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Weekend Recs: Medical Mysteries

Happy Friday, Wildcats! Falvey Library is delivering you another semester of Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Annie, a graduate assistant from the Communication department, scours the internet, peruses the news, and digs through book stacks to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week. 

Next Wednesday, Feb. 28, is Rare Disease Day, a day dedicated to spreading awareness about rare diseases. Suffering from a rare disease is an uphill battle, often both because of the actual symptoms and because of not being taken seriously by doctors or being treated differently. Although there are just too many rare diseases to cover in a blog post, this weekend’s recs will spread some awareness of what’s it’s like to live with one.

If you have 10 minutes…and are a fan of Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros, check out this article about how she balances being a best-selling author with living with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), a “rare” (though, we’re slowly learning it’s much more common than previously thought) genetic connective tissue disorder. You might recognize some of Rebecca’s real life symptoms in her protagonist Violet.

If you have 15 minutes…and want to better understand what living with long COVID is like (or if you can relate), read this New York Times article. Through impeccable graphic design, Giorgia Lupi’s essay is really able to convey how long COVID can take over your life.

If you have 44 minutes…and like medical dramas, watch an episode from the first season of House M.D. (or simply House), available in Falvey’s DVD Collection.

If you have 1 hour and 35 minutes…and want to experience what it’s like to be a medical mystery (if you haven’t already personally), watch Brain on Fire, available to stream on Netflix. The movie follows reporter Susannah Cahalan and her journey to being diagnosed with a rare brain disorder.

Bonus: if you liked the movie, you can also read the book, available in our Popular Reading Collection.

If you have 4 hours…and want to solve medical mysteries along with the author, read Playing the Ponies and Other Medical Mysteries Solved, available online through Falvey.

If you have 5 hours and 31 minutes…and like medical shows about real people, watch the first season of Netlifx’s Diagnosis. It’s both interesting to learn about new rare disorders while also humanizing the people going through the often grueling process of trying to obtain a diagnosis.


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


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Curious Cat: Spring Break Plans

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Happy Thursday, Wildcats! Spring break is less than two weeks away, and the Curious Cat team wanted to know what students had planned for the week. We asked students at Falvey, “What are you doing over spring break?”

“Going to South Carolina with friends”
-Gianna Angelone ’27 CLAS

 

“Miami!”
-Madeline Cunningham ’26 COE

 

“Going home”
-Taylor Dillon ’26 CLAS

 


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

 

 

 

Julia Wagner ’26 CLAS is a second-year Economics major and student worker at Falvey Library.

 

 

 


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TBT: “Twinkles in Their Eyes”

Image courtesy of the Villanova Digital Library (Bell Air 1964, p. 166)


Villanova’s 2024 Winter Gala has concluded, and students will now wait another year to dress up and take some pictures in Driscoll all while freezing in their suits, dresses, and heels in the chilly Pennsylvania weather.

Today’s TBT features a Junior Week formal from 1964. Would you wear any of these styles? Don’t forget, vintage styles are making a comeback! Maybe keep some inspiration in your back pocket for next year’s Gala.

Now that this Winter Gala is over, students are forced to face a long two weeks before they can bask in the relief of spring break, which is coming up after classes end on March 1. We hope that for those who attended the Winter Gala this past weekend, you enjoyed every minute with your friends dancing on the floor and saw “twinkles in their eyes and glows on their faces,” and that those memories will hold you over these next two weeks (and until the Winter Gala next year!)

Happy Thursday!


AJ Balinski ‘26 CLAS is a Communication major from Gibraltar, Mich. She works as a Communication & Marketing Student Assistant at Falvey Library.

 

 


 


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Dig Deeper: International Mother Language Day

By Abby Stinson

Today, Feb. 21, marks International Mother Language Day, a commemoration established by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to honor the linguistic diversity that enriches our world. Sadly, 40 percent of the world’s population lacks access to education in their “mother language,” or native tongue, leading to the loss of a language every two weeks and erasing valuable aspects of history and culture.  

This initiative, inaugurated in 1999 in Bangladesh, aims to “promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world,” according to the UN. The 2024 theme, “Multilingual education: a necessity to transform education,” underscores the significance of incorporation indigenous languages into education systems. To further this goal, the UN is convening an online panel event featuring experts in multilingual education from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. They also have named 2022-2032 as the “International Decade of Indigenous Languages”, ensuring an opportunity to collaborate and stimulate global change in this department.  

The preservation of languages is paramount for maintaining identity, facilitating communication, fostering social integration, promoting education, and driving development. For more information, read here: International Mother Language Day | United Nations.

Dig deeper and explore the resources below.


Abby Stinson ’26 VSB, is a Marketing and Business Analytics major and a student worker at Falvey Library.

 

 

 


 


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Cat in the Stax: Author Spotlight: Zadie Smith

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!

Happy Wednesday, Wildcats, and welcome to a new segment I’m introducing into the Cat in a Stax Blog: Author Spotlight. I love to read, it’s probably one of my favorite pastimes. And as an English grad student, I’m constantly introduced to writers and texts I might not have otherwise have heard of, let alone read. I want to use this platform to expand your readership and hopefully help you discover some new interests in literature. Every month, one Cat in the Stax post will be dedicated to informing about and celebrating a  writer whose work is available at here at Falvey. Our very first featured author? Zadie Smith.

Photo by David Levenson/Getty Images

Zadie Smith is a British writer whose work includes novels, essays, and short stories. She was born in London, England on Oct. 27, 1975 to a Jamaican mother and an English father. She studied English Literature at Cambridge University and graduated with her B.A. in 1998. In 2010, she became a tenured professor of Creative Writing at New York University. For Smith, fiction is “a medium that must always allow itself . . . the possibility of expressing intimate and inconvenient truths.” She explores many of these truths in her work, which often ponder questions of race, religion, and cultural identity.

Her debut novel, White Teeth, was published in 2000. It explores a contemporary multicultural London through the lives of three different, but connected, families. The book was an immediate literary sensation and won many awards, including the Guardian First Book Award, the Whitbread First Novel Award, and the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Overall Winner, Best First Book). Her second book, titled The Autograph Man, examines loss, obsession, and the nature of fame. This book won the 2003 Jewish Quarterly Literary Prize for Fiction. It was also this same year that Granta magazine named Smith as one of 20 “Best of Young British Novelists” and published her short story Martha, Martha in their 2003 issue. On Beauty is Smith’s third novel (published in 2005), and tells the story of two families living in the fictional town of Wellington, Massachusetts. On Beauty won the 2006 Orange Prize for Fiction.

Smith is also the author of NW, a story focused on the friendship between two women in London that is tested by the trials and tribulations of adulthood, and Swing Time, which follows the lives of two aspiring dancers whose lives take drastically different turns. Smith’s most recent book, The Fraud, is set in Victorian London and based on the historical Tichborne Trial. The Fraud can be found on Falvey’s new Popular Reading Shelves.

Zadie Smith’s work includes essays and short stories as well. A collection of her short stories was published in 2019, titled Grand Union. She has three essay collections: Changing My MindFeel Free, and Intimations. Smith also wrote a play called The Wife of Willesden, a reimagining of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Wife of Bath’s Tale from his Canterbury Tales.

If you’re looking to read something different that will make you think, definitely check out this incredible and prolific writer!


Rebecca Amrick

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


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That’s a Wrap! Love Data Week 2024

By Nicole Daly

We are once again wrapping up an amazing week of data related events at Falvey Library. There was a lot planned out for Love Data Week this year, including the new Falvey Data Visualization Competition. This year we had submissions from across the colleges and we were able to celebrate and recognize four marvelous students in their work with data visualization. Below we have linked to each of their award-winning projects. 

2024 Award Winners

Nicole Daly, Social Sciences Librarian, and Melissa Wright

Melissa Wright – First Place Undergraduate  

  • Project Title: “Compare your Lifts!” 
    • Available through the Shiny app.
  • An app developed to show power lifters how they compare to others.

Shealyn Murphy – Runner-up Undergraduate 

Stephen M. Strader, PhD, Amanda Wagner, and Nathaniel B. Weston, PhD

Amanda Wagner – First Place Graduate 

  • Project Title: “Vulnerability to Tornado Hazards” 
    • Available through ArcGIS.
  • A story map that breaks down different areas’ vulnerability to tornados, looking at past data on tornado warnings, impacts, and risk factors.

Jonah Miles Gavino

Jonah Miles Gavino – Runner-up Graduate 

  • Project Title: “J&S Publishers 2020 Reimbursements Overview” 
    • Sign in with your Villanova credentials to view.
  • A detailed risk analysis of a fictional publishing company, which allows users to flag employee reimbursements based on set risk factors.

Thank you for joining us in celebrating another year of data appreciation. Hopefully, you were able to learn about some of the wonderful resources available to Villanova affiliates through Falvey Library and how students on campus are working with data. For more information about different data resources Falvey offers check out the Falvey Library blog, where we have been posting all week about data and Library resources.

Join us tomorrow for our two rescheduled events, Intro to Python and Excel for the Humanities.

To find out more about how Falvey has celebrated Love Data Week in the past check out our event page. Through this page you’ll be able to find links to past events, read some of our data related blog posts, and see how far reaching our events have been in past years. This page will provide you an overview of what Love Data Week is and how we’ve celebrated it in the past.

Save the date for next year’s Love Data Week 2025, which will be from Feb. 10-14, 2025. 


Headshot of Nicole Daly, Social Science Librarian. Nicole Daly is Communication Librarian at Falvey Library.


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Peek at the Week: February 19

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

In Anne of Avonlea, L. M. Montgomery wrote, “I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.”

Happy Monday, Wildcats! While a fast-paced, exciting week can be great, sometimes, a calm week is just what you need to feel refreshed. A week that might not be particularly spectacular but is filled with the simple little pleasures that make you smile.

With midterms around the corner and then the excitement of spring break, I hope your week is the calm before the (almost inevitable) storm.


THIS WEEK AT FALVEY

Monday, February 19

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

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

“Caribbean Women Will Have Their Revenge on the New World”: Author Dionne Irving | 5 p.m. | Speakers’ Corner | ACS-Approved | Free & Open to the Public | Register Here

Tuesday, February 20

Snow Day Make-up: Intro to Python | 10-11 a.m. | Virtual | Free & Open to the Public | Register Here

Snow Day Make-up: Excel for the Humanities | 12-1 p.m. | Virtual | Free & Open to the Public | Register Here

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

Interfaith Human Library: Where Books Talk and We All Learn About Life in a Multi-faith World | 4:30-6:00 p.m. | Speakers’ Corner | ACS-Approved | Free & Open to Villanova Students, Faculty, & Staff | Light Refreshments Served | Register Here

Wednesday, February 21

Panel on Land Acknowledgements | 12-1:30 p.m. | Speakers’ Corner | ACS-Approved | Free & Open to the Public | Light Lunch Served

Lenape Material in the Classroom: A Conversation with Adam DePaul | 1:45-3 p.m. | Speakers’ Corner | Free & Open to the Public

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

Thursday, February 22

Center for Speaking and Presentation/The Learners’ Studio | 12-9 p.m. | Room 301 | Free

Sunday, February 25

Center for Speaking and Presentation/The Learners’ Studio | 3-9 p.m. | Room 301 | Free


HOLIDAYS THIS WEEK

If you need a great on-the-go snack that’ll satisfy your sweet tooth, tomorrow, Feb. 20, is National Muffin Day. So, if you’re in the mood for a treat, swing by Holy Grounds (or wherever you go for breakfast) tomorrow.

Wednesday, Feb. 21, is Mother Language Day, also known as Language Day. Mother Language Day is a day dedicated to the preservation of languages, especially those that are minority or unrecognized as official languages where you live. So, whether it’s be your mother tongue, the language of your culture, or a language you’ve been learning, honor a language today. (If nothing else, let this be a reminder to keep your Duolingo streak going).

Sunday, Feb. 25 is Quiet Day. We (typically) live pretty noisy lives. I don’t know about all of you, but I’m the type of person that turns on the TV for background noise and never leaves the house without headphones. But Quiet Day reminds us that sometimes, we just need to take a break and enjoy some quiet.

 


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


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Foto Friday: Celebrating a Faithful Partnership

Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement (DCDE) recently celebrated a new partnership with Bethel AME Church of Ardmore, which will create a church archive collection for the public in Falvey’s Digital Library. The ongoing collection is comprised of many unique items, such as church records, photographs, and newspapers, detailing the history of Bethel AME Church Ardmore and African Methodist Episcopal Church across the United States.


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Weekend Recs: Heist Movies

Happy Friday, Wildcats! Falvey Library is delivering you another semester of Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Annie, a graduate assistant from the Communication department, scours the internet, peruses the news, and digs through book stacks to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week. 

It could be an over-generalization, but everybody likes a good heist movie, right? Whether it’s the Ocean’s series, Money Heist, or a classic like The Asphalt Jungle. There are twists and turns, detailed plans that leave us on the edge of our seats, and usually a ragtag team of criminals that make for a wild ride. If you’re a fan of heist movies, here are some recs to keep you guessing this weekend.

If you have 4 minutes and 55 seconds…and want to watch a great heist scene, watch this clip from The Dark Knight. Although it’s not technically a heist movie, the Joker’s bank heist in the beginning is iconic.

If you have 18 minutes and 16 seconds…and want to learn about the biggest bank heist in history, watch this video. It details the 2022 bank heist in Iraq that stole $2.5 billion.

If you have 19 minutes and 49 seconds…and want to watch a former jewel thief rate heist movies, watch this Vanity Fair video.

If you have 1 hour and 55 minutes…and haven’t already seen it, watch Baby Driver, currently free to stream on Amazon Prime. It was probably one of the most popular heist movies to come out in the past decade.

Bonus: if you want to watch a slight more underrated heist movie from the same year, watch Logan Lucky.

If you have 2 hours and 5 minutes…and want to watch a classic film, watch Dog Day Afternoon, available in Falvey’s DVD Collection. This bank robbery movie starring Al Pacino is so iconic, it even inspired a Bob’s Burgers episode, aptly titled “Bob Day Afternoon.”

If you have 4 hours…and want to take a deep dive into the heist film genre, read Daryl Lee’s The Heist Film: Stealing with Style, available to read online through Falvey.

If you have a free weekend…and want to read a heist book with a fantasy twist, read Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom, available in Falvey’s new Popular Reading Collection. From Bardugo’s fantasy Grishaverse (although the Shadow and Bone trilogy is not required reading to enjoy this duology), Kaz Brekker and the rest of the crows bring everything a quintessential heist book needs and will keep you guessing until the end.


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


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Curious Cat: Favorite Campus Food

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Happy Thursday, Wildcats! This week, the Curious Cat team wanted to know what campus foods students enjoyed. We asked library patrons, “What is your favorite food to eat on campus?”

“Cova Nachos”
-Kayleigh Wallis ’25 CLAS

 

“Spicy Breaded Chicken Conn Sammy”
-Kelsi Membrino ’25 CLAS

 

“Smoothies”
-Peyton Gibbs ’27 CLAS

 


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

 

 

 

Julia Wagner ’26 CLAS is a second-year Economics major and student worker at Falvey Library.

 

 

 


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Last Modified: February 15, 2024

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