Learning the Code (again) – The Finish Line

It’s the morning after our last class meeting, and I’ve been having some difficulty putting my thoughts together for the final chapter in this story. Forgive me if it seems scattered.
This morning I briefly considered renaming this series ‘Surviving the Code’, but that would only be in jest, and I don’t want to actually frighten people away. So let me explain what, exactly, I survived.
I survived my own self-doubt. This was the paramount enemy for me when starting on this mission, and continued to bother me right up until, well, right now. If you enroll in CW Academy, you’ll almost surely have at least one moment when you think to yourself that it’s too hard, or that you just aren’t cut out for this. Baloney. Seven year olds learn the code. Seventy year olds learn the code. I’m willing to wager you fall somewhere between seven and seventy. You can learn the code. It’s not difficult, it only requires a commitment to the work necessary.
I survived my tendency to procrastinate. I am somewhat lacking in the area of self-discipline, and enrolling in CW Academy was a method I used to push myself towards the finish line. Peer pressure and a definitive curriculum are enormous motivators.
Having survived my attempts at self-destruction, I arrived last night at the finish line, and felt a sense of accomplishment. My speed isn’t rocket fast, but I’m comfortable at somewhere around 18 or 19 words per minute, which exceeds my goal of 15. And I continue to improve, with a goal of being comfortable between 20 and 25 WPM by the fall. I’ve no doubt I’ll reach that goal.
My instructor, Glenn, used interesting tools to keep us focused and engaged. He often stepped away from the printed curriculum, and found additional practice material for us to utilize. All of the CWA material was there for us to use, and in addition we had Glenn’s additional material to keep us on our toes. Never knowing what kind of game or practice he would throw at us on any given class helped us all to be on our toes, and ready for anything. I cannot thank Glenn enough for the work he put into the class, and his efforts to keep it interesting. If you ever have him as an instructor, you are in for a treat.
Our class group was a good mix of personalities, and not one of the group was lacking in the humor department, which made the class something I looked forward to every week. We encouraged each other, commiserated with each other, and shared in our individual achievements. We liked the dynamic so much that we’re continuing to meet once a week through the summer, to help each other keep sharp and progress as we wait for the level 3 classed to start in the fall. It’s a good group, and they are a big part of the reason I succeeded.
If you are on the fence about enrolling in a CW Academy class, don’t hesitate. Sign up today. You will not regret it. You’ll meet interesting people, and make some new friends. And hey, who knows, maybe you’ll become a CW guru yourself!
After eight weeks of class, how am I different? Obviously, my code speed is better. I’ve participated in my first CW contest, and enjoyed myself immensely. I plan on using CW on Field Day; maybe not exclusively, but certainly a lot. I get on the air and initiate contacts without anxiety. I answer CQ calls without anxiety. I enjoy CW.
I guess that is the one, big, change. I now enjoy CW.
Thank you Glenn, thank you Phil, and thank you CWA.

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