At BYU-Idaho, students are required to take religion classes in order to graduate. There are several classes available for students to take, including Family History.
On Wednesday, July 12, students who were taking Family History class presented semester-long projects on expanding their knowledge of their families. They could do what they wished with a minimum of 10 hours of work.
“I really liked learning about my grandpa, it was kind of crazy,” said Seth Polatis, a junior studying accounting. “I learned a lot of stuff I didn’t know about him, it was fun to research what it was like when he was a kid. “
Polatis did his project on his grandfather who passed away a few years ago while Polatis was serving a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When he came back, he decided to work on his family history by adding photographs of his relatives. He wanted to continue doing that for his project.
Polatis’ grandpa was a pilot. He collected photographs throughout his life. Polatis took the damaged photographs and restored them with an Adobe program.
“He was very adventurous,” Polatis said of his grandfather. “He taught me to try new things and keep going with it. And even if it doesn’t turn out great, you can get a story that can be shared with others.”
Another student was able to expand on the information that was already provided in her family tree.
“We have a lot of information, but we don’t have enough memories of people,” said Jessica Eves, a junior studying social work. “I called my grandma Lenet and did voice recording sessions. We did multiple recording sessions where I asked her about her parents and grandparents and I had her send pictures.”
“What I learned was that there is a lot that has been passed down — like traditions, sayings and games that I never knew were from them,” Eves said. “It makes me feel so much more connected with them than I did before.”
Eves explained in her presentation that she learned that the strength of her great-grandmother’s testimony set a strong religious foundation for the next generations, including herself.
For those interested in the class, registration is open for the fall semester.