Thursday, December 15, 2011

ProGen Month 2

When my kids were in the public school system, I was on an advisory council at our high school. One day our principal gave a presentation on how education has changed since we were in school. Today some very odd combinations of majors can lead to careers in unexpected fields. At the root of his talk was this concept of the need for people of all ages today to become "lifelong learners."

Education and Careers were the topics of our second month of ProGen and I was reminded of our principal's presentation. Not only can interesting combinations of college majors lead you to unexpected careers, but the experiences and education we obtain in our jobs can lead to yet other interesting and even more fulfilling fields of work later in life. Consider this possibility: a business major in college gets a job with a title insurance company investigating the validity of the title to properties that are being sold. Down the road, that individual starts a business as a house historian. I'm making that particular example up but stop and think about it. What do you have in your educational, work background or even hobbies that could lend itself to the broad field of genealogy and family history?

My take aways this month: think outside of the box and be a "lifelong learner." I think being a lifelong learner comes naturally to family historians and genealogists. We have a natural hunger to know more. Otherwise we wouldn't be interested in our family history would we?

The lightbulb moment actually came after our assignments were completed. I realized, as a "lifelong learner" who also loves photography and has a humongous collection of family photos spanning more than 125 years, that I need to learn more about the history of photography. Particularly the printing of older photos and recognizing identifying features in and about those pictures that will help in dating and identifying the subjects and their surroundings. That lesson was learned from the series, Using Indirect Evidence to Identify a Photo, and the wonderful comments and assistance I received from readers. Thank you!

© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum


  1. I agree I never want to get to where I stop learning, one of the volunteers at the library says I know everything (about researching local records), and I keep learning more all the time.

  2. I agree that looking outside the box can lead us down paths we never would have imagined both for our research and education. I'm glad you are enjoying ProGen!

  3. Excellent. Enjoyed the post, it helped me square my shoulders to finish ProGen.

  4. Hummer, Glad to be of help. And I'm glad to finally have a face to put with Hummer. Thanks for following me on Twitter!