Shrine Chapel of Our Lady of the Lake at Orchard LakeIt’s been a bit over a week since I finished my stay at St. Mary’s Preparatory at Orchard Lake, Michigan. And while I discovered that I don’t really miss dormitory life (to the left of the Shrine  Chapel in the picture), I also learned a bit more about what kind of genealogist I want to be. It’s one thing to be collecting names and dates (and that’s fine in as far as it goes), but I want to make an informed and documented argument about the relationships I find and I want solid research to pass on to whoever might take up this hunt after me. So a week spent in the Determining Kinship track under Thomas W. Jones was enlightening and very challenging—but exactly what I needed.

I’m pretty sure I’ve gushed about Jones before (both here and here) but may I add that he is a total gentleman and great instructor even when his students are totally wandering off in the wrong direction—which we did a few times. The presentations were great. The in-class assignments were very helpful.  And each day I came out with a better understanding of the Genealogical Proof Standard and its importance.  We worked mainly out of his Mastering Genealogical Proof, but this is a case where it made much more sense to me when we could ask questions of the author.

And I had a great time with my co-students both in and out of my cohort—which included researchers from all over the country. It was fun to trade research stories, infamous ancestors, and great resources. GRIP’s format was perfect for me with time for study and socializing, including informative optional evening programs, and in this case a hilarious group viewing of WDYTYA.

It’s an experience I would encourage people to try.

Cheers,

Jess

P.S. Beware of Maia’s Books! Martha is a fabulous and attentive bookseller. You may leave GRIP with considerably more than you planned on (plus a wishlist).

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