Thursday, October 28, 2010

Promoting Development

As I watch my English classes shrink, I wonder:

Did these students make a rational, informed decision that there time would be better spent elsewhere? Should I trust them and let them slip away into the night?

Or did I miss a page of my job description? One of my jobs is to help my community develop. As I discussed in my last post, development is increasing your abilities and opportunities (and sometimes, wealth). I've been teaching and organizing my neighbors. But maybe I'm supposed to be marketing to them as well.

If I can make my English classes more exciting--if I can make studying, investing, and contributing to the community more "sexy"--maybe our lives will improve faster. After all, my neighbors' decisions aren't entirely about business; they're also about their personal lives.

But there's a danger here, too. Is it really my job to get involved in these decisions?


  1. Alex: We're in the same boat with you, my friend. Remind us to give you some readings our historian friend has been giving us on pre-industrial societies and the evolution of the protestant work ethic. One thing I struggle with is the fact that, however "sexy" and fun we can make English, there is a point at which it is just plain hard work to learn a new language. How much are (in our case) rural peones oriented to the specific kind of work and discipline that entails? (Obviously, any one in Costa Rica can out-machete me on any given day. I don't mean that kind of work.) These are fascinating social questions and hard to face in each individual student...
    -nate and lena.

  2. Hola Alex!

    If anyone can make it exciting, you can!

    Hang in there...