From the Faraway Nearby

From the Faraway Nearby

I read Rebecca Solnit's The Faraway Nearby a few weeks ago, back when I got word that my students would be returning to school in-person for four days each week. I had spent the year alternating back-and-forth between remote learning and hybrid teaching, and I wanted normal. Not-staying-home-not-wearing-a-mask-not-teaching-second-grade-online-and-in-person-at-the-same-time normal. We're all in the same place; [...]

In Search of Victoria Drag

In Search of Victoria Drag

Michael & Victoria (Drag) Kuznicki My maternal 2nd great-grandmother, Victoria (Drag) Kuznicki, is a mystery. She was born on December 23, 1890 in Galicia--a historical region in East-Central Europe that is divided between Poland and Ukraine today--and she arrived at Ellis Island aboard the SS Vaderland on March 30, 1909 at the age of 18. [...]

New Year, New Site

New Year, New Site

A photo from my trip to Buffalo over Labor Day weekend--the leaves outside this café/bookshop on Elmwood caught my eye and inspired my site's logo. I'm a teacher. In training. I've referenced my teaching job in a half-dozen posts on the blog before--in posts highlighting the stories of my schoolteacher ancestors or reflecting on the post-graduation [...]

Freckles & Cilantro: Reviewing AncestryDNA Traits

Freckles & Cilantro: Reviewing AncestryDNA Traits

Ever wondered where your freckles came from? Or why you hate cilantro? The likelihood that an individual exhibits a certain phenotype is based, in part, on the presence or absence of markers in their genotype that are associated with specific traits. A few weeks ago, AncestryDNA unveiled a new feature--AncestryDNA Traits--that provides customers with insights [...]

DNA Connections to Pomerania

DNA Connections to Pomerania

With surnames like Marczynski, Zielinski, Gostomski and Kuznicki in my family tree, I'm undeniably Polish. My great-great-grandparents, Mikołaj Kuznicki and Wiktorya Drag, left Galicia for Dunkirk, New York in their early twenties, and the Zielinski's, Gostomski's and Marczynski's all arrived at Ellis Island in 1900. Some of my ancestors started working in the coal mines [...]