English 11

Authentic Discussion on the "How the other half lives"

the question: Which of these individuals most deserves our help and why?

Paige: Brandy had a job, and still wants one, so she does not deserves the money; Don is the worst, so he gets it first because he’s schizto and can’t be expected to be safe
Tim: Norman should go first—he’s got education and a kid. He should be able to get back to where he was.
Paige: Norman is sketchy—he doesn’t explain how he got homeless;
Marc: I agree w. Tim—Norman and Kenneth deserve it first. Kenneth seems like a hard worker with goals—his obstacle is he doesn’t like people. Maybe he could overcome that somehow.
Amanda: Along with others, we put Norman #1 since he feels an ob ligation; Don is crazy, if we got him a job, he wouldn’t hold it.
Jerica: We put Brandy first, they were entrepreneurial and were victims of bad luck. If we helped them, they would help more by being helpers of others. We put Will, Pat, Nate last. They don’t want to be helped.
Jake: We should go over them one by one.
Leland: We decided that Alison was #4, followed closely by Robert. It seems she wants to fit in. She’s got a cry for help to fit in, which indicates she is willing. We like Robert, since he has work experience, but no family and a drinking problem. We put Brandy #2—she is an American dreamer, and has the willingness;
Kayla: We said Alison was the last, since she says that she finds it attractive to lilve day to day. She likes being homeless.
Garrett: We put Alison fourth, due to the fact that she is a dedicated homeless person, since she likes to be homeless.
Jake: I agree w/ Garrett, but we need to stress that she’s not wanting help; she enjoys her life now. Once we take her out of society, she becomes unhappy and we have to control her. If she’s not hurting anyone, and happy the way she is; she may have drive.
KJ: We had Robert 6th, because even though he’s got a some drive, he might drink it up if we help him.
Munazza: he has potential, even though he is a drinker.
Garrett: when he says the “job interfered with the drinking” it tells you that his values are backward and it won’t be worth the effort.
Jake: I agree that his drinking makes him unattractive, but he does point out that he is not unhappy with his homelessness. He is content, and it might be counter-productive to help him.
Hisham: We agreed that Donald is last. He gives no indication that he might be successful in the future. If we were to give him help, he would waste it on UFOlogy stuff.
Martin: His calling himself a professional hobo means that he likes it. Why would we take it away from him?
Tim: the three of them are last because they have no desire to get off the streets
Dylan: I agree. Pat says he’s out there because he wants to be; they won’t use the help
Sam: We put them last since they don’t want to be part of the rest of us.
Eric: The one guy was a computer programmer—an important job. If he was willing to lose that,
Jake: They get it, they’re competent, but they don’t want to be with us; they are borderline anarchists
Teddy: He’s upset with society; I don’t think he’s going to want to change. He has contempt for society.
Alba: I disagree. William is disappointed that our country hasn’t been more helpful. If we help him, we could turn him around.
Jaime: We’d put him first. He has good work ethic, and he’s hopeful. He is kind of anti-social though. And he gets bored easily.
Emily: I have something to add—Kenneth has a goal; that means they want to get out, and will make use of it.
Teddy: he’s going to be committed to reaching a goal—a good bet
Leland: We put him as number three because he likes to work, manual labor; his desire is to be a mainstream producer; he wants out of the cycle. His only obstacle, a lack of education, could be remedied.
Jerica: We say his goals for wife and kid, etc. but when he says “cuz I’m a working kind of person sometimes” we thought maybe he’s going to give up on his goals;
Mike: Norman was #1. He has a child, and is educated, and so he will use the money because…
Sam: It’s his responsibility, and he’ll live up to it. He has to or he will be ashamed of himself.
Alba: I put him 2 or 3 because w/ the ed. He might spend it wisely and might not need that much help; with the ed., he would more likely spend it wisely.
Emily: With his ed., he could save money resources for others who need the education.
Anthony: Donald should be locked up in a mental institution—his hallucinations, etc. Sometimes this makes people violent.
Amanda: It doesn’t say he’s violent, and he’s happy, so why not let him stay? His record is clean, and I don’t think he’s gonna harm anyone.
Paige: I think along w/ Anthony that we need to give him money for treatment so that any violence can be prevented.
Jake: The origins of “hobo” are vagrant, not homeless; so “professional hobo” is not such a crazy statement.
Leland: I want to bring up the fact that Donald needs institutionalization; isn’t Don’s being a “pro hobo” just his being an individual? If he wants to believe it, let him. Those who want to lock him up, are those who like structure and conformity; he may be a little crazy, but he’s happy. We can’t judge him for what he likes.
Paige: He can be a nomad, but it is separate from his UFO belief. He needs treatment for the rest of our safety.
Jake: Everyone says he must be crazy because he claims to have been abducted, but there are educated people who believe they exist. So it’s a matter of opinion. We should allow for a difference of opinion. Even though he claims abduction, it doesn’t mean he’s crazy.
Anthony: in fact, there is no evidence of UFOs.
Jerica: I think it’s arguable that UFO’s don’t exist; ev. Discovery channel docs with Dr.s alleging UFO experiences. We are largely ignorant of the rest of the universe.
Garrett: I saw an Area 51 show. They say that aliens are the perfect cover for military tests. The UFOs are never clear. It is a military.
Paige: going off what Jake said, I don’t understand that his abduction story wouldn’t lead to a conclusion that he is insane. Nobody in his right mind would say that.
Sam: What if he actually was abducted? You can’t just deny it.
Paige: and there’s no way to prove it.
Jake: there’s a margin of doubt here, since you can’t prove it either way.
Jerica: Donald’s claim that UFOs exist and that he has been abducted means we need to test him and see if he’s stable enough to hold a job or not.
Leland: Why does this guy need “help”? He’s happy the way he is. Why do people want to change a guy for what he likes to do. Would you want someone telling you you could not pursue your joy? In his eyes, he’s OK. Leave him be.
Jerica: I want to clarify—I said one who doesn’t want help should not be forced. But donald’s belief in UFo, if it becomes violent, is acommunity safety issue, and warrants our “help.”
Anthony: Nobody likes to hear this talk. Even if he’s not violent, or a threat, we need to lock him or shut him up.
Emily: His UFO problem may not be a problem now, but paranoia can develop, and that would make him a problem and warrants getting him help. But he is not a problem now.
Paige: Re: Jake’s point that we have to give him the benefit of the doubt, because there’s two sides to it and we can’t assume one side. And regarding Anthony’s suggestion, removing him for his speech is vs. Constitution.
Jake: I want to ask to elaborate on his being a danger (to Anthony)
Anthony: I have personal experience w/ a lady who started asking me about my belief and ended up hitting me in the face.
Jake: I’m sorry for your experience, but I don’t think Don shows any violent tendencies. So watch him instead of supposing he’ll be violent. We’re innocent till proven guilty.
Anthony: sometimes you need to take action to prevent it.
Martin: re: the developing of violent behavior, who doesn’t have violent potential?
Leland: What some are saying sounds circumstantial. You may have encoun tered a rare crazy violent person. This guy has not done so, so we need to treat him justly—not treat him in expectation of his being violent.
Emily: We should talk w/him and find out if he has these violent tendencies. See if he’s anti-social, then helphim.
Paige: I don’t think anyone can tell for sure about what will happen with Donald. So I agree w/ Jake and just keep an eye on him.


Nikki: I put her fourth because she has a good family but she likes the thrill of being homeless—“there’s something about living day to day -- attractive.”
Matt E.: I put her 6th bc it appears that if she got money she wouldn’t use it. She says that she left the mainstream life, she wouldn’t want to be “rehabilitated.” She had what we’re trying to give her, and she’s abandoned.
Kevin: She’s last, because not only is she choosing to be homeless, if she really needed to get out, it seems she has a family who could help out.
Peter: I rated her three, because she has experience with different cultures, her attitude is bad; “to be part of the nonconformity” shows she doesn’t want to be part of mainstream culture.
Jeremy: Her family isn’t helpful, since they don’t see her as a “real person”
Kevin: Her family is probably disappointed, but they would help her out since they wouldn’t want her to be what they don’t approve of.
Fifi: When she says she doesn’t want to live in the park, doesn’t that show a good attitude?
Peter: but she chooses to be homeless; she had a job and she gave it up
Fifi: But she wants to travel around, and this meets her goal
Peter: I just think she’s got a bad attitude.
Jeremy: Generally when kids grow up, they take their parents’ attitudes;
Fifi: I rated her four because she has experience and could make a turn around.
Rebecca: I rated him fifth; He had a job, but he’s a drinker; it would need a lot of help to rehabilitate him “the job interfered with my drinking.” If he can find the strength, he’s worth it.
Dan: He’s last. His drinking is most important; nothing is more important;
Schwee: I think if we helped him it would be lost.
Fifi: He’s also last for me—we can’t trust a drinker. Until he looks at drinking and work differently, we might as well not give him the money.
LJ: He was a 6, because he has no education and he doesn’t seem to care about drinking. He’s nonchalant about his job.
Cori: Even though he quit his job for drinking, he acknowledges that the problem is his, since
Matt E.: I put him higher, because even though he’s got problems, he’s optimistic; the way he talks a bout it casually shows he has a bright outlook; he’s content, but he might want more
Hope: I don’t agree with a ranking of 3 for Robert; an addict is hopeless and will spend it on drinks
Matt E.: His positive attitude might make him use the money to better himself
Hope: But he would have to get a job to better himself, and he doesn’t want a job—it interferes with his drinking.
LJ: He looks older, and that would make him less attractive as a candidate; he
Marlow: I ranked her 4th—she shouldn’t get it because she relies on husband too much; after he stops working, she gives up; she’s lazy
Emma: I put her 3rd, because the store going out of business isn’t her fault;
Marlow: It’s he, not she, that had the job.
Emma: They deserve it because they’re a pair.
Marlow: if it were both of them, that would be different.
Lois: I think that she is the top prospect, because even though she didn’t have a job, she supported her husband—even though she might not have worked, she was a support; she is a loyal wife
Cori: At first I ranked her higher, but I’m ranking it lower at 4th because she’s from somewhere else, and the
Schwee: I put her at 2 because she and husband are opportunists, and that would help the economy
Fifi: I want to know where the evidence is that she is a loyal supportive wife
Matt W.: I ranked “Boxcar” at 5th because I think he’s relatively useful—he’s self-confident, calling himself “a professional” and he is crazy, but he’s articulate—he’s not too crazy
Rebecca: He’s 6, because he’s got mental issues, but he also could be creative;
LJ: I put him last because he’s too crazy—would spend the money on UFO stuff—wasting it; we can’t trust him
Emma: I put him 6th not 7th because the three guys don’t have a “work ethic” Just because we don’t believe it’s true, we have to acknowledge he is passionate about something
Boris: I put the three guys at 7 because they can get a job, but they won’t; they do not need our help;
Peter: I agree. He says he “refuses” to obey the laws of society—we don’t want to reward someone like that
Ashley: I also put them 7th because they have a “bad attitude”—he’s wanting to be homeless
Fifi: It says he’s protesting; “this is my way of letting society know” that he’s not with it; if you give him money, he won’t do anything with it since he likes where he is and wants to stay there
Jeremy: William doesn’t own up to his problems—looking at things negatively—a “bad attitidue”
Matt W.: I agree… as Patrick says, he chose this situation; he feels that he is contributing with his protest (in his way)—he’s saying he’s not in need, but that he’s the one who’s helping
Emma: Another reason is that the government would be helping them, when, because they won’t pay taxes, they won’t help gov’t. Why should gov’t help them?
Matt E.: To go against everyone, I ranked them two; they’re disappointed w. our gov’t; they chose to live their lives in protest; BUT if we gave them money, their cause would gone, and they could restart their lives
Jeremy: Do you think this would be the most eff. Way of spending money?
Matt E.: they have the training…
Jeremy: wouldn’t you prefer someone who can think outside the box?
Matt E.: Who’s to say Patrick can’t also do that; if we give them money, helping our citizens, they’ll see that the government is helping, and they will change their opinions about their protest
Matt W.: Could they be “bought off” with government assistance? Will they stop when their case is better and not continue for others?
Matt E.: Prioritizing them will change their minds
Matt W: wouldn’t they continue protesting for the rest of society? Once the rest were helped, then they might help themselves
Kevin: They don’t need the money as much; most are trying to survive; if these three were to hit rock bottom, they have an out; they can help themselves.
Matt E.: They might not need the money as drastically as others and wait till others are helped, but they seem the main protesters; if they realize they didn’t need it, they would take the money we give them, and re-distribute it themselves, thus co-opting them into social action
Jeremy: If they see others getting helped, or they themselves are helped, they might not believe it is adequate help to address what they’re protesting
Matt E: Others, without job experience and ed, have the potential to be more productive
Jeremy: wouldn’t it be better to help the others without background ?
Matt E: They care about helping others; if we gave them money they don’t need, wouldn’t they donate it?
Jeremy: Helping others would be more useful , etc….
Ina: Norman is #1 because he needs a jump start. He has an ed and a child, and I feel that if he had a jump start he would take it. People w/ children tend to seek out more help.
Marlow: I agree. He does have an ed. I think he will use it well. He got a scholarship to Miami of O, which shows he can do good things.
Nikki: I agree—he’s number 1. He has more potential and hard-work experience. His scholarship demonstrates that.
Rebecca: Agreed—he’s number 1. Although he has a strange appearance, he’s been homeless. He won’t look that good. With a child, you have to worry about it first. He can clean up.
Hope: Agreed—he reminds me of the guy from Pursuit of Happyness—his motivation is his son, and that will allow him to spend the money on useful things.
Kevin: Earlier you mentioned his smarts—it doesn’t translate necessarily to hard-working. I know of individuals whose natural gifts mean high achievement in school. Insufficient evidence for his hard-work ethic. You can’t just assume it.
Jeremy: Scholarships don’t go to people who BS their way through school.
Kevin: there are a lot of scholarships.
Matt E: I agree w. Kevin. Norman is at the bottom. We don’t know enough about him. Only that he has some ed and training and a kid. No explanation of why or how he’s unemployed and homeless. He never says he needs help. Not enough info and he’s not asking for it. He may be “gaming” the system by not revealing info.
Kevin: We don’t even know if his kid is w/ him. There’s not enough info to give him the money. If he wanted it, he would have given more info.
Hope: I don’t get why the alchy gets a high rating and this guy’s not. None have sufficient explanation. You’re assuming that the parent isn’t there.
Kevin: and you’re assuming he is.
Hope: I don’t agree that the alchy gets the higher rating—we need to assume both the bad and the good.
Matt E : the guy with alchoholism let us know about himself; everyone seems to be focusing on the last four words. The kid is getting him the votes. Maybe Brandy has a kid, but she doesn’t describe it. Everyone else is giving more info.
Cori: I put Norman higher because he was probably easier to help. With the ed and smarts and job, he’d find it easier to get a job.
Jeremy: You bring up that he’s not asking for help and holding that against him; but the guys who say they don’t need help and are against the government a higher score.
Matt E: these guys gave more info. This guy doesn’t give anything –just the schooling and the kid and the job.
Matt W: Norman’s statement allows you to say he has no current job.
Marlow: If Norman were working now, he wouldn’t be on the list.
Emma: We’re talking about their backgrounds. Why give someone w/ ed money when it’s easier for them? Don’t those w/out ed and w/ problems deserve it more?
Schwee: you want to reward the lazy?
Emma: no
Fifi: What if those w/out ed are lazy?
Kevin: Jeremy said that Norman was similar to the three guys—even though they were anti-government. With those three, you have enough info to reason that they have the experience to do something with the money. Not so with Norman. We just don’t know and need more info.
Schwee: so you’re saying the ex-con deserves it more than the guy with the kid and the ed? If we give it to them they won’t even use it.
Marlow: I agree. Patrick says he decided to drop out. He’s given up. Why would he want to come back. Norman never says.
Kevin: He’s ranked first. He’s had jobs, he’s in a cycle of bad luck. I can relate to his problems. If we gave him a boost, he’d get back on the job force. He keeps getting hired.
Rebecca: I ranked Ken 2nd. He’s got a good attitude (ex. “I’m gonna get out of this cycle”) He has faith in himself. He’s also self-reliant. He is compassionate.
Jeremy: I agree, he’s 2nd for his history. But he seems like he has a big ego. He has faith in himself.
Matt E: I agree. He says he stays on the streets because he doesn’t need it. It shows he’s also not too proud to accept assistance. On the other hand, he won’t stay on public assistance. He’s optimistic and looks forward to the future.
Ashley: I gave him a 2. Hard-working and good attitude. Ev. “I’m gonna get..” He wants to change.
Lois: I agree but he is anti-social (“sometimes I prefer to live on the streets”). He bears watching.