[permaculture] Thoughts on PDCs - the human component

Lee Flier leeflier at comcast.net
Sat Dec 12 23:55:24 EST 2009

Yes, great post Michael, and I agree!  The human experience of 
interacting with fellow students and instructors is priceless.  As are 
the kinds of thought processes that develop when you're immersed in an 
experience like that for two weeks.  I think there's a degree of 
internal clarity that takes hold when you and everyone around you are 
completely focused on this particular experience, and all the normal 
distractions of life aren't there.

This isn't to knock online courses or weekend workshops or any other 
form of learning permaculture - do it however ya can!  I'm just saying 
that if you CAN do the full two week extravaganza, and you can do it 
with a reputable teacher who is likely to have a decent sized class - 
it's well worth it!  Even if you're far from a permaculture newbie.

Michael Pilarski wrote:
> Hi permaculture friends and co-workers,
> Several more thoughts on permaculture design courses, PDC’s.
> Granted that a person could get a deep and well-rounded understanding of permaculture without ever having taken a PDC, through reading, experiential learning, good thinking, and the possible addition of short pc workshops. 
> But, there is more to a PDC than educational facts.  Part of it is the group experience which I believe deepens the learning by bouncing off of others.  Partially it is seeing/hearing/experiencing the instructors put things together (interlace things) in a way that a book cannot. 
> One of the most common comments I have heard from people who have taken a PDC course is that their first pdc changed their life.  Certainly that is the way it was for me.  I came into my first course (1982) with 11 years of organic farming experience, widely read (including all the permaculture books to date), etc etc.  In spite of all that I was blown out of the water and my life was changed forever.  
> This is not to say that people could have permaculture transformative experiences without a PDC, but it definitely happens at a good course to a significant amount of pdc students.  I certainly would not claim that it happens to everyone (even at a good course, and less likely at a poor course).
> I think it would be pretty difficult to become a grand master of permaculture without going through numerous PDCs.  After my first 23 PDC’s I am looking forward to learning at many more.  
> PS. There are many ways of taking a PDC these days including on-line, distance and weekend courses.  For most people, I think that a two-week (or longer) residential course will always have a bigger impact on their comprehension and their group bonding. 
> Permaculture is more than information or mental design and analyzing. Permaculture is also a warm-hearted, loving relationship with other permaculturists. There is esprit de corps, which is defined by the Collins English dictionary as “consciousness of and pride in belonging to a particular group; the sense of shared purpose and fellowship”. Hard to get that in that in the isolation of a distance learning course sitting in front of a computer or a book.  Not impossible, but warm bodies in front of your face are hard to beat.  
> Permacordially
> Michael Pilarski
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