I’m working my way through the options in Community Ed, and the gem this semester has to be Introduction to Amateur Radio.
This class opened my eyes — first the highly technical nature of the training required for certification. The instructors speak repeatedly of the danger of “RF burns” if you don’t calculate your current correctly. These are the men whose very practical engineering knowledge built GE in the 1960s and 1970s, before chips replaced circuits and computers replaced levers. And their licensing processes preserves their knowledge.
And that process sustains their community. The ham radio operators of our area serve as primary communications in Grandma’s Marathon, they are weather watchers, and they meet regularly for coffee at McDonald’s.
I’m not sure I have it in me to pass the test — mostly because I am exhausted when the class starts at 6 — but I am enjoying Hanging with the Hams so far.