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IPFS News Link • Books

"The Cartoon Ham Exam Handbook" Is Now in Paperback

• by Aden Tate

I was in 9th grade struggling with memorizing my vocabulary words for my upcoming spelling test, when my mom made a suggestion that revolutionized the way that I studied for tests and quizzes from that point on.

"Why don't you use cartoons to help you remember them?"

Mom knew that I was a big fan of Bill Watterson, Gary Larson, TintinSherman's Lagoon, and early pre-hippy Mutts. She also knew that cartoons stick in the brain. How is it that a kid can memorize every Pokemon card in existence, but they can't figure out the names they need to know for their history test?

Mom's suggestion was like a lightbulb going off. (My mom is smart that way.)

I drew a bunch of cartoons for my spelling test, aced the thing, and used that method to make it the rest of the way through high school and college.

When I finally came to the conclusion that I needed to study for my ham radio license, I once more realized that cartoons could come in handy. For those who aren't electricians by trade or theoretical physicists, the information included on the ham radio licensure tests does not come naturally. It was really hard for me. My brain is cartoons and stupid jokes. Electrical diagrams and principles of physics weren't any part of what I knew.