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Monday, June 10, 2013

School's out for summer! Just not for me...

"Snap-the-Whip" [9 boys playing in front of rural schoolhouse]
 Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division
Summer is officially starting around here the end of this week, and I am starting out with no voice because of a cold like ick.  My kids get out of school Friday and my countdown to when they will go back will begin.  Just kidding…sort of. 

This summer is already filling up pretty quick with family activities, summer camps, and of course research.  I have finally procured a sitter for a couple different weeks.  She has agreed to me leaving my darlings with her while I make it up to NARA and the Library of Congress in DC to do research.  I may even be able to fit in a jaunt to the DAR library and NGS.  Needless to say I have to get cracking on a research list and plan out my visits. 

In other news, I have officially signed up for the September 2013 starting class of the Boston University Certificate in Genealogical Studies.  The excitement is wearing off and the nerves are setting in.  I haven’t been back to “school” in 15 years and I really want to be successful at this.  High hopes and all you know.  I even signed up to be a substitute teacher for next year to help pay for the program.  You know it has to be serious if I would be willing re-enter the work force after 12 years of being at home.

My get “my feet wet in online courses” class has mid-terms this week.  Last week’s module was awesome for the genealogists in the class.  It was an entire section on personal genomics and how the different genetic genealogy testing companies do what they do.  It was like being in a candy store watching the videos and doing the reading.  I just couldn’t get enough.

I am doing okay in the class, not as good as I thought I would, but okay.  While I am doing okay (quiz average of a low B) it is bringing home to me the fact that I really need interaction in some things at a personal level.  There is a discussion forum where I can talk about the problems with fellow students and the staff chimes in only when we are having problems.  I don’t like it, and I think I would prefer to have a staff lead discussion section.  Way too many what ifs and unclear answers which a things that I do not deal well with.

My other take away is that I still stink at math.  Our professor makes a lot of assumptions that we know (remember) formulas from prior biology classes or statistics.  I hate statistics and the fact that I do not have a firm grasp of mathematics is showing through.  Let me restate that, my grasp on advanced algebraic functions, statistics, and calculus has never been solid.  Yes, I can do basic math and know my way around a calculator if I know what formula to use.  Other than that I am beyond lost.  It is because I get all the theory questions correct that I have a B so far in the class.

This class ends the week that my Gen Proof Study group starts up.  8 weeks of discussion and analysis on the Tom Jones book Mastering the Genealogical Proof.  Do you know how excited I am he is one of the instructors for the BU program?  I have skimmed the book once, and it is now sitting on my shelf.  The end of July will be here before I know it and I am just going to have to get over my aversion of writing in books and highlighting stuff.

Oh, you know what this means?! It means a trip to the office supply store in my near future!  Hello, my name is Shannon, and I have an office supply addiction…


  1. I think you are my new hero. I quake at the thought of a really good class....with fear AND desire. The MGP book is sitting next to my Bible (I think I have read one more than the other, lol). And, I really, really suck at math. There were so many other things I wanted to learn besides memorizing that awful stuff. And I think of Staples as my ToysRUs. If only my genealogy was as organized as my office supplies..... so fear not, you are not alone...

    1. Glad I am not alone, LOL. I wish my genealogy was that well organized too, someday, when I have fewer distractions and less writing. I have too many stories to tell still. :)

  2. Oh, this sounds like such fun! I know it is also scary and nerve-wracking, but it sounds to me like sitting down to a feast with all your favorite dishes! Especially the Gen Proof study group for the Tom Jones book! I just got my book in the mail, and i wish I had time to enroll in a course! I wish you the best of luck and congratulations for taking this path!

    1. Thanks Mariann, at points I am sure I am going to need all the luck I can get. It is going to be an adventure!