[SCCC] Code Speed Learning

Paul Dorey wn6k at sbcglobal.net
Thu Sep 15 08:22:37 PDT 2011

My intro to CW was first at Boot Camp at MCRD - San Diego.

After taking batteries of tests (and scoring determined that I didn't know which end of a screwdriver to hold) they played a record that combined with a 'fillin scantron score sheet' determined that I could learn 6 letters and fill in the correct slot fm 5wpm to 20wpm in the couple of minutes the played the test.

A bald shaven headed boot stood stiffly at attention in front of the Corporal who was checking our final score sheets. The sheet was 2 sided with 50 rows on a side and after he gave me a double take on the 1st side and not finding a single error, he flipped it over and ditto on the back side and snapped, "Your going to Comm ... step back!"

When we returned back to pur hut, I found no one had been given a hint about what school they were going to except me so thus began my learning.

I went to C School (at MCRD) after but their method of 'teaching us was pretty mundane and frankly not as effective as they thought. We learned (and subsequently re-learned every level of CW at each increase. Had they just Farnswoth Method us early on, we all would have excelled far earlier. Coupled with the fact that most of us could not type a lick (only girls took typing in those days in High School) and the assign an old battle axe - Hilga the Horrible - Navy Chief to teach us typing on the mill. This sadist loved to berate green Marines into submission and after getting us to be sucessful at 35wpm on a mill, it was back to class relearning at the next level of CW and copying mindless WX / Ship location reports for hours a day.

I nearly graduated with my class in time except for my final exam- which was to load/tune up the 900w rig that was Jeep mounted behind me.  We were to drive around the base, contact COC with our knee-key and send and recieve a message from them. Problem was - they did not even ask if I knew how to drive a stick shift - remember that wrong end of a screwdriver?

After an extra week in Motor Driving School, I retook the final and got out of there.

Trust me, learning Vietnamese at Monterey later from Ba Mingh was MUCH easier because she spoke at normal speaking pace and our 4,000 word vocabulary was learned in record time.

Oh and as an aside, I humped a PRC-25 for 13 months in Viet Nam and never used the CW till I got into ham radio years later (75).

WN6K, Paul

Sent from my iPhone

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