So we’ve reached the end of the first day of Rootstech 2013 and I’m back in my hotel room (briefly) to drop off some of the heavier things from my bag, before heading out again. My head is spinning – there’s been quite a lot to take in today. Overnight we heard that there are 6,700 people registered, and this morning we heard that this figure will grow, because about 2,000 children are coming to join in on the geneafun on Saturday.
I won’t make this blog post a blow-by-blow account of the day, but instead will talk about two sessions that I found particularly interesting.
First, the keynote. I guess before today I’d not consciously appreciated the power of story telling to the extent that I do now. This morning’s keynote session by Syd Lieberman has given me great brain food. Syd told us stories from his own life experience that resonated for me, and have given me lots of ideas for ways that I can do things differently using my own family’s stories.
In my role as a genealogy educator, I invariably use examples drawn from my own experience as illustrations of what can be found in different kinds of records, and to illustrate how genealogy is so much more than names and dates and places. Only having listened to Syd earlier today, do I appreciate the greater power that storytelling can bring in a wider context. My resolution therefore is to go home and to tell some more of the stories from my own family that haven’t yet been told, and to use them and to encourage other people to share their stories also. There are already several stories that are calling out to me to be shared, but of course I recognise the need to do so with great tact, and that there are also some stories where I will need to work sensitively with family members to help and encourage them to share their story.
The other session that I really enjoyed today was the panel session led by Geniaus, aka Australian geneablogger Jill Ball. Jill’s international panel comprised Marie Dougan from Scotland, and Heather Rojo and A.C. Ivory from the USA. Jill led her panel on a journey through “The Genealogist’s Gadget Bag”. The session was an entertaining show and tell about what resources each of the panelists would take with them on a variety of different kinds of geneajourneys. The discussion dealt mainly, but not exclusively with the technology they would use, and provided me with some good ideas for some forthcoming education sessions that I can write. I think that when I have time, the Rootstech syllabus, which can be downloaded free from the Rootstech website, may provide a lot more useful ideas for further education activities once I’m back home again next week, and beyond.
Other highlights of my day at Rootstech were – getting to do a bit of book retail therapy in the exhibitors’ hall, being interviewed by Rosemary Morgan of London Roots Research and finally meeting Dear Myrtle and Mr Myrt, and picking up my blogger beads. Thanks for the beads, I’m wearing them with pride!
This blog post was published on 22 March 2013 and is © Jeanette R. Rosenberg