Eleven folks attended ARROW’s first one-day Tech class on Saturday, July 28, with seven passing the test. They include:
- KD8GTR – Chuck Graham
- KD8GTS – Ty Graham
- KD8GTT – Fern Katz
- KD8GTU – Rachel Katz
- KD8GTV – Naomi Katz
- KD8GTW – Lorie Zupan
There was also another gentleman who passed the test, but I couldn’t find his new callsign in the database. It may not have been issued yet as he was reluctant to give his Social Security number to our VEs.
If some of those names sound familiar, it’s because they are. Fern Katz is Ralph Katz’ (KB8ZOY) mother, and Rachel and Naomi are his daughters. Ham radio is a tradition in Ralph’s family. His father was a ham (K8JZT), his wife Deb is a ham (KD8ESJ), his brother Louis is a ham (W0IT), and he has two brothers-in-law (N8DNX and N8ZKF) and a sister-in law (KC8NEW) who are hams.
Lorie Zupan is Jeff’s (W8SGZ) wife.
Unfortunately, four students failed the test, although by the slimmest of margins. One of the attendees missed passing by only one question, another by only two questions. Both have said that they are determined to take the test again and pass next time.
A third student failed by a bit more, but I take the blame for this as I didn’t stress the importance of studying the material before attending the class. Fortunately, he, too, is determined to study and pass the next time. Bruce, KD8APB, one of the instructors, will be holding a review session before the next VE test session to ensure that they pass next time.
The students weren’t the only ones that learned something. I certainly learned some things about how to conduct one of these one-day Tech classes.
First of all, I need to stress more clearly the importance of not only reading through the study guide, but also studying it thoroughly. In a one-day class, we really don’t have time to cover material in depth, so it’s important that students come prepared.
It’s also important that the students take the online tests before they show up for class. I point this out in my study guide, but I also need to do that in the class information sheet.
I think we also need to develop some kind of schedule so that we make sure we cover all of the topics. I know that there are some things we didn’t cover, and one of the folks who failed the test missed a question from that section.
First, a big thanks to the instructors—Bruce, KD8APB and Jeff, W8SGZ. Rich, KD6HWF, also helped out after he arrived around noon.
Second, thanks to the Red Cross. I was a little disappointed that only one RC volunteer took our class, but the facilities were first-rate, and they did provide lunch.
I think that despite some of the snags, the class was a success. It was a lot of fun, and now we have seven new Techs and seven new ARROW members. As a result, I think the feeling is not if we’ll hold another one-day class, but when.