Back to school with Barking Frogs?


I was out watering the plants tonight and felt it in the air: Fall. The hot and sweaty nights have suddenly slipped away, and the the breath of the night air is distinctly cool, even though the days are still very warm. Cues are everywhere…the CNE, the airshow this weekend, the green grass along the Gardiner Expressway has turned harvest gold, and “back to school” advertisements are inescapable.

I’m feeling the “back to school” tug too. I learned about this permaculture course via an email listserve I belong to. I’ve been interested in permaculture ever since I first heard about it at a workshop held at High Park last summer. At first glance, a fully online course (and they seem to have their act together in organizing distance education via the internet) sounds perfect. A convenient way to learn without ever having to leave my desk all though the blustery days of winter. I’d even be certified by a respected and well-known permaculture organization — respected and well-known, at least, to those who know what permaculture is.

But then…. would I really like coming home, after a day behind a computer at the office, to spend more time behind a computer in the evenings? It’s expensive… if I want to go after a certificate. Does that matter? Part of me rejects spending all that time learning about the subject to come out the other end with no certificate to show for it. Maybe someone would actually be impressed by that certificate someday, who knows?? The other, saner, part of me realizes how ridiculous that is. The whole point of the exercise is the learning, not a piece of paper. When did learning become more about external recognition than the internal shifts it brings about? Who do I know who would offer any more than a puzzled look by my permaculture training?? Oi. Maybe only me.  :-)

It’s fall, and change is in the air. I’m off to Vancouver for a week, and I’m sure I’ll know my mind when I come back.