Designing a basic amplifier with only an A.A.S. in electronics?

I am already half way through, and am just now enrolled in a class called Solid State Fundamentals, which teaches the student things such as opamps, bjt amplifiers, the different classes of amplifiers, photoelectronics, etc. However, my professor isn't very helpful. He is a blue collar man all the way and hates... show more I am already half way through, and am just now enrolled in a class called Solid State Fundamentals, which teaches the student things such as opamps, bjt amplifiers, the different classes of amplifiers, photoelectronics, etc. However, my professor isn't very helpful. He is a blue collar man all the way and hates engineers like the spawn of satan himself. I don't really understand why. Anyways, I can only find articles about building an amp with the schematics in hand, usually via printing them up and buying the parts. That's easy. I am excellent at soldering (and find it somewhat therapeutic until the smell gets to me) and understand the schematics. However, I want to design and build my own basic amplifier, whether it be something for a ham radio kit, or a simple guitar amplifier. Any tips from an actual engineer out there?

By the way, (i just felt like adding this), I told my prof. numerous times that, as odd a goal as it may seem, I REALLY want to design and build my own ham radio kit. I love electrical engineering and reeeeally want to work with signals one day. Anywho, I have seen all these people that build these cool little "tinker toy" electronic gizmos from scratch with seemingly no electrical engineering classes, and I was just wondering what they have done. From the little that I have heard from the few engineers I have actually met that are REAL engineers (with degrees and not just titles), designing an electronic device is rather complex. I just wanted some more input.

Thanks.
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