It took time and reflection, but I got into a better head space for the rest of the week since miserable Monday.
Wednesday started with presentations of our initial design concepts for our PDC projects. Bri and I went to Bethany’s the day before to make the initial design and overlay concept layers, which was a hand-drawn scaled sketch on white butcher paper and colored pencils, and Bethany taped transparency sheets to make large overlay mats which we drew the design layers on. These layers includes wind direction, summer and winter sun patterns, water flow, levels of elevation, human and animal foot traffic, as well as other considerations. And for our design, those considerations were client aesthetic preferences, existing infrastructure, resident mobility and the original goals of food production and outdoor interaction space.
Our permaculture instructor after the presentations was Simon Hanson, a former resident who helped with the past apprenticeship program. The topics for the day were appropriate technology and human nutrient cycling. Simon boiled down the use of appropriate technology to ‘levels’ and ‘context,’ for instance, if one entire neighborhood block bought a single lawnmower and shared it on a schedule, then it reduces consumption so everyone wouldn’t need to buy, refill and fix their own individual mowers.
I started the day feeling mentally a step behind my physical body, which affected how my day went – and it sure didn’t get any better from there!
I was feeling frustrated, irritated, angry, judgmental, pissed off and generally shut off from everyone. That was caused by/combined with classmates asking repetitive questions, delaying class, not being ‘mentally present,’ and bringing up tangential topics and ‘beating around the bush’ conversations. (That is THE recipe to royally piss me off when I’m trying to learn, and paying for the classes with my own hard-earned money.)
Coming off the mid-program break, this week was also jammed pack, but on the back-end of the week.
Classes started off with Brian teaching us about animals, aquaculture and pest management in permaculture. We specifically went over to the duck and chicken pen and discussed their inputs vs outputs, pros vs cons, and why they are the only livestock onsite. (Lost Valley previously had sheep, but they constantly escaped. Also honey bees, until a bear came through and demolished the hives.)
After our classes ended that week, most of the students – Andrew “Nicholas” Bottcher, Anna Davis, Ashley Shenk, Gerd Peter May, Sarah Curran, Josh Noonan, and Sasha Bugler – as well as Collin Schickendanz (former HSS ’16), all rented a beach house in Yachats, Oregon for a night.