Group Presentations: Nickel and Dimed in the Lehigh Valley
The Assignment. What do Barbara Ehrenreich’s
experiences in Nickel and Dimed have to do with us? For the last assignment
in LinC 100, we will find out. Your responsibility is (a) to join two (or three)
other members of the class in researching a topic from the book as it applies
to the Lehigh Valley, and (b) to present your findings in class on Dec. 2 or
Dec. 9. Everyone should be ready to present on Dec. 2. Order of presentation
will be determined by choosing numbers at random.
- These are to be group presentations. Each member is expected
to participate fully in both the preparation and the presentation. No individual
should dominate, no one should be “missing in action.”
- Presentations are to be 10-15 mins. in length.
- Choose a topic that interests your group, and make your
presentation lively and interesting to the class. If this is boring, it is
- Be certain to document the sources of your information in
your talk – we need to know how you know what you claim to know.
- Make full use of all sources of information on your topic:
the Reference Librarians in Reeves, EBSCO, employers, volunteers, union officers,
reporters for the local newspapers.
- You may develop your own topic or use one of the suggestions
below. In any case, send me an email with your choice, or tell me in class.
Only ONE group to a topic; first come, first served.
- To find your own topic, skim Nickel and Dimed and
see what catches your interest. Virtually every subject there has a connection
in the Lehigh Valley.
- Health care for the working poor: Is there any in the Lehigh
Valley? (Be sure to check out the local emergency rooms.)
- Public transportation: Fact or fiction? What is available,
does it work? Try using public transportation to get somewhere that everyone
goes. What about reaching your workplace?
- Housing for the working poor: Where do people in the Valley
live who earn minimum wage? Any trailer parks around here?
- Day care for working people: What to do with the little
ones, and how to pay for it?
- Feeding a family: Can people working minimum wage jobs do
it? If you worked at Wal-Mart, what would you feed your two little kids?
- The homeless of the Lehigh Valley: Who are they, and what
are the “safety nets” that are supposed to protect them?
- Budgeting on a shoestring: Imagine that you are (a) a single
person, and (b) a married person with two little kids, living in the Valley,
and earning minimum wage. What would your family budget look like?
I have divided the class into six groups alphabetically –
there are five groups with three members, one group with four.
1. Arifaj, DeFiore, Mill, Wilkins: "The Homeless in
the Lehigh Valley"
2. Artica, Esposito, O’Toole: "How andWhy Wages Are Kept Low in the Lehigh
3. Bedu-Amissah, Harding, Potteiger: "Living as a Single Parent in the
4. Bennett, Hartung, Runne: "Pros & Cons of Drug Testing in the Workplace"
5. Brase, Lucey, Sacco: "Unemployment in the Lehigh Valley"
6. Campbell, Maurer, Savino: "Day Care in the Lehigh Valley: Costs &