Administrativia

Sharon December 29th, 2009

Just a couple of notes.  First, if you are wondering why this blog is comparatively quiet, you may have missed the fact that I’m now blogging at Science Blogs as well www.scienceblogs.com/casaubonsbook.  This blog has been a bit quieter than normal, and I’m still working out how I’m going to balance the two of them, but I’ve got some ideas for this one that will emerge gradually over the next few months – good stuff coming.

In the meantime, this is still where I’ll be posting class material, and Aaron and I are offering several classes this spring, including a new one, or at least a new variation on an older theme.  Starting Thursday, January 8, and running for six weeks (asynchronously online, ie, you participate when it is convenient for you) into mid-February, Aaron and I will be running “Making Your Place” which is a variant on the Adapting in Place class, designed for people who are either not sure if they are going to stay in place or who are definitely planning to relocate at some point. 

We’ll cover renters issues, portability, mobility, different regions and their challenges and benefits, extended family, money and what to do with it, employment and the viability of various places, with an eye to choosing the right one.  Syllabus is below.  Cost of the class is $180, we do accept equivalent barter and we still have two spaces available for low income participants who cannot afford to pay.  Email me at [email protected] to reserve a spot!

Week 1  – How to evaluate what you have.  We’re going to concentrate on figuring out what the major concerns are for your place and your community, or the places you might be considering.  We’ll talk about your region and its climate, culture and resources, your house itself, your community and neighborhood – and other regions that you are considering.  We’ll attempt to address the challenges you forsee and maybe ones you haven’t thought about yet, and your personal circumstances – how much money, time and energy you have to deal with it.  How does the definition of home change when we do this?  We’ll also talk about when adapting in place is not an option, or when you should consider relocating, and what your options are if you do need to leave or move.

Week 2 -  This week  will focus on your house or apartment itself – and about prospective options.   We’ll talk primarily about low energy infrastructure for heating, cooling, cooking, lighting, washing, etc…  About costs and options and choices for both private homes and for communities.  We will also cover some renewable, especially low cost options.  We’ll consider portability for renters or those likely to have to relocate, and what to look for if you are buying or building new.

Week 3 – We’re going to go into the walls of your building and into other mysterious home infrastructure- water, plumbing and toileting, insulation, keeping warm and cool and all the other things that your shelter does or could do for you.   We’ll also talk a bit about what’s in your soil and on your property (this won’t get heavy emphasis in this class since we teach a whole class, garden design, on just this subject).  How do you evaluate agricultural potential or energy potential in a site?

Week 4  We’ll focus on Family Issues – Sharing resources with both immediate and extended family (and chosen family), dealing with people who aren’t on board, Building collective infrastructure, cannibalizing what you have, dealing with the brother-in-law on the couch, helping kids adapt, disability, aging, college.  We’ll also talk about possible models for making your place adapt to changing populations – more family, less, etc…

Week 5  – We’ll talk about Finances, money, employment, making do, getting along on a shoestring, thrift, subsistence labor, starting cottage industries and businesses and community economics.  This is also when we’ll talk about transportation of all sorts. We’ll also begin discussing building a set of plans – 1 year, 5 year – to adapt to different scenarios.

Week 6 – We’ll talk about Community at every level, about how to build it, what to bring to it, how to get your neighbors to help, even if they are weird. How to get along with them even if you are weird ;-) , about models and ideas for bringing resilience and community to every level from the neighborhood to the state.  We’ll also talk about security, dealing with unrest or violence, and try and get those plans finished.

We’ll also be following that, from mid-February to the end of March with Farm and Garden Design – this class will emphasize getting your seeds started, your garden planned, your livestock in place and basically everything you need to do to either get your garden and homestead up and running this spring, or, if you are already doing this, to build a plan for expansion or greater efficiency.  I’ll post the syllabus for that one soon, but you can see a previous one here: http://sharonastyk.com/2009/10/06/farm-and-garden-design-class/.  Like the other, it is offer asynchronously online and cost is $180 or equivalent barter.  We still have scholarship spots available as well.  Please email me at [email protected] for more info or to reserve a spot.

Finally, if you reserved a spot and haven’t heard back, you should within a day or so.  But if you don’t hear from me soon, or sent me an email from late November to maybe December 12, please email me and let me know – gmail just dumped a whole pile of old emails into my box that weren’t delivered in November and December, and I’m working my way through them, but who knows if there are more.

Thanks,

Sharon

One Response to “Administrativia”

  1. MEAon 30 Dec 2009 at 9:54 am

    Speaking of family issues, did you ever read “Luck of Brin’s Five” by Cherry Wilder?
    JVSF.

    I don’t recall the details, but families had 5 adult members: a leader (of ether sex), two others, of the opposit sex, an elder (if you didn’t have an aging parent, you adopted one, and if you had more than one, then you had a larger than normal family) and a luck — someone with a handicap that would make it hard for him or her to manage on her own.

    There were other family structures that were accepted, such as never married siblings, aging together, and an avante guarde couple from the city who were raising their children with just the two adults (they were tolerated, but most poeple thought they were just making a statement and would grow out of it and form a proper family).

    Anyway, I was struck when I read it years ago, what a good idea having a” luck” was.

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