Today was dark cloudie and cold with a little snow fall. Cullerne and I in the car all alone. We did nothing all morning
In the afternoon I copied a few notes. After supper Arthur came over too the car to fix his album
staz till 9:30 then I went to bed.
I don’t know about you, but it seems that there are a lot of days when they “stay in the car all day”. How did they ever build the Grand Truck Pacific Railway? I imagine that things will pick up as we move into the spring.
Let me take a short break from “Lest We Forget” to talk a little about the BU course in Genealogical research. I’ll admit the course is a little tougher than I expected. Especially when I submitted an assignment and anxiously awaited the results. Well, the grade cam back at an abysmal number: “You seem to grasp all of the concepts in this module and all of the information is well presented. However […dontcha just love “however’s”…] you missed the central goal. You’ve written a report that….
And on and on… The grade, as I said, was abysmal and I figured I’d have to ace every single element for the balance of the course to keep my head above the line. I sent a “private message” to the grader in a feeble attempt at reconsideration. HA! Reconsideration…. That was out of the question. I know that because I got a response that didn’t even address the points that I made in my plea. Instead, the TA sent a note to all the students to explain that this module has 3 assignments: 1 is graded on a scale based on 30 points, then another 30 and finally 40 for a total of 100. Well, that puts my “junk” score back in the running so I felt much better. Can’t wait to submit this week’s work!
All in all, this course seems to run from really easy “stuff” that I’ve been doing for a while to really hard “stuff” that I never even considered… Well, that why we take these courses.
Between all the drama over the past few weeks, I can look back and say that this was bad timing to start an on-line course in genealogical research. It’s not as easy as it sounds…not that I thought it would be a walk in the park! Here are some concepts I can’t get my head around: A birth certificate is a source, but is it original or derivative? And what about the information it contains? Is it primary or secondary? Then you have evidence. Evidence can be direct or indirect. What about a photocopy of an original birth certificate? Original or derivative? Is the information it contains primary or secondary? Does it constitute evidence? Is so, is it direct or indirect? Are you with me on this?
If you really need to know all that, let me know! In the meantime, the next assignment isn’t due unitl next Wednesday, but I’m also supposed to be an active participant in the “Discussion Groups???
To be honest, my grades have been coming back a bit better than I expected them to be. Especially considering that I just blew through some parts of the assignments. I’ve been doing this a while, but relatively unsctructured…organized, but unstructured…and they insist on certain terminology which, if I’m working in my own little world, isn’t critical. They even have a Glossary! So, BU brings the structure….I just have to adjust to the rigidity of it all
1) Tonight I’m beginning another 5-week course at First Church in Ludlow with up to 12 participants. We’ll meet once a week for 5 weeks. That’s a good number so that I can dig into any interesting cases that come up.
3) The Western Mass Genealogical Society is sponsoring an open house in April celebrating the 40th anniversary of their founding. I’m been a member to a few years there but I’ll also be speaking at the event.
4) The first series of classes are now over at the Yellow House Center for Community Learning in Palmer. Apparently it was well received as they’ve booked me for 2 more series’. One will start in early June and the other in late July.
5) The weekly meetings at Chicopee Public Library will continue. March will bring an open house on the subject of genealogy with a number of speakers, myself including!
Please get in touch with me if you’re interested in attending any of these genealogical events! Comment here on the blog, call me at (413) 233-4866, or you can always check the web site: Old Bones Genealogy and Family Research. I’ll try to get everything updated on the site in the next day or so!
Tomorrow is January 16, 2013. Not a particularly auspicious day, but it will be the first time I’ve been back in school in over 40 years! Well, saying that I’ll be “in school” is a stretch because in the 21st century you can be “in school” and in the living room at home at the same time. So, we’ve broken at least one of the basic tenets of physics: an object can now be in 2 places at the same time! And I’m here to say it works.
I’m not intimidated about taking a class even if it is Boston University, but I’m a little intimidated about the fact that it wasn’t cheap and I feel highly motivated to be successful…no pressure!!! Making a time commitment; doing the reading; writing the assignments; passing…and all in a mere 16 weeks. Wish me luck!
The class will be a very intensive course in genealogical research. In it, I hope to expand my knowledge of where to go to get the data I need and what to do with it once I’ve found it! It’s not good enough to just find something at somebody’s web site and transcribe the information. It’s all about documentation, sources and proof. There are certainly many challenges, many of which I’m likely not even aware of.
I’m always aware that I don’t know what I don’t know, and that’s what makes this new adventure so interesting. Since I obviously don’t know what I haven’t learned yet, the prospect of improving my skills in multiple areas is a pretty exciting prospect. Although I’m arguably a bit of an expert in my “other career”, genealogy can be a daunting field to undertake. Just reading blogs from other expert researchers over the past year or so shows that just having a subscription to a couple of genealogy web sites barely scratches the surface.
I’ll continue to post about the course….if I have the time!
Anyone near Wilbraham, MA tonight is welcome to stop at the Wilbraham Public Library tonight. It’s the 3rd in a 4 part series “Introduction to Genealogy”. Each week there have been more and more participants so feel free to call the library at 413-596-6141 to make sure there’ll be room! Based on the popularity, I can see that there just might be some future programs. The last in this series will be held February 11th where we’ll work on individual pedigree charts and whatever other subjects may come up.
This series is “sponsored” by the Western Massachusetts Genealogy Society (WMGS) in an effort to help people who are interested in family research and encourage them to take part in courses such as these and introduce them to WMGS. Annual membership is only $20 and includes 10 monthly meetings held locally.
Over the full 4 sessions, we cover the basics of research, web sites (free and low-cost), definitions (soundex, vital records, etc), specific resources, naturalization, immigration, Ellis Island, name changes, spelling variations and “myth busting”!
Hopefully, some of you can make it tonight! See you there.