Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Obtaining Certification - An Update

In the past month I've made some progress towards obtaining Certified Genealogist status.  I attended the webinar on September 16th from the Association of Professional Genealogists that I found very helpful.  I was inspired by the presenter and moderator and a few days after made a timeline of how to proceed. I've looked at the timeline recommendations from the Board of Certification http://www.bcgcertification.org/certification/timeline.html
and modified it somewhat because of my personality.  I don't want to commit to something I can't deliver so I want to start 3 of the 4 portfolio requirements and when I'm confident that they can be completed, I'll firmly commit and then work on completing one at a time based on the suggested timeline.  That approach worked for me when I was obtaining my National Board Certified Teacher status for school counseling so I'm going to go with it again.
Since the webinar I've identified who I'll be doing for the Kinship Determination paper and completed the introduction, pulled hard copies of the records I'll be using, wrote for additional records and numbered the pedigree.  Initially I wasn't certain which line I was going to focus on but after reviewing several individuals I'm quite happy with my final decision.  I ended up selecting these particular folks because of the time period in which they lived and the events that they experienced. Wish I could share more but one of the requirements is that the submissions haven't been previously published so my lips are sealed.
I'm still waiting for records that I requested for the case study and I'm a little frustrated with the organization that holds them.  I told my co-worker client that I may just have to drive up to try to get them in person since I'm getting the run around on the phone.  It's a 6 hour drive so I'm hesitant to do it with my regular work commitments.  First I was told that the file had been found but that my client had to have her request notarized. No where on the website did it say that the request was to be notarized.  I was given a fax number to fax the notarized  request and we tried to comply the following day except the fax number that I was given didn't work.  Made 3 attempts from 3 different faxes over the course of a day.  Tried to call the number that was on the web and no one answered and there was no answering machine.  Mailed the notarized request.  After 3 weeks hadn't heard so tried to call again.  The phone number is now the fax machine.  Faxed a note stating we hadn't heard and wanted to verify that the notarized copy was received via US Post Office mail.  Got a call the next day from the same person I had originally spoken with and a whole new story.  Originally I was told that the person was a volunteer who only pulled records twice a week.  Now I was told that the person was employed and it was an add-on job and she didn't have time to pull records quickly.  I didn't want to make her angrier than she was so I didn't mention, according to our prior phone call, that she had the file already on her desk.  Geez!  She said the process was that the supervisor had to review the request and the supervisor had only been given the request the day before (just happened to be the day I faxed a reminder, hmmm) and that it would be at least another 2 weeks until a determination will be made if the records will be released or not.  None of this was mentioned when I first spoke with the organization. None of this is on the webiste.  I shared this with my client and she's thinking there must be something in those records that they don't want us to see.  I'm not sure what the issue is.  So for now, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we get something.  
This upcoming weekend I'm going to identify the record I'm going to analyze.  I've pulled out my "hurricane box."  That's a plastic filing box that I keep my old genealogy records in so that they will hopefully, remain safe in their individual plastic sleeves in the event of a flood.  I have some idea of what I want to do but what particular record I select I'm not yet sure.
I'm thinking that by the end of the month I'll formally send in the application and the clock will start ticking (I'll have a year to complete the portfolio).  In a way, I feel like the clock's already ticking!  

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