Genealogy education goes both ways. What?

The past four days has been filled with discussion, hugs, friendship, and delivering genealogical presentations at the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh’s third 2018 week. I was in Amherst, New York for this. On Monday I told the students in my course that they would be filled with learning and that name tags were supplied so that when their heads were spinning later in the week, they would still know their name. Then I told them that instructors also learn new things.

We learn as we prepare and update our syllabus materials and the PowerPoint slides. The discussion and questions that arise during the week inevitably include something from a student that the rest of the room didn’t know. In this course, students schooled me on some neat history of the Buffalo area. One student and I have a friend in common.The students helped each other with research ideas on some of their family history puzzles. I answered questions constantly and that is a very good thing because if I didn’t know the answer, I had something new to research. The knowledge that each person brings to the classroom is amazing and some students always learn they are more analytical and curious than they ever guessed! More than once we discussed the fact that some of the discussion outcomes and research tips only came about because we were together for the week and getting to know each other’s research issues and localities. It’s a special experience that’s difficult to explain, but I heard student after student say they can’t wait for next year!

All in all, the week at a genealogy institute is enlightening for everyone and a testament to that is the large number of students who return often to take other courses. At this institute, and for many months before, the co-directors, Deborah Lichtner Deal and Elissa Scalise Powell put in many hours to assure us all a great time at GRIP. Haven’t attended GRIP? In 2019, two weeks of instruction will be offered in the Pittsburgh area. Some details are on the GRIP website, but be sure to check again near the end of August as there will be some added courses and a couple course changes. Registration is next February.

As if four days of educating wasn’t enough for me this week, I am now on my way to Frankfort, Kentucky to do four presentations on Saturday, August 4th, for the Kentucky Genealogical Society. My children have Kentucky ancestry so it’s always special to do seminars and research in Kentucky. An added bonus is seeing several people that I have met over the years at other genealogical events.

I hope to see many readers in Frankfort tomorrow! Yes, you may still register at the door.


© 2018, Paula Stuart-Warren. All rights reserved.

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