You might wonder what I am doing here and I will tell you that sometimes the question is one I ask myself. I am enrolled in the Advanced Practicum with 18 other students. We get an advanced genealogy problem every day to solve.
I am surrounded by the best genealogists in the country. It is amazing to me that I can keep up as my analytical skills are slow. I work best if I can internalize the information but the pace does not allow that. The good news is that I should be a more efficient researcher when I am done with the course.
I do not know if there is a typical day but here is the last “24 Hours in the Life of ….”
4:00 pm yesterday: The class met to discuss the problem we worked on all day yesterday. It was a Georgia example of tracing five generation of women–not easy. I made it to the first milestone and partway through the second but ….then I fell off! While I had the concept I missed some key steps. But this is less about the competition (except with yourself) and more abut exposure to record sets etc. in unfamiliar locations (I have never done anything in GA). After each lesson I develop a personal list of what I have learned from that exercise. (more about that later)
5:30 pm: We get our next assignment. Today we are working on a spreadsheet of parish records and trying to build specific families. It’s in a foreign country (and not Ostfriesland or Sweden) and so I am figuring it out. To complete the assignment we have to write a paper reporting on how we got to the answer.
We take the new assignment and then leave. We can work on the problem as much as time allows (22 hours) or a little as we wish but we do have to turn in something. We can work in our room (that’s what I did today) or in the Family History Library (too many distractions for me) or in the study room set up so we can work in parallel.
Last night I went out to eat, came back and listened to a lecture by Elisabeth Shown Mills. I could have stayed for the preview (my friend Mary Tedesco is a co-host) of Genealogy Roadshow but I went to my room instead. I did not start my project until this morning.
Of course, I watched the Bucks beat the Ducks! Loved it. Who would have predicted? Las Vegas made a lot of money.
4:00 am: I woke up early, probably because I knew that I hadn’t worked the previous night, went downstairs and started working on the parish registers after I read the Columbus Dispatch.
noon: took a break, had lunch and blogged for about 30 minutes. My girlfriend across the hall has a microwave in her room and so I used that.
3:00 pm this afternoon. We turn our papers in (electronically.) I will work on the paper as soon as this is posted. (I have 3 hours to write it.) Most of the analysis is done.
4:00 pm We start all over. The case presenter will go over his thought process and describe the resolution. I will see how I did. I will note what I could do that would improve my skills. We will then get another case study with research questions to answer. We will receive a total of 5 that we have to solve while we are here. There are 18 individuals in the class.
What I have done since the last posting: See above.