Adventures in Permaculture: Day 1

Adventures in Permaculture: Day 1

Today is the beginning of 18-days of adventures in permaculture. Several months ago, I signed up for a course in Eugene, Oregon that should result in a Permaculture Design Certificate. I say “should” because it probably won’t result in this certificate. Why? Because I just found out, quite coincidentally, that the structure of this course is 13.5 hours a day for 17 straight days.  No breaks.  No days off.

I am by no means a wimp. In fact, I consider myself more bad-ass than your typical American by about 20 times. However, I just came off four very stressful weeks of 13.5 hour days, and I am very tired. The amount of energy that I have to give to this project is 8 hours a day at most. And I’m not sure if that 8 hours is even good for all 17 days because after those 8 hours every day, I have to still do work for my two businesses.

Honestly, I think there were some serious omissions to the website for this course, and I would like to suggest some added sections that would be helpful to people signing up.

  1. Who is this course designed for?
  2. What is a typical day like in this course?
  3. Photographs of the location and lodging options.

Have no fear – I will find out this information and share it with you, my readers!

If I had known in advance that this course consisted of 13.5 hour days with no breaks at any point, I probably would not have signed up. At that rate, I would be constantly mentally and physically exhausted. You are allowed to miss 2.6 days of the course and still be certified, but that is probably not going to work for me either.

So, in order to still enjoy the trip, I have decided that I’m OK if I leave the course without being “certified.” What I really want to do is learn while I’m there. And I’m just going to have do what is comfortable for me and allows me to learn as much as possible while still being true to my clients.

There are several other “surprises” that have arisen through my questions directed at the leaders of this course. First, I had to pay $375 extra for hostel-style lodging. Well, I didn’t have to, but I found out that otherwise I would’ve been sleeping in a 6-person tent with 3-4 other people. Second, they won’t even know whether the location has working wi-fi until the day before the course starts. (This is interesting since they encouraged folks to bring laptops.)

I paid a lot to attend this course, so I’m going to make the best of it, but I’m a little disappointed that more information wasn’t provided upfront about some of the more important aspects.

On another note, I love my Dell Mini 10 netbook. It is so trusty and useful when traveling. I look around and see all the iPads, e Readers and such, but my netbook can kick all their asses. It has a 250 gig hard drive, Windows 7 starter (lightweight version), and I can load it with any software I want as long as I can download it or load it to Flash drive. (There’s no CD drive.) I can download a gazillion photos to it from my digital camera, build websites on it, create complex graphics using GIMP, write my next novel, blog to my heart’s content and so much more. All in 3 pounds and very low energy usage. I can also utilize any cellular network using a network card or the built-in wifi. The thing is a power house. It also has a built-in webcam and long battery life.

I’m just saying… there’s a lot more out there than the newest, shiniest and most popular.

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