The Neglogger Syndrome

The few blogs I follow all have it: the neglogger syndrome. You know, when you don’t post for a while. In my case, a long while.

I last left words of wisdom about Sustainable Cleveland 2019. Days 2&3 went by quickly, but brought frustration to the process. My only comment is that I hope the city’s administration can get out of its own way, consider out of the box ideas, and think about the future, instead of what will get them notoriety or elected. However, kudos to Mayor Frank Jackson for taking the initiative to recreate Cleveland as a green city.

Good news! “The Wartime Experiences of a Cleveland Czechoslovak Legionnaire: The World War I Dairy of Ladislav Krizek” is published. Check out It’s also on

Classes are in full swing. Preservation Law, Architecture History and Grant Writing take up most of my time this semester. I am also finishing the Archival Methods Practicum at CoBS and they offered a paying position to finish what I have started! A graduate student’s dream!

A couple of weeks ago, I spoke at the Stan Hywet Conference with BOS and CassL. We collaboratively shared the efforts thus far on the Czech Your Public History Project. It looks as if I may be the one to carry out the project; can we say thesis?

In a few days, I will be attending the National Trust Conference!! So excited for a road trip south and a few days surrounded by preservationists. Check back for updates!


Sustainable Cleveland 2019 – Day One

My time during the later half of this week is dedicated to the Sustainable Cleveland 2019: Building an Economic Engine to Empower a Green City on a Blue Lake. This summit is an initiative lead by Mayor Frank Jackson to guide “Cleveland through the economic downturn, create opportunities for individuals to prosper and position the City for the future” (opening letter issued by Mayor Frank Jackson). Over 700 individuals from diverse backgrounds, students, CEOs, CDCs, youth leaders, educators, non-profits, small to large businesses, arts and culture, etc. are joining together to discuss and create a plan to allow Cleveland to emerge as green leader. We are using the Appreciative Inquiry process facilitated by David Cooperrider ( to introduce our ourselves and our specialties, flush out our visions of what sustainable Cleveland means and how to move into action. Check out: for more information.

I got involved by fate. I was having lunch with the McDevitt clan at Great Lakes Brewery and noticed the application packet sitting at the entrance way among other leaflets and advertisements. I was impressed that our local government was taking initiative to better our great city and wanted to be a part of the great change. My presence at the conference is multifaceted. First, my presence draws from my energy as graduate student lending my voice as a part of the younger generation hoping for a brighter future. Second, I bring to the table my knowledge of historic preservation and the importance of preserving our built environment, cultural memory and heritage in the changing cityscape. Thirdly, I contribute my passion for making Cleveland the best location in the nation once again!

The first day was filled with critical thinking about innovation, leadership, outcomes, and collaboration. There were multiple speakers who shared integral information on groundwork requirements, local, national and international green accomplishments, and motivation and inspiration to maintain a collaborative effort.

Instead of a summary of topics, I present ideas and propose the following questions for you to ponder and relate to your own contribution to sustainability in NEO:

Sustainability: expend less energy to create materials; reduce waste; remain local; produce global sustainable products.

If society doesn’t work then the economy doesn’t work. Citizens need to be willing participants to change. How can you be an advocate for sustainable change in your community?


Before you purchase, consume, utilize, ask yourself:

What’s in it? Where did it come from?


Where did it go? What happens to it?

(Peter Senge)

Off Topic

As our trusty government officials pick and choose and decide the future of our health care system, I think I found the answer to why Americans are clouded with political nonsense, have little faith in our elections, and are indifferent to what happens in our great democractic union, at least until something catastophic occurs.

I heard eighteen months of political promises and propoganda leading up to the historic election of 2008. It was the first election that I gave my full attention to the debates, read the articles and followed up on candidate comparison charts. Through everything I watched, heard and read, I still did not know who was going to collect my vote. My due diligence was supposed to instill confidence in my decision to elect a great leader who will look out for my best interest! As months passed, my lust for political activism dwindled and I voted for Hope and Change, because I did just that. Well, Hope is looking at me with eyes of doubt and I am beginning to see that Change is beginning to resemble the coins I pick up on the street.

I propose the following change for the next election. Instead of vaguely describing the end goal of an issue, like universal health care, increased employment or sustainability, the candidate must present the HOW, a concrete plan as to how they are going to “fix”, “change” or “ammend” for our best interest. Why is it that common folk have to craft an exceptional resume coupled with a professional look and stellar interview skills only to find out that they are one of 150 applicants and their opportunity to get the job just caming crashing down because their dad’s fraternity brother’s second cousin wasn’t the HR manager?

With this said, I think the standards we hold our poltical hopefuls are too low. They are fighting for one of the most revered positions. Their interviews consist of townhall forums, debates, advertisements and we are supposed to hire them because they have a vision of stimulating the economy, world peace and health for everyone without a single explanation of how they expect to achieve these goals. Candidates have at least four years to prepare for their chance to shine. You’d think that would be enough time to prepare a thoughtful proposal to backup their dreams.

Reflections snoitcelfeR

America is…

      potatoes at every meal. handsomely cut grass. constant vehicle transportation.

Wenzao Wow!

Ursuline has been hosting a team of seven individuals, deans and professors, from our sister school Wenzao Ursuline College of Languages in Kaohsiung, Taiwan ( They are here on a cultural immersion experience taking classes to practice their English, visiting with host families in the area and into PA, and exploring our great city and suburbs.

This past Wednesday Sr. E and Dr. B arranged for an afternoon tour of Lake View Cemetery and dinner in Little Italy and I was luckily enough to tag along! BT (Dr. B.’s trusty sidekick of eighteen years and my new partner in crime!) was kind enough to cart Dr. B., Peter1 and I around for the afternoon. First stop: Wade Chapel at Lake View Cemetery ( If you have not had the privilege to experience the beauty of this memorial chapel to Jeptha Wade, you must schedule a stop on your next out-n-about town. The glistening hand cut glass, smooth marble, and impressive doors create an impeccable place of reverence.

Next stop was the Garfield Monument. The sandstone structure has a commanding presence in the cemetery. Capitalizing on it’s perch at the top of a hill, the viewing deck boasts an encompassing view of University Circle, Lake Erie, and Cleveland’s skyline. Our tour guide was expressive and shared great detail of the Byzantine inspired interior and general architecture grandeur. Besides the unbeatable view, one of my favorite experiences was climbing the four flights of spiral staircase, which may sound out of the ordinary. When coming down, my feet kept falling into the natural mold and dip in the concrete stairs of all the previous visitors paying homage to the 20th President of the United States.

After a quick stop at the Rockefeller Monument, we headed down the hill to Little Italy for a walk through the shops and galleries in the rehabilitated Murray Hill School, tasty pizza at Mama Santa’s and Corbo’s for delectable desserts.

Our conversations were delightful! Peter2 told me of his project scanning buildings, sculptures and monuments with laser into a digital software in order to record their measurements down to the nearest 100th of a millimeter if needed. This technological tool is a great advancement for HiP documentation. Peter1, a professor of Humanities, expressed his concern and ambition to make sure to take the time to disconnect from computers, cell phones and administration work in order to be present for his students during the relished four hours of classroom time he is granted. The most difficult aspect of teaching for him is breaking the students tradition of learning from an assigned textbook filled with the “correct” answers. As experience has taught me in undergrad, Humanities is a discipline which requires reflection and thoughtful examination in order to gain understanding; a textbook is not going to provide the immediate answer.

I had a short, but profound exchange with Marcus. As was most of the team, he was impressed with our expansive campus full of trees, a pond and wildlife. Wenzao’s campus is in the middle of the city. The campus takes up one cramped block to hold all 9,000 students. The largest building stands sixteen stories tall compared to our three-story Mullen. Marcus’ connection to our campus came in the reverence of remembering to connect with wildlife by directly looking an animal in the eye in order to re-establish the foundation of our existence in nature and re-gain respect for human knowledge and language.

Needless to say, I had a wonderful time hosting our guests from the East and hope that one day I may travel to Kaohsiung to visit Wenzao and my new friends again.

Items Pending

The past few weeks have been filled with meetings and planning sessions for the upcoming events.

Archival Management will commence in one week. I am anxious to open the drawers, boxes, and books to see what is at hand. There is approximately 152 linear feet of archival material to be handled. In theory, this should take 152 days. Luckily, a good portion of the material is already sorted, labeled and just needs to be given proper position in the archival plan. However, I am hoping my organizational skill will expedite the rest and I can make head way in the one credit hour of allotted time. Keep your fingers crossed.

Czeching It Out has brought yet another exciting event my way. My colleagues and I have been chosen to speak at the Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens Symposium this Fall. We will be discussing our program planning for the Fall 2010 Public History exhibit.

Diary of L. Krizek

(The following post was started 6/10/2009)

A new project! Dr. S. was given memorabilia from L. Krizek’s children some time ago. We were discussing the involvement of L.’s personal diary from WWI into the Czech history project and the idea to publish it solo came to fruition. It seemed so natural that we put other items on hold and went into full production on creating the manuscript for his personal account and involvement in WWI as a Cleveland Czech Legionnaire.

(Written 6/29/2009)

The manuscript went to publishers Friday. It was an exciting process to be a part of; reading through personal narrative, mapping troop movement through the French countryside, experiencing the impact of war creating desolation between family and friends, and the everpresent yearning and motivation for freedom of the mother land. An astonishing occurance was the ability to match up photographs to events L. wrote about to further illustrate the reality of his experiences. L. was a truly unique individual and I am looking forward to sharing him with you.

Midsummer Season Recap

As I reread previous posts, I feel as though I have just jumped into writing about my experiences. Below is a recap of the different projects and events that I am working on.

Czeching It Out

A continuous public history project I have been involved with at the course level since inception. In short, Ursuline College and the Wasamer Gallery are hosting an art exhibit highlighting Czech art. In conjunction with this exhibit, the HiP program is putting together a public history exhibit and programming activities to compliment the art installation. Through our brainstorming and collaboration with other disciplines we are starting to formulate a great event that will premier in Fall 2010. Check out for the Spring 2009 class’ events and experiences that have taken the project thus far.  I have written other posts for this blog as well.

Czech History

Through the previous activities, I was introduced to Dr. S. and his efforts to write a comprehensive book about local Czech history. He is also a key partner in the installation of the exhibit and a great guide while navigating through local history. As mentioned in previous posts, my activities involve editing chapters, finding funding, taking local photographs for the publication and performing general research.

Archival Management

See previous post.

Archives in the Making

The aforementioned archival opportunity has come to fruition thanks to P. Riley and Dr. Stith! After a quick meeting, introduction and community tour by Fr. Norman at the Congregation of Blessed Sacrament, the job was mine! Well, not so much of a paying job, but at least one more credit towards graduation. Visit to view their mission.

As all involved have expressed, the archival task at hand is quite daunting. However, I have accepted the challenge with great enthusiasm. As many know, I enjoy organization and feel this project is up my “aisle”. The dedicated room is lined with tall shelves holding bankers boxes, loose papers, photographs, artifacts, documents, movies, books, etc. from multiple provinces. There are also vertical filing cabinets containing previously “archived materials”. These materials have been organized with, well, minimal archival organization.  My task is make sense of it all and provide proper archival organization.

The course credit involves independent study on archival administration and how I apply archival techniques to create an archival regiment for the Congregation. My introduction was a visit to Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine for a tour of their archival program with Sr. Mary Dennis Maher. She was gracious to not only provide me a tour of the archives, briefly explain her processes but also lend reading materials to gain further understanding of related archival management.

As complex as this assignment may be, I am really looking forward to completing the task. I think that there is much to gain in working with the Congregation and understanding the philosophy behind archival management. I believe that gaining a “behind the scenes” archival experience will be prosperous in my future research by allowing me to understand how archival institutions operate.

$1,000.00, Two Cows and 100 Gallons of Whiskey

What do Lifesavers Candy, the first home mail delivery and James A. Garfield have in common? They all originated in Cleveland!

Highlight of my week – guest teaching in Mrs. Gibber’s third grade class! Their unit is on the history of Cleveland complete with a Lolly the Trolley tour of downtown, which I sadly can’t attend due to some eager homeroom mothers. For the presentation, I put together a PP highlighting Moses Cleaveland’s survey team and fast forwarding to a matching activity showcasing some everyday items invented in Cleveland, famous people from Cleveland, and some local hot spots.

At first I was nervous, using my grad school assignment caliber as my marker for my presentation. I kept on forgetting that the third grade vocabulary does not extend to “collaborated” or “encompass”. Mrs. Gibber was slightly amused at this. However, when I was standing at the front of the class, it felt quite natural. I enjoyed looking at the young, eager faces hanging on to my every word. Well, maybe not my every word because they just returned from gym class and it was about ninety degrees outside (but I would like to think that I was that interesting). I truly enjoyed my experience expanding fresh minds and hope they invite me back next year!

The rest of the week consisted of weeding through grants, taking pictures of the Czech Cultural Garden and proofreading chapters for the upcoming book. Things are moving along quick, smooth and pleasantly.

Post Script – The title of the post includes items Moses Cleaveland offered the Iroquois Indian Chief for the land in the Western Reserve.

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