Saturday, June 25, 2011

Genealogy Heaven

I reserve this blog for posts on genealogy education, was too busy during my week in "genealogy heaven" to write much. I have now integrated back in to my regular life routine and have time to write about my week at the Institute for Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) at Samford University.

I call it "genealogy heaven" because that is how it felt. I was surrounded by other serious genealogists for a whole week learning from some of the best in the field. The joy began on Sunday evening June 12th when the members of the ProGen Study Group gathered to network. There were 48 of us together that evening! It was fun to meet many of my online study friends in person, and also to honor the mentors and recent graduates of the program. I tried during the week to talk to each of these friends one-on-one, even if it was only for a few minutes, but always wish I had more time for “talking shop” with them.

The theme song from the TV show "Cheers" refers to a place where everybody knows your name. I loved being in a place where I could greet so many friends by name! Every morning I would walk through the campus and say good morning to many friends as I passed them on the way to class.

My week progressed with an intensive focus on writing as I was attended Dr. Thomas W. Jones' "Genealogical Writing and Publishing" course. In addition to Dr. Jones we had classes taught by Dr. John Colletta, Craig Scott, and Elissa Powell. I have great respect for these instructors and really learned a lot about clear and concise writing. Now I just need apply all the things that I learned.

In addition to fabulous instructors, it was great to be in a course with many of my genealogy friends. I really had a great time listening to the questions and ideas of my fellow genealogists. It was also very fun to meet new friends and form connections.

While I enjoy attending conferences, online study groups, and many other genealogical education opportunities, there is nothing that compares with the intensive genealogy institutes and the camaraderie felt there.

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