A day of classes followed by an evening talk. I'm tired. But I have a few things I want to talk about before all of those pre-bed activities.
I'm in Tom Jones's class on Determining Kinship Reliably with the Genealogical Proof Standard. I'm sitting between Kristen and Eric. We are in the last row, because we arrived ONLY 15 minutes early. Oh. well. The only problem is that many of the students forget that others are sitting behind them and they don't speak up, so it's hard to hear them. The class is not lecture; it's a college seminar, where everyone is encouraged to contribute. So it's important for everyone to speak up.
We're using Tom Jones's new book as a guide (although you didn't have to buy the book to take the class.) We started today discussing what is the GPS and its components. Then we worked on writing research questions that were not too broad or too specific and also did not make any assumptions. A few of us heard Dr. Jones ask a few times "Does it matter?" when we came up with a research question that was, perhaps, not as direct as it could have been. So I think that may be our class motto.
Later we reviewed two articles and identified the type of sources that were used. For some reason I never thought about the fact that deed books are derivative sources. We also began discussing the types of information. These topics are in the book Mastering Genealogical Proof, which is available through NGS.
This evening I heard Michael Hait, CG, speak on "What is a 'Reasonably Exhaustive Search?'" It was very good. Michael has a great sense of humor and his case study was excellent. I really liked one of his explanations for WHY we need to become good researchers. It's because we don't want any "former ancestors." As he explained it, those are the people who we thought were in our tree and then we found out, perhaps after hours of research, that they aren't a part.
Another idea that I may need to post above my computer at home is this: "Don't tailor research to what's available; tailor research to what you want to know." Too often I forget to look at library catalogs, archives' websites, and other possible locations for sources. This is a good reminder for me.
Hope you all had a good day. It's that time for me. My goal is to write tomorrow. We'll see. It's going to be a busy night, what with a talk and then the new WDYTYR on after that.