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The Curious ‘Cat: What’s the first thing you want to do for fun?

Curious Cat

This week, the Curious ‘Cat asks Villanova students, “After your final final, what’s the first thing you want to do for fun?

GALLOTaylor Gallo—“The first thing I want to do for fun is lay out by the pool [at] home.”







PETERPeter Rokowski—“I need to get through a few books that I’ve been putting off for a couple years … I’m working on my thesis … so I haven’t had time to read leisurely for about six years now.”






larkinPatrick Larkin—“I’m gonna go out to dinner with my dad; my dad’s gonna come in. So there’s that, and then I’m out the next day. That’s probably what I’ll end up doing; just sit down and relax for a little bit is probably what I’ll do, and just let my mind clear out … ‘Cause I’m going to start working again when I get back home, probably five days afterwards, … so I’m going to do as little as possible. Then in the next couple of days watch the Blackhawks play.”


wurtsterPatrick Wurster—“go outside and play Kubb (aka Ye Olde Viking Game)”







ROCCACristina Rocca—“I’m a senior, so I’m graduating. The first thing I’m gonna do for fun—probably pop a bottle of Champagne, sit on my porch and drink it … And then the seniors have a party, like Party on Deck—something like that, so I’ll be going to that.”


The Curious Cat: Which of the following changes to the Library would you most like to see?

Curious Cat

This week, in the spirit of upcoming finals week, the Curious ‘Cat asks Villanova students a multiple choice question: “Which of the following changes to the Library would you most like to see?

1. A green roof on Falvey Hall, next to the Library’s fourth-floor windows
2. Adirondack chairs for the porch outside of Falvey Hall
3. A Mezzanine for additional study space in Falvey Hall’s Reading Room
4. Your own idea

Timothy ConcannonTimothy Concannon—“I would go with the additional study space. . . . More space to study in is probably the best bet . . . I think this is the most useful.”






Cierra BelinCierra Belin—“I would like the mezzanine . . . because I find that there is not enough space to study when finals come around . . . more study space would be ideal for the students.”






Serena GrewalSerena Grewal—“I think probably the additional study space . . . would be most useful for all students. . . . I just think that a lot of students would like extra study space.”






RS8956_DSC_3326-scrJohn Garvey—“I would like to go with the green roof because  . . . the green roof serves a lasting, practical purpose in terms of having more space to plant plants. In the long run it’s going to help the environment . . . this improvement would be more lasting, affect something outside of the immediate student body . . . This would have an impact on the whole planet, even in a small way. ”



Andrew KimAndrew Kim—“I would say the mezzanine for extra study space because I see people struggling to find a seat . . . the upstairs fills up really quickly. I think everyone could use extra study space in the Library.”





RS8963_DSC_3334-scrGabi Im—“I definitely think that more spaces to study are necessary, especially during finals time and midterms, or just in general when it’s really busy . . . I would definitely go with more study space.”


Mood Board: Falvey Scholar Jessica Swoboda

This week, we are featuring the 2015 Falvey Scholars and giving you the chance to get to know these bright young adults up close and personal. Not only are they very smart – they’re very interesting! Just last week, Falvey Memorial Library, the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships, and the Honors Program announced the 2015 Falvey Scholars Award winners: Katie Kline, Elizabeth Long, Jessica Swoboda, Nicholas Ader, Joseph Schaadt and John Szot. These six remarkable senior students have been selected from a pool of candidates from various disciplines for their outstanding undergraduate student research projects at Villanova University. Click here for a listing of their projects as presented at the 2015 Falvey Scholars Awards Presentation and Reception Ceremony.


Featuring Jessica Swodoba

“I’m an English and Humanities major with a love for all things literature, chocolate, JCrew, and Kate Middleton. I’m often found in the stadium playing for Villanova’s field hockey team, in the Writing Center, or in my favorite place on campus, the Humanities Commons, in my ‘reserved’ seat on the comfy couch, eating too many peanut butter pretzels and sharing in conviviality with my best friends, Marie, and my beloved professors. Next year, you can find me at Boston College, where I’ll pursue my MA in English and continue my research in religion and literature and 20th century British literature.”

Project Title: “Woolf and Waugh: Blurring the Distinction Between the Religious and the Secular”

I am inspired by my professors and friends who are pursuing The Good Life.

If I could be any person for a day, I’d be Kate Middleton.

My favorite Villanova memory is my first day of ACS: Moderns with Dr. Helena Tomko. I immediately knew my Villanova experience had been changed for the better, and 4 years later, this couldn’t be any more true.

While working on my research project, I was challenged by the need to accept that things wouldn’t always be perfect or go perfectly.

Today I’m feeling the color purple.

I’m listening to the Folk Pop playlist on Spotify.

One Summer Adventure I’m daydreaming about is running for enjoyment and not to prepare for pre-season conditioning tests.

Happiness is finding joy and excitement in what you’re doing and in the relationships you’ve formed.

Everyone should know at least one text — whether it’s a novel, a theological or philosophical piece, etc. — like the back of your hand.

I am amazed by all we can learn about the Human Person, Society, God, and the World in literature.

Thanks, Jessica!

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The Curious ‘Cat: What strategy would you recommend to prepare for finals?

Curious Cat

This week, the Curious ‘Cat asks Villanova students, “With about three weeks of classes left, what strategy would you recommend to prepare for finals?

Caitlin GammaCaitlin Gemma—“I would recommend going to the Library and setting aside time to study … I personally always go to the third-floor cubicles; that’s my space. I have one cubicle I really like. And I always study out and … really focus. That’s my strategy.”





ViscardiAnthony Viscardi—“Take advantage of all the resources available that the University has: the Writing Center, the math tutoring center, the VSB tutoring [on the Library’s second floor]. Those are all really helpful, and visiting your professors’ office hours for any additional help. … Drink a lot of coffee to stay up. … Those are really the difference makers.”



SpandanaSpandana Vanukuri—“Just go through the writing [class] notes, which I have written … when the professor says something, the important points. … And then go through the [PowerPoint] slides. That’s it. … That more than will do it for me.”





RS8780_DSC_3063-scrMichael Anderson—“I usually hold up in a room and don’t come out. … I usually get a room in Tolentine and spend long hours there until I’m ready. It’s not fun. … with whoever has the exams with me, we just  get a room and start a study group, basically, ten hours a day during finals week.”





Edward Chang—“With only three weeks left, students should be going over the textbooks—whatever texts they had before—having all that set before actually starting to study so they don’t have to cram. Basically, don’t procrastinate.”






Jordan Pieper—“Try to get everything done the week before finals or done early. I’m an engineer so I write a lot of note sheets; that way I have all of my equations and all the information I need right on hand with me. That way I don’t need to worry about trying to search through it. Other than that there’s really not a lot I can do to prepare for engineering problems and so on. I also try to do a lot of practice problems.”


The Curious ‘Cat: What do you think about Falvey’s new drone-delivery service?

Curious Cat

This week, the Curious ‘Cat asks Villanova students, “What do you think about Falvey’s new drone-delivery service?”

Jacqueline AranJacqueline Aran—“The ten minutes is a lot quicker than what they estimated the delivery to be, which is good … ‘cause they [students] won’t have to walk over if it’s snowing or raining or something like that. … I think it’s cool to test it out and to see how it would work out in actuality using legitimate students asking for these things. … It would be cool if this could actually happen. At the same time, it seems super expensive for no reason. I mean, we have legs; we can walk.”

Karla GuadronKarla Guadron—“I think it’s really cool. It’s something students will take advantage of especially since it has been a controversial issue for Google and Amazon using it as a national service, with restrictions on where they can and can’t fly over. So it’s really cool that this service is available on Villanova’s campus.”




Magdalen SceskiMagdalen Sceski—“I think that’s really interesting … I definitely never heard of that before … So you can order the book online and then it checks it out for you and brings it … I actually don’t live on campus, but … if I did live on campus I think I would make use of that … It would definitely be really, really cool. It does seem almost incredibly unbelievable, but it would be really cool.”


RS8763_DSC_3046 copy-scrNeil Patil—“I think it’s actually a really great idea to start implementing … I think a lot of students would find it better to just have the books delivered to them instead of them having to come down here, having to sort through everything and look through everything to try to figure out what they’re looking for. And that way the Library can just be direct with them. It’s really cool.”



Todd MacDonaldTodd MacDonald—“That’s really interesting. I don’t really know anything about that; it seems pretty cool, though.”







RS8768_DSC_3052 copy-scrWilly Annan—“I think that’s really cool … it’s a really good idea … It’s something that seems almost like—what’s the word I’m looking for?—very Terminator-ish … future and so forth, science fiction … It’s going to be really great for the incoming freshmen. I mean, we should probably walk a little bit more instead of having things delivered to us. But it’s a really cool idea, and I think it’s showing a lot of progress on the University’s part. ”


The Curious ‘Cat wishes to thank this week’s participants for their contributions to our special April Fools edition.


The Curious ‘Cat: Who would be an ideal study partner?

Curious Cat

This week, the Curious ‘Cat asks Villanova students, “Who would be an ideal study partner?

Kaitlyn Barney'Kaitlyn Barney—“The ideal study partner would be The Flash, Barry Allen, because he’s smart, and he’s a scientist like me. He’d be great to study with.”






Santosh KothaSantosh Kotha—“My ideal study partner is Arany Levitin [PhD] from the computer science department. He’s a professor there. … The way he thinks really amazes me. … He analyzes things very well.”





Ellen MoxleyEllen Moxley—“I would choose Benjamin Franklin because he is my idol. I just love all of his thirteen virtues. … He seems to be very diligent and purposeful and successful, and I aspire to be like him.”





Sr. Oanh VoSr. Oanh Vo, ACJ—“my sister, Michelle: We don’t interrupt each other. … We take breaks together, and we respect each other’s time.”






Kumaresh BalajiKumaresh Balaji—“My ideal study partner would be someone who is highly intelligent and very on top of things in class.

So, for example, for the past two years I’ve been a bio major, so most of my classes were with this one student whose name is Thomas, and he’s a pre-dental student. Now he’s in Penn dental. He’s very intelligent, very bright, and so I always looked to him as motivation.

It was never any kind of hierarchy—he’s better than me—or anything like that. Whenever we were studying he was very quiet, I was very quiet. We would do things together … If I needed any kind of assistance, I would ask him, and if he needed any kind of assistance, we would work through it together. … That mutual collective spirit during studying is very helpful.

I don’t like big groups, a lot of chatter, I like quiet solitary studying with one guy who really knows his stuff … Working through problems whether it’s bio or physics … really teaches me to learn. If he asked for any kind of guidance I would explain my perspective, and that reinforces it in my mind … That’s my ideal partner: someone I can learn from and … draw inspiration from.”

Jennifer MaxwellJennifer Maxwell—“Well, right now I’m studying counseling. … I like musicians. I would like John Lennon and people like that. I feel like they always have good insight into the world.”

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The Curious ‘Cat: “What brings you to the Library today?”

Curious Cat

This week, the Curious ‘Cat asks Villanova students, “It’s the first day back from spring break, and you’re working here in the Library. What brings you to the Library today?

Daniel MarquesDaniel Marques—“I thought it would be a good place to relax after finishing up my three classes that I had this afternoon. I didn’t really have any work to do, but I thought it would be a good place to come and relax … try to get myself back into the school mode. I was just reading up on the news and trying to … get back into the rhythm of everything.”



Michelle Ahn

Michelle Ahn—“It wasn’t really spring break for me, actually. I was out all last month with a concussion. I spent the past week, and now, catching up on my midterms and stuff … I’m doing a lot better. I’m going to most of my classes now. [Spring] break was not pretty, but I was off for four weeks, so I can’t really complain about that … My teachers have all been so generous … I’m so grateful; I really am  And my parents, too, didn’t plan on having me come home for a month.”

RosalineRosalina Jowers—“I have a midterm on Wednesday and I have a couple of papers due this week … a lot of professors pushed midterms and papers post-break, so I’m working on that now … I wanted to come here to get things done ‘cause this is my favorite place to do work. I love coming to the Library … This is the only place on campus—in this Holy Grounds—where I get all of my work done. This is my most productive place.”


Michael Clinton

Michael Clinton—“I didn’t have a spring break, first of all. I’m here studying for the LSATs … I get done work at 2:30—I’m only part-time—so I study from 2:30 until 5:00 when I go home with my mom [who works here at the University]. I go home with her at 5:00, so I just come here from 2:30 till 5:00 … It’s tough sometimes. … I take [the LSAT] in June.”



Samala ShravyaSamala Shravya—“The Library in Villanova is very pleasant and so refreshing, so I just love to spend my whole day in Villanova’s Library … It gives me back my ideas, and it gives some pleasant thoughts in my mind whenever I sit in Villanova’s Library … so I can get back to the school environment.”





Manaury Garcia—“I should be doing more work right now, but … I’m filling out an application for another class. I have to write an essay for it—it has an essay component—so that’s what I’m doing right now … It’s a Faith and Learning Scholars application that’s due this Wednesday, so I’m going to be working on that.”


The Curious ‘Cat: “What Person, Living or Dead, Would Be an Ideal Librarian?”



This week, the Curious ‘Cat asks Villanova students,

What Person, Living or Dead, Would Be an Ideal Librarian?



Caroline McCarthy: “Maya Angelou … after she passed away this year, I … read a lot of her quotes, and they’re all awesome, and I read her book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. So I think she was a great author and inspirational figure and had a lot of wisdom and helped the students.”




Tanner Grace: “I’m thinking back to the colonies in America, the American colonies, those really educated men who would read all day. I would say Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson. … I read a biography on him once, and he seemed very bookish.”



obinecheNkemka Obineche: “I think Dr. Seuss would be a good librarian. … He’s a fun guy … makes reading fun. That’s how I learned to read.”




mcgaurnErica McGaurnStephen Colbert—“It would just be very comical … he would be very interactive with the students.”







Isobel McCreavy: “Truman Capote because he would just tell you to read his books.”






Nicholas Crowley: Genghis Khan—“I just watched this Netflix show; it’s called Marco Polo. … I guess that’s why he popped into my head.”

The Curious ‘Cat feature by Gerald Dierkes, senior copyeditor, Communication and Publications team; Access Services specialist, Access Services Team; liaison to the Department of Theater.



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Share the Love: Seeking Romantic Art for Valentine’s Day?


When asked to write a blog about romantic art, I could think of no images to accompany it; this is not a typical subject for this art historian. A search of Falvey’s catalog for “art, romantic” retrieved 297 titles, but these deal with romanticism in art and in literature. A Google search first gave me “Romanticism – The Metropolitan Museum of Art,” followed by “Romanticism – Wikipedia, the free encylopedia” and “images for romantic art.” None of these references yielded the type of images associated with love or Valentine’s Day. What they did have in common were references to a specific period in art history, the style known as Romanticism: a period which lasted from about 1750 to about 1850.

What is Romanticism in art? Broadly defined it is the beginning of modernism. Artists, according to Hugh Honour, had no programs nor common goals but were concerned with “integrity of feeling” (p. 25). Their subject matter is considered romantic because it stresses ideal beauty or strong emotions or combinations of ideal beauty, strong emotions and other materials. Gardner (Art Through the Ages, ninth edition, p. 872) says, “The Romantic artist, above all else, wanted to excite the emotions of the audience.” And these emotions can be either positive or negative.

"John Constable - Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop's Garden - Google Art Project" by John Constable - SQHNHPBhfP7FBg at Google Cultural Institute,  Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia

“John Constable – Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop’s Garden – Google Art Project” by John Constable  at Google Cultural Institute, Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Is it just us, or is this the view looking east from Tolentine Hall?

This is one of the great ages of landscape painting – J. M. W. Turner, John Constable, Caspar David Friedrich and the American, Thomas Cole are major artists. Other artists with very different subjects are Antoine-Jean Gros, Théodore Géricault, Eugène Delacroix and Henry Fuseli.

The Barque of Dante, Delacroix 1822 (150 Kb); Oil on canvas, 189 x 242 cm (74 1/2 x 95 1/4"); Musee du Louvre, Paris

The Barque of Dante, Delacroix
1822 (150 Kb); Oil on canvas, 189 x 242 cm (74 1/2 x 95 1/4″); Musee du Louvre, Paris

The Metropolitan Museum of Art compiled a list of works of art dealing with love, but again, these will not meet your expectations of romantic, Valentine-type art.

For a more light-hearted approach to the subject, visit, “Love Is in the Air, and in the Art,” by Ken Johnson, “The New York Times, Art & Design,” published Feb. 7, 2013.

Dig Deeper

Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Romanticism.”
Romanticism by Hugh Honour. A classic work.
The Romantic Rebellion: Romantic Versus Classic Art by Kenneth Clark. Another classic.
The Romantic Rebellion by Eric Newton.
Romantic Art in Britain: Paintings and Drawings, 1760 – 1860 by Frederick J. Cummings.
German Romantic Painting by Hubert Schrade
Romantic Painting in America, Museum of Modern Art exhibition catalog.
Historical Dictionary of Romantic Art and Architecture by Allison Lee Palmer.

imagesArticle by Alice Bampton, digital image specialist and senior writer on the Communication and Service Promotion team. 

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Foto Friday: What do you see?


Not sure? Take a closer look at the tall display case on Falvey Library’s first floor. It will satisfy your curiosity.

Laura Hutelmyer is the photography coordinator for the Communication and Service Promotion Team and Special Acquisitions Coordinator in Resource Management


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Last Modified: February 6, 2015