I’m celebrating a milestone in my PDC today as I’ve finished watching the course lectures, hooray! I’ve been watching 2 lectures per week (most weeks) since the start of 2014 to get to this point, so I’m going to take a moment to pat myself on the back for consistent progress while also caring for my now 2 year old, working part-time until last month, managing the household, and last but certainly not least having relationship time.
What worked for me was developing a lecture plan (the course is self-paced) and scheduling a lecture each on Sunday and Monday nights in order to finish the lectures in time for the design project work in spring. My thinking was that I plan for 2 lectures, and if I felt particularly motivated or the lecture was short, I could fit in an extra lecture, and run slightly ahead of the lecture plan. That way, if I had to write off an evening for a sick little one, or if I needed a health break, then I would still run according to the plan and not feel guilty about not studying. One thing I could learn for next time is to also schedule in the odd night or week off and perhaps build in little rewards to make the journey more nurturing for myself. At the moment, I feel like I’ve been running a marathon, and it is useful to take time to pause, reflect, and refocus periodically.
On the course itself, I’ve watched roughly 60 lectures (there are other videos provided including design projects, interviews and site visits so there are more available) across Permaculture Fundamentals, Design and Patterns, Plants, Climates and Soils, Water and Aquaculture, and Social Permaculture. The vast majority of lectures have presented new ideas and challenges, useful real-life stories about permaculture applications and the key permaculture designers, context for this grassroots movement and the need for change, and a sense of hope and creativity to solve these challenges and live more satisfying lives. It’s a great endorsement for the course that the content is so inspiring.
Larry Korn was my favourite lecturer as he had a great balance between the theory and practical examples, as well as a fascinating life journey with his experiences in Japan and the US with Masanobu Fukuoka, and his edible landscaping business. I also really enjoyed Max Meyers’ lectures as he buzzes with ideas and kick starts all sorts of revolutionary designs that can change the world, such as his bottle bricks. I find myself singing this after his lectures:
I actually don’t know the names of all the lecturers in the course, and that’s an area of improvement for the Regenerative Leadership Institute (RLI). They have put together the content, and it would be easy enough to put up a link with biographies of the lecturers, and ideally provide dates and context for the videos (for example, workshop in Portland, Oregon on 1 September 2012) as not all of them have summaries. When the lecturer is giving an example about George W. Bush and the US not having healthcare, you know that time has moved on since the lecture. The RLI has resolved some of the technical issues with sound that I experienced earlier in the year, and I haven’t had issues accessing the lectures that I did earlier on with the Vimeo hosting, so that gives me hope that new students will have an improved contact with the course.
Ultimately, the value in the course is that it makes permaculture learning more accessible, encourages change and momentum for global healing, and offers a chance to build an international community. The next step is to put these principles and examples into action as a design project and have a taste of permaculture designer life.