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The Highlighter: Can you guess the frequently underused library resource in the photo?

It’s finals week, and you need to concentrate, concentrate, concentrate

Q—What frequently underused library resource

- is relatively quiet,
- is next to windows, and
– provides 32 computer workstations
        each able to send work to Falvey’s printers?

Here’s a clue! … look familiar?

Griffin Instruction Room - 3

 

A— The Griffin Room, to the rear of Falvey’s first floor, serves as an open computer lab when it isn’t being used for instruction.

Griffin Instruction Room

 

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Advent Poetry Calendar – Day 16

ADVENT DAY 1610 Days Till Christmas

“Mad Girl’s Love Song” by Sylvia Plath
Read by Natalie Clark
Submitted by Kallie Stahl

Kallie Stahl is a first-year communication graduate student and joined the Falvey Scholarly Outreach team as a Graduate Assistant at the start of the fall 2014 semester. Kallie is a big Sylvia Plath fan and explained that she has always liked the way that this particular poem addresses the struggle between the fantasy and the reality of love.

Plath wrote “Mad Girl’s Love Song” in 1951, while she was a student at Smith College. It was first published in the August 1953 edition of Mademoiselle, where Plath was working as a Guest Editor.

Read by Natalie Clark:


“Mad Girl’s Love Song”
By Sylvia Plath

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)
The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)
God topples from the sky, hell’s fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan’s men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
I fancied you’d return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)
I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

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The People’s Home Journal – Plum Pudding

Plum pudding is a new recipe for me, and using a recipe from the year 1900 was especially challenging. The snippet from the Villanova Digital Library‘s December issue of “The People’s Home Journal” was scant at best. After reading Charles Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol” and after watching the 1951 version starring Alastair Sim, I was worried, like Mrs. Cratchit, that something would go wrong. Was there enough flour? Did I steam it long enough?

plum pudding people's home journal

I had to find the right cookware and ingredients, and after doing some research, I ordered a steamed pudding mold online and found a food store that has fresh suet. I also checked some trusted sources to fill in the blanks on the directions.

My local natural food store allowed me to order fresh suet, which the butcher collected during her morning preparations. She didn’t charge me for it, but I’ve heard that some stores do. When I was ready to start the recipe, I first had to sort out only the very cleanest bits of suet. The next step calls for grating the suet or chopping it very fine. It was hard to work with so I decided to chop it.

Now I had to figure out how to steam a pudding. Luckily, the Internet came to the rescue. I buttered the inside of the pudding mold generously, filled it with the pudding batter, and then placed it inside a large pot of boiling water so that the water was halfway up the side of the mold.

pudding mold

It’s important to keep checking the pot to ensure that it stays at that level. I used my smartphone timer to remind me of the task every 20 minutes. Also, when adding water, it has to be boiling, so I used an electric kettle to refill the steam pot when needed.

Since the pudding mold can’t be opened until the end of three hours, and because there wasn’t the slightest aroma in the house, I was almost afraid to open the steaming aluminum beast.

“Mrs Cratchit left the room alone — too nervous to bear witnesses — to take the pudding up and bring it in… Hallo! A great deal of steam! The pudding was out of the copper which smells like a washing-day. That was the cloth. A smell like an eating-house and a pastrycook’s next door to each other, with a laundress’s next door to that. That was the pudding. In half a minute Mrs. Cratchit entered — flushed, but smiling proudly — with the pudding, like a speckled cannon-ball, so hard and firm, blazing in half of half-a-quarter of ignited brandy, and bedight with Christmas holly stuck into the top.” (“A Christmas Carol,” Charles Dickens)

pudding mold cooked pudding plated

It turned out well, and tastes like an intensely flavored gingerbread while the sauce leaves you with a buttery, sherry finish. Keep in mind, the pudding must be served warm. If you have the will power to save some, wrap it in foil and reheat later in the steam pot.

(Why, you may ask? Because the high melting point of suet means that once the pudding cools, it no longer looks as pretty, if you get my drift.)

I hope you enjoy this project or other baking projects over the holidays. As Tiny Tim would say, “God bless us, everyone.”

By Luisa Cywinski, writer on the Communication & Service Promotion team and leader of the Access Services team.

 

 

 

 

 

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Advent Poetry Calendar – Day 15

ADVENT DAY 1511 Days Till Christmas

“Animal Rhymes” by William L. Greene, Jr.
Read by William L. Greene, Jr.

Little did I realize when I proposed this project that we had so many talented poets in our midsts right here at Villanova. William L. Greene, or Bill as we know him, is an Access Services Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library and he submitted several of his own poems for our advent calendar.

The first installment from Bill is set 6 of fun and cheeky rhymes that Bill was kind enough to read for us: Animals

Dec 14 Bill Animals

Image provided by William L. Greene

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Advent Poetry Calendar – Day 14

ADVENT DAY 1412 Days Till Christmas

“Lines for Winter” by Mark Strand
Introduced by Garrison Keillor
Read by Mary Louise Parker
Submitted by Joanne Quinn

Joanne Quinn is the Team Leader for Communication & Service Promotion at Falvey Memorial Library. Joanne was kind enough to submit this poem and the story of how she came to find it: “A sleepless night led to a serendipitous discovery of an NYPL produced podcast of a conversation between Jessica Strand and her father, poet laureate Mark Strand. Their familial banter and his humor drew me in, and I chuckled when he oomphed over the hefty pages of his collected works, Collected Poems, published last month. Strand died Thanksgiving weekend at the age of 80.

When I pulled myself out of bed, I Googled Strand and found this poem. I don’t know about you, but in the year-ending swirl of tests and reviews and finals and navel-gazing, it was just what I needed to hear. I wonder, and hope, that at my life’s end, I’ll too be oomphing over the heft of my own collected works.”

You can access the podcast Joanne references here.

Read by Mary Louise Parker:


“Lines for Winter”
By Mark Strand

Tell yourself
as it gets cold and gray falls from the air
that you will go on
walking, hearing
the same tune no matter where
you find yourself—
inside the dome of dark
or under the cracking white
of the moon’s gaze in a valley of snow.
Tonight as it gets cold
tell yourself
what you know which is nothing
but the tune your bones play
as you keep going. And you will be able
for once to lie down under the small fire
of winter stars.
And if it happens that you cannot
go on or turn back
and you find yourself
where you will be at the end,
tell yourself
in that final flowing of cold through your limbs
that you love what you are.

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Advent Poetry Calendar – Day 13

ADVENT DAY 13

13 Days Till Christmas

“‘Twas the Night Before Finals” by Andrew Hund
Read by Sarah Wingo
Submitted by Bob DeVos

Bob DeVos is the Falvey Memorial Library Interim director, and he submitted “’Twas the Night Before Finals,” saying that it was a poem that he regularly sent to students the night before the Big Test. If you were a student of his during the holiday season, it will probably be familiar to you.

‘Twas the Night Before Finals read by Sarah Wingo


Ode to Finals Week!

Twas the night before finals, and all through the college,
The students were praying for last minute knowledge.
Most were quite sleepy, but none touched their beds,
While visions of essays danced in their heads.

Out in the taverns, a few were still drinking,
And hoping that liquor would loosen up their thinking.
In my own apartment, I had been pacing,
And dreading exams I soon would be facing.

My roommate was speechless, his nose in his books,
And my comments to him drew unfriendly looks.
I drained all the coffee, and brewed a new pot,
No longer caring that my nerves were shot.

I stared at my notes, but my thoughts were muddy,
My eyes went a blur, I just couldn’t study.
“Some pizza might help,” I said with a shiver,
But each place I called refused to deliver.

I’d nearly concluded that life was too cruel,
With futures depending on grades had in school.
When all of a sudden, our door opened wide,
And Patron Saint Put-It-Off ambled inside.

His spirit was careless, his manner was mellow,
When all of a sudden, he started to bellow:
“On Cliff Notes! On Crib Notes! On last year’s exams!
On Wingit and Slingit, and last minute crams!”

His message delivered, he vanished from sight,
But we heard him laughing outside in the night.
“Your teachers have pegged you, so just do your best.
Happy Finals to all, and to all, a Good Test!”

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Foto Friday: Not Just Fun and Games

Image-1

Image-2

Laura Hutelmyer is the photography coordinator for the Communication and Service Promotion team and special acquisitions coordinator in Resource Management

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Advent Poetry Calendar – Day 12

ADVENT-DAY-12

14 Days Till Christmas

“And In the Red Box” by Alice Walker
Read by Sarah Wingo
Submitted by Barbara Quintiliano

Barbara Quintiliano is the nursing, life sciences, and instructional services librarian at Falvey Memorial Library and submitted this poem by Alice Walker. In the hustle and bustle of the holiday it can be easy to get caught up in the festivities and forget about those less fortunate than us, and children who aren’t hoping for the latest high tech gadget, but proper school supplies.


“And In the Red Box”
By Alice Walker

And in the red box
tied with red ribbons
tell me justice lies
and school books for children
tell me there is
a sandwich
for the man
starving
on the corner.
Tell me when Christmas
comes
peace
and a warm fire
happiness
and
joy
an end
to selfishness
comes with it.

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‘Cat in the Stacks: Visualizing Success

CAT-STAX

I’m Michelle Callaghan, a first-year graduate student at Villanova University. This is our new column, “‘Cat in the Stacks.” I’m the ‘cat. Falvey Memorial Library is the stacks. I’ll be posting about living that scholarly life, from research to study habits to embracing your inner-geek, and how the library community might aid you in all of it.


With finals just around the corner, it’s easy to panic and fall into despairing thoughts of doom and gloom, but let’s not do that, okay?

Visualize success with me.

My mind is clear. When I breathe, I am breathing fully. I am still.

I am motivated. I am intelligent. I am prepared.

I trust in the work I’ve done this semester. I have mastered knowledge, and I can show how.

I am stressed, but I accept that stress—and I am blessed to be stressed, to be here, to have made it to the end of another semester.

I know that there is life beyond finals. There will be a day—and that day is very soon—when finals are over. Until that day, I am focused, I am alert, and I am ready to finish strong.

I am centered, and I have justcuteanimals.com.


Article by Michelle Callaghan, graduate assistant on the Communication and Service Promotion team. She is currently pursuing her MA in English at Villanova University.

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Advent Poetry Calendar – Day 11

ADVENT-DAY-11

15 Days Till Christmas

“Miss Hooligan’s Christmas Cake”
Sung by Harry Melville and J. M. Gates
Sung by Clinton Ford
Submitted by Joanne Quinn

Joanne Quinn is the team leader for Communication and Service Promotion at Falvey Memorial Library, and she submitted this fun filled Christmas ballad with the comment “I like this one ’cause it reminds me of my own cookin’!” While I’m sure Joanne isn’t quite so bad, it certainly reminds me of her larger-than-life sense of humor.

While looking for information on this ballad I came across this piece from the National Library of Scotland’s digital archive, and decided to share it since it gives a great explanation of the ballad and its origins. You can also view the article and a digital facsimile of the original printing of the ballad here.

“Verse 1: ‘As I sat at my windy one evening, / The letter man brought unto me / A little gilt edged invitation, / Saying, Gilhooly, come over to tea. / Sure I knew that the Hooligans sent it, / So I went just for old friendship’s sake, / And the first thing they gave me to tackle / Was a piece of Miss Hooligan’s cake.’ The text beneath the title reads: ‘Sung by Harry Melville and J.M. Oates with success.’ The song was published by the Poet’s Box, 10 Hunter Street, Dundee, priced one penny.

This comic ballad describes a monstrous Christmas cake that poisons everyone who eats it. Although the broadside was apparently published in Dundee, some surnames and phrases in the ballad suggest that it is about a group of Irish acquaintances. The large number of Irish-themed broadsides found in Scotland reflects the high level of Irish migration to Scotland during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. As a major urban industrial centre, Dundee become home to a large Irish migrant population.

The Dundee Poets’ Box was in operation from about 1880 to 1945, though it is possible that some material was printed as early as the 1850s. Most of the time it had premises at various addresses in Overgate. In 1885 the proprietor J.G. Scott (at 182 Overgate) had published a catalogue of 2,000 titles consisting of included humorous recitations, dialogues, temperance songs, medleys, parodies, love songs, Jacobite songs. Another proprietor in the 1880s was William Shepherd, but little is known about him. Poet’s Box was particularly busy on market days and feeing days when country folk were in town in large numbers. Macartney specialised in local songs and bothy ballads. Many Irish songs were published by the Poet’s Box. Many Irishmen worked seasonally harvesting potatoes and also in the jute mills. In 1906 John Lowden Macartney took over as proprietor of the Poet’s Box, initially working from 181 Overgate and later from no. 203 and 207.

It is not clear what the connection between the different Poet’s Boxes were. They almost certainly sold each other’s sheets. It is known that John Sanderson in Edinburgh often wrote to the Leitches in Glasgow for songs and that later his brother Charles obtained copies of songs from the Dundee Poet’s Box. There was also a Poet’s Box in Belfast from 1846 to 1856 at the address of the printer James Moore, and one at Paisley in the early 1850s, owned by William Anderson.

Early ballads were dramatic or humorous narrative songs derived from folk culture that predated printing. Originally perpetuated by word of mouth, many ballads survive because they were recorded on broadsides. Musical notation was rarely printed, as tunes were usually established favourites. The term ‘ballad’ eventually applied more broadly to any kind of topical or popular verse.”

Sung by Clinton Ford:


“Miss Hooligan’s Christmas Cake”
Sung by Harry Melville and J. M. Gates

As I sat at my windy one evening,
The letter man brought unto me
A little gilt edged invitation,
Saying, Gilhooly, come over to tea.
Sure I knew that the Hooligans sent it,
So I went just for old friendship’s sake,
And the first thing they gave me to tackle
Was a piece of Miss Hooligan’s cake.

There was plums and prunes and cherries,
And citron and raisins and cinnamon too,
There was nutmeg, cloves, and berries,
And the crust it was nailed on with glue.
There was carraway seeds in abundance,
Sure ‘twould build up a fine stomach ache,
‘Twould kill a man twice after ‘ating a slice
Of Miss Hooligan’s Christmas cake.

Miss Mulligan wanted to taste it,
But really there wasn’t no use,
They worked at it over an hour,
And they couldn’t get none of it loose.
Till Hooligan went for the hatchet,
And Killy came in with a saw,
That cake was enough, by the powers,
To paralyze any man’s jaw.

Mrs Hooligan, proud as a peacock,
Kept smiling and blinking away,
Till she fell over Flanigan’s brogans,
And spilled a whole brewing of tay.
’Oh, Gilhooly,’ she cried, ‘you’re not ‘ating,
Try a little bit more for my sake,’
’No, Mrs Hooligan,’ sez I,
’But I’d like the resate of that cake.’

Maloney was took with the colic,
M’Nulty complained of his head,
M’Fadden lay down on the sofa,
And swore that he wished he was dead.
Miss Daly fell down in hysterics,
And there she did wriggle and shake,
While every man swore he was poisoned,
Through ‘ating Miss Hooligan’s cake.

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Last Modified: December 10, 2014