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|Title||:||Blue-Collar Journal: A College President's Sabbatical|
|Number of Pages||:||191 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Blue-Collar Journal: A College President's Sabbatical Reviews
I thought it was marvelous. I very bold and risky adventure, up by his own bootstraps out there... he learned about blue collar people and work, valued it and the people, he learned tons and he shared it in an affectionate and intimate manner...Others have preferred Nickeled and Dimed: that was a totally different book... that was a criticism of the wage scale, and looking to correct the offenses. Here is a man who wants to know the people and experience the reality of their lives... and he found talend talent and honor in their work and he shared that effectively... I was delighted.
This book resonated with "Nickel and Dimed" by Barbara Ehrenreich. It'd be wonderful if more (another?) college president took a sabbatical to engage in working class / in the streets matters.
A weak-tea liberal’s Nickel and Dimed. In the early ‘70s instigated, vaguely, by reports of blue-collar workers throwing bricks at hippie protesters, Coleman, a labor economist and president of Haverford College, took time off to “seek a deeper blending of the world outside academics and the world inside.” That is, not to experience the conditions of labor in order to report its outrages, its racism and anti-unionism, but as a personal quest for blending. The hardhat vs. hippies incident is never brought up again. Coleman becomes a pipeline digger in Atlanta, a short-order cook in Boston and a garbageman in Maryland. No radical or romantic, Coleman writes “through this work experience, it is not because I have come to live among simpler, happier, or even better folks. It is because I am not fully engaged here, and their work and a small glimpse of their lives let me see my own work and life in a new light. I’m learning more about what we have in common than about what drives us apart.”
Coleman, a college president, decides at age 51 to use his sabbatical by taking on manual labour jobs and records the experience in a journal. This is in 1973 so it predates B. Ehrenreich's 'Nickle and Dimed' by some thirty years. He finds work in Atlanta digging ditches for a sewer pipe company, works in a Boston restaurant as kitchen help and plys his trade as a garbageman just outside Washington, D.C. Coleman was a labour economist who felt that his views were becoming elitist and needed to find out what working at the bottom of the payscale was like. Very down to earth. I ripped through it in just over a day. The author died about a month ago.
While dated, Coleman's experience, told in his memoir, still holds the power to inspire. Dr. Coleman spoke at my undergraduate graduation ceremony in 1977, and he intrigued me and my classmates. For years, I shared an excerpt located inside a classroom textbook with my vocational students, who loved it. I finally read the entire book this past week, following 35 years of teaching. I plan to contact Dr.Coleman to thank him for an interesting read.