Following on the questions posed “Where are the Positive Hams? And How to Tell? – Part I” here are my thoughts:
Lessons – Just Like Tennis or the Violin?
While there are few “naturals” among us, most of us can greatly “improve our game” with a lessons.
I knew that to take my participation in amateur radio to the level that was interesting me, that I would need some lessons.
Besides the ARRL CCE On-Line courses (which I took almost every one of the original offerings) I signed up for lessons sessions like “Contest University” attending several years of that program the day before the Dayton Hamvention. Awesome jump start on things about contesting I really hadn’t considered.
Attending various Dayton lectures/workshops, W9DXCC sessions and other one off programs were also lessons of a sort.
Then asking skilled hams to spend some time with me working on a specific focus – running a contest from W9EVT’s shack with him coaching how to log, listen and call at the same time – spending time with a club in England on how they operate there – short sessions with friends on how to set up digital macros to be more effective. It all helps.
I’ve noticed over the years that outstanding professional musicians give each other lessons. They quietly work with each other on improvement goals. The first time two pros set up lessons left me puzzled. I thought they each were awesome players, and kindly one of them explained that he valued these “peer lessons” more than anything.
There is the other side of lessons, nothing sharply focuses your skills and knowledge more than giving lessons. When I had more time I would take a few youngsters for 4 to 10 session music lessons to work on something specific in their playing. Nothing made sure my playing was up to scratch as knowing I would be teaching and likely demonstrating techniques.
Whether giving or taking instruction, on going amateur radio lessons will keep us improving and learning.
So these are a few of my observations and thoughts – what are yours?