So, early-bird access has opened for Geoff Lawton's online PDC for the year 2019, but I am still conflicted on whether to take it or not.
Currently, my thinking is:
-I have already taken one online PDC, which was how I got certified.
-I know this IS Geoff Lawton's online PDC -But it still costs a heck of a lot of money, and there's plenty enough information I can learn without spending more money
-And besides, I think practical hands-on experience is what I need the most
-And if I was to take another PDC, I think I would get more from an in-person PDC doign things hands-on
-And I only have 12 weeks of college left after Winter Break, which starts a week from today, so I can just be patient enough until I am able to run off to a permaculture site to volunteer and gain experience there.
What are you all's thoughts about the value of doing a second online PDC?
I took Geoff's online PDC last year. It was excellent. There were many days where that course brought me hope and happiness when I really needed it. Worth the money I spent...
And yet, if I were to do it all again, I might do a hands on PDC instead. Probably one like the one Alan Booker did at Paul's place last summer. I have all these ideas in my head, but experiencing them hands on would really help me be more confident about actually implementing them. I think that's something that's missing in online PDCs. Of course, in person PDCs usually try to jam massive amounts of information into your head in a very short amount of time... so they have their own problems too.
In your case, I think it would be a good idea to go for an in person PDC if you're going to do another one. Then you get to see the theory in practise a bit more.
At the end of the day everyone has a different learning style. I know some people in my group watched the online PDC videos 3 times each, took extensive notes, asked tons of questions, etc. That's totally fine, but it's never been my style. So I say do what works best for you.
I would wait to do an in person PDC. I took Geoffs online PDC in summer 2014 and found the experience underwhelming. In hindsight partly this was due to it partly overlapping with an on farm apprenticeship, and I lacked the time to maximize my investment in the course, but I think I would have been dissapointed no matter the timing.
I imagine it has improved since, but at the time the pricetag vs the materials just didn't align as I had anticipated.
No matter how much it may have improved, I don't see how it can compare favorably with an in person PDC with a first class instructor. Especially if you are able to pick a biome/region that you expect to remain in for a while; there should be lots of locale-specific info to be gleaned from the course and the other participants alike.
Plus, networking opportunities are often a lot more useful when local... And it is likely to be just plain way more fun.
'Theoretically this level of creeping Orwellian dynamics should ramp up our awareness, but what happens instead is that each alert becomes less and less effective because we're incredibly stupid.' - Jerry Holkins
Yeah, that's kind of what I am sensing for myself, too. I'm very much a tactile learner, so I think it's probably best to do an in-person PDC, if I want to do another PDC.
And mostly, I just want to get down in the dirt. I've enjoyed helping in Missoula and on-campus, so I'm pretty certain if I'm happy doing better than organic farming, then I'll more than likely be ecstatic when I finally am out there doing permaculture in-person.