Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Summer Plans and Goals: Genealogy and Otherwise

I make goals several times a year.

January brings the typical resolutions to improve health and fitness (I've lost 10 pounds this year and so far, have KEPT it off!), September is when I make the goals for the school year (I've been pretty good with staying on top of lesson plans, grading, and emails), and summer...well, summer is for FUN.

Summer 2013 looks to be one of the funnest summers in many years. Two nieces getting married. Returning to my hometown in Alaska for the last totem raising before the next 40 year cycle. Seven weeks of summer school, instead of five (well, that has its disadvantages, but the advantages would seem to be more income). Bike hikes on local rails-to-trails paths. A get-together with my high school girlfriends.

Oh, yes, and genealogy.

I've been working on my ProGen course since the beginning of the year, with just over a year more to go. It has stretched me, changed my thinking--and more importantly, my research--and inspired me. I'll continue working on my assignments, and as I have more time to organize, plan, research, and scan, these projects will be influenced by this course. Part of my ProGen goals include visiting local repositories and archives. All my personal research has been done long-distance; my parents and I are--for the most part--the first generations to live west of Michigan. While I'm familiar with letter writing, hiring volunteers or paid researchers, ordering and using microfilm, and using online databases and images, I haven't had as much hands-on experience in courthouses, archives, museums, or repositories. I get to enjoy some new learning soon!

I joined several great groups on Facebook this year. One is Technology for Genealogy and the other is The Organized Genealogist. I've learned a lot from both groups in just a few months, and I look forward to sharing my summer successes with them.

Will I blog more? I'd like to say yes, but I can't promise that. I truly enjoy the writing and blogging process, but it does take chunks of time away from things that are necessary, like working out, or things I've made a financial and educational commitment to, like ProGen.

Summertime does give me more flexibility, and so I do hope to be able to quickly pop in now and again and jot down perhaps a short thought, or discovery, or important tip. But if you don't hear much from me, it could be that I'm on a jet heading to The Last Frontier, or biking the Hiawatha Trail, or visiting the Eastern Washington Regional Archives, or catching the bouquet at one of my nieces' weddings.

I hope you enjoy your summer, too, whatever fun things you have in store.

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