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2014 Pittsburgh ringing course

by Michael Hinton

The Eighth Annual Ringing Course in Pittsburgh began the same way all my trips to the Steel City begin. I was sitting in my car trying to drive and drill myself at the same time. As we all know, in bell ringing, there’s a big difference between knowing something in our heads and being able to produce it while ringing, with all the distractions that implies. If you’ve ever tried to save a beginner from a flailing rope and find yourself unable to stand your own bell first, you know what I mean! This is why I drive it home, so to speak, in the car, but don’t tell my wife she might think it unsafe.

The students this year included: Ted Clarke, Lynn Kodrich, Beth Sinclair, Amy Lam, Charlie Heilker, Bob Aldinger and myself. We were supplemented by our helpers: Ross Finbow and Mary Bragdon. The course was run by Don Morrison.

The weekend itself was typical of a weekend in Pittsburgh. There were drills and variations on those drills. Each time, Don would set a new, challenging, yet still attainable goal. By this, he was pushing us a little further each time. We practiced calling, observing others and transposing coursing orders. One notable drill involved trying to keep Don and Ross right, as they purposely went wrong. This took the form of staying at the front too long, lingering at back and, if they felt particularly devious, they would swap over, seamlessly of course. During one such exercise, I truly believe that my brain twisted into a pretzel. Another challenging exercise involved ringing Dixon’s, based on rules regarding who’s leading. If you want a challenge, I recommend it!

The weekend was capped off with a quarter peal that was called by the learners, two extents each, followed by Ross bringing it home from the treble.

All in all a good time was had by all. Outside of all the learning, the highlight of the weekend has to be the lemonade stand that Esther had set up for us, at Don and Betty’s.

On behalf of all the students, I would like to thank Don for organizing and running the course. I would also like to thank Ross, Mary, Betty and Esther for their contributions.

If you are interested in learning more about the course, the topic or just viewing the preparatory work for the course, please proceed to: http://tinyurl.com/l67aqh5

Posted Aug 20, 2014

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