Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Very Hungry Caterpillar and BYU Conference Thoughts

This last week was eventful. My oldest grandson had his third birthday party on Saturday. All of my children and grandchildren were there, as well as great grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. The theme was the Very Hungry Caterpillar and there were games, cakes, foods and a piñata to match the theme. My mother asked me how it felt to have everyone together and if I was enjoying being the grandma. I can truly say this is a joyous time for me. In two weeks we will help my youngest daughter, son in law and two grandsons move to Provo, Utah. This will be a bittersweet time for me.

Included in this challenging transition, will be my attendance at the BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy. The conference goes from Tuesday July 26 (my birthday) to Friday July 29. This daughter's birthday is the day after mine. We will celebrate here in Oregon next weekend and the following week in Utah. Birthdays are big events in our family. At the conference I will be speaking Tuesday afternoon on Research Strategies-Tracking Your Families and Friday morning on Writing a Family History Your Children Will Enjoy.

The conference is very enjoyable and has a very low-key atmosphere. It is held in the nicely air-conditioned conference center. There are eight classes in five blocks of time and a keynote address each day. If you go online at, , you can download or print a copy of the schedule. There are about sixty speakers to choose from, some of them very well known. My problem is there is always more than one class in a time period that I want to attend. There are many vendors present, so shopping is a must. The cost of the conference is $175, unless you are taking it for college credit.

The first time I attended in 2003, it was as a student for college credit. That was quite a learning curve as I had never been to such a conference before. In 2007 I taught three classes and was featured in a local newspaper. Teaching to a large group in such a large room was a new experience for me. At the start of the first class I felt suddenly faint and had to pause while they went to get me a drink of water and a cold compress. I was able to carry on and finish the lecture, but I was worn out afterwards. It did not help that I had major surgery a month before. Some of us are slow learners.

In 2009 I was scheduled to speak, but after my first brain surgery in April that year I decided to cancel. It was a good thing because, after the second brain surgery in June, I had complications that prohibited me from attending. I was very disappointed as this is something I look forward to each year.

This year when my daughter told us her husband made it into the social work masters program at BYU, I suggested that we try to help them with their move by coinciding it with the conference. The itinerary is all planned and we are all anxiously anticipating the trip. I looked over the class list today and picked out at least two classes for each session, just in case one is full.

Now I just need to finish writing a book review, an article and the blog posts before we go. I am a procrastinator when it comes to projects, but it seems I work best under pressure. To counteract the expected emotional impact of this move I will write ahead some of my posts and post them at the appropriate times. The one thing about writing is it is nice to let the words stew for a couple of days before going public with them. Please bare with me over the next three weeks as my postings may fall a little behind.  I will be like the Very Hungry Caterpillar lazily nibbling through the many offerings of this conference.

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