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Highlander

One Take on the Classes

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I was pretty much amazed at the quality of the classes and the instructors I had this ReaperCon.  The desire of most of the instructors to find out what the students wanted to learn about their topic was pretty much universal and the patience and individual attention was very rewarding.  My butt got sore, and my hands got tired, but my reaction of "Oh, that's how you do it!" was repeated and my brain ended up very pleased.

 

I received several handouts that were excellent for reinforcing what we were doing and which have allowed me to, as it were, bring the class back home.  Some of the visual presentations had clearly taken a lot of preparation and let us look at tiny stuff blown way up.

 

I became aware that what I had learned in one class was being applied to subsequent classes.  I was getting better in several ways ... not just one.  And I was becoming more confident as I applied the body of what I had learned into each succeeding class.  The ReaperCon classes were less individual classes than an integrated (perhaps serendipitously) course of studies.  This post, BTW, is not wide eyed gushing about the most wonderfulous classes ever there were ... because teachers and students and environment and human beings ... but they were very good.

 

Having said that -- and explicitly not beginning a complaint thread --- I would recommend that instructors review the figure they provide in light of its appropriateness for the technique being taught.  It can help the student focus on the technique without fighting with the figure.  I'm not suggesting that the figure shouldn't be challenging ... because a challenging figure makes the student stretch the technique into areas that he might have avoided.  But, maybe, the figure has the possibility of overwhelming the technique.

 

And having said that ... I had read about the noise level in the class areas.  Yes, indeed, it got very noisy at times ... to the point that I could not hear the instructor at all.  In the classroom named Freddy, we had vendors on three sides ... with vendors and customers about four feet away, at times, literally shouting.  In one class in Freddy, I would say that I missed about 1/3 of the instructor's comments.  My guess is that there is no easy solution -- maybe no solution at all.  I would suggest that Reaper consider what might be done to tamper down the noise  --- relocating vendors, changing the traffic flow, putting up some kind of barrier (maybe cardboard) to baffle out more sound that the cloth barriers can.

 

But it don't really matter, because I'll be back next year to take as many classes as I can.  And I'll be grateful.

 

 

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I totally agree with this. I took classes in Dracula and the noise was ok. Other than a few compressor noises from Lovejoy next door, it really wasn't bad. Even in Chucky it wasn't that bad. The one class I took in Mummy was dreadful with a ton of noise and the sound of someone incessantly playing an ocarina the entire 2 hours......the same song over and over.

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If there is a similar setup next year, it might be well to use multiple layers of shipping blankets (or something similar like empty cardboard boxes) to make the wall connected to the hucksters' area. 

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What about those sound muting carpeted walls? They're like 7ft tall and mute sound. Considering how high the ceiling is, it wont completely mute the rest of the hall but just enough that the instructor can be heard. 

 

It was pretty bad for the classes right next tothe stores.

 

Given, 2016 when the classes were split and the gaming side had classrooms, that was worse. 

 

This year was an improvement and the fix is going in the right direction. 

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22 minutes ago, Mr Melons said:

 The one class I took in Mummy was dreadful with a ton of noise and the sound of someone incessantly playing an ocarina the entire 2 hours......the same song over and over.

 

 

You're not the first person to mention the person playing he Ocarina.

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+1 noise, one instructor I had to ask her to repeat herself four or five times during the class. :( Though it's possible my ears aren't quite up to factory spec at this point.

 

Other than that the classes were great. I can certainly say you won't find a group of instructors more interested in teaching their subjects.

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I intuited that some of the instructors were a bit put off by the noise.  And if you combined a soft spoken instructor with three vendor tables, each right up against the black cloth, then a good number of things got lost.

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To the noise question/issue, let me add that the main announcements from the stage (for the Reaper Tour, the Auction and so forth) were sometimes difficult to hear across the room, past the artists. I think a few speakers on that side of the room would be greatly beneficial.

 

-Darren

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None of the primary vendor booths were up against the classrooms, except possibly the Reaper Booth. There were four small vendors in tables that were located along the back wall of the vendor booths. I seriously doubt that the noise generated from those four tables. I certainly agree that something does need to be done about the noise levels. It is a difficult proposition to deal with and there is no easy solution.

 

There have been some good recommendations here although some of them are not really practical.

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I thought separating the class rooms from the gaming area was a HUGE improvement over last year. The whole place is loud and echo-y but not having to try to hear over the enthusiastic gamers was nice. 

As for the classes: I didn't have much of a problem hearing teachers but had Mr. Justin and Rex Grange.I didn't really have many problems teaching my class either but was in one of the corner rooms and it did seem quieter. In my experience, external noise is much less of a distraction than people in the class who aren't paying attention.

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I totally agree that the layout this year was better than last year. I really really appreciated moving the games to the complete opposite side of the floor.  

But thanks to a many a loud concert, loud cars, and semi-occasional ear/sinus issues my hearing is less than optimal. I suspect I am not the only one, either. It's OK when conversing in a normal environment, but any external noise becomes competition for my limited fidelity. So anything that can be done to reduce external noise is definitely appreciated. I would love to see if any thicker material could be used for the curtains, if only for the main "wall" between the merchants and the classes. 
 

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25 minutes ago, Heisler said:

None of the primary vendor booths were up against the classrooms, except possibly the Reaper Booth. There were four small vendors in tables that were located along the back wall of the vendor booths. I seriously doubt that the noise generated from those four tables. I certainly agree that something does need to be done about the noise levels. It is a difficult proposition to deal with and there is no easy solution.

 

There have been some good recommendations here although some of them are not really practical.

 

Unless I'm very much mistaken, the backs of the back row of vendor booths (the row with Happy Seppuku) shared a "wall" with the backs of the front row of classrooms. Since the "wall" was cloth, it didn't stop as much noise as one might hope.

 

There were several small vendor tables in the classroom hallway; they didn't cause issues that I saw.

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42 minutes ago, Heisler said:

None of the primary vendor booths were up against the classrooms, except possibly the Reaper Booth. There were four small vendors in tables that were located along the back wall of the vendor booths. I seriously doubt that the noise generated from those four tables. I certainly agree that something does need to be done about the noise levels. It is a difficult proposition to deal with and there is no easy solution.

 

There have been some good recommendations here although some of them are not really practical.

So, ceiling mounted stun guns that are noise activated are out then?

 

To echo other comments, the layout was much better this year! 

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26 minutes ago, Doug Sundseth said:

 

Unless I'm very much mistaken, the backs of the back row of vendor booths (the row with Happy Seppuku) shared a "wall" with the backs of the front row of classrooms. Since the "wall" was cloth, it didn't stop as much noise as one might hope.

 

There were several small vendor tables in the classroom hallway; they didn't cause issues that I saw.

 

No, not mistaken. I was going to make the same point.

 

I thought last year I heard that the PEC was supposed to have carpet on the floor, but they ran out time before the convention. This year, don’t think they actually plan on carpet. It would help some to have that down, but given the usage of the building, I don’t necessarily disagree about the decision on flooring.

 

I found it amusing that any PA announcement drowned out every teacher I had, yet I had trouble hearing the announcements sitting at the tables. Sure it’s probably the difference in ambient noise, but the irony was fun.

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4 hours ago, Pegazus said:

...I found it amusing that any PA announcement drowned out every teacher I had, yet I had trouble hearing the announcements sitting at the tables. Sure it’s probably the difference in ambient noise, but the irony was fun.

 

I wouldn't call it ironical, but you made me recall the PA announcements.  Which overcame any other sound waves in my classrooms.

4 hours ago, Doug Sundseth said:

 

Unless I'm very much mistaken, the backs of the back row of vendor booths (the row with Happy Seppuku) shared a "wall" with the backs of the front row of classrooms. Since the "wall" was cloth, it didn't stop as much noise as one might hope.

 

There were several small vendor tables in the classroom hallway; they didn't cause issues that I saw.

 

You are not mistaken about the backs of vendor booths meeting the backs of the classrooms.  The small vendor tables were a source of noise when the vendors and customers began shouting -- probably to overcome the noise in the passageways and the overall ambient noise.  The small vendor tables were not a continuous issue, but when they ratcheted up, they overwhelmed the instructor.

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