Monday, January 20, 2014

SLIG - Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy Part I

My last post was written two weeks ago, where did the time go? It flew away to preparation and attendance at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. The week prior to departure was filled with all the usual life complications and obligations. When boarding the Southwest Airlines flight on Saturday, January 11, many of those things that occupy my time were left behind. There was no lap top or other electronic devises in my suitcase, and several forgotten items later required purchase in Salt Lake City. The most important resources on this trip were my two friends from Portland. One flew with me and the other met us in the Radisson Hotel upon arrival.


Our accomodations were great. We shared a room with two double beds, a refrigerator, a microwave, a desk with a computer chair, a dresser, a night stand and a very nice over-stuffed chair. Our other friend shared a room with someone she had never met. They were a good match and her room partner sat by me in class so we became acquainted as well. That first day we visited and went to dinner in the onsite restaurant. As we went down to dinner there was another person waiting for a table and she looked so familiar. After speaking to her we realized that she is the mother of friends back home and someone who had worked in our local family history center with me years before. She was there starting her mission preparations for serving in England.

The next morning being Sunday we had a leisurely start. We walked up to JBs for an early lunch and again met this same friend. After a nice lunch we went to catch the TRAX for a quick ride to the grocery store. When the train lurched forward making me almost do a face plant, my trusty cane held me upright. At that moment there was the realization that using taxi cabs might be a better option. We went to Harmon's and had a very good time picking up survival supplies and the things forgotten in my packing. After we filled our carts with goodies we were ready to call the cab! While waiting we met a very nice young woman who was in SLC for the PMC and doing research. My memory is horrible when it comes to names, but she was delightful to visit with.

That evening was the Meet and Greet, where we received our syllabus material and then enjoyed a nice variety of appetizers and desserts. There were some brief announcements and instructions for the week ahead. The instructors were introduced, as well as the support staff. One would think we would be too full to eat anymore, but a group decided to go to P.F. Changs for a late dinner. It was so fun to visit with new acquaintances and share stories. One of the key points of attending an institute is the opportunity to expand ones base of fellow genealogists and make new friends.

On Monday morning we began our weekly routine. There was a continental breakfast every day, where we could grab some food on our way to class.  My roommate's classes started earlier than mine, so we had somewhat different schedules. Our track was "American Research and Records: Focus on Families." Upon entering the class we found eighteen students, one class hostess and our fantastic leader Paula Stuart Warren. Paula spent the first class hour introducing the format of the classes and what we could expect during the week. Her main topic of discussion was getting from Clues to Records. In the second class she talked about Vital Records and how to use them or when they were lacking how to use other records. At the lunch break we went to JBs for a quick meal and then rushed back to be in class on time. D. Joshua Taylor taught a class on US Census Records and then Debbie Mieszela taught a class on US Passport Applications.

By the time the final class was over at 3:45 it was time for some R&R in the room. Leftovers from the night before were enough for dinner. In the evening there was a presentation by Judy G. Russell on
“Who in the World Was Paul Knop?” She is so demonstrative when she speaks and had everyone in anticipation of the final answer. Following her was Craig R. Scott and his game of "The Last Man Standing" which had everyone on their feet. He challenged us on our collective genealogy memories and the last few standing won some very nice prizes (there is a book coming to me).

On Tuesday classes began at nine and Paula taught the first one on Church Records, and the second on Institutional Records. She handed out to us the Research Project for the class and we formed groups for working together. There were three in our group. After lunch at JBs we met at the Family History Library Computer Lab for a class on using Internet Resources. That afternoon we had one-on-one consultations about personal research projects. When that was over it was time for me to work on a client project of scanning some microfilms. The group project waited for my spare half hour to do some brief lookups. The computers and printer set up was not cooperating so it was time to return to the hotel.

This is long enough for one day as I have two classes to teach tomorrow. Part II is soon to follow.


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