This summer, I am excited to announce, I will finally be making it to my first-ever extended learning event, the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP). Tension was high in anticipation of the sound of the opening registration bell. It was just like those scenes in the westerns. High noon was almost here. We were all lining up, fingers twitching, ready to jump the second we got the signal. Shopkeepers were closing the shutters, women and children were ushered inside to safety. Someone pleaded for reason to prevail. Okay, maybe it wasn’t quite that dramatic, but close.
Registration opened at noon. At 11:55, my computer locked up. I restarted it, which took until 11:57. At 11:58, the mailman pulled up at the neighbor’s house. Why is this bad? The dog hates the mailman (I know, I know. I’ve tried to tell him it’s cliche). He goes nuts. Nuts was not what I needed in such a pressure-packed moment of peak typing performance. At 11:59, he opened our mailbox. I cringed. But wait..what’s this? The dog didn’t hear him!
DING DING DING! We were off! I jumped in, feverishly typing away. OH NO! My password doesn’t meet the criteria?! I shook it off and entered a complicated one – a risky move under the circumstances. There was no margin for error, but I did it. I thrive on pressure. I raced through the first page. On the second, I had my browser window side-by-side with my Word document that contained all the answers to the narrative questions. I cut and pasted, pasted and cut, and well..I basically just used the keyboard a lot. And then it was over. One final button to press to see if I would be one of those still standing. I took a breath and pressed it.
I WAS IN! I WAS GOING TO PITTSBURGH! It then occurred to me that while I was going to Pittsburgh, I had no place to stay there. I was so fast at registration, I raced right by the “Do you want a room?” question. Fortunately, the GRIP team was responsive and offered me a shared room. If you’re reading this and are some random dude from Seattle – Hi, I’m your new roommate. Scary thought, I know.
So Advanced Research Methods, here I come. If you are interested in genealogy and have not checked it out, go to the course description and look at all the wonderful things I’ll be learning. Some really great stuff taught by some really great people. And this class is just one of four they are offering this summer. I know I’ll see some of you there. Can’t wait!!
(Chris exits, planning to ride off into the sunset – a fitting western-style end to the show…but then he realizes he’s in Cleveland, and there is no sun. So he basically just gets smaller and fades into the grayness)