On Adam Shepard

I wrote this aside about Adam Shepard:

Adam Shepard spent 10 months in South Carolina starting out with 25$. His goal: to buy a car, rent an apartment and save 2500$ in a year.

As with most ESL classes, you run out of stuff to read very quickly. I’ve gotten into the habit of selecting an article every two weeks for my students. It doesn’t matter their level, beginner or advanced, I try to find something interesting regardless of it is leveled.

I’ve been using this article as my reading material for my ESL classes. It’s a great article and fun to read. My students are all adults. No teens or children, so this article is possibly not suited for those students. However the article is most compelling when read by adults, who realize what Adam Shepard had done.

This short essay was written by a student of mine. He’s in his mid forties and an intermediate ESL learner. From what he wrote, I can say that his written English is very good, compared to some of my other students. There were a few mistakes that I edited out or corrected, but otherwise it’s intact.

Courage or madman? How should we interpret this move? How can we qualify this youngster freshly out of school? No matter what we think about him and his experiment, we have to admit that it takes a lot of recklessness to contemplate such a challenge.

However we can conceive that despite this risky adventure, that all was planned and it’s probably the reason that made him succeed. With this success, he proved to everybody that if you are determined enough, you can get out of poverty by yourself. You only have to set realistic goals and adapt your life to them. He shows that the American Dream is not only a dream. At least everyone can expect to touch part of it.

Finally, Shepard’s experiment should be a source of motivation for everyone who aspires for a better life. It is for the ones that really want to get out of misery.

Author: range

I'm mathematician/IT strategist/blogger from Canada living in Taipei.

2 thoughts on “On Adam Shepard”

  1. Shepard’s book is interesting, but it’s also not a fair comparison to “Nickel and Dimed.” I have a couple questions to ask:

    Since when did working for a moving company for $10-11 an hour, owning an old pickup truck, and sharing an apartment with a violent roommate become the “American Dream”?

    Also, do you, and does Shepard think he would be able to work as a mover at the age of 60, which is roughly the age Ehrenreich started her “Nickel and Dimed” research? Let’s face it: women have less opportunities than men when it comes to choice of jobs, and it narrows as women get older. After all, how many 60-year-old women work on moving crews?

    Both Ehrenreich and Shepard lived comfortable lifestyles before doing their experiments, and they have gone back to them after they ended their experiences voluntarily. There are millions that live impoverished lifestyles day in and day out, but have never written a book about it. Shepard’s book is an insult of sorts, but will no doubt be used by the right in order to slash social programs. If he can do it, anyone can! Yeah, right. Upper middle class white male college grads can ALWAYS land on their feet. It’s the rest of us that need that same starting point, but won’t get.

  2. Those are some valid points and I agree with them entirely. There was an episode of 30 Days with Morgan Spurlock that really showed the problems. As soon as he got sick, no more money was coming in. The emergency room charged them a fortune because they didn’t have any insurance.

    Unless you’ve gone hungry, you don’t really know what it is.

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