Earlier this year I came to the realisation that my focus should change from Learning about family history to actually Doing family history research. In a post, Genialogy, I outlined a few steps I had taken to realign my focus but I didn't discuss my own learning.
As I am in my eighth decade here on earth and I'm not sure if I will see my ninth or tenth I value every minute that presents itself. In his poem "Stopping by woods on a snowy evening" Robert Frost penned these words:
The promises I must keep are to my ancestors, I should be devoting my time to exploring the woods of the past to document their histories and tell their stories. I have many miles ahead on my path.
|My Great-great grandparents Richard Aspinall and Mary Homer|
Being at home for nearly two years during the pandemic gifted me with an opportunity to indulge my interest in family history but, Alas, I fear I got the balance wrong and squandered that opportunity.
I always learn something from the many (mostly online) events I attend but oftentimes these are just little things that are "nice to know" not things that I "need to know". Some of the events I have attended are educative and entertaining and some have been dull and boring. How does one quantify the value of hours of zooming? Were the lectures and presentations worth the time I devoted to them?
If I had applied myself to practical research and the incidental learning that comes from that activity my learning may have been more appropriate to my needs. I remember from my days as an educator that the most effective learning is that which is timely or at the point of need. I can only recall one such instance during the past two years that fits that criteria for me, it was the engaging and challenging Chromosome Analysis course presented for the SAG by Veronica Williams.
As I reflect on my needs I realise that when I have a need for information or guidance I usually find it myself, either, on the internet in a recorded webinar, blog post or Youtube video, in a journal or a book or by asking someone who knows more than I. As a result, in recent months I have cut down on attending events that present topics that are "nice to know" and directed my focus to learning about things I "need to know" to progress my research.
How have you allocated the genealogy time that you were gifted by the Covid situation?