Archive for November 2018

Feast of Blessed Roman Lysko (October 14)   2 comments

Above:  Blessed Roman Lysko 

Image in the Public Domain



Ukrainian Greek Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1949

Alternative feast day = April 2

Roman Maria Lysko, born a subject of the Russian Empire near Lviv, Ukraine, on August 19, 1914, spent most of his 35 years serving God.  Our saint’s father was Father Volodymyr Lysko, a Ukrainian Greek Catholic priest and a member of a branch of the Roman Catholic Church with married priests.  Our saint’s mother was Ivanka Cohelsky.  Roman followed in his father’s footsteps; he studied theology in Lviv and, on August 28, 1941, became a priest during what the Soviet government called the Great Patriotic War (World War II, to the rest of us).  Our saint, active in youth ministry, also had a wife (Neonila Huniovsky) and three children (Oleksander, Zvenyslava, and Chrystyna Lysko).  Roman, arrested by agents of the NKVD for his faith on September 8, 1949, and incarcerated in Lviv, sang Psalms in prison.  His jailers thought he was out of his mind.  Roman, tortured, died of starvation on October 14, 1949.

Pope John Paul II declared our saint a Venerable in 2001 then a Blessed later that year.





Almighty God, by whose grace and power your holy martyr Blessed Roman Lysko

triumphed over suffering and was faithful even to death:

Grant us, who now remember him in thanksgiving, to be so faithful in our witness to you in this world,

that we may receive with him the crown of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord,

who lives and reigns with yo and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 51:1-12

Psalm 116 or 116:1-8

Revelation 7:13-17

Luke 12:2-12

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 714


Every Vote Should Count   Leave a comment

Above:  “I Voted” Sticker

Image Source = Dwight Burdette


Every vote should count.  That is a timeless principle.

This is the year of many close elections in the United States.  The new Senator-Elect from Arizona owes her election to a razor-thin margin, as the counting of votes has continued.  Three races in Florida are in recounts, for the margins of victory from election night are less than half of a percentage point, thereby triggering mandatory recounts.  The race for Governor of Georgia is too close to call, with local elections officials finding previously uncounted votes.  Meanwhile, Donald Trump, who puts the bully in “bully pulpit” and specializes in spreading rumors while labeling confirmed facts “fake news,” is making charges of corruption in recounts.  If there is evidence for such corruption, local law enforcement knows nothing about it.

Every vote should count.  That is a timeless principle.  I hold to it, even when I have no guarantee that my preferred candidate will win.  This is a matter of principle, not convenience.  This is a matter of standing up for what my country, the United States of America, says is a major principle.  Suffrage is a right about as close to sacred as a civic activity can be.  It is a right for which many brave men and women have died, and for which many men and women have yearned.

One benefit of counting every vote is to validate the electoral process.  There can be no doubt that Candidate X is the rightful winner if election workers have counted all the votes.  What can be wrong with counting all the votes, especially in close elections?




Posted November 13, 2018 by neatnik2009 in Political Statements 2018

Tagged with

Students’ Individual Responsibility   3 comments

Above:  A Portion of My Home Desk Area, November 5, 2018

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor


When I was an undergraduate at Valdosta State University, Valdosta, Georgia, taking upper-level history courses, a research paper was part of every such course.  The format was Turabian, of course.  In 1993-1996, my time at Valdosta State, I used an electronic typewriter to create my written assignments.  Almost always the professors were kind enough to permit endnotes instead of footnotes.  Those professors also never took any time to explain the Turabian format.  Doing so was not their job, and I never imagined that it was.  No, my responsibility vis-à-vis formatting was to consult and follow the style manual, then in the fifth edition.  My copy of the style manual was an essential volume in my library.

Many of the students I teach at the Oconee Campus of the University of North Georgia apparently lack the initiative to consult the current Turabian manual (ninth edition) or an online Turabian guide.   Many of them seem to think that my job is to tell them everything about the Turabian style, especially with regard to footnotes (easy to do via computer) and bibliographic entries.  Many of them ignore my written guidance (more than any of my professors gave, that is, none) and plead ignorance.  Yet ignorance, especially the variety born of laziness and apathy, is not a good defense.

Many of my colleagues and I see the same disturbing pattern:  pupils, overall, expect proverbial hand-holding through tasks that should be simple for college students yet prove challenging.  Furthermore, proverbial hand-holding often does no good anyway, based on results.

As I tell students, the more they put into their education, the more they will get out of it.  Regardless of what they did or did not learn at their high schools (some of which report high test scores), they are responsible for showing the necessary initiative.  Instead, many of them give up and avoid taking any of my courses again.

I accept my responsibility to my students.  They deserve my best efforts to prepare them for the world.  One lesson I hope I teach is the importance of showing initiative.  Another lesson I strive to teach is working hard through struggles to emerge better off in the end.

I ponder the causes of the problems I recognize in many students.  A partial list follows:

  1. The sense of entitlement commonplace in Millennials;
  2. The results of helicopter parenting;
  3. The failures of schools, especially the coddling of students, often for the purpose of raising scores on high-stakes tests;
  4. The endemic lack of time-management skills;
  5. Short attention spans; and
  6. The plethora of distractions, mostly technological.

Responsibility is both collective and individual.  Regardless of the negative influences of others on one’s life, one does have much agency.  Those other influences may not cease to exist, but one can, at least, consult and follow a mandated style manual in a university course.