I received via email notification last Friday that my Certified Genealogist preliminary application was received. Hooray! I immediately accepted the invite to join the Google+ candidate group, downloaded and printed the FAQ and 1st month recommendations attached to the email, texted family and friends and after the excitement passed, realized I have a lot to accomplish in a little time! Actually, 11 months and 2 weeks until the portfolio is due. Since I travel for business once a month I lose a lot of time so I have to develop a workable plan to meet the deadline.
I reviewed the suggested timeline before submitting the application and thought it best if I worked on one portfolio requirement in depth during each of my upcoming school breaks - Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring and then using my earned vacation time since I work 12 months to complete anything left to do. That plan was great in theory but as the holidays approach I realized it wasn't going to work. I'm the go to house for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's meaning I'm having family stay with me.
My revised plan is to write on one day on the weekend, do nothing on Monday, reread whatever I wrote on Tuesday, edit Wednesday and Thursday, do nothing on Friday and begin the process all over again the next weekend working on one portfolio requirement at a time. That's how I accomplished the portfolio when I submitted it for National Board Certified Teacher so I think that's the approach I'll take again.
Last weekend I decided to get organized. I always tell my students to have all the supplies they need readily available to minimize wasted study time so I attempted to practice what I preach. Unfortunately, it didn't work out so well. Last month hubby and I decided to move some furniture around between the kids' old bedrooms. When we became empty nesters our grand plan was to have one room be a home office and the other, a craft/exercise/guest room. We selected the smaller, darker room for the office but it doesn't work with both of us in there and the lighting is not good on our old eyes so now we've decided to flip flop rooms. Then we realized that the smaller room really won't work for crafts or exercise and it should just be a guest room. We get a lot of family visitors (sometimes I think I'm running a bed and breakfast for free!) and if it's being used by a guest, we wouldn't be able to work on crafts or exercise so the larger room will have to have work space for craft projects, besides a research area and enough room to work out.
In hindsight, this is a terrible time to make this change with the genealogical clock running. I thought it wouldn't be that much of a problem to purchase furniture that would work for us but I'm not liking most of what I see. Seriously considering getting 2 glass computer desks with a corner connector for the printer/scanner/copier and a table. I'm over laminate top desks that look great initially but fall apart quickly. I don't like the prices of solid wood desks and most aren't designed for flexibility. Hubby loves his desktop system and I'm a tablet and laptop girl. So for now, I'm between the old desk set up and spreading out on the dining room table which isn't going to work with the holidays fast approaching.
Last weekend I re-read and printed all the Skillbuilders on the Board for Certification of Genealogists site. I strongly recommend taking a look at the Skillbuilders if you haven't ever done so. They're brief but powerful reminders of effective practice. You can check them out here. I put the copies in a binder in the order I need to refer to them as I work through the portfolio. I tabbed the binder by the various portfolio requirements and included a copy of the submission requirements and rubric so I can remain focused. I like everything in one place so I don't waste time looking up processes when I'm in the writing mindset.
I had previously printed and assembled all of my research notes and records for the families I'm going to be writing about so it was easy to include this in the binder. I've started the Kinship Determination Project, identified what I'm using for the Applicant Supplied Document, and have accumulated a lot of info on the Research Report Prepared For Another Person (but haven't started writing it yet).
I'm still torn about the Case Study. What I really wanted to do would make me change the Applicant Supplied Document because you are limited in portfolio submissions to one per family. I could change the Applicant Supplied Document but the backup would make me change the Kinship Determination Project and I've already begun writing that and am happy with the line I selected. Decisions, decisions!
The introductory email mentioned I'd be receiving the final application in 2 weeks. I have a business trip scheduled for this weekend but I happen to be going to a destination that I can research during off times I'm happy I can still keep up with the planned schedule.
I previously wrote the resume and updated it over the past week. Will have to do that again several times, maybe quarterly, until I'm ready to submit. While I'm off for Thanksgiving I hope to have completed a very rough draft of the Kinship Determination Project (KDP). I re-read what I wrote a few months ago and hated it! I started a rewrite on Saturday, put it away til yesterday and when I reread it I was pleased as it was in the direction I wanted to go. For me the KDP is the most formidable portfolio entry so I'm tackling it first. I'll be so glad when that's done.
Next I plan on working on the Research Report as I may have to travel within the state to obtain additional records. I can do that during Christmas break around the family visits. I'd like to have that done by the end of February.
In the back of my mind I'll keep thinking about who I should chose for the Case Study and I'll spend March and April working on that project. Since I might need to request additional records I may have to flip to working on the Applicant and Board Supplied Documents. Will see.
Hopefully, by late summer I'll have everything near completion and then I can spend 2 months editing towards the final product. I'll keep you posted on my progress and if I miss a blog posting or two, send good thoughts my way 'cause you'll know I'm hard at work on the portfolio ;-)