I am attending the Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research (IGHR) at Samford University for the first time this year. This is a week long institute that is held every year in June. There are several courses to choose from and this year I enrolled in Course 2: Intermediate Genealogy & Historical Studies.
I decided to drive rather than fly to Birmingham. I left Austin on Saturday and spent the night in Vicksburg, MS. I arrived in Vicksburg around 5 p.m. and went to the Vicksburg National Military Park. The nice thing is that the park is open until 7 p.m. and was free since the guard house closes at 5 p.m. The negative side is that the visitor center also closes at 5 p.m., so I didn’t get to see the film or exhibits about the history. I did the driving tour through the park and that took about 1 1/2 hours. Then went on to my hotel for the night.
Sunday morning I drove from Vicksburg to Birmingham. It was pretty rainy most of the way. About 15 miles from the Alabama border the traffic on I-20 came to a complete stop. We were parked on the freeway for about an hour. Once we started moving again, whatever had stopped us must have been cleared up as I did not see any signs of an accident. The rest of the way to Birmingham was uneventful.
I elected to stay in a hotel rather than the dorm rooms that are offered for the week. I thought the comfortable bed of the hotel might make my week go by a little more smoothly. I checked into the hotel and then drove over to Samford to check in there. I thought I would have to stand in a long line but the whole check-in process took about 5 minutes! Everything was very streamlined.There was an orientation dinner in the cafeteria which was very casual. There are 10 concurrent courses and you received a name tag that is color coded with the course you are attending. I found a table with 4 other “blue” name tags an we ate our dinner and got to know each other.
After dinner, we had a quick orientation of what to expect during the week and review our course notebooks. This was only about 15 minutes and then we were dismissed.The information in the notebooks was well prepared and didn’t need much explanation.
I went to Walmart for some groceries on the way back to the hotel as I plan on bringing my lunch with me most of the week. I unpacked and got ready for a good night sleep.