I wrote this shortly after SLIG but didn’t post–it got “stuck” on my iPad. I think it will still be beneficial to those attendees in the future even if a little stale today.
A week ago (now seems like a lifetime!) I blogged about hints for surviving SLIG and specifically Advanced Methodologies. Now that I have completed the course it seems reasonable that I look back at the list and confirm, deny or add to my hints received from previous attendees. I have placed the previous post statement in italics.
Although the extra homework is optional, if you want to get the most out of the class, just do it.
If you elect to do the home work, plan on spending 3-4+ hours in the Family History Library every night and/or on your computer. This is true. Unfortunately, the wifi in the hotel was so limited that it was difficult to do work after the FHL closed at 9:00 pm. Option #1: complete as much of the assignment as you can in the FHL until it closes, go back to the hotel, sleep and get up at 4:00 and finish. Option #2: Similar to no. 1…but go to the business center and work there. #3: Since SLIG is switching hotels this next year maybe it won’t be a problem, but don’t count on it. Think of a hotel filled with genealogists all logging in at the same time and you get an idea of the massive bandwidth the hotel would need to accommodate the demand. See below for Option #4 and an even better idea.
You may not have time at lunch or dinner to eat, so stock some healthy supplementary food in your room. This is true. I did not eat lunch or dinner except to consume the food I had bought. I did go out for a good breakfast even tho’ pastries and fruit were provided.
You get the syllabus the Sunday night before the classes start but you do not get the assignments until the end of the class Monday through Thursday. This is true. This leaves only noontime excursions to the library to do your own research. This worked out great for me as I had some small chunks of research pre-planned.
We are creatures of habit and so where you sit the first day is your “assigned seat” the rest of the week. True and I sat in the second row. The downside was that in a class of 32 there were people in the class that I couldn’t see when they participated. It might be better to sit about 1/3 of the way back on the side. You could see more of the class.
New tip #1: do not bother attending the evening lectures. You won’t have time.
New tip #2: And Option #4: bring your own internet hotspot. That would have saved me a lot! And you need a laptop computer. My husband missed my hinting for a laptop and I slogged through SLIG with my iPad. Deadly.
New tip #3: learn what you can. Some information you will know; some information you will learn and some you will just be exposed to. You will need to recognize that you need to spend more time learning what you don’t know.
My personal take-aways were…
I have almost no experience working the pre-1850 censuses which are heads of household only. This unfamiliarity was a detriment. Even just having explored them a bit would have been helpful.
Because of the above, I spent too much time in my comfort zone and should have moved more quickly out of it.
I am a slow and deliberative thinker when correlating evidence; however, when forced to guess I usually guess accurately.
There are some big record groups that I just do not know.
SLIG was a great experience and I highly recommend the institute. They are moving to another hotel next year, made necessary due to their growth. It is a little further away from the library. Hopefully, the wifi will be better.