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The rundown on Rootstech 2013, part 1

March 29, 2013

Well, A and I had a fabulous time at Rootstech together (although I, at least, am still trying to recover.  I am worn out!)

Rootstech Mar 23, 2013 1-45 PM

I wasn’t sure how taking my 12-year-old to Rootstech was going to work out.  After all, aside from the special youth classes on Saturday and even with a huge emphasis on getting more young people involved with genealogy, I didn’t see too many other teenagers (or not quite teenagers) going to the regular Rootstech sessions.  But then as homeschoolers, we’re used to forging our own paths, and A is not really your typical 12-year-old boy.  I was a little stressed about picking good classes that would interest him and leaving him in a few classes on his own while I went elsewhere, not to mention losing him in the crowd, but we had a really great time there together.  He’s now a pro at navigating the Salt Palace convention center.  I suspect he really didn’t need me at all, but it was fun to get some one on one time with him doing something we both love.

I had to teach music lessons Thursday afternoon and DH still had to work that day so we watched the keynote speakers at home on the internet that day.  In fact, the other three boys all watched with us.  That’s a picture I should have taken–four boys watching Rootstech in their jammies!  We really enjoyed the story told by the CEO of FamilySearch, Dennis Brimhall, about his father’s experiences in WWII.  Syd Lieberman was also fabulous to listen to, and we enjoyed hearing some of Joshua Taylor’s early experiences (at age 11!) in genealogy.  All three showed that genealogy can be exciting and entertaining.

I was sorry to miss the Thursday afternoon classes but we got back to Salt Lake City in time for A and I to go to the opening social at the Leonardo museum, which we had not yet investigated.  We decided it would be a very bad place to take the 3-year-old, but C and D would love it!  We had some good pasta and gelato and talked to several people who were here from California.  They were amused that we had two snowstorms that day with blue sky and sunshine in between.  But, as DH says, that’s Utah in the spring–if you don’t like the weather, wait ten minutes.

Then we headed for Temple Square where the Tabernacle Choir gave us a mini-concert after their regular Thursday night rehearsal.  It was fabulous!  We listen to them every Sunday morning, but nothing beats hearing them live in the Tabernacle.

Rootstech Mar 21, 2013 8-37 PM

In a video clip, Tabernacle organist Richard Elliott talked about how playing the Tabernacle organ every day was the best job in the whole world.  He demonstrated the largest pipes for us and then the smallest and highest pipes which are only the size of a pencil.  Supposedly only dogs can hear the very highest!  We then heard about Irving Berlin’s immigrant story before the choir sang “God, Bless America.” It was very moving.
Before it started, they recognized quite a few guests who were in attendance from such faraway places as Norway, Sweden, Scotland, Germany, Australia, and one group from New Zealand who was here for two weeks to do family history research before flying on to London for more research before finally heading home.  It’s amazing to me to see how far people will go to gather for something such as Rootstech.  I go to Rootstech because it’s two miles down the road from my house!  I can’t imagine going halfway around the world.  Somehow having all those visitors from so far away made it more poignant when the choir ended with “God Be With You ‘Til We Meet Again.”

Friday morning, I slept right through my alarm!  So we watched the two keynote speakers at home again before DH drove us down to the Salt Palace.  We had decided to skip all the classes we knew were streaming on the internet because we would be able to watch them later so A started out with “First Steps in Family History” and I went to a class on using digital cameras to copy records while doing research.  There are a number of things I want to try now.  A then joined me and we listened to Joshua Taylor talk about his 45-day experiment to go completely paperless, after which I picked up a new packet of post-it notes at the FamilySearch booth in the expo hall!  I couldn’t help it!  I love post-it notes and am not sure if I could ever go completely paperless, but after cleaning all the paper clutter out of my house the past few months, I’d sure love to try!  Seriously, between sheet music, school work, and genealogy, I’ve handled enough paper to last me for years.  I’m going to look at the 25 lessons learned in his syllabus (while resisting the urge to print it out!) and see what I can implement.  I do know I want to figure out Evernote.

Thanks to facebook and text messaging, we were able to meet up with a new cousin (my dad’s 2nd, 3rd?) who was also at Rootstech and had a nice lunch at the Nauvoo Cafe together before exploring the huge expo hall.  After lunch I had signed up A for a computer lab on “Ten Fun Family History Activities,” of which I think he was already familiar with at least five. There was very little instruction; you could just pick which activities you wanted to try and someone would help you get started.  So he explored FamilyTree a little bit more and did some indexing.  I went to another class which I couldn’t really get interested in, but we enjoyed our last class of the afternoon together (which I really want to share with you!) before going to work on the genealogy merit badge in the expo hall–

And as this is already getting very long, I’m going to save Saturday’s events and what we learned at Rootstech for the next post.
Stay tuned . . .
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