[permaculture] re. "Is permaculture easy?"

SArjuna at aol.com SArjuna at aol.com
Sun Jul 22 18:24:01 EDT 2007

Steve said:
".... I suppose I ought 
to stud my presentations with "don't try this at home, kids" and "this 
stuff is really hard even though I make it look simple," but that seems 

It surprises me that anyone thinks becoming proficient or making a 
living at anything is easy. Getting good at anything, whether 
permaculture, the guitar, math, or ping-pong, takes a lot of work, takes 
making every mistake in the book, and takes dedication and 
self-sacrifice. Whether the learning experience is an enjoyable ride or 
a merciless pounding by a harsh teacher I think depends mostly on the 
personality of the student, so it's possible that the teacher or the 
subject is not to blame."

      What is the point of teaching anything at all unless you suppose that 
the students will then be able to do it themselves?  Perhaps even surpass what 
the teacher has done.
      Part of the very raison d'etre of a good teacher is to make it 
unnecessary for the student to make all the mistakes that the teacher (and others the 
teacher knows of) have made.  
     If one doesn't think the students can learn to do a good job, why 
teach?  Teaching does not mean showing how well you can do something, but sharing 
your knowledge and experience in an "infectious" way.
     Sharon's most recent posting over at Casaubon's just happens to quite 
relevant to this discussion.    (See: http://casaubonsbook.blogspot.com/)   She 
talks about how the Peak Oil situation is making it necessary for us to aquire 
new skills in various areas that are new to us.   That can feel overwhelming, 
she says, but points out that we don't have to do a perfect job at a new 
skill in order to obtain very useful results.    We should even be able to share 
with our children enough of what we have learned, she thinks, so that they will 
be able to develop proficiency that far surpasses ours.
     Even walking and talking are't easy to learn, as is clear watching 
anyone learning to do it.   Yet we have all learned it in not too much time.   Our 
incentive to learn the new skills we'll need in upcoming times will be 
similar, it seems to me.    It'll sure help if our teachers presume we can do it!
     Shivani in WI

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