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20 March 2006 @ 08:14 pm
One thing I have done a lot of lately is attend genealogy conferences. My feeling about them have evolved over the years. I used to try to record what the lecturer said and try to recall his lecture in detail. Well as I age my ability to do that has decreased. I remember feeling after the St. George Jamboree in February 2006 that everything I had heard was one big jumbled mess in my head. I could recall interesting points made but no detail as to who said it or what class it was in. I thought I was a failure. Then I took time to reevaluate myself. I came to the conclusion that those interesting points where things that I had learned and that they would most likely stay with me as facts. Things that I could recall when I needed them. Who needs to go to a conference and become a parrot and retell everything that was said. It more than likely wouldn't stay with you for long. So I know longer quiz myself after a class to make sure I got it all. Now I try to recall something new that I learned. I'm not saying I know everything but the more conferences and classes I attend the less I am overwhelmed with new stuff. My suggestion is if your new or old to the genealogy game don't feel guilty if you can't grasp everything you heard the first time.

May I give you some suggestions:

1. Plan ahead what classes you are going to take, then you won't be trying to make up your mind during someones class.
2. Relax and try to just pay attention to the lecturer.
3. Look for key points that impress you, and write them down. The act of writing things down helps you recall them later.
4. Don't follow the lecture along in the syllabus. Why? Because you will find yourself trying to memorize the class and jumping ahead of the lecturer. Instead read the syllabus later as a refresher. I love it when teachers will say everything is in the syllabus.
5. After the conference write up a little report of the things you have learned. These can be gleaned from your notes.
6. Remember taking conference classes isn't doing genealogy. Don't forget to apply the principles you learned and get out into the real world and use them.

I hope whatever genealogy conference you are attending are great experiences for you. It's always refreshing to get out and feel the pulse of other genealogists. But now it's time for the real world. I've gotta get back to my genealogy.

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!
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