This was the third loose rope class. Three ringers: Bobbie, Jody, and Thomas (instructing). The three of us lifted all but the treble’s rope into the intermediate chamber and half-sheepshanked them out of the way, and safed the ringing chamber with tarps and by moving everything out of the corner by the treble.
As in the first two classes (2013May25Sa and 2013May29We) we divided the work into four increasingly risky stages:
- Approaching the ringer from about a 120° angle and getting permission to help (“Do You Need Help?”).
- Reaching in and helping on specific strokes (“I’m Helping with This Stroke”), being sure not to inadvertently cue the ringer to give you the rope.
- Taking the rope from a ringer in serious trouble (“Give Me the Rope!”).
- Getting a loose rope back under control.
The goal of each stage is to try to keep the situation from moving into the next stage. The ideal outcome is that the helpful ringer calms the ringer in trouble and if necessary gives just enough help for them to get themselves out of trouble. If it is necessary to reach in, one should remember that the first priority is calming the motion of the rope, so a hard pull is only indicated if the bell has rung dangerously low. As in the first two classes, each stage (except the fourth) had both interaction skills (looking into the ringer’s eyes, speaking concisely and clearly) and rope skills (reaching in, vertical pulls with clean release at the bottom, taking a definite grip of the rope and taking control of it, and moving in and corralling a loose rope). Jody noted that the right time for many of the actions in the class is when the rope “stalls” or stops rising. By the end of the class we were taking ropes cleanly from each other, and dropping the rope on one stroke, picking it up on the next or second-next stroke, then after a few firm strokes to get the bell under control taking the rope cleanly and starting again on the next stroke.
We put everything back in order after the class was over.
At this point six ringers have taken the class: Anne, Bobbie, Carroll, Jody, Judy, and Nancy.
Eight ringers: Bobbie, Jim, Jody, Judy, Ken, Marguerite, Thomas, and visitor Niall. Most of the band was quite late so after the first few we raised bells only as ringers arrived.
This was Bobbie’s first time ringing rounds.
- Raised a few at the front in peal.
- Rounds on the front five, then six, then eight as ringers arrived, with Bobbie on the 4. We gave Bobbie a break from time to time while we worked on Plain Hunt. Though she seemed mortified by her ringing, everyone else agreed she was doing quite well for the first time. At this stage, every stroke that’s in the right place should be treated as an accomplishment.
- Plain Hunt on Six. Most of the band did not leave consistent handstroke pauses when leading. The striking was uneven and some ringers got out of sequence.
- Plain Hunt on Six with tenor behind, on 2345678.
- Rang the back seven down in peal, then the treble down alone.
Jorge · Focus is on getting both strokes serenely together. Jorge has an excellent backstroke and a good handstroke, but as with many learners they deteriorate under the pressure of combining them. Points to work on:
- Soft motion at the top of each stroke; let the bell rise.
- Fast, deep followthrough for both strokes, especially the handstroke.
- Faster pickup after the release.
- Left hand line angled toward the floor for the handstroke followthrough.
Bobbie is now ready to start ringing rounds with the band. She rings safely and reliably on her own, as shown by tonight’s class at which she set her bell ten times in twelve strokes (hand and back). She will now attend weekly practices and, soon, service ringing, learning to ring rounds, then tenor behind, lead, follow call changes, and so forth on the way to ringing methods.
Bobbie is the seventh new ringer to graduate from the Miami classes over the past eighteen months, following Anne, Barbara, Eoin, Nancy, Carroll, and Lynn.
Bobbie · Bobbie worked primarily on setting the bell.
- Raising. She raised the 4 and did a good job of it.
- Setting. She is working on developing the feel both for how much oomph to put into the bell, and for where the bell is as it rises and how to let it rise the right amount. She decided to work on setting the bell at hand, and worked on getting her handstroke motion fast enough so she can add oomph to make her backstroke rise appropriately, and then on giving her backstroke the right amount (not too much) of oomph, so that she would be in a position to set the bell at hand. To give herself a break, she decided to try setting at back (which she is better at) and at hand, and immediately passed the exit exam of setting 10 times in a row, which I usually interpret as 10 times in 10 pulls (20 strokes); she set the bell 10 times in 12 strokes. Well done!
- Lowering. She lowered the bell safely but not well; she’ll continue to work on lowering.
Seven ringers: Anne, Barbara, Jim, Jody, Judy, Marguerite, Thomas. We rang on 123456.
Jorge · Now ringing both strokes together.
- Pulling off then backstrokes only. Focus on good form in preparation for handstrokes.
- Backstrokes only. Good form. Need to relax and let the bell rise.
- Handstrokes only. Good form. Need to follow through faster and further, and simplify and speed up the pickup.
- Pulling off then backstrokes and occasional handstrokes. Excellent progress. He progressed from occasionally one handstroke, to occasionally two, to three, and then to “many”. He was able to ring an essentially unbounded number of strokes together by the end of class. He needs to let the bell rise, on both strokes; often he puts an appropriate amount of oomph into a stroke then throws it away by keeping the bell from rising on the next stroke. Other points to work on: fast motion at the bottom of each stroke, particularly handstrokes; good followthrough; remember to climb up the tail as needed; relax.