Thursday, July 26, 2012

Update from GRIP

I'm behind with posting but with good reason. Yesterday's classes were Intense. Yes, with a capital "I" and they were also Interesting, Informative and Mentally Exhausting.

I was up late last night (as were most other classmates in the Advanced Research Methods with Tom Jones). In addition to a full day of classes yesterday (please go read Chris Staats' post about yesterday's classes and wish him a belated happy Anniversary while you're there) we had a homework assignment. We had no idea how hard it was going to be, but that look of glee on Dr. Jones' face when he gave us the 8-page handout should have been a clue!

I do enjoy a challenge but this was something else. There were abstracts of 16 tax lists, 3 census records, 12 deeds, 4 wills, 2 guardian records, 2 marriage records, and a Revolutionary War Pension affidavit that we had to review, analyze, and try to determine the father of a man from 5 other men with the same surname!

But before tackling the homework I decided to attend the presentation by Rick Sayre on Pennsylvania Research, which was good but he quite a bit of time on Pittsburgh records. I would have liked to have heard more about statewide records.

After returning from the presentation, I spent 4 hours working on the homework assignment. At that point, I still hadn't reached a conclusion but my head was hurting and my eyes were burning so I turned in for the night. Less than half an hour later an idea popped into my dull brain and I "had" to get up and work on the problem before I lost my train of thought. Yes, the answer had come to me. A short time later I was back in bed sound asleep. I didn't even hear the storm that came through that many were talking about today.

I worked on the problem for another hour (consolidating my thoughts and trying to come up with some idea of how to "defend" my conclusion) before heading off to class. Dr. Jones went through the list of possible fathers, one at a time, asking those who thought it was a particular man to raise their hand. When he got to "William" the hands of about 2/3 of the class shot up. I had a sinking feeling in my stomach since he wasn't my choice! When the name of the one I had chosen came up only 3 of us raised our hands.

A minute or so later, Dr. Jones announced that there were 3 "A" students in the class! I had gotten it right! To say that I was ecstatic is an understatement... So, I'm giving myself a little pat on the back and tooting my own horn a bit too. I must say, it felt awesome.

It's been another full exhausting and enlightening day, and we're almost caught up with the syllabus. Tomorrow is the last day with only half a day of classes. It's been an amazing experience and I am so glad that I was able to come.

I'm sure that Chris will be blogging about today's classes as will classmates Shelley Bishop at A Sense of Family and Christy Webb at the Geeky Texan. Also Denise Levenick, the Family Curator, has also been blogging about the Intermediate class she is taking.

This will likely be the last post from GRIP... I've got to get busy on the homework for tomorrow...


Anonymous said...

Yeah Becky! I'm so proud of you!! But I already knew you were an expert sleuth. Any info I get from you I know has been checked, rechecked and completely verified. Maybe you ought to teach a class. Babs

Sue and Fred said...

Wow! I would say that I am impressed, but I know that you have been doing great work for a long time. It is good for others to recognize that! You deserve to toot your own horn!

Shelley Bishop said...

Way to go, Becky! That was a tough problem and it's great that you got it right. It's a challenging class, isn't it? But a lot of fun at the same time!

Michelle Goodrum said...

Yeah! I hope tonight's assignment went well too!

Susan Clark said...

Bravo! I knew you were "ready" for this. What a boost for your genea-confidence.

Kathy Reed said...

I'm excited to read that you were one of the three to successfully complete the homework.

Kathryn M. Doyle said...

Hey, Becky, congratulations! I'm a total Dr. Jones groupie so I know how much you enjoyed your week (and how proud you are to have cracked the case). Miss you!