Elders' Symposium / Growth

YankeePerm YankeePerm at aol.com
Tue Jan 13 19:01:13 EST 1998

In a message dated 1/11/98 4:15:59 PM, you wrote:


My own course participation was severely limited as the charges even for a

simple long weekend were equivalent to 1/3 to 1/2 my monthly income

(student!). An interesting thesis was sold for £40, about 4 times the

photocopying cost of the thing. Etc.

Mind you this is the only thing that ever

saddened me re the movement. Many's a time have I experienced what I

imagine to be the equivalent of "Vicky's state of wealthy bliss

while interacting with her worms" when I came across a great idea or

actually had one myself or something worked out well or Spring came around

again or.....



Well, Ute, I for one keep my lecture fees high because I don't feel lectures
are particularly useful.  Likewise, I keep my workshop fees comparitively low.
I keep my teaching fees way lower than my fairly low consulting fees to
encourage people to hold workshops and spread knowledge instead of risk the
dependence and, in my view, often unsatisfactory transfer that goes with
consulting.  I feel that there is room for both, but for me it has to be heavy
on the teaching.  I see nothing wrong with setting my rates to encourage the
kind of assignments that I feel I want to do.  Personally, I feel that a
program needs to be as long as at least a weekend to get the kind of
involvement in the process where people feel empowered to go home and really
try it.  Yes, there seem to be one or two people from this lecture or that for
whom the material is right on time, they have just figured it out and only
need someone else to say it to bring it forward to consciousness.   For the
rest, particularly at universities and colleges, we are likely to have people
thing about what they imagine I mean by permaculture but they do not think
like the Earth, it is all linear, rarely recursive.  In my opinion, it is best
to bring them through the process once.  There are always a few people already
thinking that way in a workshop, and they help bring the rest along so long as
you don't tell them that is part of their role.

We always offer scholarships in all of our program.  And we require hosts to
offer affordable child care.  We don't give out scholarships just because we
have them--we have guidelines including that persons are truely unable to pay.
My policy that people in voluntary poverty, students, and a few others who
have made decisions that put them in a position of being unable to pay are not
the people we are targeting.  While I applaud another person joining the group
of voluntary similicity, we all have to take responsibility for the fact that
therefore we cannot spend as much money.  After opressed native groups, we
stress women, to bring gender balance to the programs (Hosts are REQUIRED to
achieve gender balance in live certificate programs--I don't know if it is
cultural or what, but without the stablizing effect of women's perspective,
guys, for the most part, tend to wander off into zone 5 scattering
seed).--minorities, and I must say we have been an absolute failure at
attracting black participation in the US, and then others who truely cannot
pay, meaning that the circumstances of life, politics, and global economics
have put them in a position where they could not generate the funds.  Other
people have different perspectives on scholarships.  We are all free to give
away what we want to whom we want according to our own lights.  We do make an
exception to the voluntary simplicity guideline for people on an established
path of service.  Interestingly, we have had a number of nuns take our courses
and not one of them ever asked for a scholarship, though they are in a life of
voluntary poverty.  

Generally we make 1 full scholarship, or equivalent, available for every 5
paid slots.  While it is true we have not used the scholarships in some
situations because there was no one who applied who met the requirement, on
average I'm afraid we have given out more than the ratio intends because we
didn't wait for the paid slots to fill to award the scholarships.   Bear in
mind that we do not put on live courses ourselves, except in two unusual
situations in 17 years of teaching permaculture.  

The scholarship guidelines are a personal matter, set out to show you that
people do think about these matters and have policies.   It is rare, frankly,
for a white, male to get a scholarship from us in the USA, Canada, or western
Europe.  Naturally we have entirely different approaches to teaching in
countries where circumstances are more generally dire.  Even so, it is not up
to the permaculture teacher to compensate for every fault of society and the
global economy--it would be a very good thing for a permaculture scholarship
fund to award scholarships to students who would be free to pick the
instructor that they feel best suits them.  We aren't exactly an affluent
group, though you do cite an exception, and it is not necessary for us to bear
the brunt of every scholarship given.

I have to say, regarding Universities, that I have little sympathy with big
institutions with large and wasteful budgets not being able to "afford" my
fees.  By virtue of being college students, college students are a privelidged
group among the world population in general.  Yes, another controversial point
of view, but it is one that governs my decisions.   

In the case of people who are in voluntary simplicity who which to learn
permaculture, we also have an internship program.  Interns are free to take
our online course, which gives certification, as a perque, so long as the
course overlaps the internships fully.  There is always a way.

I went into voluntary simplicity about 1969.  Well quasi-voluntary--a had a
contract to put out the features section of a magazine from home (a weird
thought in those days), and the publishers moved my editor to another book and
the new editor wanted someone with a desk 175 miles closer.  However did have
options for big bucks at those times, but with chemical companies, so I said
no like almost anyone reading this would.  No big deal.  The point is that I
never expected people to give me what I wanted because I had chosen not to do
what it took to get all that money.  It never crossed my mind.  That it
crosses the minds of others I find astonishing.
For Mother Earth, Dan Hemenway, Yankee Permaculture Publications (since 1982),
Elfin Permaculture workshops, lectures, Permaculture Design Courses,
consulting and permaculture designs (since 1981), and now correspondence
courses via email.  One is now underway.  Next Live program:  Paraguay,
8/10-22/98. Internships available. Copyright, 1997, Dan & Cynthia Hemenway,
P.O. Box 52, Sparr FL 32192 USA  YankeePerm at aol.com  

We don't have time to rush.

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