About Me

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Lake Mathews (Perris), CA, United States
Born in Illinois, I grew up in Wilmette, a northern suburb of Chicago. I have one sibling, an older brother. I am married, for the 2nd time now, to Butch & got 4 children in the deal. They have gone on to make me grandmother 25 times over & great-grandmother to over 20!. After many years working in industry, I got my bachelors and masters degrees in speech communication, & was a professor in that field for 13 years. I retired in 2001 & returned to school & got my doctorate in folklore. Now I meld my two interests - folklore & genealogy - & add my teaching background, resulting in my current profession: speaker/author/entertainer of genealogically-related topics. I play many folk instruments, but my preference is guitar, which I have been playing since 1963. I write the "Aunty Jeff" column for the Informer, newsletter of the Jefferson County NY Gen. Soc. I work in partnership with Gena Philibert-Ortega & Sara Cochran as Genealogy Journeys® where we focus on educating folks about Social History. More about that: genaandjean.blogspot.com. More on our podcasts: genjourneys.podbean.com. More about my own projects: Circlemending.org.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A little violin music, if you please

Most recently, my life has been rather hectic. I know, nothing new; and I hardly have a monopoly on that situation! I have taken on some new obligations in the past month and now realize that, however organized I have been in the past, my skills for staying on task and prioritizing are going to be even more important in 2012.

On 16 Oct 2011 I was appointed the new Director of the Corona (CA) Family History Center, meaning that many bucks will be stopping with me when it comes to scheduling (both the hours of operation and staff meetings, as well as training sessions and workshops). I already knew about many of the obligations that come with this job, but have not been fully aware of the budgeting details, supply- and equipment-ordering, etc. But I am fortunate: my predecessor has been called to other duties, not to another location, so he is still around and involved in the Center, as is his wife, who has been instrumental in scheduling holidays, doing the announcement posters, keeping the books balanced, etc. I am so grateful for her willingness to continue in those jobs! And others have their tasks that they have been doing diligently so that means that the delegation is already in place. I love delegation! Especially since I live 15 or more miles from the Center. One of the great changes that makes this job even more doable is the new ordering system for FHL films - we do it all on-line now (in fact, you cannot even order a film at the Center, except via computer). In case you are unaware (and it is not completely obvious from the FamilySearch catalog web page), to order films to be sent and viewed at your local FHC or affiliate, go to www.familysearch.org/films. In California we no longer call in film orders (one less thing for the Director to be concerned about), but films will still be shipped to me. Nevertheless, I can do this job.

I was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the Assoc. of Professional Genealogists. Thankfully, I am already doing things that are expected of Board members so there won't be too many adjustments there. I am looking forward to working with some of the movers and shakers in the genealogy community. And I am extra fortunate in that the incoming President, Kenyatta Berry, is also a Southern Calif. resident. I expect we'll be seeing a lot of each other. She's a great lady and I am pleased to be working with her. I can do this job.

Earlier this year I volunteered to be in charge of SCGS Jamboree's Ask the Expert table in 2012. I was disappointed that there was talk of disbanding that element of Jamboree and wanted to have it get one more chance. It is not till June 2012, but I am already painfully aware of how fast the months are slipping past, so I will be working on this project over the next few months. I will need to develop a committee of organizers and volunteers to answer rudimentary questions from the Jamboree attendees. If you want to participate, please let me know! I am excited about this project; I can do this job.

Also earlier this year I was contacted by the Institute for Genealogical Studies to develop a course for their curriculum. This will deal with family folklore and be considered a more advanced course than the beginning fare they offer. I have my rough outline drawn up and hope to have it put together by the end of the year. It promises to be an enjoyable project as it deals with something about which I am passionate. I can do this job.

The Southern Calif. Chapter of the Assoc. of Professional Genealogists, of which I am still President, will be having its mini-PMC (Professional Management Conference) for APG members on 31 March 2012. It's a great chance for the members to get a little more education that targets their professional needs. We've had great reviews on the programs in the past and I have similar hopes for the one coming up. The SCCAPG board is amazing and everyone pitches in (delegation strikes again). I can do this job.

The Corona Family History Seminar (co-sponsored by the Corona Genealogical Society, of which I am still President, and the Corona Family History Center, of which, as I mentioned above, I am now the director) is scheduled for Saturday morning, 4 August 2012. I work with great people in both organizations and know that they will be helpful as we put this together (did I mention I love delegation?) so I have great hopes for the program. I already have an idea for the speaker schedule, so now I just need to stay focused to keep the priorities from slipping through my fingers and brain. But I can do this job.

As individual tasks and positions, all of the above are quite doable, but when I look at the entire list, I feel rather overwhelmed. Yet my genealogy "families" are all capable and dedicated folks and are so supportive. Yes, I may, from time to time, believe that I need to hear a few strains of a violin, playing a little "woe is me" music, but for the most part, I think the music playing in my head will be more along the lines of a full brass band - a marching one, in fact! Full speed ahead.

So if my blogs are infrequent; if my email replies are a little slow in arriving; if my answer to other requests occasionally is "no" (note: that will rarely be the case for speaking engagements, my first love, unless I am already previously booked); if I disappear for a weekend (never when I'm booked, of course) to have a little down time, now you will know why. But while 2012 appears to be a promise of constant projects, I love the work and I love the people. I also enjoy the traveling and the fact that I am never bored. I can do all these jobs . . . with a little help from my friends!

1 comment:

  1. Whew! I'm exhausted reading this post and it's the first thing in the morning! You're right you can do these jobs and you will do them well. Thanks for the update.


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