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Cat in the Stax: What are you thankful for?

By Ethan Shea

A year ago, in spite of the chaos of November 2020, Jenna, last year’s “Cat in the Stax,” wrote about what she’s thankful for in this Thanksgiving blog. To continue this tradition of revisiting reasons to be thankful annually, this holiday edition of “Cat in the Stax” describes a few of the many people, places, and things I’m grateful for.

In-Person Classes

Considering the entirety of my senior year as an undergraduate was online, I’m very thankful to be back on a college campus. Although my experience at Zoom University was as good as it could have been, I definitely connect more with the material and my classmates in a face-to-face setting. Campus life remains imperfect. Still, our ability to adapt to the tumultuous world and gather once again is something I will no longer take for granted.


Any library’s blog about thankfulness would be incomplete without mentioning books! Thanks to Falvey’s vast selection of material, I’ve discovered a new passion for aimlessly wandering the fourth floor stacks until I find a book I can use for my research. Not only have the stacks been there to help me with academics, but, of course, I’m looking forward to indulging in some leisurely reading during the upcoming winter break, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to do so.

Family & Friends

It goes without saying that I would not be able to function without my support system. From friends who are willing to let me crash at their apartments on the weekends to family eager to drive four hours to visit me, I’m thankful for everyone in my life who keeps me in good spirits. The comfort of knowing I have people who will help me get back on my feet if I’m struggling is something I couldn’t live without, which is why I’m especially grateful for friends and family this year.


Before this semester began, I was apprehensive about conducting research at the graduate level, but, luckily, all my professors have made my first semester at Villanova a memorable one. By taking the time to discuss my ideas and giving guidance where it’s needed, my professors have made the collaborative process of work in the classroom enjoyable. I couldn’t have asked for better courses to kickstart my graduate career.


As someone who has only lived in Pennsylvania since August, these past few months have been an eye-opening experience with regard to gas station cuisine. Back home in Connecticut, we swear by Dunkin’ Donuts, but I have to say, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by Wawa. I don’t have enough fingers to count the number of meals I’ve bought from Wawa this semester, but the breadth of options there really made me understand the hype. I guess this means I’m officially a Pennsylvanian now?

…maybe not, but regardless, I hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving!

Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a first-year English Graduate Student at Villanova University and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.


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Last Modified: November 24, 2021

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