3 February 2004

First Draft: South Shields. Study and Problems

As the weeks and months passed, the first term completed and into the second term I began to have problems. Small ones at the beginning. It really began with the concepts of A.C. theory and sine’s, cosines and tangents of the angle if you are into trigonometry. Each little piece of information was understandable but to put it all together and understand the basic concept wasn't. I did not fully understand it and as the course progressed I started little by little to drop behind.

At the start of this section of the course we were given a quick refresher into trigonometry. Everyone was conversant with it and I dare not put my hand up to plead my ignorance of the subject. Everyone was at least 16, sat their G.S.C.E. and passed in maths and therefore conversant with trigonometry. At 15 and not having attended grammar school I was a little out of my depth, especially when we moved on to the deeper the mathematical concepts.

To cut a long explanation short I did my best, learnt or memorised what I could, at 15 my mind and memory was fast and wide open to new information. Fortunately the tutors through periodic test papers realised my weakness and kept a sharp watch over my progress.

All course work was written down on the large blackboards. Whether it was explanations, formulae or circuits, everything was written in full. This we copied into our workbooks. If a particular explanation was too long to write up on the board it was dictated from the tutor's notes or sometimes direct from his memory. From these written notes and further amplified by the Admiralty Handbook everything we were required to know was at my fingertips.

I managed to get over this big hump with at least a working knowledge but it dogged me to some extent for the rest of the course. Otherwise I found the course work interesting and I enjoyed it especially when we came to radio theory and the time flew by. By this time waveforms, radio waves... sine waves, were starting to make a little more sense to me along with cosines and tangents. These were the basic building blocks of the understanding of electronics and radio.

The course by this time was moving at a fast pace and as I noted earlier I was having trouble keeping up. It was as though I was on a treadmill. As fast I had almost mastered one area we were into another section at full steam ahead. With the confidence of youth, I was virtually 16 now; I did not really think of failure, I told myself I would scrape through the course.

I just had to keep plugging away but more of that will come later.

Note: Like other entries I have written where I seem to be making excuses or seemingly complaining I leave the piece open to rewriting.

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