Sunday, October 31, 2010

The [Teenage] Low-Wage Life

Teenagers are always finding jobs whether it be a temporary summer job or a job that they keep throughout the school year as well. Teens’ reasons for finding jobs can also vary from pocketing some extra spending money to trying to help their parents put food on the table and a roof over their heads. For most teens living in the United States, their reason for getting a job is the former rather than the latter. Who wouldn’t want some extra spending money on the side for things such as movies, gas, and dare I say it, parties? It’s always nice to know that you have that money there to spend and even better, that you earned that money yourself. But what about those teens whose wages get stripped from them almost as soon as they earn them in order to pay for the electrical bill or the week’s dinners? How do they feel about the wages they’re earning and the way in which they’re earning them? What about teens in general and their feelings on the jobs they work and how they’re treated at these jobs? Believe it or not, basically every working teenager in the United States, and especially in other countries, is a low-wage worker. They don’t go to work making $20/hour or even $10/hour; instead, most teens (or at least most teens from where I’m from) are excited at making $8/hour. What does this say about the types of jobs that are available for teens? What about teens working in third world countries? The low-wage life isn’t an easy one, but for some teens, it’s all they know.

Many teenagers have it “easy” – they work in a decent environment with decent people (perhaps even some of their friends if they’re lucky) and get paid a decent amount of money. These teens have jobs working at such places like movie theaters, non-fast food restaurants, and retail stores. If asked about their job some will say that they love it and that the hours and the pay are perfect while others may completely disagree by saying that you’d be better off not getting a job whatsoever. However if you were to take a look at these jobs – the environment they’re in, the tasks they employ, and the benefits employees receive – you’d probably think that anyone who complains about such a job is crazy. But are such jobs really all that glamorous? Cleaning up spilled soda and ketchup off of the ground, standing on your feet for hours on end, and carrying heavy trays of food through a crowded dining hall – such activities don’t sound too attractive. Yet, when compared to working at places like McDonalds or in extreme cases, a sweatshop, I’m sure any teen would jump to be folding clothes in an air-conditioned room while chatting it up with co-workers.

There are many horror stories about teens working in low-wage jobs such as McDonalds, small diners, and other “unattractive” jobs, but personally I’ve never experienced a job like that. I have had summer jobs; however, compared to some of the work that I hear about other teens and even some of my friends doing, my “jobs” can’t really be called jobs at all. The two summer positions that I held were both clerical jobs and were honestly two of the easiest jobs I could have imagined. I sat at a desk, did some occasional scanning and filing, took one hour lunches (sometimes even a bit longer) and still got paid $8/hour. And I loved that I got paid $8/hour. One of my good friends who had started working at a local movie theater a couple years before I had even gotten my first “real” job has only gotten a $0.25 raise and I was already making $8/hour with my first job. Even more, I was working 8 hour days, earning $64/day and he was working 10-12 hours/week if he was lucky. The major difference between our jobs though was the way in which we got them. My friend went out looking for his job by talking to some of our other friends, comparing his different options while I on the other hand basically had my job handed to me. A few of my friends and I had applied for a state program called the Summer Youth Employment Program and after filling out a simple application, the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations contacted us with our positions. You could pretty much say that we were still being like kids while trying to act like adults.

The Low Wage Worker:The Invisible Janitor

Who are the invisible faces we see every day? The jobs which keep the world spic and spam while we go about our day? They work in almost every public place imaginable. They are the working force which keeps our environments live able, enjoyable, and downright clean. They are the janitors and cleaning services of the world. I’m sure everyone in schools has seen them around. We leave our plates and trash on every surface imaginable and in no time it’s clean and tidy and read to eat off of. Many of these workers speak little English and depending on where they work may or may not get a decent paycheck. Weather we respect them or not everyone has a stake on their punctuality, commitment, and work.

This topic came up when I was in high school. A lot of people decided to leave their plates and trash everywhere and it started to get on the nerves of the faculty. They implemented a lot of programs to combat this problem and really nothing happened. It had an opposite effect students got pissed to the point of even saying “Why should we clean it up, It is their job”. I always cleaned up after myself and on occasion told other to. However, this never really hit home until one of my teachers asked “How many of you even know the name of the janitors who take care of this building”. I felt terrible. They keep the school clean and I really couldn’t answer that question.

This reminded me of middle school. In my small middle school there was only one janitor for the whole school. Going to that school for well over seven years I remember how everyone knew his name. We all enjoyed talking to him and he even got us candy and helped us when we needed it. He was always happy to do his job and really made students feel at home. Remembering this experience made me feel terrible; I didn’t get to know the staff which kept the school so clean.

This experienced changed my views on the workforce in schools. I always try to say hi and thank you for all they do. Now that I’m in college it has gotten even worse. Many of us are oblivious of the janitors. We go to sleep one day and generally the next day the dorms or building are clean. Now not every janitor gets no respect or a low wage but a lot of them do. Many janitors get only about 6-7$ an hour and of course like many jobs there is a scale. 6-7$ isn’t a lot to live on. When a janitors dose his job he is rarely noticed or bothered but when he is busy or his work is lacking he is the point of everyone’s anger, even spite. A janitor is such a vital job in this American world we live in where many of us are not use to the debris of everyday life. Yet they are forgotten, mistreated, and are forced to live to the best of ability on so little.

LOW WAGE JOB - How the mom did it

As young children, we are raised to dream; strive for a successful life; have a better life then what you were raised in; be wealthy; be happy. Unfortunately there are more people that do not achieve many of these life goals then there are that do become wealthy. There are more individuals that struggle day to day living pay check to pay check , working at the minimum wage then there are workers that receive an over sufficient wage. “Money can’t buy you happiness.” Though the fact that this quote may be honest to some extent, it sure as hell is not completely true. True money cannot buy you ultimate happiness in life but it sure can pay your bills; it sure can pay for the roof over your head; it sure can buy the food you put in your mouth; it sure can buy the food that you feed your hungry children; it sure can pay for your children’s education; it sure can pay for the electricity keeping you warm at night. True money can’t make you happy, but it sure as hell can help. To all these low wage workers it all comes down to working hard every day to survive and simply praying that this ticket, this gold ticket with random numbers, is the one lottery ticket that will win millions and will take away all your depts. A situation that makes the life of low wage workers much harder, much more stressful, and seemingly much more impossible is a family. This essay will follow the experience of young women trying to have a fresh new start with nothing but hope and a will. My mother came to this country at the age of 12, her first job was babysitting. This job gave her 40 dollars throughout the span of her whole summer. At the age of 17 she got a job working at a bank and into the work force she went. She handled the combination of work and education very well, if asked, anyone could have easily said that she had a bright successful. I am not saying that her life wasn’t fulfilled because it was; she had a family of a husband two gorgeous daughters and two handsome sons, I am not saying her life was unsuccessful because it was; she raised are her kids to the best of her abilities, so far has sent one to a university and hopefully sends another one, her story is a story of triumph and success over obstacles that may seem every day and must seem possible is so many people are making it out. But I want to see you go through it all before you speak up. At the time of high school graduation my mother had to choose between education or work. Well work seemed the most instantly required because the money was needed to help my grandmother pay for bills and food. Well my mother’s first real job was working at bank for the low wage of $1.69 an hour.

Nike Sweat shops

Nike Sweatshops

Nike is arguably the most successful sports based business ever, the question that a lot of people has is how do they do it? Unfortunately the answer is that they use cheap labor is underdeveloped countries. As an athlete myself, I will be the first to admit that I can't remember the last pair of running or basketball shoes that I owned that weren't Nike products. I would also say that at least in the basketball world they are the leaders hands down. Why are they the leaders? Well for one they sign all the top athletes to multimillion dollar contracts all so they can put their name on some shoe and make it that much more sought after. This gives Nike the upper hand in the market because they can decide where the fashion is going, they decide what is cool. Aside from that they also tend to come out with new technology to make their shoes and products lighter and more comfortable, which allows them to charge a decent amount more than most of their competitors. Nike is said to have made huge changes to their workers policy and workers rights, however many organizations such as Educating for justice (EFJ) say that there is still much improvement to be made. There have been proposed bills to try to stop the import of goods that were created in sweatshops into the United States. For example, Decent Working Conditions and Fair Competition Act attempted "Amends the Tariff Act of 1930 to revise the prohibition on importing convict-made goods into the United States to make it unlawful to import into, or export from, the United States any sweatshop good("Decent Working Conditions and Fair Competition Act." Open Congress. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Oct. 2010.). The bill was proposed by Byron Dorgan to the Senate, and it was proposed by Sherrod Brown to the House of Representatives. In both the bill died in committee and did not become a law. If I had to guess it probably did not pass because it would put a good majority of big name companies in quite a pickle. If Something like that bill were to become a law someone would have to pay for it, either the consumer or the company. I am fairly confident that it would be the consumer; companies like Nike are not going to want to have more costs, that is why companies use cheap labor to begin with. However this raises the argument of how much is the mark up on their products? Undoubtedly the costs to make the shoes and other products are a small fraction of the retail price. Although, when consumers buy Nike shoes they are paying for a lot more than the cost to make the shoe. Someone has to pay for the multimillion dollar contracts that Nike pays top athletes like Lebron James, Kobe Byrant, and Tiger Woods. It's a vicious circle with really no easy answers, because Nike is in business to make money just like any other company. It is hard to make companies that have been so successful change the way they got there, however when it comes to the sweat shops they use something needs to be done.

Calvin College Hekman Library openURL resolver

MY low-wage life

Low wage work is a common concept for teenagers accepting a first or second job. Spending money is the primary incentive as opposed to money to pay the bills or the beginnings of a career. This, at least, was the primary incentive I had for accepting the first two jobs of my life. In my very first job as a caddy, I was introduced into a workplace that gave both financial profits as well as flexible hours. I began to wonder why I kept hearing people discuss this monster that is low wage work. That’s when I accepted my first winter position at a local health club. What I received was minimal funds and an inside view on adults in the quicksand of low wage labor. As an Operations Team Member at a local health club, I encountered adults who needed a job that meant less than nothing to me.

I have always been a punctual worker who works by the motto, “If they’re paying me I might as well do something,” which, albeit, may not be the most driven mindset, but still does imply work. However, by no means have my two beginning jobs been the most important thing on my mind. Instead, I would liken them to going to school or, more simply, a means to an end. You go to work to get the pocket change and duck out before your manager can ask you to work longer. That is until you realize the thirty-year-old single mother of seven or fifty plus post retiree that needed to return to work so that there would be food on the table. That’s when the clear-cut objectives of such a job begin to look a little murky.

I began caddying at age 12 and have continued for the past seven years. Along that time I have worked up the ranks to the top level as an honor caddy. At this level I found a normal days salary ranging between $100-250, with the maximum duration of a ten-hour day. I thought this was a normal salary from a low wage job, and began to take the work for granted. That was until last year when I started my first winter job at Lifetime Fitness health club.

It did not take a while before I adopted a new view on the life of a low-wage worker. At this new job I encountered people of all ages who completed the same back bending labor as I did for the pocket change that I could go through in a week without a second glance. I listened to the plethora of medical and financial problem that these people had to deal with while attempting to navigate an insurmountable bill to wages ratio. One common trend that I realized was that this job was by no means a career for anyone who worked it. It was simply a means to an end. Or it had been twelve years earlier when they took the job to pay the bills. Others had layoffs, children, and relationships to blame their financial need on, yet time and again I found people who hadn’t intended to hold the job longer then a year watching it turn into a lifelong career.

Factory workers

It’s the gentleman’s game as people would refer to it and it’s the sports I love to play and I feel so relaxed doing so. Tennis it’s an easy game, your objective is to hit a yellow ball over a 3 foot 6 inch net and hope the other player it’s the ball in the court or into the net. Playing this sport for as long as I can remember now the question that comes into my mind is “who is making this ball and how is the tennis ball being shaped into its structure.”

My first reaction is that all tennis equipment is being made today in China, and Japan in these factories that are horrible working conditions. I came to a conclusion that my hypothesis was true but the factories such as the Dunlop Slazenger’s are also located in South America as well. It would seem like that they want to hide from the outside public what they are doing inside the factories. Inside these factories when you past the management offices and the windows are specially made that it seal off the noise what do you really see. Machines whoop, ping, and gunshot sounds fill the area and the workers wearing their uniforms seem like specks in the landscape. One person is feeding the so called monster whenever it buzz, beeps with hunks of rubber and a consignment of clay filler or chemicals down a chute into a huge mixer below. These people are working shifts that seem not even imaginable to Americans today. Most start their work at 6am in the morning and ends 10pm with one lunch break. This factory pays about 400 pesos a day which is the equivalent to about $32. One of the most difficult jobs in the factory is connecting the two halves of the tennis ball together with the clamp. If there is a problem with the ball it is rejected which costs the factory money and the employee would probably be fired. It isn’t surprising if the whole family is working in various factories across the area and most are at a very young age working to put food on the table for the whole family. Job insecurity, and the health of these people are always plaguing the workers every turn they take. When the balls are being processed the rubber is mixed with petroleum naphthalene and the effect of this causes the room to fill with the gas that is deadly.

I have played tennis all my life since I was four and I can never stop thinking about the game. This game is changing very rapidly every day with the technology they are putting into the racquets is quite fascinating. I am really intrigued in the corporate side of tennis and I would like to pursue furthering my knowledge of this topic. Now every time I play tennis and I pop open a new can of tennis balls I can always think stop and think that people that are producing these tennis balls are risking their health to help me be entertained by playing tennis.

Restaurant Servers

My parents and I agreed that having a side job during high school would be a good opportunity for me to make some spending money and learn about a different type of responsibility. I personally did not care where I worked so long as it was not in the god-forsaken mall. Minimum wage was not a question because I was not trained or educated to work a higher paying position. I was fortunate enough to find a job as a hostess/busser/waitress depending on what was needed on each night. The restaurant, we will call it “The Grill,” was a higher class establishment with expensive wines and pricey exotic food items. I was paid minimum wage ($8.55 an hour in Washington state) plus about 20% of the servers’ tips. I worked Tuesday and Wednesday nights which were some of the slower nights at The Grill and after a four hour shift I would probably walk away with about $50 of cash tips.

My experience at The Grill was an amazing one. I felt I was overpaid for little work. It was physically demanding and stressful at times, but ultimately I was pouring waters, without ice or with a lemon for more demanding customers, and running around with coloring books and bread plates. Working at The Grill was one of the most important and eye opening experiences of my life. Developing personal relationships with the adults working there made me realize there is much more to a restaurant than what a customer may perceive. The people that serve our food daily live with financial struggles and work pressures unknown to the people ordering medium rare steaks, getting upset when the sauce is not on the side. The purpose of this project is to be a voice for the voiceless and tell the stories of the unknown inner workings of restaurants.

Although working at The Grill was a better experience than most people have earning minimum wage because it is a local, family owned establishment and with high priced foods and therefore high tips at the end of each night. However, it provided a less than desirable life for its employees and did still did not meet the financial demands of a family. Working with the same people for over a year I had a chance to actually hear their stories and learn that the money I made for day trips with girlfriends and a new pair of jeans could hardly meet their high rent in a suburb of Seattle or the price to send their kids to a successful private school. One man, Kyle for this paper, was recently divorced, paying off childcare expenses, and rode his bike to work in the cold and rain in order to go to night school for web design and a hope for a better life. Most of the people that I worked with always told me that they could not see working in a restaurant for the rest of their lives but that there was no better alternative for an uneducated middle aged person. The fact that I had already received a higher level of education created an interesting complex and when I left The Grill to go to college most of my coworkers were thrilled for me and encouraged me to do well so I could have a better life than they did.

Because I have worked in a restaurant along with my sister and mother I feel incredibly close to this low wage experience. My time at The Grill was beyond valuable and I will never walk into a restaurant without remembering my own experiences. I have such a strong personal connection and close relationships with my coworkers that I would like to take this project as an opportunity to tell their struggles and change people’s minds about restaurant servers just like my experience changed mine.

Low Wage Wal-Mart

Every day, across the world, millions and millions of people work for extremely low wages. For these people, every day is a challenge. Work is often very hard and long, and money is often quite scarce. I, myself, have never worked for low wages, therefore I have not experienced the struggles these people endure. However, my life is greatly influenced by low wage workers every day. Whether it be a store worker selling me clothes, or a teenager making them half a world away, my life is affected by these workers.

Many times when buying new shoes or clothing we do not see the many people behind the scenes, so to speak, that make these things possible. Most people just completely overlook the fact that their clothing has passed through several hands to get to where it is. Many of these hands happen to be low wage workers, earning just above or below minimum wage. Often times, many of these workers are working overseas in factories and sweatshops that do not pay even close to minimum wage.

Many people in America do not care to check the labels of their clothing to see where it was made. If they were to check, they would discover that almost all of their clothing was made in another country overseas. This allows the clothing industry in the United States takes advantage of low wage workers constantly. They do this in order to produce large amounts of their product for very little cost to them. The clothing industry is responsible for low wage workers in sweatshops all over the globe. In many countries around the world there are no minimum wage laws and the clothing industry uses this to their advantage. The factories run in other countries by the U.S. clothing industry pay their workers next to nothing for all day, back breaking labor. The workers are also treated as machines and not as people. Bosses and managers are constantly looking over their shoulders, monitoring everything they do, telling workers to hurry up and work faster and harder than they possibly could. On top of all this they are being paid next to nothing for their hard work. These injustices occur constantly in factories all over the globe.

Wal-Mart has always been known for it’s incredibly low prices and great deals. However, many people do not know Wal-Mart beyond that. For my low wage hypertext project I would like to explore the relationships between the Wal-Mart clothing industry in the United States, Wal-Mart’s worldwide sweatshops, and consumers all over the globe. Not only do I wish to explore the low wage workers taken advantage of overseas, but also those taken advantage of in the U.S. I would also like to compare the wages paid to workers overseas to the prices paid for the products made by these workers. I would also like to show how workers are taken advantage of not only overseas but in the United States as well.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Can you get me some ketchup when you get the chance? Can I have a couple of extra napkins? Which way to the restroom? So, it’s this way? I asked for over medium eggs not over hard. I said bacon not sausage. My toast was supposed to be well done not light. Instead, can I have a hot chocolate instead of milk? Where is out waitress? My name is Joe party of sixteen, and is there any way we can sit together? Can I pay ten dollars on credit card, twenty dollars cash, and the rest on my debit? We would like separate checks.

These are the dreaded questions that restaurant employees hear on a day-to-day basis. I am presently working at a restaurant and know what it’s like to be on your feet all day, slaving away at the everyday consumer’s needs. Still, I use this job at the restaurant as foundation for a future resume and someday, a career in something much greater. However, it seems that every other employee at the restaurant relies on this job and this job alone. I would love to explore the low-wage life of a restaurant employee and, specifically (if possible), the low-wage life of a restaurant employee where I am employed at.

All women are servers except for one at the restaurant, and there are some hostesses, cooks, managers, and bus boys. I am a hostess and I work alongside two girls my age and a thirty-six year old woman. As a hostess, my job is to greet customers, seat them, and handle the cash register. Of course, I do other side jobs and help out on the same level as a server, just without the “serving” part. The servers are some of the toughest people at the restaurant. They are constantly scratching and clawing for a chance to get a table, always with the annoying remark of “It was my turn next.” It's never their turn next.

These servers are mostly made up of divorcees who have at least one kid, and the older ones working often have boyfriends instead of husbands. I constantly look around to find that I am one of the few who do this as a way of saving money. All of the other servers constantly tell me they are supposed to make a certain amount in the day. One server even said she couldn’t buy her daughter a birthday present.
As I work the cash register handling the money and occasionally having a friendly and somewhat entertaining talk with a customer, I feel gusts of wind go by, and I know for a fact we do not have a draft in the restaurant. We may have mold and the occasional flying termite but definitely no draft. This wind was constructed from the continuous “wooshing” of the servers flying by checking their charge tips, cursing under their breath at the way their customers have or have not rewarded them. Every cent, every dollar means that much more to work with. Don’t get me wrong, not everyone is struggling to the point where they will quit and move, but they are definitely pinching pennies.

The low-wage life in a restaurant, specifically as a waitress/waiter is tough. I can honestly say I have not lived the low-wage life, especially at this job. I am interested in finding out how they manage their life and really find out why they stay at this single job for years and years. I connect with these people in that we both have a restaurant job, but we are both there for completely different reasons.

Restaurant Wait Staff

During my senior year in high school, I worked as a waitress at a local seafood restaurant. Most of the wait staff was compromised of people in their early to mid twenties, who were struggling to make ends meet. They would work at least four shifts each week, ranging from four to eight hours each, in addition to working a second job, going to school, (and for some) taking care of a baby.

I am very fortunate to have parents who have great careers, so I didn’t necessarily have to get a job to help with our household income. But I knew that the extra money that I made could help my parents pay for my college tuition and could give me a little more spending money. At first my parents were against the idea of me getting a job. They thought that I couldn’t balance schoolwork, volunteering and work all at the same time. But one of the reasons why I wanted to work as a waitress was because I knew that I would learn how to juggle multiple things at once. Working as a waitress definitely taught me how to multitask, inside and outside of the restaurant. In a typical shift, I would have to juggle the anywhere from three to six tables, which all seated four to six customers.

The restaurant that I worked at tends to attract customers who are lower to middle class. I don’t want to be stereotypical, but it’s true that the level of the customer’s needs tends to increase, the lower they are in the class hierarchy. Most customers were very rude and demanding, so it was typical for all the wait staff to be agitated and distressed during their shifts. The aggravation would not only stem from the customer’s rudeness, but also from the tips (or rather lack of tips) that they left. All of the wait staff at the restaurant that I worked at gave excellent service and were always friendly, no matter how disrespectful the customer was. We would always try to satisfy all of their irrational requests and yet we were always left with a low tip, usually ranging from 0% to 5% of the bill. Regarding tipping in general, I can understand why people leave bad tips; maybe it was because the waiter wasn’t attentive and the service was horrible. But in the restaurant that I worked at, no matter how amazing the wait staff service was, we were always left with no tip or 5% tip. It was just because of the type of customers that our restaurant attracted.

On one hand, I felt like I was in the same boat as the other waiters and waitresses. We have all experienced the same frustrations, whether it was regarding the bad tipping of customers or other distresses in the restaurant. But at the same time, I wasn’t in the same boat as them. I wasn’t highly dependent on the money that I made each shift. If I didn’t make that much tip money in a certain shift, I would be disappointed but for the other wait staff, they would freak out. Rent, books for school, gas and car payments are all necessities. Yet with consistent low tips from customers, they aren’t able to afford those essentials and struggle to make ends meet.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Working in Paradise

Working in Paradise
The Hawaiian islands, or my home, is one of the most visited places in the world. A paradise for many and a contendor on any vacationers top ten list, its beautiful shores and crystal clear waters attract more each year than anyone could imagine. However amongst the laughter and relaxation of visitors comes the back breaking hardwork of the tourism industry. From Hotels to busdrivers, bellhops to lei stand weavers, every position not only requires them to meet the needy demands of high paying tourists, but do so in a fashion that leaves them with very little money. However, the tourism industry workers are often times some of the nicest people you will ever meet, constantly spreading aloha and love throughout the islands.
For my Low Wage project I want to explore how the tourism industry has shaped the mindset of its workers. I want to not only take a closer look on how hard their low wage life truly is in the incredibly high priced housing market of Hawaii, but also how low wages have shaped their optimistic perception of life. So far, the books we’ve read have focused on the negative connotations associated with that of the low wage worker. In my project I would like to focus more on the positive affect the tourism industry has had on its employees. Having worked in multiple tourist businesses including Shark Cage Encounters and Scuba Diving adventures, I know first hand what the demands of the industry are and how draining the work can be. Although my project may not be applicable to a group as vast as the nation, it is something that is not only close to me, but to my friends and family back home. Looking closer at the way the tourism industry shapes the mindset of its workers will also bring another outlook on life in Hawaii.
I think that the major problems this topic carries are the balance between my experiences and that of the low wage tourism worker. Reporting another’s life experiences while incorporating my own is difficult to do in moderation. I really want this project to dive into how the low wage workers of the hotel, tour guide and vacationing industries have shaped the mindset of the people who work for them. Essentially I want to find out if the absence of money can bring about a positive outlook on other aspects of life. A lot of my fellow workers constantly enjoyed emmersing themselves in nature and all that it had to offer and I think that it was a consequence of not being “blinded” by financial needs all the time. However do the low wages these people earn outweigh everything else? Can the constant burden of bills and the high demands of work bring about so much negativity we forget what life truly is about? Our economy and more specifically, low wage America, has revolved around nothing but work, work, work. Can this work be beneficial to the way we live? Or is it simply impossible for flipping burgers or greeting tourists to have any sort of positive impact on our lives?
Hopefully I’ll find these answers soon…

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Writing Tips

-The flow of the slides is and excellent component in your web site and one of your strong suits.
-For a suggestion you might want to add a conclusion page at the bottom where the rest of your links are located
-While reading through your project I found not a lot of spelling errors or grammar mistakes which is a good sign
-This is an excellent topic to write about but maybe add your personal connection as another page

Mike S
-Great interpretation of what facebook actually looks like and what the media is thinking about facebook
-Maybe add a page of all the social networking sites and discuss how as a whole how they are affecting the future workers of America
-The new innovative ideas page is a big plus and hopefully you could expand on this more in the conclusion

-This is a great topic to write about and certainly is a hot debate between high schoolers around the country
-In the future ask a girl about their perspective of this topic so the page would draw more attention
-Possibly add a page of how the parents feel about this topic as well
-Overall a good site which might recive more recongnition in future.

Writing: Site & Linear

You do a great job at separating your personal conflict and the issue itself. I really like that you have an entire link labeled as "My Own Story" and take the time to give a little background on what connection you share with the topic. The empathy you make the reader feel when explaining the californian government's situation is even Schlosser like. As far as the writing within the site goes I would recommend eliminating the comma splicing in your sentences (you and I both have that problem). Other than the occasional grammatical errors, there's really nothing I would recommend.

Again, good development of your argument. However I think that the introduction is slightly repetitive and perhaps too casual like in relation to the rest of the essay. The "...bittersweet time for a student. It's sweet because..." is something that I think could be eliminated, or at least not directly explained after it was stated.

I think the website writing is definitely much better organized than it was before. The splash page could probably use a substitute or elimination of the word "Alcohol" since it was used about 9 times in the first paragraph. Maybe putting a spin on the intro so that we can relate to it a little better (teen/underage drinking) might not only be more interesting, but easier to write.
Again there's just some minor issues with the flow of your writing on the site. I would recommend to read it out loud as I told ashley, it definitely helps.

Your linear sounds really good. The flow of your writing and development of your argument are much better here. Again, take the time to read through what you wrote and think of simpler ways to write sentences. For instance " all depends on how we treat it and how we ingest it." could be shortened to it all depends on how we treat and ingest it. Other than that, great job overall.

Mike Ho-
I really enjoyed your site and writing skills. You do a good job at allowing the reader to identify with the advancement of technology and an even better job at picking the topic. The advancement of videogames and the computer generation fits into Remixing Little Brother perfectly so kudos on that. Honestly I wouldn't really change much except for the minor grammatical errors that you can look through and find yourself.
Great development in your argue and add ons to your website writing. Other than grammatical errors again, I think you have something solid here. Specifically, watch the run-ons towards the end of the intro. If you fix those and watch out for the repetitive use of words you'll be golden.

Keep it real,

Design response for Danielle and Nikki!

-I love the background colors of your pages
-love the simplicity of the pages
-some pages are too wide so the reader has to use the horizontal scroll bar
-maybe move the navigation bar to the top of the page, instead of having it at the bottom?

-greaaat typography
-and great navigation bar
-maybe center the tables that you used on some of the pages so that the content is in the center of the page, instead of on the left?
-overall great job though! your website looks really nice

Advice for Sam, A.J., and Nelson

There is no linear version of your hypertext on your website. To improve this i would suggest that you go through your project and read through it, converting it into a linear essay. On your website the linear version should be easily distinguishable from the background and easy to read over or scan through.

You also have no linear version of your project. I would suggest to you the same thing that I suggested to Sam.

The linear version of your web site it good. However, it is hard to read in the format it is in. I would suggest that you change the text color to black and the background to white. Also, you should make the text box more narrow so it is easier to read. Other than that your linear version is good, I would just change the design of the linear version to make it more reader friendly.

Design Responses for Von, Nelson, and Jack

-good theme and color scheme
-too much empty space on a few pages
-there is only one way to get to "the rush" and thats through another internal link. possibly make another path way
-maybe vary the pages a little bit by adding extra pictures or move the text around

-maybe try to get away from the visible tables
-keep a constant theme
-vary the setup of a couple of pages
-fix some spacing issues like on the 'st. marys' page
-too many links in the navigation bar

-interesting color scheme
-you might want to ditch the visible tables
-good use of rollovers
-good constant theme
-maybe try a more unique setup opposed to picture next to text on every page

Helpful Adivce/Tips on Linear


It looks to me that you already fixed your linear page! It looks great! Everything is clear and concise, and you didn't overdue the page. You switched the essay up a little with transitional words, as well, to contribute to the essay format. WELL DONE! :)

I think you are working on uploading a linear style page to your site. My advice to you would be make sure it is legible and not overdone. The rest of your site is great, so just make sure the essay part actually flows correctly! :)

So, I found the linear version hard to find, but other than that it's great. The simplicity is kept with the background color and use of black font, while making it still a little classy with the typographic header. The content is great, and your website is a success and CUTE:). (sad too lol) :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Response: Design and Linear



I really like the design because its basic but it also helps convey a very complex topic very clearly. The fonts used to head all the topics/pages clearly show the emotions connected with each issue. Only real issue is that the navigation bar has some hypertext color issues and it’s a little confusing to navigate. I personally think the basic look is very good for this topic. I am not sure if that was what you are trying to do but it seems like the format helps tell a story that seems basic but is complex in many aspects of society.


One of the things I really liked about your website is the use of images as backgrounds. I think you do a good job in making sure the images don’t tile on most screens. The use of images and image location is really well done because it catches the eye. The images go very well with the text and add a personal feel through putting a face to the problem or issue. The hyperlinks on the navigation bar look a little awkward to me. Also for some reason some of your backgrounds/images/text don’t load right away or don’t load until I click something (of course that’s Dreamweaver’s problem probably).


I really liked the design of the website. It looks very official in the way it uses tabs as the navigation bar as well as how clean and cut it is. Some of my favorite pages were the state government page and the U.C page. The U.C page because it catches the eye but funnels you to the text and the state government page because of the barcode. Some issues I see are the fact that there are two home page buttons and the navigation bar on the State Government page seems out of place.



The location of the linear essay is easy to locate and easily accessible which is good because sometimes it’s very difficult to find. One of the major issues I have with the linear essays is the fact that for some reason Dreamweaver code and Microsoft word code isn’t being recognized. I mean the fact of the matter is for some reason formats get all screwy when you copy and past them. Of course this isn’t anyone’s fault but that’s one thing that makes it harder to read. Overall good linear essay maybe move the paragraphs closer (though you probably moved them apart because of the formatting issue), Overall though it is a very good linear essay.


Linear is not up will edit post when it goes up.


The location was easy to find which is good. For some reason even though your paragraphs don’t have indents it seems to still flow, maybe it’s because of the topic or the content. Overall looks very professional.