Sunday, January 29, 2012

SLIG 2012 Experience

When you were a kid, did you ever play the game where you throw an object into the deep end of a swimming pool and dive down to retrieve it? At first it’s pretty difficult to swim all the way to the bottom while holding your breath and then you can’t get back to the surface fast enough to get some air. Do you remember the elation when, with the prize in your hands, your head broke the surface of the water and you were able to breathe air into your bursting lungs?  Completing Tom Jones’s "Advanced Genealogical Methods" course at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy was a similar experience.

After a full week of immersion into Dr. Jones’ course, I was elated, yet exhausted. My head was bursting with the wonderful information learned from him, Claire Bettag, Rick Sayre, and my wonderful classmates. I was constantly humbled by the realization of how much I didn’t know. We had homework assignments nearly every evening which were completed with varying degrees of success but something was learned from each. In fact, one I will be reworking from home because I believe I can learn more from it.

Dr. Jones's class was very interactive with practice problems, discussion and plenty of opportunities to ask questions. Not at all like attending one of his lectures at a national conference. The homework assignments were optional but I believe every one of his students attempted the problems and showed up early the next morning for the "debriefings." The assignments were yet another opportunity to see how genealogical problems are solved by one of the best in the business.

Part of the SLIG experience was the opportunity to meet and get to know other genealogists. It’s not like a conference. It’s a much more intimate environment because you are with the same group of people all day for an entire week. Classmates included several bloggers including Kathryn Doyle of California Genealogical Society & Library, Kim von Aspern-Parker of Le Maison Duchamp and Susan Bankhead of  Susan's Genealogy Blog. Susan kept up a wonderful running commentary about our daily sessions and I encourage you to read them:
I’m sure the others will have comments as well.

If you are considering attending SLIG in 2013, I encourage you to do so. It was a fabulous learning and networking experience. The course list for next year is out and already I am trying to decide which one to take.

© 2012, copyright Michelle Goodrum


  1. Thank you for the links, it sounded like a great course.

  2. I never made it to the bottom of the pool, however I think I might have a slightly better chance of making it to the bottom of Dr Jones's pool. Now that I'm a grown up :-) Perhaps I should give it a go as you seem to have enjoyed it so much. Jo