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Unexplainable electronic phenomenen

March 28, 2013

This is an excerpt from my second book, “Memory Harvest of a Sharecropper’s Son,” which is now available in Amazon Kindle format and in printed format. This story is about a training experience.

After being instructors in various electronic disciplines at Fort Sill, several of us transferred to the Eastern Test Range with RCA. A few of us were in a classroom about the computing systems used on the downrange missile tracking sites. Those of us in the class had taught everything from basic electronics to radar systems. We could analyze a circuit diagram and understand how it worked. I think this was the second class taught by our instructor.

Looking back, I feel sorry for that poor instructor. He did not know his subject very well and it showed. Every day or so, he would have to leave the classroom to go ask someone how to explain something one of us had asked about. Usually while he was gone, someone in the class would go through the diagram and figure out how things worked. A time or two the instructor tried to tell us something was just an unexplainable electronic phenomenon and we would have to accept it.

A year later, I had a new technician working for me on Grand Bahama Island, who asked me a question. I did not want to take the time to explain it and an instructor was coming down a couple of weeks later to teach the class, so I used the same line on him. I told him it was just an unexplainable electronic phenomenon.

Two weeks later, the instructor who knew me, but was not the one who had tried to teach us the year before, showed up to teach the class. About the second day of class as the class was going on a break the instructor told them what he was going to teach them next. My technician told him he could not teach that because I had told him it was an unexplainable electronic phenomenon.

The instructor walked into central control where I was drinking coffee and talking to our manager. The instructor then asked what I did not understand about the subject I had said was an unexplainable electronic phenomenon. The end result, at our manager’s suggestion, was that I go to the class and get in front of the class and explain that ‘unexplainable electronic phenomenon’. I did and never again told anyone that something was just an unexplainable electronic phenomenon.

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