Monday, October 21, 2013

The Clock is Ticking!!!

The clock is ticking! Really! Last Friday, moments after I published my last blog installment, an email popped up, informing me that I am now “on the one-year clock,” meaning that my application has been accepted and the real work begins. The email came with the latest version of the BCG’s suggested schedule for the first six months, so that I might use my time efficiently to complete my portfolio. The BCG web site has earlier version listed here ( ) and in order not to violate copyright, I am linking to their site rather than copying it verbatim here. They promised to have the updated schedule on their site, to match what I received, very soon.

So... I looked at the first month and decided that it wouldn’t be too difficult. I’ve already watched the online certification video: and taken the Are You Ready?” test, which you can take, too, at: Over the weekend, I joined the online group especially for those of us who are on the clock.

I gulped. I panicked. Some of these people have résumés in genealogy that make me wonder why the BCG doesn’t just hand them over their certification and be done with it. Apparently, I learned, the BCG does not operate that way. Everyone has to prove themselves to a panel of three, or occasionally, four judges. The way you get your judges is very intricate to avoid bias, I would think. The BCG has a pool of about forty-five judges and when your portfolio arrives, it is sent to randomly to a judge (all are volunteers). That judge selects another judge in secret to then forward the portfolio to so it can be judged. Judge #2 the secretly chooses Judge #3 and send it to that judge. If they do not all approve or if there is a discrepancy, a fourth judge will be assigned to make a decision on your portfolio. This can take several months.

If you receive approval, then you have it for five years. Renewal time rolls around and you must submit an updated portfolio, to show that you’ve been doing something with your certification, rather than just resting on your tush and proclaiming yourself a genealogy god/goddess. 

Scary? Yes. What if they don’t like me or my portfolio isn’t good enough???  Then, I saw what came next on the list: my résumé. Seriously. As if I planned this genealogy career out and now can regurgitate it onto paper. I am so not ready for this part.

What have I been doing for, well, all of my life? What about the past seventeen years, particularly with genealogy?

I’m not sure I remember the last seventeen days! Do you remember the past seventeen years of your life - in detail? ....My point exactly. If anyone happens to remember any key parts of my past seventeen years (of genealogy research) can you please remind me? Pictures are fine. Feel free to post them, although some of the best memories and scenes, such as sinking into a grave, as the sun drops over the horizon, in an overgrown cemetery in Cornwall, are not recorded on film. 

There may be some in existence somewhere showing a tiny blond-haired girl, traipsing behind me as we searched the stacks of genealogy books at the Southern California Genealogy Library in Burbank. That little girl is now a tall beautiful woman, who thankfully, no longer refers to it as “torture.” I think.

I know that somewhere, there are photos of the wonderful people I’ve found and even met thanks to genealogy. I will have to dig those out. Pictures should count for something in my résumé, shouldn’t they? 

Just one more thing to figure out and I’m still working on the DNA blog, which should be out later this week. So, I’m off to sort this out and more! Be back soon!