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 Nickel and Dimed----pennies and cents 
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I thought this book was great ! I mentioned it to my neighbor, though, and he pointed out something very insightful. He and his wife live in a small apartment. They have one child, and they both work hard but barely get by. In fact, they're just recovering from a bankruptcy. His response was, "You mean someone had to "investigate" to write a book about a life I live everyday?" I guess the thing is that most peple have this perception of poor people being poor because they're lazy or just not smart, but the fact of the matter is that sometimes it all boils down to luck.
This book really made that point clear when this woman with a PhD put herself in the same financial situation as the working poor in our country and found that no matter how hard she worked, she was barely getting by. Her health had to take a back burner. And that's what gets to me most of all--health has become a luxury item, something that the wealthy can afford to take care of. I have had lots of health problems recently and now I am paying off loads of doctor's bills. I have had to choose between doctor's visits for my psorasis and arthiritis and groceries--of course, we all know what wins out! All in all, i think this book has been my favorite read in this class so far.

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Bobbi Faulkner


Mon Oct 02, 2006 7:44 pm
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This book has been my favorite to read so far, as well, Bobbi. I was asking myself, if I did make a lot of money, (which, of course, as a teacher, I don't) would I be willing to take a leave away from my much higher paying job, and live as a "working poor" person, working for minimun wage, and living in substandard housing, like this author did. I don't think I would be able to do it....

It is hard to get by financially for many of us, even with a college degree. Most people that work at minimum wage paying jobs, are not well educated, and most likely do not have a college education, so I know it has to be even harder to manage financially, and otherwise, without that higher education.

I do admire people that work at minimum wage paying jobs. They are trying so hard, and willing to work to do what it takes to provide for themselves and their families.

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Elizabeth Lawson


Tue Oct 03, 2006 5:18 pm
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This was a great book, but I could not have sacrificed what the author did in order to write the story. True, teachers do not make lots of money, but we do make more than minimum wage. I grew up in a lower class environment, and appreciate everything I now have. I would not want to go back to that same environment.

I agree with Elizabeth that people who work for minimum wage work hard. Because of their low salaries, they just can't seem to get ahead.

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Barbara Stewart


Wed Oct 04, 2006 7:39 pm
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I with you, girls! I don't want to give up what I've worked for. I know that in an instant it can all disappear, but I pray that I've got enough reserves in case something does happen.

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Lisa Bernosky-Wade
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South Newton Elementary


Mon Oct 09, 2006 1:49 pm
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This was my favorite book as well...so far. I thought it was an interesting perspective. I have been very fortunate in life and can't relate personally, however professionally I have seen so many families in the same situations as those mentioned in the book. It really puts into perspective why so many students can't pay for field trips, agendas, supplies, class shirts, Scholastic News, etc. A friend of mine with elementary age children spoke this weekend about how much money school costs. I never thought about it being such a challenge for so many families.

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Melanie Huss


Mon Oct 09, 2006 3:23 pm
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