Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Overwhelmed? To Say the Least!

I always find it calming and reassuring when I'm feeling overwhelmed or out of control to make a list or design a plan.  Boy, do I need a plan now.  I started reading the Professional Genealogist or more loving known as Progen.  It is basically a textbook with all 654 pages exploding with essential genealogical information.  Being a reference book geek, I can truly say I'm in love with it!  Who wouldn't want guidance, advice, resource lists, how-tos and how-not-tos at their disposal.  My only problem is the more I read (and I'm only on chapter 5) the more I want to do.  Well, you say that's a good thing.  I've been inspired to learn - never a bad thing especially since I'm an educator.  Yes, I guess it's a wonderful predicament, but I'm on overload so much that I've had a few sleepless nights.  One of those sleepless nights, 2:30AM to be exact, I was reading genealogy articles on my cell phone and learned about a Progen study group ( available to those who want to learn more and be evaluated by our peers.  I was in, they had me at....this will help you with your certification portfolio, but it lasts for 19 months and I want to take the class at Boston U. in the spring and then apply for the certification and work full time - no time!
So now my new dilemma, how do I make more time.  If I could do that I could bottle it and sell it, but I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon.

I did sign up to attend an day at a local historical society.  I'm very excited to spend the day discussing the topic I'm most passionate about.  It should be a great day, but still six weeks away.  I guess for now, I'll keep delving into Progen, write notes on my sticky pads, and start figuring out where I should go next.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Certification Journey Begins

Let me start this blog post by saying that I am not new to genealogy.  I have about twelve years or so experience in genealogical research.  I have never been paid to work for a genealogical client, although I would love to turn professional.  I have taught a couple small genealogy classes, basically helping seniors with where to locate resources.  I would love to teach a subject I am passionate about.  I have never attended a genealogical conference, but plan to do so as soon as the opportunity presents itself.

To the Heart of the Matter

Ok, So I've decided to take on a new and exciting challenge in the world of genealogy - becoming a certified professional genealogist!  I don't know if I'm more excited or scared out of my mind.  No matter which it is it's definitely overwhelming and intimidating.  I wanted to document my journey for reasons unknown, but I think having an outlet for my thoughts would some how help to keep them from letting in too much doubt as to whether I should take this on or not.  So here I go.................

Step one. I ordered a copy of Professional Genealogy by Elizabeth Shown Mills.  Everything I've read points me in this direction for a starting point.
Step two. I've started scouring the BGC (Board of Certified Genealogists) website for any and all help/suggestions I can find.
Step three.  Read the preliminary application and certification application
Step four. Watch the hour long "Measuring up Against the Standards" video and take notes.
Step fiveGather a list of journals and books from the suggested reading list on the BCG website.
Step six. Get nervous and second guess myself AGAIN!
Step seven. Go to BCG website and listen to the audio recordings of board certified genealogists explaining why they choose to become certified. Feel better about my decision!
Step eight. Go to the skill building page on the BCG website and start downloading the articles they've linked.
Step nine.  Read the articles and use my analysis skills to re-examine some of the documents I have photo copied (i.e. wills and deeds.)

On My Way

These nine steps will get me on my way.  I will be gaining  membership into the APG (Association of Professional Genealogists.) In April, I will be enrolling in the online Genealogical Research class Boston University is running.  Following completion of the class, I plan to start the year long portfolio process to gain a professional genealogical certification. Wish me good fortune!