One of the great things about attending an institute is connecting with your classmates. Meeting those shiny faces Monday morning - and maybe watching their features slowly deteriorate into the same haggard face you see in your own mirror Friday morning when your brain is so full you don’t think you can cram one more bit of learning in – you will forever share that bond.
And you’ll make great connections. Because institutes tend to attract people from all over the US as well as many foreign countries, you’ll find yourself rubbing shoulders with genealogists with expertise in many locales. Some of those places are sure to be where your ancestors or other research subjects lived.
In one course I took, I met Steve. He spearheaded a county court records indexing scheme in his local genealogy society. And when I needed a look-up in that index, I knew just who to call. In another course, I met Kathy, who lives all the way across the country from me. She was there when I reached out this week, trying to see what she knew about 1880s era newspapers in her state - their coverage, and even their fonts and column layout. She’s a great resource as I try to discover the identity of the mystery woman from the newspaper clipping in my great aunt Ida’s scrapbook. I hope a few of my fellow students over the years might feel the same about some of the help I’ve been lucky to share with them.
When you think about institutes, the top-notch instructors are only part of the learning equation. The students next to you are just as valuable. I hope I find one of you in a neighboring chair at my next institute.
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Disclaimer – The Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy has provided me a discount on my SLIG 2020 tuition for my participation as a SLIG ambassador.. The opinions expressed are my own.
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.