Teaching Genealogy in Bed

  picture-009.jpg  As many of you know, my health keeps me anchored to a hospital bed. About 7:45 this morning, after the vampire has left with my blood samples, a pleasant lady shows up and introduces herself as the Director of Nursing.  She checks my ID bracelet and says, “Mr. Aitken, I understand you are well-known genealogist.  I have just started this fall in doing genealogy…”

So begins a new teaching adventure with people and places that can help me and I wonder if I can replace my ugly male nurses with more of my beautiful female nurses.

We discuss her present software needs and how to use 3 new websites.  Next time we’ll talk about online genealogy instruction.

So this continues….

More News from Room 337

Dear Friends and Readers,

The newest of my demise is greatly exaggerated.  The initial diagnoses of ALS is in doubt, though I remain a neurological enigma, like a beached whale.  I have new hopes of some positive changes over times, meanwhile I struggle with my apprentice/assistance to put together a book of case studies for use with discussion groups.  This keeps me from flirting with every nurse, but there is too much waste in times between work sessions, so I lie in my bed counting my blessings strange as it may seem.  I’ve a lot of blessings.  Your kind comments have been most supportive, thank you.

I still teach Genealogy 101.  I have 2 students, Allan and John.  They read me an article from NGSQ, and we discuss how the ideas and concepts applied to their researches.  If you drop in to room SP 337-2 some morning at Penticton Regional Hospital, we can do the same thing.  Of course, finding Penticton maybe a challenge, it’s a long way from Yellow Bayou, Mississippi, but head north and a little west into snow country in B.C.  I’ll be delighted to see you, and have you join me for an hour or so.  I could still use another helper with this book project.  Keep learning and keep teaching.

The Genealogy Clinic

I spotted a notice in a British genealogical publication that some noted professional genealogist was holding a surgery at a certain time or place. I smiled. My English cousins speak as peculiar a language as my American nieces and nephews, just not the same language. A surgery is an event where you can visit a specialist and discuss a problem or issue. In North American English we often use the term “clinic” the same way.

So what is a Genealogy Clinic and how could it be used? Continue reading

More News from the Third Floor

Word from my mother is that Ken is busy cracking jokes with the nurses and doctors and kidding around with the other patients in his room.  Sounds about right.  The addition of his motorized wheelchair lets him take his show to other rooms.

He says he is thankful for all the good care the doctors and nurcses have provided.  He’s currently in the Penticton Regional Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit right now, but as soon as the doctors think his condition has stabilized, he will be moving into a long term care home which better designed for wheelchair accessibility.

Be prepared to see him online again soon.  The doctors have approved his request and he should be able to be online as soon as next week.  So expect to see more posts from him and more email.   We’re exploring various options to make his efforts easier — voice-to-text software might be one option.  Given he’s always been a 3 finger typist, you might not notice too much difference in speed!  He looks forward to working on his current book project and will provide his own updates in the future.

My father (and the rest of the family) appreciate all the emails and comments you have sent.  Thank you for all your support and prayers.

The Hermit Poet

Where is Ken?

Ken has gone into the hospital for further treatment and testing for ALS, the effects of which he has been dealing with for the last 8 months.  More information about ALS can be found here.
Although he will no longer be posting entries, your comments are always most welcome.

The Hermit Poet

Blogs in Marketing Your Gen Ed Business


I use WordPress for this blog. Many have asked how to learn more about it. There is a little video talking about why you should use WordPress.com for your blog. Take a look. You can see it here.

Business Card Design


The Hermit poet and I were discussing business card design last night. He was particularly pleased with how his new card as editor of Box Car Poetry Review looks. Mine is very basic so I took out my cache of your cards collected at conferences across the continent, and through daily business to look them over. Mine is OK but not stellar. Here are six ideas I think might improve our business cards and make them more usable. Of course the card will not compensate for a dirty shirt, or a dab of Dijon’s on your chin. Continue reading