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article about my (Slovak) mother

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  • Danusha Goska
    Dear Folks, Link below to an article about my (Slovak) mother. http://www.codypublishing.com/goska/slovakwoman.html Danusha
    Message 1 of 16 , Nov 26, 2006
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      Dear Folks,

      Link below to an article about my (Slovak)
      mother.

      http://www.codypublishing.com/goska/slovakwoman.html

      Danusha



      ____________________________________________________________________________________
      Yahoo! Music Unlimited
      Access over 1 million songs.
      http://music.yahoo.com/unlimited
    • Martin Votruba
      ... Thank you for the link to your paper Danusha. I understand that your mention of accents need not be taken quite literally, but I wonder -- did your mother
      Message 2 of 16 , Nov 26, 2006
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        > http://www.codypublishing.com/goska/slovakwoman.html

        Thank you for the link to your paper Danusha. I understand that your
        mention of accents need not be taken quite literally, but I wonder --
        did your mother who arrived at the age of 8 retain Slovak accent in
        her English?

        The following picks up on some of your themes. Your thoughts about
        Slovak immigrants' perceptions of their place among other cultures
        certainly sound familiar. They show a common underlying thread -- a
        propensity to compare themselves to the few dozen ethnic groups that
        have a major representation in other cultures of the world. While
        that may be a continued source of frustration for some, their apparent
        low representation actually lines up the Slovaks with the overwhelming
        majority of the world cultures.


        > Slovaks have few world-famous authors, politicians, or artists
        > to claim as their own."

        There are 3-6 thousand languages in the world, many multiple times
        larger than the Slovaks, and but a tiny fraction of them has anything
        that can be called world-famous. Kerala has about 33 million
        inhabitants, about 30 million of them are Malayam speakers, but few
        Americans and Europeans have ever heard about them, not to mention a
        world-famous person from their culture. There are hundreds more
        examples like that.


        > Their rulers were not inspired to produce written works
        > reflective of their lives."

        There are about 3-6 thousand languages in the world, and cultures are
        even more difficult to count. Only a fraction of them had rulers who
        produced written works about them. Even the Romans wrote rather
        little about anyone in their realm, including the Latin-Roman farmers
        and artisans, by comparisons to writing about their ruling elite. The
        same applies to most European rulers of the past -- most of what they
        wrote was about themselves and their wars, not about their subjects at
        large and about their subjects' cultures.


        > In the academic world, Slavic studies do not have relatively
        > high prestige or funding; even within this marginalized realm,
        > Slovaks are remarkable for their relative invisibility."

        The Slovaks are probably getting their share in the amount of
        publications about them by comparison to some other Slavic groups.
        The Slavic population (100%) consists approximately of:

        50.6% Russians
        14.9% Poles
        13.5% Ukrainians
        _5.3% Serbs, Montenegrins, Bosnians
        _4.0% Czechs
        _3.1% Belarusians
        _3.1% Bulgarians
        _2.2% Croats
        _1.7% Slovaks
        _0.6% Slovenes

        If more than 1-2% of the writing about the Slavs in the US concerned
        the Slovaks, they'd be overrepresented. My estimate is that there's
        actually been more writing about the Slovaks than about the
        Belarusians, for instance, which has changed only recently due to the
        political situation in Belarus. This is just an incidental example:
        at the most recent US national Slavic conference a week ago, 6
        panelists addressed Bulgarian topics, 12 Belarusian, and 13 spoke on
        Slovak topics although there are 80% more Bulgarians and Belarusians.


        > it has been said that the Hungarians, who ruled over Slovakia
        > directly previous to the birth of the informant for this paper,
        > regarded the Slovaks as non-human"

        It might be safer to say "some Hungarians". It's also useful to
        clarify that this didn't begin until the 19th century. There are no
        records of Slovak--Hungarian ethnic tensions during the first 600
        years of the Kingdom.


        > Before 1918, there were no secondary schools in Slovakia.

        That would be like saying that there are no secondary schools in
        Southern California today. There are and they teach in English, not
        in Spanish. There were many secondary schools as well as two colleges
        in Slovakia. They taught in Hungarian, and during the centuries
        before about 1850 the high schools and colleges in the whole Kingdom
        taught in Latin regardless of whether the students were ethnically
        Slovak, Hungarian, German, etc. The Slovaks got or didn't get
        high-school diplomas and university degrees like any other ethnic
        group, just like the Hispanics in Southern California do. Literacy in
        Slovakia was the highest of all the regions of the Kingdom.


        Martin

        votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu
      • dgoska
        For Martin Votruba You were quite thorough in listing what in the linked article that you did not like and that you found flawed and that, in your opinion,
        Message 3 of 16 , Nov 26, 2006
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          For Martin Votruba

          You were quite thorough in listing what in the linked article that you
          did not like and that you found flawed and that, in your opinion,
          required your corrections.

          In your list, you did not mention anything positive about the article.

          *You did not even address its main idea.*

          No piece of writing is perfect, and all scholarship benefits from
          correction.

          There are more and less successful ways of offering feedback, however.

          I have to wonder what positive end your list of flaws accomplishes.

          You've alienated me and denigrated an honest attempt to present
          Slovaks to readers who may be unfamiliar.

          I wrote that article eleven years ago, and have been trying to get it
          published ever since.

          One editor kept it for a year and declined to send it out, finally
          reporting at the end of that year that "no one cares about these
          immigrants who came so long ago and nothing new can be said about them."

          Another editor accepted it, kept it for a year, and then disappeared.

          I gave it to a successful Slovak American scholar and he kept it,
          again for a year, and never did anything with it.

          I continued to believe in the article, though, because it won a
          prestigious award, and readers I shared it with saw something of value
          in it.

          In general it has been my experience that Slavic Americans don't
          support each other in academia.

          As a writer and scholar, I have experienced support -- people who send
          me encouragement, congratulate me when I manage to publish something,
          offer help when I'm researching something -- but, sadly, that has
          often not been the case with Slavic Americans in Academia.

          This is rather sad, because, in the same way that it takes a village
          to raise a child, it takes community to create scholarship. As long as
          Slavic Americans in academia fail to behave as true colleagues to each
          other, we keep each other down, and sabotage scholarship one would
          think we would like to advance.
        • Andrea Vangor
          Martin, I thank you for the detailed clarification. It s very difficult indeed for us, today, to get a real picture of what life was like in Upper Hungary.
          Message 4 of 16 , Nov 26, 2006
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            Martin, I thank you for the detailed clarification. It's very difficult indeed for us, today, to get a real picture of what life was like in Upper Hungary.


            ----- Original Message -----
            From: Martin Votruba
            To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Sunday, November 26, 2006 12:10 PM
            Subject: [Slovak-World] Re: article about my (Slovak) mother


            > http://www.codypublishing.com/goska/slovakwoman.html

            Thank you for the link to your paper Danusha. I understand that your
            mention of accents need not be taken quite literally, but I wonder --
            did your mother who arrived at the age of 8 retain Slovak accent in
            her English?

            The following picks up on some of your themes. Your thoughts about
            Slovak immigrants' perceptions of their place among other cultures
            certainly sound familiar. They show a common underlying thread -- a
            propensity to compare themselves to the few dozen ethnic groups that
            have a major representation in other cultures of the world. While
            that may be a continued source of frustration for some, their apparent
            low representation actually lines up the Slovaks with the overwhelming
            majority of the world cultures.

            > Slovaks have few world-famous authors, politicians, or artists
            > to claim as their own."

            There are 3-6 thousand languages in the world, many multiple times
            larger than the Slovaks, and but a tiny fraction of them has anything
            that can be called world-famous. Kerala has about 33 million
            inhabitants, about 30 million of them are Malayam speakers, but few
            Americans and Europeans have ever heard about them, not to mention a
            world-famous person from their culture. There are hundreds more
            examples like that.

            > Their rulers were not inspired to produce written works
            > reflective of their lives."

            There are about 3-6 thousand languages in the world, and cultures are
            even more difficult to count. Only a fraction of them had rulers who
            produced written works about them. Even the Romans wrote rather
            little about anyone in their realm, including the Latin-Roman farmers
            and artisans, by comparisons to writing about their ruling elite. The
            same applies to most European rulers of the past -- most of what they
            wrote was about themselves and their wars, not about their subjects at
            large and about their subjects' cultures.

            > In the academic world, Slavic studies do not have relatively
            > high prestige or funding; even within this marginalized realm,
            > Slovaks are remarkable for their relative invisibility."

            The Slovaks are probably getting their share in the amount of
            publications about them by comparison to some other Slavic groups.
            The Slavic population (100%) consists approximately of:

            50.6% Russians
            14.9% Poles
            13.5% Ukrainians
            _5.3% Serbs, Montenegrins, Bosnians
            _4.0% Czechs
            _3.1% Belarusians
            _3.1% Bulgarians
            _2.2% Croats
            _1.7% Slovaks
            _0.6% Slovenes

            If more than 1-2% of the writing about the Slavs in the US concerned
            the Slovaks, they'd be overrepresented. My estimate is that there's
            actually been more writing about the Slovaks than about the
            Belarusians, for instance, which has changed only recently due to the
            political situation in Belarus. This is just an incidental example:
            at the most recent US national Slavic conference a week ago, 6
            panelists addressed Bulgarian topics, 12 Belarusian, and 13 spoke on
            Slovak topics although there are 80% more Bulgarians and Belarusians.

            > it has been said that the Hungarians, who ruled over Slovakia
            > directly previous to the birth of the informant for this paper,
            > regarded the Slovaks as non-human"

            It might be safer to say "some Hungarians". It's also useful to
            clarify that this didn't begin until the 19th century. There are no
            records of Slovak--Hungarian ethnic tensions during the first 600
            years of the Kingdom.

            > Before 1918, there were no secondary schools in Slovakia.

            That would be like saying that there are no secondary schools in
            Southern California today. There are and they teach in English, not
            in Spanish. There were many secondary schools as well as two colleges
            in Slovakia. They taught in Hungarian, and during the centuries
            before about 1850 the high schools and colleges in the whole Kingdom
            taught in Latin regardless of whether the students were ethnically
            Slovak, Hungarian, German, etc. The Slovaks got or didn't get
            high-school diplomas and university degrees like any other ethnic
            group, just like the Hispanics in Southern California do. Literacy in
            Slovakia was the highest of all the regions of the Kingdom.

            Martin

            votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu





            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Caye Caswick
            Thanks, once again, for sharing, Danusha -- am enjoying this article -- and again, your writing style is fun to read, keep the words flowing. Caye ...
            Message 5 of 16 , Nov 26, 2006
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              Thanks, once again, for sharing, Danusha -- am
              enjoying this article -- and again, your writing style
              is fun to read, keep the words flowing.


              Caye



              --- Danusha Goska <dgoska@...> wrote:

              > Dear Folks,
              >
              > Link below to an article about my (Slovak)
              > mother.
              >
              > http://www.codypublishing.com/goska/slovakwoman.html
              >
              > Danusha
              >
              >
              >
              >
              ____________________________________________________________________________________
              > Yahoo! Music Unlimited
              > Access over 1 million songs.
              > http://music.yahoo.com/unlimited
              >




              ____________________________________________________________________________________
              Yahoo! Music Unlimited
              Access over 1 million songs.
              http://music.yahoo.com/unlimited
            • amiak27
              Danusha, I haven t had a chance to read the article yet, as I am busy preparing to fly to Europe in three weeks so I can spend Christmas in Slovakia with
              Message 6 of 16 , Nov 26, 2006
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                Danusha,

                I haven't had a chance to read the article yet, as I am busy
                preparing to fly to Europe in three weeks so I can spend Christmas
                in Slovakia with family. Part of that trip will be to continue
                informal research and meet people to gather more history of the
                area. I have not found the history of Sulin and the Stara Lubovna
                area that I would like to read, so I plan on writing it myself. I
                had a chance to read a few paragraphs and glance at other parts, but
                I copied and saved it in Word so I can read it offline, perhaps as I
                travel. I also included the URL where you posted it so I can easily
                return in the future.

                With Martin's post, I appended that to the end of your article.
                Since his commentary was substantially shorter, I read it through
                completely and found his comments to agree with my readings in
                Slovak history over the last 36 years. I haven't examined either
                critically to specify precise points of agreement or disagreement
                with what either of you have said. I have found the old histories
                often quite biased in presentation, and the tone in the last 15
                years has changed quite a bit. Even the Hungarian histories seem to
                have come up to western `objective' standards in this time, and I
                consider the Hungarians absolutely charming scoundrels. I have
                always read our neighbor's history as well as ours, since it would
                reveal aspects of our history that they wish to skip over.
                Education is one of the points most often described from a
                nationalistic (or ethnic) perspective. Read any Carpathian-German
                history and the Hungarians and Slovaks hardly existed or
                precipitated any history; commentary about schooling is limited to
                German language schooling. Nothing is mentioned about schooling in
                other languages unless it is to point out oppression.

                I found Martin's commentary correct in tone and scope, and do not
                feel it was lacking for not encompassing a review of the full
                article. Given the length of the article, I expect that is
                impossible to expect on this forum. Even this commentary is
                dragging too long! I picture my style as similar to yours with
                plenty of sources referenced at the end of the body. My approach
                will be to cover the life of the community and not my family
                exclusively. That is why its scope expanded from the village to the
                town area, because of all of the surrounding activities that changed
                life in the village. I will be trying to present the flow of daily
                life to some degree, the relationships of the different peoples and
                classes, and how these changed over the centuries. I appreciate
                Martin's comments being addressed to the forum, as we need to share
                perspectives in order to reach what we may consider reasonable in
                our own eyes, and you did introduce it publicly.

                On this forum I have sometimes taken exception to what people said
                because it may fly in the face of human nature. This judgment has
                to be tempered with consideration of the culture and atmosphere of
                the times. The relationship between Hungarians and Slovaks also
                varied with time and circumstance. The value of cleanliness and
                literacy changed with time as well, at times being looked down upon
                rather than respected as they are today. To imagine how fluid these
                relationships were over hundreds of years we only need look at the
                many changes in US alliances and policies in the last 100 years. If
                we took a snapshot of time we could be quite in error, depending
                upon choice of Wilson's presidency, FDR's, or Reagan's.

                All of that is the long way of stating that I found Martin's
                comments proper and worth considering.

                I hope we all get to read additional comments as people have a
                chance to read what you have posted - thanks for sharing it!

                Ron
              • amiak27
                Rats. I wanted to change the title of my last positng back to article about my (Slovak) mother my apologies for the slip-up. Ron ...
                Message 7 of 16 , Nov 26, 2006
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                  Rats. I wanted to change the title of my last positng back to
                  "article about my (Slovak) mother"

                  my apologies for the slip-up.

                  Ron



                  > > Dear Folks,
                  > >
                  > > Link below to an article about my (Slovak)
                  > > mother.
                  > >
                  > > http://www.codypublishing.com/goska/slovakwoman.html
                  > >
                  > > Danusha
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  >
                  _____________________________________________________________________
                  _______________
                  > > Yahoo! Music Unlimited
                  > > Access over 1 million songs.
                  > > http://music.yahoo.com/unlimited
                  > >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  _____________________________________________________________________
                  _______________
                  > Yahoo! Music Unlimited
                  > Access over 1 million songs.
                  > http://music.yahoo.com/unlimited
                  >
                • Paul Paulochik
                  Maybe if the facts were correct it wouldn t have taken 11 years to publish? ... From: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com] On
                  Message 8 of 16 , Nov 27, 2006
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                    Maybe if the facts were correct it wouldn't have taken 11 years to
                    publish?




                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com]
                    On Behalf Of dgoska
                    Sent: Sunday, November 26, 2006 3:43 PM
                    To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: [Slovak-World] reply to Martin Votruba



                    For Martin Votruba

                    You were quite thorough in listing what in the linked article that you
                    did not like and that you found flawed and that, in your opinion,
                    required your corrections.

                    In your list, you did not mention anything positive about the article.

                    *You did not even address its main idea.*

                    No piece of writing is perfect, and all scholarship benefits from
                    correction.

                    There are more and less successful ways of offering feedback, however.

                    I have to wonder what positive end your list of flaws accomplishes.

                    You've alienated me and denigrated an honest attempt to present
                    Slovaks to readers who may be unfamiliar.

                    I wrote that article eleven years ago, and have been trying to get it
                    published ever since.

                    One editor kept it for a year and declined to send it out, finally
                    reporting at the end of that year that "no one cares about these
                    immigrants who came so long ago and nothing new can be said about them."

                    Another editor accepted it, kept it for a year, and then disappeared.

                    I gave it to a successful Slovak American scholar and he kept it,
                    again for a year, and never did anything with it.

                    I continued to believe in the article, though, because it won a
                    prestigious award, and readers I shared it with saw something of value
                    in it.

                    In general it has been my experience that Slavic Americans don't
                    support each other in academia.

                    As a writer and scholar, I have experienced support -- people who send
                    me encouragement, congratulate me when I manage to publish something,
                    offer help when I'm researching something -- but, sadly, that has
                    often not been the case with Slavic Americans in Academia.

                    This is rather sad, because, in the same way that it takes a village
                    to raise a child, it takes community to create scholarship. As long as
                    Slavic Americans in academia fail to behave as true colleagues to each
                    other, we keep each other down, and sabotage scholarship one would
                    think we would like to advance.







                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Bill Tarkulich
                    Hello Danusha, First, let me thank you for your generosity in sharing your mother s individual experiences. So very little material is available in English on
                    Message 9 of 16 , Nov 27, 2006
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Hello Danusha,

                      First, let me thank you for your generosity in sharing your mother's
                      individual experiences. So very little material is available in
                      English on life as it was in Upper Hungary and environs. You should
                      be commended for not only writing the piece, but sharing it.

                      In the course of my genealogy research I continue to make
                      generalizations about the past, but have now wisely learned that each
                      generalization must be tagged "with exceptions." That's what makes
                      your piece so interesting. It's a particular view on society and
                      culture both in Slovakia and in America that adds to the knowledgebase
                      of immigrants.

                      As I went through my Dad's photos of his immigrant mother last night,
                      I couldn't help but be taken by your message that when a minority
                      immigrant comes to America 100 years ago, they are often overwhelmed
                      by the intensity and strangeness of this vastly different culture.
                      Even today, as others have noted, our ethnicity is often marginalized
                      by descendants who are more concerned with surviving and getting
                      ahead. I imagine people thinking "so how does knowing about my past
                      help me get ahead in this technological society?" The people I bump
                      into in America even today don't hold much onto the past. I feel like
                      a loner, and graviate towards groups like this, which seem so large,
                      but are actually quite small in relative numbers.

                      It's no wonder with this cultural tidal wave that America generates
                      that your mother, like my ancestors remained generally quite. Not
                      many people frankly care. As insulting as your editor's remarks seem,
                      I do believe he speaks the truth; not many people care. Publishing
                      books is more about revenue generation than anything else. Nick
                      Karas' book "Hunky" would not have been published without this new
                      trend of self-publishing. So it does not suprise me you had such a
                      struggle.

                      While I deal with these cold facts, I feel like the Olympic torch
                      bearer - someone has to carry the flame forward. You are the family
                      historian and the cultural communicator. Do not be discouraged,
                      continue your quest. Electronic communication is inherently flawed in
                      bringing through intonation and intent; I try not to read too deeply
                      into comments that may have been quickly jotted without reflection.
                      Many a time I wished I hadn't pushed the "send" button too quickly.

                      Again, my thanks and congratulations on a fine article. I hope there
                      are more where that one came from :o)

                      Regards,
                      Bill Tarkulich

                      --- In Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com, Danusha Goska <dgoska@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Dear Folks,
                      >
                      > Link below to an article about my (Slovak)
                      > mother.
                      >
                      > http://www.codypublishing.com/goska/slovakwoman.html
                      >
                      > Danusha
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      ____________________________________________________________________________________
                      > Yahoo! Music Unlimited
                      > Access over 1 million songs.
                      > http://music.yahoo.com/unlimited
                      >
                    • Caye Caswick
                      I agree, and anyhow, I wasn t going to use the facts to pass any European History test myself, so I read it for personal enjoyment -- keep the stories coming,
                      Message 10 of 16 , Nov 27, 2006
                      • 0 Attachment
                        I agree, and anyhow, I wasn't going to use the facts
                        to pass any European History test myself, so I read it
                        for personal enjoyment -- keep the stories coming, I
                        enjoy them.



                        Caye


                        --- Bill Tarkulich <smitko2@...> wrote:

                        > Hello Danusha,
                        >
                        > First, let me thank you for your generosity in
                        > sharing your mother's
                        > individual experiences. So very little material is
                        > available in
                        > English on life as it was in Upper Hungary and
                        > environs. You should
                        > be commended for not only writing the piece, but
                        > sharing it.
                        >
                        > In the course of my genealogy research I continue to
                        > make
                        > generalizations about the past, but have now wisely
                        > learned that each
                        > generalization must be tagged "with exceptions."
                        > That's what makes
                        > your piece so interesting. It's a particular view
                        > on society and
                        > culture both in Slovakia and in America that adds to
                        > the knowledgebase
                        > of immigrants.
                        >
                        > As I went through my Dad's photos of his immigrant
                        > mother last night,
                        > I couldn't help but be taken by your message that
                        > when a minority
                        > immigrant comes to America 100 years ago, they are
                        > often overwhelmed
                        > by the intensity and strangeness of this vastly
                        > different culture.
                        > Even today, as others have noted, our ethnicity is
                        > often marginalized
                        > by descendants who are more concerned with surviving
                        > and getting
                        > ahead. I imagine people thinking "so how does
                        > knowing about my past
                        > help me get ahead in this technological society?"
                        > The people I bump
                        > into in America even today don't hold much onto the
                        > past. I feel like
                        > a loner, and graviate towards groups like this,
                        > which seem so large,
                        > but are actually quite small in relative numbers.
                        >
                        > It's no wonder with this cultural tidal wave that
                        > America generates
                        > that your mother, like my ancestors remained
                        > generally quite. Not
                        > many people frankly care. As insulting as your
                        > editor's remarks seem,
                        > I do believe he speaks the truth; not many people
                        > care. Publishing
                        > books is more about revenue generation than anything
                        > else. Nick
                        > Karas' book "Hunky" would not have been published
                        > without this new
                        > trend of self-publishing. So it does not suprise me
                        > you had such a
                        > struggle.
                        >
                        > While I deal with these cold facts, I feel like the
                        > Olympic torch
                        > bearer - someone has to carry the flame forward.
                        > You are the family
                        > historian and the cultural communicator. Do not be
                        > discouraged,
                        > continue your quest. Electronic communication is
                        > inherently flawed in
                        > bringing through intonation and intent; I try not to
                        > read too deeply
                        > into comments that may have been quickly jotted
                        > without reflection.
                        > Many a time I wished I hadn't pushed the "send"
                        > button too quickly.
                        >
                        > Again, my thanks and congratulations on a fine
                        > article. I hope there
                        > are more where that one came from :o)
                        >
                        > Regards,
                        > Bill Tarkulich
                        >
                        > --- In Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com, Danusha Goska
                        > <dgoska@...> wrote:
                        > >
                        > > Dear Folks,
                        > >
                        > > Link below to an article about my (Slovak)
                        > > mother.
                        > >
                        > >
                        > http://www.codypublishing.com/goska/slovakwoman.html
                        > >
                        > > Danusha
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        >
                        ____________________________________________________________________________________
                        > > Yahoo! Music Unlimited
                        > > Access over 1 million songs.
                        > > http://music.yahoo.com/unlimited
                        > >
                        >
                        >
                        >




                        ____________________________________________________________________________________
                        Do you Yahoo!?
                        Everyone is raving about the all-new Yahoo! Mail beta.
                        http://new.mail.yahoo.com
                      • modra101
                        No Paul, this isn t why it takes many years to publish an academic writing piece. It s the nature of the academic writing environment. This demonstrates how
                        Message 11 of 16 , Nov 27, 2006
                        • 0 Attachment
                          No Paul, this isn't why it takes many years to publish an academic
                          writing piece. It's the nature of the academic writing environment.
                          This demonstrates how difficult it is to find a publication that
                          covers your subject matter, that is interested in your work, and has
                          the space in their publication to accept your work. This process can
                          get rather complicated.

                          Congrats to Danusha for getting it published.

                          Margarete

                          --- In Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com, "Paul Paulochik"
                          <paulpaulochik@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Maybe if the facts were correct it wouldn't have taken 11 years to
                          > publish?
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > -----Original Message-----
                          > From: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com]
                          > On Behalf Of dgoska
                          > Sent: Sunday, November 26, 2006 3:43 PM
                          > To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
                          > Subject: [Slovak-World] reply to Martin Votruba
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > For Martin Votruba
                          >
                          > You were quite thorough in listing what in the linked article that you
                          > did not like and that you found flawed and that, in your opinion,
                          > required your corrections.
                          >
                          > In your list, you did not mention anything positive about the article.
                          >
                          > *You did not even address its main idea.*
                          >
                          > No piece of writing is perfect, and all scholarship benefits from
                          > correction.
                          >
                          > There are more and less successful ways of offering feedback, however.
                          >
                          > I have to wonder what positive end your list of flaws accomplishes.
                          >
                          > You've alienated me and denigrated an honest attempt to present
                          > Slovaks to readers who may be unfamiliar.
                          >
                          > I wrote that article eleven years ago, and have been trying to get it
                          > published ever since.
                          >
                          > One editor kept it for a year and declined to send it out, finally
                          > reporting at the end of that year that "no one cares about these
                          > immigrants who came so long ago and nothing new can be said about them."
                          >
                          > Another editor accepted it, kept it for a year, and then disappeared.
                          >
                          > I gave it to a successful Slovak American scholar and he kept it,
                          > again for a year, and never did anything with it.
                          >
                          > I continued to believe in the article, though, because it won a
                          > prestigious award, and readers I shared it with saw something of value
                          > in it.
                          >
                          > In general it has been my experience that Slavic Americans don't
                          > support each other in academia.
                          >
                          > As a writer and scholar, I have experienced support -- people who send
                          > me encouragement, congratulate me when I manage to publish something,
                          > offer help when I'm researching something -- but, sadly, that has
                          > often not been the case with Slavic Americans in Academia.
                          >
                          > This is rather sad, because, in the same way that it takes a village
                          > to raise a child, it takes community to create scholarship. As long as
                          > Slavic Americans in academia fail to behave as true colleagues to each
                          > other, we keep each other down, and sabotage scholarship one would
                          > think we would like to advance.
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          >
                        • Taoz@aol.com
                          Danusa, What marvelous reading. I can now understand better what my mother must have gone through as well as my father. Thank you very much. Pavel [Non-text
                          Message 12 of 16 , Nov 27, 2006
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                            Danusa,

                            What marvelous reading. I can now understand better what my mother must
                            have gone through as well as my father. Thank you very much.

                            Pavel


                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • pjjano@aol.com
                            I read the article its good can you send it to non readers thanks Paul Janosik [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            Message 13 of 16 , Nov 27, 2006
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                              I read the article its good can you send it to non readers thanks Paul
                              Janosik


                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • cvargacvarga
                              Danusha, Recently I wrote an article which is going to be published, 3 or 4 years after I submitted it, about the Susquehannocks and how many of them were
                              Message 14 of 16 , Nov 27, 2006
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                                Danusha,

                                Recently I wrote an article which is going to be published, 3 or 4 years after I submitted it,
                                about the Susquehannocks and how many of them were Catholic. (It will be in the Winter
                                edition of Pennsylvania Heritage Magazine.) While doing the research I came across
                                accounts from "reliable sources" which when analyzed could not be true. "Facts" have to
                                be held up to the light and given a hard look. Your experience with giving the article to
                                editors and scholars is unfortunate and that seems to be where the real bitterness comes
                                from and not Martin's critique. Martin did what a good scholar or reader should do and
                                that is to read with a critical eye. I realize that by having my article published I am
                                opening myself to criticism and I welcome it. If it means that someone calls my work
                                poppycock, fine. I'm prepared to defend my work as it was done with the best research
                                available and I consulted with scholars and I have cited the major points. However, my
                                critics should also be prepared to defend their criticism.

                                Colin

                                --- In Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com, "dgoska" <dgoska@...> wrote:
                                >
                                > For Martin Votruba
                                >
                                > You were quite thorough in listing what in the linked article that you
                                > did not like and that you found flawed and that, in your opinion,
                                > required your corrections.
                                >
                                > In your list, you did not mention anything positive about the article.
                                >
                                > *You did not even address its main idea.*
                                >
                                > No piece of writing is perfect, and all scholarship benefits from
                                > correction.
                                >
                                > There are more and less successful ways of offering feedback, however.
                                >
                                > I have to wonder what positive end your list of flaws accomplishes.
                                >
                                > You've alienated me and denigrated an honest attempt to present
                                > Slovaks to readers who may be unfamiliar.
                                >
                                > I wrote that article eleven years ago, and have been trying to get it
                                > published ever since.
                                >
                                > One editor kept it for a year and declined to send it out, finally
                                > reporting at the end of that year that "no one cares about these
                                > immigrants who came so long ago and nothing new can be said about them."
                                >
                                > Another editor accepted it, kept it for a year, and then disappeared.
                                >
                                > I gave it to a successful Slovak American scholar and he kept it,
                                > again for a year, and never did anything with it.
                                >
                                > I continued to believe in the article, though, because it won a
                                > prestigious award, and readers I shared it with saw something of value
                                > in it.
                                >
                                > In general it has been my experience that Slavic Americans don't
                                > support each other in academia.
                                >
                                > As a writer and scholar, I have experienced support -- people who send
                                > me encouragement, congratulate me when I manage to publish something,
                                > offer help when I'm researching something -- but, sadly, that has
                                > often not been the case with Slavic Americans in Academia.
                                >
                                > This is rather sad, because, in the same way that it takes a village
                                > to raise a child, it takes community to create scholarship. As long as
                                > Slavic Americans in academia fail to behave as true colleagues to each
                                > other, we keep each other down, and sabotage scholarship one would
                                > think we would like to advance.
                                >
                              • gklodzen@aol.com
                                Danusha, I concur with Bill, and I thank you for posting your article. My Slovak ancestry is through my father. He too, like your mother, and probably for the
                                Message 15 of 16 , Nov 28, 2006
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                                  Danusha,

                                  I concur with Bill, and I thank you for posting your article. My Slovak
                                  ancestry is through my father. He too, like your mother, and probably for the same
                                  reasons you have cited, was rather silent about his immigrant family's
                                  background, except to offer from time to time the statement that, "We were poor".

                                  Thank you for an insightful, loving work.

                                  Eugene Klodzen



                                  In a message dated 11/27/06 9:59:12 AM Eastern Standard Time,
                                  smitko2@... writes:

                                  << Hello Danusha,

                                  First, let me thank you for your generosity in sharing your mother's
                                  individual experiences. So very little material is available in
                                  English on life as it was in Upper Hungary and environs. You should
                                  be commended for not only writing the piece, but sharing it.

                                  In the course of my genealogy research I continue to make
                                  generalizations about the past, but have now wisely learned that each
                                  generalization must be tagged "with exceptions." That's what makes
                                  your piece so interesting. It's a particular view on society and
                                  culture both in Slovakia and in America that adds to the knowledgebase
                                  of immigrants.

                                  As I went through my Dad's photos of his immigrant mother last night,
                                  I couldn't help but be taken by your message that when a minority
                                  immigrant comes to America 100 years ago, they are often overwhelmed
                                  by the intensity and strangeness of this vastly different culture.
                                  Even today, as others have noted, our ethnicity is often marginalized
                                  by descendants who are more concerned with surviving and getting
                                  ahead. I imagine people thinking "so how does knowing about my past
                                  help me get ahead in this technological society?" The people I bump
                                  into in America even today don't hold much onto the past. I feel like
                                  a loner, and graviate towards groups like this, which seem so large,
                                  but are actually quite small in relative numbers.

                                  It's no wonder with this cultural tidal wave that America generates
                                  that your mother, like my ancestors remained generally quite. Not
                                  many people frankly care. As insulting as your editor's remarks seem,
                                  I do believe he speaks the truth; not many people care. Publishing
                                  books is more about revenue generation than anything else. Nick
                                  Karas' book "Hunky" would not have been published without this new
                                  trend of self-publishing. So it does not suprise me you had such a
                                  struggle.

                                  While I deal with these cold facts, I feel like the Olympic torch
                                  bearer - someone has to carry the flame forward. You are the family
                                  historian and the cultural communicator. Do not be discouraged,
                                  continue your quest. Electronic communication is inherently flawed in
                                  bringing through intonation and intent; I try not to read too deeply
                                  into comments that may have been quickly jotted without reflection.
                                  Many a time I wished I hadn't pushed the "send" button too quickly.

                                  Again, my thanks and congratulations on a fine article. I hope there
                                  are more where that one came from :o)

                                  Regards,
                                  Bill Tarkulich

                                  --- In Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com, Danusha Goska <dgoska@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Dear Folks,
                                  >
                                  > Link below to an article about my (Slovak)
                                  > mother.
                                  >
                                  > http://www.codypublishing.com/goska/slovakwoman.html
                                  >
                                  > Danusha
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  ________________________________________ >>
                                • dgoska
                                  Dear Ron, Hi. Thanks for writing. Ron, you wrote: I have not found the history of Sulin and the Stara Lubovna area that I would like to read, so I plan on
                                  Message 16 of 16 , Dec 4, 2006
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                                    Dear Ron,

                                    Hi. Thanks for writing.

                                    Ron, you wrote:

                                    "I have not found the history of Sulin and the Stara Lubovna area that
                                    I would like to read, so I plan on writing it myself."

                                    I think that that is wonderful, Ron.

                                    I applaud your spirit and enterprise.

                                    Keep up the good work.

                                    Regarding more controversial portions of your email.

                                    You wrote that you did not read my article, because it is long, but
                                    that you did read negative comments that purported to be about my
                                    article, because those comments were short, and that those comments
                                    worked for you.

                                    Well, that's the problem, isn't it?

                                    Whenever a writer publishes something, esp. something that is not a
                                    soundbite, but that, rather, is lengthy and complicated, that writer
                                    risks being misrepresented by others' soundbites.

                                    The soundbite didn't work for me. It is not about the article i wrote.

                                    That's one problem.

                                    The larger problem, for me, is this.

                                    I come from a Slavic American background. In many ways, my family
                                    represents typical demographic trends.

                                    Illiterate (on my father's side; my proud Slovak grandmother, though a
                                    peasant who gave birth to my mother in a river, would haunt me if I
                                    intimated that she could not read; in fact she could read in at least
                                    three, largely unrelated, languages), peasants in the old country,
                                    coal miners here; their children had to really struggle to enter the
                                    American middle class, to the extent that we have.

                                    I had really high test scores and received advanced degrees, under
                                    world famous scholars, at two prestigious American graduate schools; I
                                    also attended what I think is the oldest university in Central Europe.
                                    I've worked around the world and spoken several languages. I could
                                    have, as many like me have done, chosen a highly remunerative
                                    profession. I could be living in a big house and worrying about my
                                    stocks and bonds.

                                    I didn't do that. Like you, Ron, I wanted to do something for those
                                    people who were so mistreated by history. That's why I so highly
                                    respect the statement I quoted from your email, above.

                                    Despite active discouragement from my profs, I worked on Slavic
                                    American issues.

                                    I was informed, by profs who cared about me and my future: "You've
                                    lived in Africa! You speak an African language! There is funding for
                                    Africa! Do Africa! You'll get a job when you finish!"

                                    I was begged: "You've lived in Asia! You speak an Asian language! Do
                                    Asia...! Don't you want to get a job when you finish?"

                                    I was warned: "If you keep writing about these Bohunks, there's no job
                                    for you when you finish!"

                                    It's been a tough row to hoe. It's been all but impossible to find
                                    funding. Pieces I've written on non-Slavic issues have found
                                    publication readily; articles on Slavic issues have been much harder
                                    to place.

                                    And I've had to deal with active bigotry. I've had to watch professors
                                    I very much liked and respected reveal their bigotry against
                                    Catholics, against blue collar people, and against Poles (I'm half and
                                    half.) I was invited to announce that, as a Polish Catholic American,
                                    I am a dumb anti-Semite -- yes -- even advanced academics retain these
                                    prejudices.

                                    And there's more. If you want to work on Slavic-American issues in the
                                    academy, funding is hard to come by. Departments that even recognize,
                                    never mind support, these issues are vanishingly rare, and often
                                    marginalized.

                                    Mind -- I'm not talking about linguistics -- about Old Church
                                    Slavonic; I'm not talking about economics -- about how to make lots
                                    and lots of money in the post-Communist world; I'm not talking about
                                    rulers' histories, about dead white Central European males. There are
                                    plenty of academic departments addressing those issues.

                                    I'm talking about writing we Bohunks can be proud to call our own.

                                    How much of it is out there?

                                    Irish people have "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn;" Italians have, like it
                                    or not, the Godfather epic. We have "Out of this Furnace," but how
                                    many, outside of, or even within, our communities have read that book?

                                    Academia does not make it easy on the scholar who wants to do the kind
                                    of work that you describe doing, Ron, the kind of work I dream of doing.

                                    The lowest point in my academic career came several years ago when I
                                    was harassed by a well-placed prof for taking off four work days to
                                    attend my dad's funeral. The harassment was brutal, and resulted in my
                                    sustaining an injury that rendered me occasionally functionally
                                    paralyzed, blind, and unable to stop vomiting.

                                    That went on for years.

                                    I'm still trying to dig myself out of the economic and social hole
                                    caused by that catastrophic illness. The best teaching jobs I can find
                                    are as an adjunct. These are temporary jobs without security. I live
                                    below the poverty line, and I don't know what the future holds.

                                    Something keeps me going, though. That something is the belief I have
                                    in the work that I do, or, at the very least, in my service to that
                                    work, in the best way that I can serve.

                                    Service? I've edited papers for free, hosted scholars for free,
                                    written letters, even marched, while carrying a sign. I've pushed
                                    sales for my Slavic American colleagues' books. I work at this. As
                                    hard as I can.

                                    My proudest effort was contributing to the resurrection of the poetry
                                    of Antony Piotrowski.

                                    But I'm not enough, and you are not enough, and no single one of us is
                                    enough.

                                    I've been in academia for a long time. I've learned that, in academia,
                                    work is done, and topics are honored, because of community more often
                                    than because of individuals.

                                    I've watched minorities in academia build important community and
                                    advance their agenda.

                                    Have you ever observed how African American scholars reach out to,
                                    form community with, and support each other?

                                    I've been at parties where an African American scholar will enter a
                                    room, see the one other black person there, cross the room, shake
                                    hands, and say, more or less, "I've got your back, brother. You are
                                    not alone, here."

                                    This kind of community is especially important when the lone African
                                    American is, like me, a first generation college student -- heck -- my
                                    parents were removed from school before grade school graduation, for
                                    my dad, and before high school graduation, for my mom -- from a poor
                                    background. That kind of support is needed in the strange land of
                                    academia for an ethnic minority scholar.

                                    Hispcanic American? Asian American? Gay American?

                                    They support each other. They start departments. They begin journals.
                                    They care about their friends. Their efforts are admirable. More
                                    importantly, they get the job done. They create a future for
                                    themselves and their work.

                                    A working class girl from a poor, immigrant background, I have been
                                    supported, mentored, and encouraged in academia.

                                    People have pointed out jobs to me, and journals for possible
                                    publication to me, and helped me get funding to attend conferences.

                                    For the most part, with a couple of exceptions, those people have not
                                    been, alas, my fellow Slavic American academics.

                                    My supporters have been, largely, though not exclusively, Jewish
                                    Americans, who are often interested in the same region, but from a
                                    different angle. They're the ones who read my work and offer HELPFUL,
                                    PERTINENT comments. They're the ones who write me good letters of
                                    recomendation. Etc.

                                    When I've tried to approach Slavic-American scholars, I've been rebuffed.

                                    It's not just me. I see this again and again. There is a kind of
                                    spite, back biting, undercutting.

                                    A desire to see the other guy fail.

                                    It's tragic.

                                    This behavior isn't just about individuals. It's about us as a people
                                    in America, and our efforts to get work done.

                                    United we stand, divided we fall.

                                    If anyone here is an academic, and wants to contribute helpful
                                    comments to my work, by all means. contact me. I'm eager to form real
                                    community with fellow Slavic Americans who want to achieve the same
                                    ends as I. My email inbox awaits your valued communication.

                                    But when behavior that looks like what I've seen before takes place, I
                                    have to speak up. That is part of the work to which I am in service.
                                    It's not an easy or a nice part of that work. Frankly, it makes me sad
                                    and afraid.

                                    But, if we don't name that behavior when we see it, and if we don't
                                    work to change it, we're going to be stuck in this no-exit situation
                                    forever.

                                    Let's encourage and support each other.
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