Yesterday, I realized that I should have printed copies of the worksheets I am bringing the students for English class — while I was in the US. The Oaxacan internet shop I went to yesterday that offers color printing (I went to two others that do not), is filled with other small business ideas. While I was standing there waiting (and waiting) for my twenty-five copies to emerge from the ink jet, a woman came in to buy a CD to store photos, another woman bought Hugo Boss perfume and some hairspray, two more came to use the internet (one looked up Youtube videos on magic dreams; the other logged on to play video games), and someone needed six pages on legal-size paper. I was impressed by the flexibility and industry of the place that can promote Avon and the internet while simultaneously offering the best toothpaste for shiny teeth and Nutralife. Part stationery store, part pharmacy, definitely internet destination, this place was a hive of industry.
As I waited, I learned the industriousness was probably due to the power of positive thinking as one wall was filled with the sorts of positive messages and advice for daily living that circulate the internet in dramatic Powerpoint productions and other spam. These kernels of wisdom, however, had been printed, preserved in protective sleeves, and taped to the wall for all to be inspired by.
Always translating and thinking about how (beyond the blog) I might use words like this, I half thought this might be a good lesson for a class of perky students, but it might do damage to even the mildly depressed.