditions. She was saying how some people live in vans and hotels. It saddens me to hear people go through difficulties each and everyday and wondering if they will have a roof over their head and food to eat. This seems like a very interesting book so far.


Christian Science Monitor one article in titled,"The Clock is Set."

The news reporter went to Kuwait to talk to men that were there to fight. He was surprised that everything was a normal as ever. Some men were ready to fight more than others, by wearing different uniforms or additional supplies. Some men got up from bed to listen to the President speak on Monday.  One Marine said he just wanted to get this war over with, so he could go home. There aren’t allowed to call home, so the easiest and only access they have right now is email. They feel that the President is doing right thing with giving 48 hours.


In The Nation, “Postcard from Bloomington,  talked about there was a small plane that kept circling parts of the time in Bloomington. First, people didn’t seem to mind, but they started to get worried. No one would tell the citizens what it was doing there.  Finally after a while the FBI said that it was their plane. They were looking over Indiana University to see if there were any facility  or students that were foreign nationals that were faxing or printing information. FBI’s did not find anything about terrorist and Bloomington felt this was unnecessary for this to happen.


Fox News, “Blizzard Cripples Colorado, Wyoming

This article is about the blizzard going on in Denver. There has been 6 ft. of snow so far.  The snow fall has been the cause of one accident. Many people are not working because they can’t go anywhere.  One person said that he can walk on the top of his barn. There has been up to 8 foot drifts in Denver. Families are coming together and sharing food and shoveling. Hotels have been busy with people staying there.  Many governmental businesses have been closed, including the post office .,2933,81479,00.html


                                         Cari Bowman


The article that I found was in the Washington Post. The article is about a tobacco farmer in North Carolina who had standoff with the police while he was in his tractor. Dwight Watson was protesting the governments tobacco farming policies by threatening to set off explosives in the a park. The protest ended after 48 hours. Watson had driven his tractor into a pond in the park and began digging when the police began to close in and he got anxiuos and surrendered. I think that if you want to be seen and heard a good thing to do is stand on top of your tractor that you have driven into a pond in a public park. However, threating to set off explosives might not be the best idea.


The whole idea for the book Nickel and Dimed is an interesting one. In the introduction she basically says what social workers have been saying. It is impossible to pay for the bare necessities when you are working at minimum wage. Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF) had been limited to five years. What is a single mom supposed to do after her financial aid runs out. If a single woman is struggling this much, what would it be like if she had a child? What values are we holding up when we are cutting aid to needy families and spending billions of dollars on war toys.

Anyway, the best part of the book this far is at the end of chapter one when she walks out of her job. She says, 'And the surprising thing is that you can walk out without permission, that the door opens, that the thick tropical night air parts to let me pass, that my car is still parked where I left it'. I think that everyone probably had a time where they walked out of something where they might not have been aloud to. You think that something is going to be different and surprisingly enough everything is just the same.


Faith Blough


 Of course I chose  to respond to an artilcle that i read on The title of it was called "Pentagon to Investigate Academy sexual Assults." Yeah I'm sitting here watching the president give us the we" we are in war" speech and so i assume that everyone else is writing about it. Anyway, 56 assults have occured in the last ten years in the Air Force. The females have been given a hard time for reporting sexual assult. The pentagon is doing a complete investigation about what the air force is diong in the matter. The air force usually handles these cases itself until exceptional cases arise such as this and then the department of defense takes over. The AF said that 56 alleged assults  were over the  last 10 years and there were many more cadets that have not come forward. The AF said that last Friday, it punished 21 males for rape and sex related crimes since 1990. This is evidence that  sexual  misconduct is taken seriously at the academy.

This kind of reminds me of GI JANE, the movie with Demi Moore in it. I'm not sure how i feel about this. First of all, it doesn't matter who he is, noman should ever take advantage of a woman. Ever, and i find frustrating tha the AF is giving the women a hard time. Women don't have a physical advantage over men but i think it sucks that have to live in fear of that possibility. I also wonder what kind of "punishment" these men are getting for their crimes. Are they geting of easily becuase they are in the military or are they getting the punishment of an average man commiting a crime anywhere else.


As for Nickel and Dimed, i am so impressed with this author. there are so many people who write books and think they know what they are talking about or understand cerain siturations but Barbara actually went and put herself in the shoes of struggling men and women all over the world. $500 seems like a lot of money to rent a cheap apartment. Here its like 250 maybe for an okay apartment but she is in key west. I did also wonder if she was married. i thought that she mentioned 2 marriges but i wasn't sure if she was during the time when she did this experiment. I didn't like hoe she mentioned that no one made her feel special becuase she was an average worker that was nothing special, but putting herself in those spots she found and met all kinds of interesting people. "when you seek hapiness for yourself you'll never find it, only when you seek it for other will you find it for yourself." This motivates me and it pertained to her. She seemed like a giving person but moved after only a short time. Working just to get by, on ends meat, not extra money to spend on herself, only for necessities. Yet this is how people live, what would she have done if she had kids with her. I don't know what this is life. My parents aren't wealthy but they never worked crappy jobs just to get by. We alsways had extra money and lived in a house and got by well, saved money, had good christmases, went on vacations. Wow, i wonder what motivated Barbara to do this. And day in and day out with a few minor cheats. But knowing she could stop at anytime and go back to the money and security she knew she had but she didn't. I admire her a lot and enjoy reading the book, i've ony gotten through about a 1/3 of it and am curious to see what sums up.

Brooke Diller

I'm not sure what to make of Nickle and Dimed. It's a fascinating concept, sure, sort of a new spin on "Black like Me." I appreciate that the author was attempting to get that lower income American perspective. What doesn't rub me well is her attitude. I don't like how she keeps bringing up "I don't have to do this" or the manner she went into choosing her job and home. It was like she was saying "Yeah, I want to see what it's like to be minimum wage, but I don't want to go THAT far." Ah well, it's still early on, so I'm sure there'll be changes later on. VIDEO GAMES CAN HELP EASE PHYSICAL PAIN! A study has been conducted that suggest people playing violent video games will be less receptive to pain. This theory was come to when parents remarked that their children were incredibly distracted even after they were done playing a video game. A positive aspect to violent video games, I bet the FCC didn't see that coming.

-Brian Daniel

The first thought that came to mind after reading the Serving in Florida chapter was: oh, the story of my life!  Well, ok, not really the story of my life. But that is what came to mind, because I have been waiting tables for 4 years now and every description in there is something that I have experienced or felt.  The most intriguing probably were the people she described in the story. Serving a table is basically the same where ever you go I have discovered. You become someone’s slave for an hour or so and then they leave. What I hadn't realized is the similarities of the people you meet on the job. Ehrenreich describes some of the people and the situations that they are in like she is working at one of the restaurants that I have worked in.  I know the Czech dishers trying to speak English and nodding or smiling at everything you say when the really don't understand something, or the bitchy manager that contradicts his or herself with every move they make (you can't sit down, but watch me!), that snotty server that's been there for years and exaggerates your mistakes as if they are the end of the world as we know it, or even that creepy cook guy that hits on you every time you are within a 5 foot radius of one another.   Being that I have not had any other kind of non-blue collar job yet, I am under the impression that this is mostly normal.  Is it really just low-wage, low class people that are the same no matter where you go?  Will there always be a creepy cook and snotty server type with every job I encounter, even after my completed education?  Perhaps the people of both classes and wagers are the same, but under the circumstances, they just go about things differently.  Maybe more tactfully hitting on someone or kindly asking them act more professional in front of their consumer could be what is to look forward to in the white collar world. 

Instead of going with the current war headlines of, I looked into the space and science section.  People (I’m assuming scientists) over the internet are claiming and even distorting pictures with UFO sightings.  SOHO scientists claim that any “armchair astronomer” as they called it could make these claims and find these spots in pictures.  They don’t really say it’s not real though!

-Angie Darr