It's been more than a month now, but I need to register this here. I'm now a new HAM operator! My call sign is AB3MY which is so appropriate and not even a "vanity sign" (meaning it was ramdomly assigned to me by the FCC, I had the option to purchased one from their list of available call signs). I'm so excited about identifying myself as "America/Brazil 3 Mamma Yankee" on the radio. I was born in Brazil and I'm now an american citizen so this call sign is so perfect! In addition, my Dad was PY2PD and growing up I loved hearing the word Yankee on his call sign. It was such an exotic word for a portuguese speaker. I couldn't have picked a better call sign if I were to choose one!
I passed all levels in one testing session (3 exams) and was told that this was a first in the club history (not trying to toot my horn, just really celebrating! I'm so excited about this!). The VEs (Volunteer Examiners) were so nice, there were a couple people that failed the basic exams this month but they kept encouraging them and cheering them on telling them "I know you can do it next time", it was nice to see. If you are not familiar with HAM, here is an interesting article: why HAM Radio Endures in a World of Tweets
I guess most people don't take all 3 tests at once, and even take years until they take the Extra test, but my point of doing this was... I hate tests and I wanted to get it over with. Being an extra would give me all the privileges on all frequencis and I'd be able to communicate not only with the U.S. but most Countries, so I decided to just do it.
Now I'm going to be a little naughty, but just for one paragraph, ok? What makes it a little fun is that HAM is mostly a "boys" club... and I know, feminism is bad (I really don't think feminism is a good thing, really I don't!), but a lot of time when we were little girls we had this whole boy/girl competition going, didn't we? lol. I know I did! There was a couple boys in my class I was always competing with, mmm... let me see if I remember their names. Carlos Eduardo - we would compete to see who finished math problems/tests first... it was so much fun, we would race to see who got the best grade. Denisson & Marlon - we competed in a history and in a religions class "olympics". I won 2 volleyballs as prizes for those "knowledge-based olympics". Good times! Growing up I didn't really had great self esteem, so this was awesome and helped me build courage to keep going at school. So it was fun to do well on a "boy's world" again.
Anyway, maybe the whole paragraph above was not well written, I don't want anyone to think "I'm better" than any boys... it's just feels fun to do something just as well. But I have to be very honest, I have tons of practical things to learn - I have yet to purchase a radio! So I'll need the Elmer's help!
A note about studying for the tests: I studied online, mostly. One of the club members lend me some books, but with work and baby I honestly could not carry the books around with me. The most practical thing to do was to just read/quizz on my phone/internet browser. So there a tip for anyone considering studying... use resources online, there's a lot out there available.
A note about my dad: It was so enjoyable to learn every fact about HAM, I felt as if I was reading about my dad and his history. It was like taking a trip to his brain and putting a puzzle together of all the things I've seen and heard growing up... but had no idea what they were. I always wondered what was HAM about that made him so interested on it. As I get ready to set my first ham shack, I'll do it in memory of my dad, and I hope to follow in his footsteps of being a great HAM. He spoke so many languages and had so much engineering knowledge I know I'll never be as good as he was, but that's my way of trying to understand who he was and keeping his memory alive. I even showed Sara a picture of her grandpa for the first time this week. She gladly called him "my grandpa". It filled my eyes with tears.
Here's a link to my Dad's DX club.
A picture of him visiting a fellow HAM:
A picture of March 3/15/2011, also at the club's website:
Bald Eagle Repeaters Association
And finally a note on the newspaper (Press Enterprise) 4/27/2011. I attended their meeting last week and was told by Bob to share about passing all three tests in one session. Since everyone was staring at me, as I was literally mumbling about passing all 3 tests I turned into a red tomato! I didn't expect that as it has been years since my last "red" episode (shrug shoulders) anyways, here's it is: