Yay Easton School Board! You Didn’t Ban A Book!

In the Call I read about a 2 man attempt to ban a ‘vulgar’ book from the 11th grade in the Easton School District.  Tea Party supporter and Republican party member Ronnie DelBacco said the book promoted liberal, or socialist thinking and it was vulgar and it talked about how to pass a drug test!  As far as he is concerned the book should go!

The school board said something like ‘we’ve thought about it, but we have much bigger problems than banning literature that has been largely approved for school use.’

Yay!  Reasonable people rule in Easton!

Just in case you are thinking that I’m dangerous in supporting a book that is radical- I will have you know that I’ve read work by Barbara Ehrenreich in my own college classes.  It surprised me that she was the author of the  book that was being discussed.  I noticed her name and I thought that something must be wrong.

So I found the  book over at scribd.com   It’s called “Nickel and Dimed”  .   I read it.  Wow!  Boy do I now know why this kind of book would incite Tea Party afficionados.  The book is a personal journey that the author took to see how she could get by living with several low wage jobs.  Spoiler alert- She didn’t do too well.

I  recommend you read it!  Barbara comes up with ideas that are fun like she sees Walmart employees as substitute mothers for adult women.  She thinks that these women tired of always crabbing at their family members to  pick things up- or having to pick everything up by themselves- visit Walmart just because everything is neatly folded and stacked and that it allows these repressed women the opportunity to act out and become spoiled infants tossing and stuffing and dropping Walmart products willy nilly.

Or another time she’s thinking about how her own mother taught her to clean using lots of hot water and yet, when she’s employed as part of a maid cleaning team she’s taught to use a half of a small bucket of  lukewarm water to clean, or as she says to spread around dirt.  Then the cleaners spritz the house with a aerosol spray that perfumes the air to make unsuspecting owners feel good about their newly ‘cleaned’ homes.

When she takes a job at one of those places that serves breakfast 24 hours a day she sees that those extra pats of butter or the regular trips back to the customers tables with coffee or water are signs of love even though the burned out waiters and waitresses are moving with almost no sign of personality so surely no one would guess that an extra pat of butter was a sign of affection.

There is some information about having to pee in a cup and that may be where Mr.Delbacco found his concerns about evading drug tests, but Barb goes to her local drugstore and asks the guy behind the counter to show  her where they keep the “ClearP”.  Beyond that she says if you are thin marijuana gets flushed out of your system better.  Don’t eat salt because that retains water and otherwise drink like crazy to remove ‘impurities’.  All of this she does and she never tells us whether her attempts to remove marijuana from her system were helpful, all she says is that she was hired by the two companies that tested her.  We can thereby assume that she tricked the test..or that the tests weren’t as sensitive as they should be.

I enjoyed reading it.  I’m glad that children in 11th grade are given this look at what life is like working a minimum wage job.

I’m glad that this Ph.D found that her natural zest for learning didn’t set her apart from her coworkers. She wasn’t automatically found out because she was from a different social millieu.  She was just like they were, only healthier and she had a nice house to go home to and a retirement to rely on.  Her situation was vastly different from that of the folks she was working with.

I liked it.  I feel like I’ve been where she was.  I see others getting by where she was.  I don’t understand it.  I know it isn’t moral.  As Barbara says Democrats have nothing to be proud of…nor do Republicans.  The problem with the disappearing poor in America is that some of these  people are sometimes living in shame!  They hide their troubles.  Or they are proud, too proud to admit life can be awful defeating.    They don’t want to look needy.  They’ll get by!  They’ll figure it  out!  They’ll take every resource that is available- but even so, they aren’t living high on the hog!

I liked the book.  The only thing I feel right now is a sense of shame that I had time to read that book!  But I’m sharing what I’ve read.  I hope that makes it somehow okay that I have the luxury of reading this book.  I also feel bad that I didn’t pay a cent for it!  I read it for free!

This book isn’t about ‘dumbing down education’.  It isn’t full of foul language.  It isn’t a laugh riot that kids might want to read for fun.  It’s a serious look at being part of the working poor in America.

Read it!








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