Early Practice · 2012Jul24Tu

Four ringers:  Anne, Judy, Nancy, Thomas.

The ringers met at the parish hall where there is a wireless internet connection, and went through how to learn Call Changes using the online practice program.  It was very helpful for everyone to see how everyone else approaches both using a web program and learning and thinking about Call Changes.  For example, many of us don’t feel comfortable with Call Changes unless we understand it in a big-picture sense;  all the considerations below were raised and discussed:

  • How does a call relate to a diagram of the bells such as ringers use for methods?
    The online practice program shows a diagram for all the calls so far, so ringers can explore this by using the program.
  • What are all the bells doing, not just mine?  Does each ringer need to keep the entire sequence of bells in his/her head?
    Our conclusion:  that’s great as a long-term goal, but far too ambitious for ringers just starting to do Call Changes.
  • What does “to” means in a call such as “2 to 3”?
    Our conclusion:  it might be considered a contraction for “2 move to follow 3”, if that’s a helpful way to think of it.
  • Which numbers are bells (like “the 3”) and which are places (like “3rds place”)?
    Our conclusion:  all the numbers in calls are bell numbers, not place numbers.  But a ringer should try to keep his/her place number in mind meanwhile.
  • Why are Call Changes called the way they are, rather than in some other way that might make more sense?
    Our conclusion:  who knows?  That’s the convention everywhere and has been for a long time, so that’s what we need to learn to work with.
  • What is the goal for a call such as “2 to 3”?  Why is that being called rather than some other call?
    We noted that not every call is allowed, depending on the context.  For example, in rounds 12345, the (up) call “2 to 3” is allowed, resulting in the row 13245, but not the up call “2 to 4”.  No call is allowed that would make any bell move more than one place;  the only calls that are allowed are those that ask two bells ringing in adjacent places to swap places.

We also got concrete confirmation that the practice software uses recently-added features of the Javascript language, and so it is unusable without an up-to-date standards-compliant browser, which for some computers are not available;  one ringer’s Mac, not that many years old, can’t be updated to such a browser because of the changes in Apple’s hardware evolution path (we tried).

The Dean stopped by to look over our shoulders for a moment and chat.

After the software practice session, we moved to the tower, rang up four bells, and rang Rounds and Call Changes.