I hate to recycle content. I wrote “A Call to Action,” two months ago. But it is sooo important, particularly for my fellow SLIG 2020 graduates.
Before you pack your syllabus for your trip home, before you stick it on your shelf when you arrive there, open it to the inside of the cover and answer this question – “What is your plan for continued advancement in 2020, 2021 and 2022?”
As I reflect in the next few days I’m sure I’ll find a few more plans and goals. How about you, fellow SLIGsters - What is your plan?
A teacher turns over the classroom. This week at SLIG, I’m taking “Meeting Standards with DNA Evidence.” Karen Stanbary CG® is the course coordinator. She has taught several sessions, but joining her is an all-star cast. Each day we have had at least one or two other instructors. Today we had LaBrenda Garrett-Nelson, CG® and David Rencher, AG® CG®.
It has been wonderful to see genealogical problems presented by such high caliber speakers this week. Each has shed light on how to approach a problem, decide when DNA testing might be appropriate, determine what kind of DNA test(s) could be most useful, establish how to organize the massive amounts of data, define what the assumptions being made are, and more. I have so enjoyed the chance to visualize a genealogical problem and its solution from each of their perspective. Each has shone light from a slightly different angle.
But Karen has taken this a step further. She went out on a limb with “DNA Dreamers,” an optional session at the end of the day where students were invited to present their own research, and have their classmates in the “think-tank” suggest additional research strategies and come up with recommended next steps. I was lucky enough to get to share my problem. On tap for next week – put some of those suggestions to the test.
Thank you Karen for having the vision and courage to try something new. It has definitely enhanced my learning experience!
Certified Genealogist and CG are proprietary service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, whose name is a registered trademark. The Accredited Genealogist® and AG® registered marks are the sole property of the International Commission for the Accreditation of Professional Genealogists.
Great day today. I’m learning a ton in class, but it’s wonderful to also be able to take the opportunity to network.
At lunch I showed my friend how I use a spreadsheet to help me with my citations for a large project such as a Kinship Determination Project, one of the elements in a portfolio for certification. I can sort my citations in a spreadsheet which serves three purposes – I can make sure like-types of citations are consistent from one to another, I can easily see when I use the same citation a second or third time and need to make it a subsequent (short) citation, and I have models that I can easily copy and edit for other uses. Another friend came to say hello, and seeing what I was doing, encouraged me to try to find a way to share this with other genealogist. Hmmm…knowing someone is interested in the way I do things has encouraged me to think about a new business venture. Definitely something to work toward.
I had an invitation for dinner with my friend Kristen who lives in the opposite corner of the country. It’s nice to get to see her at a genealogy event or two every year. Another friend of Kristen, Susan, also joined us. And now I have a new friend! From Pennsylvania. Who knows all about the wonderful resources at the Blairsville Historical Society – in the exact locations where I recently discovered a whole bunch of new relatives! I’ve got some planning to do.
And this evening we were treated to a networking social at SLIG, were I met more new people and had a chance to visit with some old friends. It made for a very nice evening.
One more little bit I want to share. We are given a bound syllabus, 220+ pages for our course. I realized on day one that there would be a couple of pages – the table of contents and the schedule for the week – that I’d want to refer to frequently. I had a little book of sticky-tabs that were a promo item from another conference I attended stuck in my computer bag. I used blue ones on those two pages. But the next day, as I took a note on a page, I thought “This would make a good blog post.” On another one, “Hmmm, here’s a resource I should investigate.” Let’s see… I’ve got lots of tab colors – I can use green ones from blog ideas, pink for personal research, and for those “golden nuggets” our instructor wants us to keep track of, I’ve got yellow ones. I’m going to make sure at future conferences, I’ll bring book of tiny colored post-it flags to make my syllabus review that much easier.
I signed up to take a class at SLIG – “Meeting Standards Using DNA Evidence – Research Strategies.” I’m not sure what I thought it was going to be. More about writing, I think. I’m so glad I was wrong.
I signed up for the class because I thought I was going to learn how to write up my DNA research. I am getting so much more than I bargained for. It’s two word, right up there in the front of the title, “Meeting Standards.”
Karen Stanbary, CG® is the facilitator. In addition to her deep knowledge, other teachers today included Catherine B. W. Desmarais, Melissa A. Johnson, Thomas W. Jones, Angela Packer McGhie, and Richard G. Sayre, all of them credentialed by the Board for Certification of Genealogists. We have more instructors taking center stage in the next couple of days.
With each of new, I’ve had the chance to see how they plan and execute their research in order to meet the standards. I see the choices they made and hear their explanation about why they made those choices in that particular case. And what they might do differently next time.
It’s been a great couple of days of learning. I can’t wait til tomorrow to fit more pieces into my brain.
Certified Genealogist and CG are proprietary service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, whose name is a registered trademark.
The Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy – SLIG !- I’m finally here! I arrived last evening. My flight from Seattle was nice, with an empty seat beside me. We arrived early. Things were great. And then there was BAGGAGE CLAIM. Several of my fellow travelers shared the dreaded luggage fiasco – we were in Salt Lake City but our bags were in Seattle. Alaska Airlines promised they’d deliver the bag to my hotel, whenever it arrived.
So suitcase-less I hopped on TRAX, the local lightrail to get downtown. I got off at the nearest stop, walked the block and half to the hotel, rode the elevator up to the conference floor and entered the ballroom for the orientation at 5:29, one minute before the start of the orientation session. And at 5:38, my pulse rate down to normal, I looked around my seat… under my coat… next to my backpack… and I had... no purse. I think I must have left it on TRAX.
On Sunday evening, calls to the TRAX lost and found went to voicemail. I’d just have to wait til Monday morning to talk to someone. I posted my tale of woe on the SLIG facebook group, told a few friends and in minutes my phone messenger app was filling up with so many offers of support – “I’m sending my husband with cash – what room are you in?” “I’ve got a Starbucks card for you.” “Can I do anything for you?” “I can lend you a spare set of pajamas” and more…
This is such a wonderful community. Attending my fifth SLIG, I’m greeted with warm hugs and beaming smiles. I love coming here. And after the wonderful offers of support in my time of stress I love it even more.
My suitcase did (finally) show up, late late late last night. Still hoping for a good word on the purse. But I know that any twinge of sadness if my purse remains lost will fade to nothing as I continue to bask in the warm embrace of this wonderful genealogical community.
Mary Kircher Roddy is a genealogist, writer and lecturer, always looking for the story. Her blog is a combination of the stories she has found and the tools she used to find them.