I have been speaking or teaching in front of others
since I was just a young girl.
I love it.
And, there is one thing I encourage students in all of my classes
to do when they get home.
And, that's to put into practice what they have learned.
Don't go home and put the materials on a shelf,
only to bring them out a year later
when it's time to attend the same conference again.
We tend to take notes,
have some "Aha" moments,
and see where we could use some of the methods being taught.
But, we go home and put it on a shelf.
So, I am giving myself the same advice I give to others.
Don't forget to do what you have learned.
Today, I am reflecting on moments from RootsTech.
I am reliving the friendships that were renewed,
the great classes I attended,
the Expo Hall,
the keynote addresses,
and the new things I promised to do when I got home.
I always enjoy meeting up with Scot and Maurine Proctor.
They are both excellent writers, and he is one of the best photographers ever.
Follow Meridian Magazine here.
I really enjoyed the husband and wife duo that write the blog http://lovetaza.com/
I had honestly never heard of them before, but I'm all for the great ideas shared in documenting their family's story for generations to come.
I was finally able to meet Genealogy Jen!
She is one of the most delightful women ever, and has such enthusiasm for genealogy.
It's always refreshing to make contact with those that can lift us up,
especially when we have been involved in something for decades.
She is one to watch.
None of us will ever forget the moment Stan Ellsworth came riding into the venue on his Harley.
I sat near him during his interviews, and was continually inspired by his love of all things America,
and all things history.
I teased him, and said that his appeal to the younger people is that he doesn't look like the traditional history teacher wearing khakis, a blue shirt and tie.
I was inspired by his every word.
I needed to spend more time looking through Innovator Alley.
It was filled with vendors that were both new and well-known.
And, it was always busy.
I have continued admiration for Newspapers.com and Fold3.com
Both of these companies have helped me tremendously in my research,
and it was nice to be able to thank them personally.
Newspapers.com helped me locate one of my husband's ancestors,
who sadly committed suicide in San Francisco many years ago.
Fold3.com continues to help me with my military ancestors.
Paula Madison was a surprise to me.
I had heard of her, but had not heard her story.
I had the opportunity to hear her twice; once at the media dinner, the other as a keynote.
Each of us had a lump in our throats.
Amie Bowser Tennant lives about an hour or so from me in Ohio.
But, I have to go clear to Utah to see her!
She is an excellent blogger and researcher.
I honestly can't remember the company that displayed this large book,
but I can remember feeling a commitment to tell my own story
as I try to tell the stories of my ancestors.
I have followed Renee Zamora's blog for years.
It's always wonderful to meet up with her in person.
Rayanne Melick and I always seem to find each other.
I grew up with her husband, and his parents were close friends of my parents.
I always love the swag I get at registration.
Perhaps this is the one that means so much to me.
I am honored when I am invited to present a class anywhere.
The size of the class just does not matter,
for whether there are 5-6, or hundreds, they get the same quality of class.
My Homespun and Calico class was recorded and streamed,
and is now there in the archives at rootstech.org
So, what did I learn?
1. I learned that the genealogy research process is basically the same as it was when my parents were doing research. You go from the known to the unknown.
2. You research thoroughly - today known as a "Reasonably Exhaustive Search". My parents searched the same way 50+ years ago. They left no stone unturned. If they learned of a new place to search, off they went.
3. It is SO important to gather the memories and the stories of the previous generation. If my parents were in position #1 on a pedigree chart, they knew every single person on that chart. Think of it - four generations, and they knew them all.
When you touch someone of the older generation, you are touching history.
4. I learned that there is much to learn. Even though basic research remains the same, better research is still ahead of us. The documentation and good citations are an essential part of our research, for it gives us credibility.
5. I learned that even when a class is too far away, or perhaps the class is too full that you wanted to attend, it's okay to duck into another one.
There are no coincidences. One of the best classes I ever attended was one I slipped into when I was too tired to keep on going.
6. I learned that technology is vital in our research. And, just when we think there couldn't possibly be anything new, there is something new. I loved the Innovator's Showdown, where rising companies competed in showing what they have developed. They are so smart.
7. I learned that sometimes it's okay to take a break at these mega-conferences. Some of my down time was in the media hub. Some of it was sitting at a table eating lunch. Some of it was just lingering after a class had let out. We were just common, ordinary people sharing dilemmas, and solving them, too.
8. I learned that I'm never done. The history of my family keeps me on my toes, but so does the coming generation that will join my family. I want them to learn about me "through" me, not through something my children will tell them.
9. I learned how important it is to take good notes in the sessions I attended, and in the Expo Hall. I spoke to thousands of people. There is no way I can remember all that I talked about. So, note taking is a must. So is going over those notes once I return home. I look at them while they're still fresh.
10. I learned that it's important to keep my mind active and learning. My husband's mission president used to tell all of the missionaries, "When you're green, you're still growing. When you're ripe, you're almost rotten."
I rest my case.