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Cat in the Stax: ‘Tis the Season of Finals

As Falvey’s Cat in the Stax, Rebecca writes articles covering a broad range of topics, from academics to hobbies to random events. All the while highlighting how Falvey Library can enhance your Villanova experience!

Photo by Tim Gouw on

Welcome back to campus, Wildcats! I hope you all had a restful break and were able to enjoy your time off and spend it with friends and family. It is important to be rejuvenated and re-energized as we enter the home stretch of the semester.

The passing of Thanksgiving marks various occasions: the end of November, the approach of December, the beginning of official preparations for Christmas, and the coming of finals. We are not only entering the Christmas season but the season of finals as well. From today, there are only two weeks until the first day of finals. And for those of you who are liberal arts majors, chances are you have papers to write instead of tests to study for, so these next two weeks are really crunch time.

While you research, write, and study, remember that it is important to take care of yourself too. Your work is only as good as you are! If you are stressed, tired, and overwhelmed, you won’t do as well on your assignments.

Take it Little by Little

This is a potential time-management strategy you can use to complete your final assignments. Let’s say you have a ten-page research paper coming up. Instead of looking at this project as a huge undertaking, break it down into smaller steps: read, highlight and take notes, outline, and write. You can break it down even further by doing a little bit each day (starting today). Reading 1-2 sources and take notes on Days 1-3, create an outline on Day 4, write 2-3 pages on Days 5-10 (or even 5 pages a day if you’re a fast typer, meaning you could have your entire paper written in 2 days), and review and edit on Day 11. And just like that you’re done, with some time to spare! This process works the same if you have a big test to study for. Study a chapter or section each day and review the material the day or two before the exam.

This method only works if you start early enough and give yourself enough time to work. If you wait until a few days before a paper is due to start working on it, you’re going to have to do everything at once which will stress you out. Starting your work ahead of time and working on it in bite-sized portions allows you to complete everything in a timely manner and keeps you from feeling overwhelmed. Hopefully, you’ll then have some free time to relax and focus on self-care. This strategy is also great if you have multiple assignments: you work on a little bit for each project every day, and you’ll have everything completed before their due dates.

Do Something You Enjoy

With all your focus directed toward schoolwork, it can be easy to forget to take some time to yourself. Do something this week that you love. This can be a range of things: read a book, watch a movie, workout, take a nap, get dinner with a friend, whatever makes you happy and will get your mind off school and exams.

Villanova’s Health Services has many opportunities for students to de-stress and take a break. They offer Pet Therapy every Wednesday at noon and 15 minute Chair Massages every Monday.

To remind students to take care of themselves during the finals season, Health Services will be hosting a Thriving Through Finals event on Thursday, December 7 at 12 p.m. in the Connelly Center. Pick up a healthy snack, meet the campus dietitian, and learn what foods you can eat to support you during finals week!

If you happen to be studying in Falvey on December 7, feel free to stop by Speakers’ Corner for our Stress Busting Open House from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The Library will have snacks and video games. It will be a great way to take a break from work and re-energize yourself!

Rebecca Amrick

Rebecca Amrick is a first year graduate student in the English Department and a Graduate Assistant at Falvey Library.


Dig Deeper: Rosalynn Carter

By Shawn Proctor

Rosalynn Carter and Betty Ford at National Women’s Conference in support of ERA in November 1977. Credit: The Carter Center


Rosalynn Carter, who became a leading mental health advocate after serving as First Lady, died Nov. 19.

The Carter Center, founded by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, to advance peace and health worldwide released a statement upon her death.

“For more than 50 years, Mrs. Carter was a tireless advocate for those living with mental illnesses, supporting practical measures and policy reforms to create parity for mental illnesses with physical illnesses in Georgia, the United States, and the rest of the world. She taught generations of journalists how to report about behavioral health in a way that reduces stigma and stimulates understanding and equitable treatment. She also advocated for caregivers, for acceptance of life-saving vaccinations for children and adults, for the elderly, for humane end of life, and even for the survival of the delicate and beautiful monarch butterfly.”

“Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished,” President Carter said via statement. “She gave me wise guidance and encouragement when I needed it. As long as Rosalynn was in the world, I always knew somebody loved and supported me.”

Learn more about Rosalynn Carter, in her own words and through others, by exploring the resources below. Furthermore, discover how she fits into the timeline of First Ladies and addressed the pressing crises of the era.



Video: First Lady of Mental Health


Shawn Proctor Head shot

Shawn Proctor, MFA, is Communication and Marketing Program Manager at Falvey Library.


This Giving Tuesday Consider Donating to Falvey Library

Falvey Library inspires students to challenge their minds and hearts by accessing expansive print, digital, and archival resources and collaborating with expert subject librarians and staff.

That is why we are asking you to consider supporting the Library this Giving Tuesday.

The University is recognized by The Chronicle of Higher Education as a top producer of Fulbright Scholars, and the Library is a critical component of student and faculty research and scholarship. In 2013, the Association of College and Research Libraries honored the Library with the Excellence in Academic Libraries Award for its outstanding accomplishments in furthering Villanova’s educational mission – yet there remains opportunities for Falvey to do more in support of Villanova’s student-scholars.

Help the Library this Giving Tuesday to continue to evolve to meet the needs of modern students, acting as the campus’ academic and intellectual hub and a point of alumni pride. Falvey Library has never been more essential to the campus community, providing resources vital to student and faculty academic and research success.

Give to support the Library today!

Shawn ProctorShawn Proctor, MFA, is the Communication and Marketing Program Manager at Falvey Memorial Library. Article originally posted on December 3, 2019. 





Dig Deeper: Award-Winning Authors to Visit Villanova on Tuesday, November 28

The Villanova Center for Irish Studies, in partnership with the Consul General of Ireland in New York, will welcome award-winning women writers from Northern Ireland to campus for an engaging literary panel discussion and readings around the topics of women’s rights, the sectarian divide, and social class on Tuesday, Nov. 28 at 6 p.m. in the Topper Theater, John and Joan Mullen Performing Arts Center. Moderated by Irish author Yvonne Cassidy, the evening event will feature writers Lucy Caldwell (These Days), Jan Carson (The Raptures), and Michelle Gallen (Factory Girls).

This event is presented in partnership with Columbia University, NYU, and Georgetown University, with support from the Government of Ireland and Northern Ireland Bureau.

Co-sponsored by: Anne Welsh McNulty Institute for Women’s Leadership.

Supported by: Falvey Library, Department of English, Department of History, Department of Political Science, Department of Global & Interdisciplinary Studies, Gender & Women’s Studies, Center for Peace & Justice Education, Creative Writing Program, Writing Center, the St. Joseph’s University Irish Studies program, the Irish Diaspora Center of Philadelphia, and the Irish American Business Chamber & Network, Inc.

RSVP HERE to reserve your seat!

Dig deeper and explore the links below.

Lucy Caldwell

“Born in Belfast in 1981, Lucy Caldwell is the award-winning author of four novels, several stage plays and radio dramas, and two collections of short stories: Multitudes (Faber, 2016) and Intimacies (Faber, 2021). Her most recent novel, These Days, won the 2023 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction.” (Lucy Caldwell official website.)

Jan Carson

“Her debut novel Malcolm Orange Disappears and short story collection, Children’s Children, were published by Liberties Press, Dublin. A micro-fiction collection, Postcard Stories was published by the Emma Press in 2017. Jan’s novel The Fire Starters was published by Doubleday in April 2019 and subsequently won the EU Prize for Literature for Ireland 2019. She has been shortlisted for the Sean O’Faolain Short Story Prize, the BBC National Short Story Prize and An Post Irish Short Story of the Year Award,” and in 2016 won the Harper’s Bazaar Short Story Prize.” (Jan Carson official website.)

Michelle Gallen

“Michelle Gallen grew up in Northern Ireland during the Troubles a few miles from the border. She studied English Literature at Trinity College Dublin and Publishing at Stirling University. Her debut novel, Big Girl, Small Town, was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award. Her critically acclaimed second novel, Factory Girls, won the Comedy Women in Print award and was shortlisted for the RSL Encore Award. Both books are being adapted for TV.” (Michelle Gallen official website.)

Yvonne Cassidy

“I was born in Dublin in 1974 and grew up in Dalkey, a small village about nine miles from the city centre. As a young adult I travelled a lot – summers in America, a year in Australia, a few years in London. In 2011, I moved to New York City where I live now with my wife. I’ve published four novels. I love to teach creative writing.” (Yvonne Cassidy official website.)

Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Library.





Peek at the Week: November 27


In Anne of Green Gables, L. M. Montgomery wrote, “Next to trying and winning, the best thing is trying and failing.”

Happy Monday, Wildcats, and welcome back! As we approach the end of the semester, with assignments and exams piling up, there will be more and more opportunities to succeed and to fail. With the foreboding pressure of failing, it’s easy to feel stressed out, overwhelmed, and even like you should just call it quits and do the bare minimum.

But if you don’t try, you almost certainly won’t succeed. So, while still being mindful of your mental health, try your best in these last few weeks of the semester, especially in the classes and areas that are the most important to you and your future. And regardless of the outcome, be proud of yourself and your hard work.


Monday, November 27

Mindfulness Monday | 1-1:30 p.m. | Multifaith Prayer Room, St. Rita’s Hall | Virtual Option | ACS-Approved | Free & Open to Villanova Students, Faculty, & Staff

The Learners’ Studio/Center for Speaking and Presentation | 4-9 p.m. | Room 301 | Free

Tuesday, November 28

The Learners’ Studio/Center for Speaking and Presentation | 4-9 p.m. | Room 301 | Free

A New Chapter: Women Writing Northern Ireland Now | 6 p.m. | Topper Theater, John and Joan Mullen Performing Arts Center | Free & Open to the Public | RSVP Here

Wednesday, November 29

Panel Discussion on Dana Lloyd’s Land is Kin: Sovereignty, Religious Freedom, and Indigenous Sacred Sites | 3:30-4:30 p.m. | Speakers’ Corner | ACS-Approved | Free & Open to the Public | Light Refreshments Served

The Learners’ Studio/Center for Speaking and Presentation | 4-9 p.m. | Room 301 | Free

Philosophy and Film Series on “Creativity and Madness”: Stanley Tucci’s The Final Portrait (2017) | 5:30 p.m. | Room 415 | ACS-Approved | Free & Open to Villanova Community | Light Refreshments Served

Thursday, November 30

The Learners’ Studio/Center for Speaking and Presentation | 4-9 p.m. | Room 301 | Free

Sunday, December 3

The Learners’ Studio/Center for Speaking and Presentation | 4-9 p.m. | Room 301 | Free


Today, Nov. 27, is National Brand Day. Brands aren’t simply a group of products made by the same company. Brands are an opportunity to support a company with the same values and beliefs as you. Whether you’re in the mood for some retail therapy or are doing some holiday shopping, you can celebrate by buying from a brand that you believe in. If you’re an entrepreneur, this is a great opportunity to celebrate your own brand.

Tomorrow, Nov. 28, is Giving Tuesday, or the National Day of Giving. Celebrated the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, this day is dedicated to the “giving” part of the holiday. To celebrate, you can give money to an important cause, volunteer your time to a local charity, or even donate blood. As Falvey graduate assistant Rebecca discussed in her blog, we are experiencing a blood shortage, and there are currently still spots open to donate at Villanova on both Nov. 27 and Nov. 30.

In the mood for some seasonal sweets? National Peppermint Bark Day is this Friday, Dec. 1. Peppermint bark combines the ultimate winter flavors: mint and chocolate. If you want to get into the holiday spirit, enjoy some peppermint bark.

Got a tight budget this holiday season? Sunday, Dec. 3, is National Make a Gift Day. Although everyone is different, I am of the opinion that homemade gifts are a great way to show your appreciation and tailor the gift to whom you’re giving it. So, if you’re feeling crafty, get out your crochet hooks, markers, recipes, and any other supplies you have and make a homemade gift for someone you love.

Annie Stockmal is a second-year graduate student in the Communication Department and Graduate Assistant in Falvey Library.


TBT: Happy Thanksgiving!


Whether during Thanksgiving or any other time, Villanovans love to dine together. Here’s hoping your holiday meals are plentiful and time away from campus is restful and fun. (This photo was sourced from the 1969 Belle Air yearbook, courtesy of the Digital Library@Villanova University.)







Thanksgiving Break: Embrace the Holiday



Thanksgiving break. Here’s to some heaping helpings of hugs.



Cat in the Stax: Thanksgiving Foods and Google Trends

As Falvey’s Cat in the Stax, Rebecca writes articles covering a broad range of topics, from academics to hobbies to random events. All the while highlighting how Falvey Library can enhance your Villanova experience!

Photo by Katrina Frederick

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! It’s almost here, and I want to wish everyone a fun and food-filled holiday. I hope you all are enjoying the break and taking this time off from school to relax, connect with friends and family, and think about everything you are grateful for. Load up on those carbs, eat as much food as you can, and savor every bite.

I was interested about the most popular Thanksgiving foods, and I wanted to see what people were most likely cooking this year. So, I looked on Google Trends to see what people were searching up as the holiday draws closer. Below are the five top trending Thanksgiving Recipes in the U.S.:

  1. Turkey Dressing
  2. Green Bean Casserole
  3. Mashed Potatoes
  4. Prime Rib
  5. Corn Casserole

Now keep in mind that these are only side dishes. Turkey is the traditional main dish of this holiday, and its annual place at the table in reflected in the Google Trends data. Every year, there is a huge spike in “how to cook a turkey” search interests during the month of November.

Another Thanksgiving food staple is pie. While one might think a typical pie served for this holiday to be either pumpkin or apple (or maybe pecan pie), the trends show that people are considering different kinds for their holiday meal. The picture below shows Google’s most searched for pies in each state:


As you can see, the types of pies being searched vary quite a bit, though there are a few common ones. According to this map, the top five most searched for pies are 1) apple pie, 2) pumpkin pie, 3) key lime pie, 4) sweet potato pie, and 5) pecan pie. Does this ranking surprise you? How about some of these outliers?

No two tables look the same! The data here shows that certain ideas we might have about Thanksgiving foods are different across the nation. Families might have different traditions during this holiday, and every household serves different dishes. Even if you are planning for a more “traditional” meal, the recipes used are not the same across the board. Every dinner this holiday will be unique in its own way!

Rebecca Amrick

Rebecca Amrick is a first year graduate student in the English Department and a Graduate Assistant at Falvey Library.


Leave Your Empty Cardboard Boxes: Falvey Staff Will Reuse, Recover, or Recycle Them

Hey, Wildcats! Just a friendly reminder to leave your empty cardboard boxes in the supplied bin located in the Falvey Mail Center on the library’s ground floor. Library staff will reuse, recover, or recycle them. Thank you!



Mamma Mia! Stop by Falvey Library’s Stress Bustin’ Open House

Mamma mia! Have finals hit you like a ton of bricks? Stop by Falvey Library’s Annual Stress Busting Open House in Speakers’ Corner on Thursday, Dec. 7 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (or until supplies last). Enjoy some SUPER refreshments and relax with Mario Universe video games and activities. We hope to see you Peaches, Peaches, Peaches, Peaches, Peaches people there! This event, sponsored by Falvey Library, is free and open to the Villanova community. Wowie Zowie, Wildcats—You got this (and Falvey Library is here to help)—Good luck on finals!



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Last Modified: November 20, 2023

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