Friday, November 9, 2007

Desktop Genealogist does her part for BGSU research

Yesterday, I took a lovely little break from my daily routine to be interviewed by doctoral candidate Amy Smith, a student in the School of Communication Studies at BGSU. She is working on her dissertation, the purpose of which is to examine the impact of women doing family history research and its effect on family communications. For this study, she is interviewing 21 women from our area. I was number 12.

The deal-sealer for me was being interviewed meant that I had the chance to see something other than the four walls of my own home office. So I trotted off to spend an hour with Amy, talking about research and swapping the genealogical equivalent of war stories. Amy was charming, funny and very easy to talk to, which was a real bonus since I would have talked quite cheerfully to Attila the Hun given the chance to be let out of my customary cage.

I wish I had taken notes, so that I could share more details with you. I did take my notebook and a pen but it's hard to take notes with all that arm flailing I do when I talk.

This mad gesturing as I speak was seen as a serious flaw by my eighth-grade English teacher, who told me if they cut off my arms, I would be mute. (I hope this doesn't give anyone ideas.)

Amy gave me the chance to request anonymity when she publishes her work, but since I've already publicly copped to laugh snorting, hating Halloween and being a statistics geek, I didn't think there would be much point. What could I possibly say in an hour that would be worse?

I will be getting a copy of Amy's work, when it is completed. It will be interesting to see her conclusions and read what the others had to say about what drew them to genealogy, their research methods and whether or not the study of family history has enhanced communication within their own families.

All I know is that in my family, I'm able to read perfectly the glazing of the eyes, the stifled yawn and the impatient drum of fingertips that tell me that I have gone one syllable too far with my ancestral chatter. Yup, genealogy certainly has improved my family's ability to communicate.

Until Next Time — Happy Ancestral Digging!

Note this post first published online, November 9, 2007, at Desktop Genealogist Blog at The News-Messenger Online http://www.thenews-messenger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?Category=BLOGS02

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