Last night was the next to last session of the Technician Class license course that I have been co-teaching since the beginning of January. It ended up being a 10 week course with six students. Next week is the exam session. An ARRL accredited VE team is coming in to administer the examinations; and we've opened up that session so anyone from the general public can come in for an exam.
The guys have all done a magnificent job! Last week we gave them a practice exam and they all passed. Last night, we gave them two more. One was given at the beginning of the session; and the second was given at the conclusion. In both instances, everyone "made the grade"! That was very satisfying to see.
One of our six students is the son of one of the other students. They came in as a father and son team. It was a kick to see son get fewer answers wrong on his exam than Dad! Willie, the son, is very interested in Ham Radio. I think he's going to go far with the hobby. More on that in a bit.
I am confident that in two weeks or so, five new callsigns will be issued. Five callsigns from six students? Yep, one of our students went to a Hamfest a couple of weeks ago and already passed his test. I am certain the other five will do just as well.
Next week will be out last session together; but in reality, it is just the beginning. The easy part was helping these folks to get their tickets. Now the work begins. The heavy lifting will be to make sure these guys at least get the chance to stay interested and active.
The Ham who co-taught this class with me is Marvin Bronstein, K2VHW. I cannot say enough about Marv! He is the greatest! He is a broadcast engineer by trade, who works for WABC TV in New York City. Marv has the distinct gift of taking difficult to understand concepts; and translate them into terms that make sense and are no longer mysterious. He came up with a couple of explanations for certain concepts that I've always understood; but now I understand them even better as a result of listening to him. Marv is definitely a "Ham's Ham" and quite an Elmer. His enthusiasm for Amateur Radio, for the students and for garnering new Hams is to be admired. I wish I knew a ton more guys like him.
Our group of South Plainfield Hams has to nurture these guys once they receive their callsigns. After all this work, I'd hate to see any of these guys go to the wayside because they failed to have good mentoring (for lack of a better term). To that end, we'll probably inaugurate some kind of South Plainfield Amateur Radio Club where we can gather and help them in their Amateur Radio endeavors. We've gotten their feet in the door. Now we need to get the rest of their bodies through.
73 de Larry W2LJ