Getting up this last morning and checking out of the hotel was a bit sad. The week had flown by and I wasn't ready to leave! The days were very long but filled with genealogy and friends. What more could I want?!
My first session was Basic Genetic Genealogy: DNA Testing for Beginners with Dr. Thomas H. Shawker. Dr. Shawker took the complicated terminology in DNA testing and made it understandable for the person on the street. He did a fantastic job of explaining the difference between the three tests: Y-DNA, MtDNA and autosomal DNA. I have not explored this area of genealogy but will be ordering the Y test....it is on my bucket list for the year!
I then attended a session on the BCG Skillbuilding track with Paula Stuart-Warren entitled Research Reports for Ourselves: More than a Research Log. Paula really opened my eyes to treating my research as I would a paying client (which I don't have by the way! Haha!). Research reports and research notes have not been a standard part of my personnel research, not even when I was attempting to gather my materials for the DAR! I wish I could go back and recreate these reports but that thought is overwhelming! I will just start from here. Like Maya Angelou says: "When you know better, you do better."
Last session before we headed home was the second part of Elizabeth Shown Mills session from yesterday, Information Overload? Effective Project Planning, Research, Data Management & Analysis. Elizabeth also talked about the importance of research reports and notes. Although much of the information presented was the same as my session before, it never hurts to have the importance repeated!
1. Waiting for the last session of this day with Elizabeth I witnessed some of the most appalling behavior of conference attendees yet. There were over 2000 people in attendance at this conference so that meant lots of standing in line, waiting your turn and many people trying to get in the same session. As the days went by people began losing their patience and their behavior disintegrated along with their patience.
I watched as my peers and those older than me began acting like children. I expect such behavior at Disney World when parents are desperate to get their children in to see Mickey Mouse but I was disheartened to see the same behavior in dignified, professional family historians.
There was nothing at the conference and no speaker worth losing your personal dignity over. This was my biggest disappoint at the conference.
2. Because this was my first National Conference I expected all the speakers would be national caliber speakers. This is not the case. While I only regretted attending two of the sessions I did, I did notice a difference in speakers. Next time I will do a little more research on the presenters of the sessions I plan to attend.
3. There are up to 10 different session choices for each time period each day so I had to choose my top choice. However, you can order the CD's of those session you missed. Even if you didn't attend the conference, if you would like to order the CD's of any of the sessions you can do so through JAMB, Inc., The cost is $12.00 a piece with $1.50 shipping per CD up to $10.00. There is a two week delivery. Since I was at the conference I was able to get mine right there eliminating the shipping cost and waiting period.
4. I will definitely be attending another national conference. I'm hooked. Next up for me will be FGS in Fort Wayne in August of 2013. Followed by NGS in Richmond, Virginia in May of 2014.
Time to start saving those genealogy pennies!