Rob Homer, Marshall Tracy, Gabrial Tracy, Denny DeSalve, Bob Ouenga & Dick Rush made up the model railroad class offered by Findlay Adult Education.
Way back in December, the telephone in my office rang and Bill Haggerty of the Findlay Adult Education program asked me if I still wanted to teach a class on model railroading for the winter session of classes. Earlier in the year, after seeing that the fall advertisement for Adult Ed classes had some "non-credit" fun-type things, I had written to him offering my services to "teach" model railroading. I had forgotten about it since I didn't hear anything back. So the phone call was a real surprise.
But you know me... never one to shy away from something new, I said yes and off we went. After getting registered as a teacher and writing a course description in fifty words or less, I set about planning for the newly-created, six-week intro course in model railroading. The title of the class was easy, "The Wonderful World of Model Railroading." But there was so much to cover in six weeks that it soon became evident that I'd be spending more time thinking about what I wouldn't cover than what I would. Finally, I decided to concentrate mainly on HO scale, avoid DCC due to its complexities (and my lack of familiarity) then do some "hands on" activities.
Week one was spent as an overview of the hobby, where it came from and where it is today. We also spent some time trying to get to know each other a little and find out why each of the class members was there. But week two, we got busy with the class project which was building a small 18"x48" layout section that would allow everyone to get a little feel for one way to build their layout. That week, we built the foundation and laid the first layer of foam. Week three, we added some hills with newspaper, foam & plaster cloth. Week four, we painted it and then made some trees. Week five, we laid some track & covered most of the project with foam ground cover. Finally, in week six, we added final details like phone poles, signals (non-working) and a maintenance shed. We even weathered an old boxcar to show how some of those techniques might fit in with an overall plan. Needless to say, it was a very busy six weeks and the time went by fast.
While I haven't seen any evaluations of my performance yet, I did feel that those who took the class did get something out of it... maybe a lot. One gentleman came from over 30 miles away and I don't think anyone missed any more than one meeting of the class. I had fun doing it and hope that they did too. More importantly, I hope that I was able to create some more interest in them for what I think is a super hobby that one can have their entire life. Thanks guys...