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[xmca] Smolucha - pronunciation/genealogy

Message from Francine Smolucha:
I have been a member of XMCA for several years - anyone could haveasked me how to pronounce my last name.
I not surprised that the discussion of the work my husband and I have donebegins with a snide comment about our last name.Growing up in Chicago as a Polish-American, other ethnic groupswould often make fun of your last name, and tell insulting Polish jokes abouthow stupid Poles are. Polish immigrants often had their last names Americanizedby immigration officials at Ellis Island. In order for other ethnic groups to be able topronounce, and spell a Polish last name, Poles would typically use an easy English pronunciation.
My husband's family would usually say Smo-lou-ka.Some family members would say Smo-lou-cha.The proper Polish pronunciation is Smo-whoo-ha (Smolucha has an umlaut over the u).The Smolucha family 'Y' chromosome is Scandinavian (Vikings who settled Eastern Europecirca 800 A.D.) - we had the National Geographic Society's Genoanthropology project do aDNA analysis.
When I married into the Smolucha family, I chose to use my married name out of respect formy husband's family. By the way, my maiden name is Polish too.
As I have been working on my new paper titled "A Vygotskian Theory of Cultural Synergy andCultural Creativity", my conversation with a Latin-American colleague required that I debunksome popular misconceptions about 'white ethnics.' So I retell the story here:
My own family is 'Celtic' Polish in origin (the Krakov area was settled by Celts, Vienna was originally a Celtic village). The European Celts disappeared from history. Poland itself did not existfor over 150 years (from approximately 1760 until 1918) - while it was divided among Prussia(then Germany), Austria, and Russia. [The Palestinian loss of statehood is not unique in history.]One of my great grandmothers ran an illegal underground school in her farmhouse near Vilna where she taught children how to read and write the Polish language. The Czar had orderedanyone doing so to be shot. Her son (my grandfather) had to be smuggled out of St. Petersburgon a cattle ship bound for Canada after the aborted 1905 Russia revolution - he was a memberof a student group being hunted down by the Czar's orders. Back in Krakov, my other grandfatherwas serving in Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph's 'Polish' cavalry (Austrian occupied Poland beingrenamed Galactia) - grandpa's wife was Spanish Hapsburg.
My parents, both first generation Americans, did not attend high school, instead my Dad worked in the Chicago Stock Yards as a teenager (you might recall Upton Sinclair's book The Jungle.)My mom was a factory girl. They grew up in that famous Chicago ghetto known as Back-of-the-Yards.Five months after they were married, Pearl Harbor was attacked -  my Dad served in the Army fieldartlllery, doing four beachheads in the South Pacific (Aleutians, Kwajelian, Philippines, & Okinawa).His unit would have landed in the first wave in the Invasion of Japan - which was cancelled whenJapan surrendered after the atomic bombs were dropped. Mom spent the war years building fighterplanes in a defense plant - yes, Rosie the Riveter.
We come from a family heritage of people who think for themselves and are honor bound to do theright thing.
If anyone is interested in discussing the Vygotsky Theory of Creativity that we have been publishing in thelast 27 years, I welcome the scholarly discourse. In addition to my 1992 Reconstruction of Vygotsky'sTheory of Creativity, you might read our 2012 publication Vygotsky's Theory of Creativity: Figurative thinking Allied withLiteral Thinking [in Contemporary Perspectives on Research in Creativity in Early Childhood Education}.

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