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thank you to Slovak World members

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  • dgoska
    Dear Folks, Is it possible that the Holiday weekend is already behind us? My fall semester has been impossible. I am an adjunct professor, which, as
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 28, 2006
      Dear Folks,

      Is it possible that the Holiday weekend is already behind us?

      My fall semester has been impossible. I am an "adjunct" professor,
      which, as academically-employed or involved people reading here
      know, means that I teach the courses better placed professors don't
      want to teach, at minimum wage salary for the hours I put in.

      My classes are huge and very demanding.

      I'm not complaining! I'm just saying that from September till
      Thanksgiving I barely had time to brush my teeth.

      Then Thanksgiving came around and I vowed that I would not do any
      school-related work for the holiday weekend, and I didn't. I went to
      see movies -- "Casino Royale," "Bobby," "Happy Feet," and "Stranger
      than Fiction."

      Any movie fans reading? My reviews are here:

      Now I am back at work. And feeling it.

      Anyway, I have read a few comments since mine and I have been really
      touched and educated by them. I haven't read them all because I am
      basically a tremendously shy person and I get a squiggly feeling in
      my stomach every time I publish something, and I wish I could hide
      out in a cave somewhere. For whatever reason, I find positive
      comments as hard to read as negative ones. My palms sweat and I get
      sick to my stomach.

      I will read all the comments, positive and negative, and respond, as
      time allows.

      I will just tell this one story, which I really wanted to tell.

      I conducted the interviews on which that article was based many
      years ago. Unfortunately, my mother passed away in 2001, and she
      never got to see this article in print.

      I really sweated over one name in the interview. To me, it sounded
      as if my mother were naming a family whose name should be
      spelled "Shuktar." So, I spelled the name, provisionally, "Shuktar,"
      even though I couldn't find that name as a Slovak surname anywhere.

      When I learned, in April, that this article would be published, I
      began searching ferociously for a Slovak surname that would be
      spelled something like "Shuktar." Even though my mother mentioned
      this name only once, and in passing, I searched with great care
      because it has been my experience that articles about Slavic people,
      if anyone pays any attention to them at all, are often, alas,
      attacked. So, I wanted to be sure to dot all my i's and cross all my

      I did everything I could think of to do. I didn't stick to one
      spelling -- tried several variations. Searched Slovak web pages.
      Called the Slavic Area and Subject librarian at my alma mater.
      Contacted Helene.

      No luck.

      I spent *days* on this one name.

      I wished I could contact my mother, but, of course, she had gone on
      to her heavenly reward, so I could not.

      Finally, I took a break, and spent some time reading a book I had
      checked out of the library. The topic of the book was Afterlife
      Communication -- that is, communication between the living and the

      I had not read one whole page when a name popped out at me. The
      author of the book on Afterlife Communication cited studies
      performed by a doctor whose name was SHUCHTER. Steven Roy Shuchter.
      I emailed him and asked if his ancestors came from Slovakia. He told
      me where his ancestors came from -- I don't have his email handy --
      I think he said "Austria Hungary" or something like that -- in any
      case, it was a region that made sense.

      So. There you have it. Even after she passed away, my mother
      contributed to that article. In my opinion, anyway.
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