FALVEY MEMORIAL LIBRARY

You are exploring: VU > Library > Blogs > Falvey Memorial Library Blog

‘Cat in the Stacks: So Spring has Sprung

 

CAT-STAX4I’m William Repetto, a first-year graduate student at Villanova University. This is the “‘Cat in the Stacks” column. I’m your ‘cat. I’ll be posting about college life, about learning and growing here at Villanova, and, of course, about the Falvey Library’s role.


It’s the first week of spring, Wildcats! Our men’s basketball watching schedule has perhaps been cut a little short, and, judging by those spots of snow still hanging on, winter has decided to hang around for a while, but this time of year reminds me of a Wallace Stevens quote that always makes me laugh. He wrote, “poor, dear, silly spring, preparing her annual surprise!”

From Stevens' journal and available in our collection.

From Stevens’ journal and available in our collection.

In his journal entry (pictured above) Stevens writes about the clouds and the fields, but since my own undergraduate years, I’ve come to recognize that Stevens’ quote applied to many aspects of spring that he anticipates coming. It seems only at surface level that he talks about the clouds and the coming rain as “poor, dear, silly” spring’s surprise.

So that begs the question: what is spring’s annual surprise? I think it has to do with those three adjectives that Stevens uses to describe the season; it’s at once poor, dear, and silly.

For us college students, the spring does have one poor surprise ­– the semester’s quick descent into finals and term paper due dates. While the weather warms outside and the birds begin chirping again, we find ourselves inside looking longingly out during breaks from studying.

It is, however, dear as well. During the spring, everyone on college campuses begins to feel they are approaching the end of another academic-year-long odyssey. These last few weeks with our college friends before we disperse, these last class sessions with a favorite professor, or even the last few strolls around campus before going home – these are the memories that remain dear to us.

How spring semester can look, when stuck inside. Photo by Lia Leslie.

How spring semester can look, when stuck inside. Photo by Lia Leslie.

I know I got sentimental on you there, but spring is also a time to be silly! While the frigid temperatures kept some of us inside all winter long, the receding clouds and bright sunshine make the perfect mix for a pickup game of ultimate Frisbee. Or maybe the nicer weather makes using that 30-minute break all the more attractive for a walk down to Campus Corner, instead of a quick microwavable meal.

If you feel like the stereotypical, poor college student, caught up in the blur of spring semester’s final weeks, Falvey has plenty of resources to ease your suffering. Whether you need articles or books, resources from another library or help finding a database, the staff here at the library looks forward to making spring’s surprise not so “poor.”

If this is your sentimental time of year, Falvey Memorial Library has great spaces for you to spend those last school weeks with your friends – the first floor lounge and the Dugan Polk Family Reading Room, to name my favorite. And, if you’re feeling silly this spring, I’ve heard that a pet-related stress buster is in the works for Friday, May 5.

Dugan Polk Family Reading Room

I just can’t get enough of this view!

I know, I know, “C’mon, William, you’re really stretching the limits of Stevens’ words.” I might be guilty as charged! But anytime Stevens took a look at nature, I think we can safely assume that he was talking about something deeper – maybe something spiritual, maybe something like college life, maybe the nothing that is not there.


Website photo 2

Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant on the Communications and Marketing Team at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.

 

 

 


Like
1 People Like This Post

‘Cat in the Stacks: So Spring Has Sprung

CAT-STAX4

I’m William Repetto, a first-year graduate student at Villanova University. This is the “‘Cat in the Stacks” column. I’m your new ‘cat. I’ll be posting about college life, about learning and growing here at Villanova, and, of course, about the Falvey’s role.


 

It’s the first week of spring, Wildcats! Our men’s basketball-watching schedule has perhaps been cut a little short, and, judging by those spots of snow still hanging on, winter has decided to hang around for a bit, but this time of year reminds me of a Wallace Stevens quote that always makes me laugh. He wrote, “poor, dear, silly spring, preparing her annual surprise!”

From Stevens' journal and available in our collection.

From Stevens’ journal and available in our collection.

In his journal entry (pictured above) Stevens writes about the clouds and the fields, but since my own undergraduate years, I’ve come to recognize that Stevens’ quote applied to many aspects of spring that he anticipates coming. It seems only at surface level that he talks about the clouds and the coming rain as “poor, dear, silly” spring’s surprise.

So that begs the question: what is spring’s annual surprise? I think it has to do with those three adjectives that Stevens uses to describe the season; it’s at once poor, dear, and silly.

For us college students, the spring does have one poor surprise ­– the semester’s quick descent into finals and term paper due dates. While the weather warms outside and the birds begin chirping again, we find ourselves inside looking longingly out during breaks from studying.

How spring semester can look, when stuck inside. Photo by Lia Leslie.

How spring semester can look, when stuck inside. Photo by Lia Leslie.

It is, however, dear as well. During the spring, everyone on college campuses begins to feel they are approaching the end of another academic-year-long odyssey. These last few weeks with our college friends before we disperse, these last class sessions with a favorite professor, or even the last few strolls around campus before going home – these are the memories that remain dear to us.

I know I got sentimental on you there, but spring is also a time to be silly! While the frigid temperatures kept some of us inside all winter long, the receding clouds and bright sunshine make the perfect mix for a pickup game of ultimate Frisbee. Or maybe the nicer weather makes using that 30-minute break all the more attractive for using for a walk down to Campus Corner, instead of a quick microwavable meal.

If you feel like the stereotypical, poor college student, caught up in the blur of spring semester’s final weeks, Falvey has plenty of resources to ease your suffering. Whether you need articles or books, resources from another library or help finding a database, the staff here at the library looks forward to making spring’s surprise not so “poor.”

If this is your sentimental time of year, Falvey Memorial Library has great spaces for you to spend those last school weeks with your friends – the first floor lounge and the Dugan Polk Family Reading Room, to name my favorite. And, if you’re feeling silly this spring, I’ve heard that a pet-related stress buster is in the works for Friday, May 5.

Dugan Polk Family Reading Room

I simply can’t get enough of this room.

I know, I know, “C’mon, William, you’re really stretching the limits of Stevens’ words.” I might be guilty as charged! But anytime Stevens took a look at nature, I think we can safely assume that he was talking about something deeper – maybe something spiritual, maybe something like college life, maybe the nothing that is not there.


Website photo 2 Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant on the Communications and Marketing Team at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.

 


Like

‘Cat in the Stacks: Neither Stellar Nor Easter

CAT-STAX4

I’m William Repetto, a first-year graduate student at Villanova University. This is the “‘Cat in the Stacks” column. I’m your ‘cat. I’ll be posting about college life, about learning and growing here at Villanova, and, of course, about the Falvey Library’s role.


You might notice that ‘Cat in the Stacks is coming to you slightly later than usual on this frigid and frozen Wednesday. While this ‘Cat sat inside watching the Nor’easter Stella drop inches and inches of precipitation, I also took the time to contemplate the landscape and scenes of community offered behind the façade of wet, heavy snow.

I first noticed that the whitewashed landscape offered me the chance to write new images onto the usually familiar sights. Parking spots became miniature mountains as snowplows worked away. It reminded me of writing this blog each week, turning the white screen of Microsoft Word into the story of my imagination.

View from a Falvey window

View from a Falvey window

I turned my attention next to the scenes of community that the storm allowed under turbulent circumstances. One woman dug her car out to rush to work, only to have a snow plow block her car back in. Two gentlemen working on freeing their car took a break to help her dig out once again.

Another guy, trying to free his small sedan, found that the ice was too much for the car to handle. Two other gentlemen and one’s girlfriend pushed the small car from behind to free it from its frozen prison.

These scenes and thoughts from Stella offer comfort in the face of a political world becoming increasingly chaotic and a semester rapidly picking up speed as it descends toward finals and term paper deadlines.

In the political realm, we young adults have been thrown into the descending chaos with little to choose from but two opposing sides. Stella offered a nice reminder, in its powdery covering, that we have the ability to inscribe the world with the meaning we envision. Standing up to the descending chaos seems to be the theme of the year; take note of the “Fearless Girl” statue below, and think about how others stood up to the chaos of the storm.

Photo by Mark Lennihan, courtesy of The Boston Globe.

Photo by Mark Lennihan, courtesy of The Boston Globe.

These last weeks of the semester might seem to wreak a similar havoc to a nor’easter. It’s important to remember that even though half of the semester’s grades might already be posted, the second half remains a blank sheet of paper on which you can write whatever accomplishments you envision.

The team here at the Falvey remains those friends who will help you if you feel snowed in by the pressures of the semester. Whether you need a team of subject librarians to get your project moving, or you need a subject guide to dig you out of that pile of books, we’ve got your back.


Website photo 2

Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant on the Communications and Marketing Team at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.

 


Like

‘Cat in the Stacks: Tackling Fake News

CAT-STAX4

I’m William Repetto, a first-year graduate student at Villanova University. This is the “‘Cat in the Stacks” column. I’m your ‘cat. I’ll be posting about college life, about learning and growing here at Villanova, and, of course, about the Falvey Memorial Library’s role


It’s become impossible to scroll one’s Twitter feed, check Facebook or browse a news website without coming across the phrase “fake news.” It’s a highly politicized term with both sides accusing the other of relying on fake news as sources. Usually, I would steer clear of such a conversation here on the Falvey blog, but this phenomenon has become so connected with our mission here at the library that I cannot help but discuss it.

InfoWarsA fake news site that became infamous during the 2016 election for its story about Washington pizza shop scandals.

Fake news goes against our mission at the Library in three primary ways. First, fake news generally has an agenda that promotes the marginalization of a particular group. Second, fake news websites lure Internet browsers in with the promise of a story, only to peddle false information to them and take their information for advertisers. Lastly, and perhaps most succinctly put, fake news sites lie to their visitors.

The agenda behind most fake news sites is political and economic. These sites hope to shock and appall you concerning the beliefs of the opposite party than your own. Their end game is financial profit. The business model is fairly simple; the more people who visit the site, the more advertisers will pay for space.

The ethical problem with this model is that it takes advantage of an already marginalized group – the under-educated. This ethical violation goes against the mission of all libraries. While we understand that the vast majority of our visitors attend Villanova and would not fall under the category of “under-educated,” this predation on a certain group of people is an affront to the mission of all libraries.

Liberty Writers NewsA fake news site known for an aggressive and often violent rhetoric.

Beyond the circulation of books, libraries seek to promote the inclusive and free sharing of knowledge. I would like to take the present post to emphasize and reaffirm the Falvey Memorial Library’s commitment to this mission. Whether your research takes you through the stacks or clicking through our many databases, we offer you a non-judgmental physical or cyber space to become informed about the topics that inspire you.

Moreover, in your browsing, we remain committed to protecting your privacy. While these fake news sites aggregate your data and sell it to advertising agencies, we guarantee a private browsing space free from advertisements. The outside world seems increasingly intent on infringing on your privacy; here at the Falvey, we are committed to protecting it.

Perhaps most egregiously among the ethical breaches of fake news is the fact that they grow on the promulgation of lies to their visitors. Here at Falvey we believe that growth should come on the strength of factual information that promotes genuine interest and advanced literacy. From top to bottom, our staff remains committed to this end, despite current political happenings.

Fake News MemeListen to the world’s most interesting man; listen to him. (Courtesy of imgflip.com)

Typically, I save this blog for philosophical or aesthetic musings about college life and the Villanova experience. Given the immensity of the fake news problem though, I thought it important to be forthcoming with you this week and reinforce our authentic image for our mission and goals as we all adjust to an increasingly turbulent political landscape.


Website photo 2

Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant on the Communications and Marketing Team at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.

 

Save


Like
1 People Like This Post

’Cat in the Stacks: Common Ground 

CAT-STAX4

I’m William Repetto, a first-year graduate student at Villanova University. This is the “‘Cat in the Stacks” column. I’m your new ‘cat. I’ll be posting about college life, about learning and growing here at Villanova, and, of course, about the Falvey’s role.


 

As her urge to practice #mindfulnessmonday, Hunter Houtzer attached this quote on her blog post Peek at the Week, “Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future. Live the actual moment. Only this moment is life.”

Thich Nhat Hanh, the founder of Engaged Buddhism, wrote these lines. Without some knowledge of the central tenets of Buddhism, it might be easy to reduce these lines to the final two sentences. “Live for today” and “focus on the present.” There’s more to unpack here, though.

King's Merton and Nhat HanhRobert H. King’s Thomas Merton and Thich Nhat Hanh

First and foremost, let’s just start by saying that the tea of the first sentence can easily be replaced by coffee. So, what does it mean to drink your coffee “as if it is the axis on which the earth revolves?” To answer this question, you must know something about Buddhism; Buddhism (especially the school from which Nhat Hanh comes, but also in general) stresses the importance of practice and experience over theoretical reasoning.

Thus, to treat something as if it is the axis on which the Earth revolves is to take the thing itself as the epicenter of your existence in that very moment. The irony here is that the coffee or tea and even drinking could be replaced by any activity. At the core of the experience, then, is treating each individual thing as one’s dharma, or duty, for that particular moment. (One can easily see how this would transfer to the Buddhist practice of mediataion.)

Second, Nhat Hanh encourages us to act “slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.” Anyone who has rushed toward the future with the cup of coffee or tea in hand knows how damaging that can be for the tastebuds, but I don’t think Nhat Hanh is talking about burning your tongue here. Rather, these three guidelines for drinking tea (read: coffee) provide another blueprint for how we ought to do all activities in our life.

Coffee and FlowersCoffee and Flowers (Credit Hunter Houtzer)

This is not to say, however, that Nhat Hanh randomly selected drinking tea among all the activities he could have said. In fact, some Buddhists practice meditation while eating, which involves the contemplation of textures and feelings associated with foods. (I guess we could also say that some Buddhists practice meditation in all aspects of their lives – some yoga experts speak in similar terms as well.) Aside from the breath though, eating and drinking represent the two other major ways that we take substances into our very core, so we can see why they would have a privileged position to Nhat Hanh.

This leads us to our last two sentences: “Live the actual moment. Only this moment is life.” While we might be tempted to boil down Nhat Hanh’s powerful words to just these two lines, I think it’s a better reading to see these last two sentences as the conclusion of the earlier experience. That this moment, the one we take slowly, evenly, and without rush, is life for Nhat Hanh indicates the types of lives we should all be living: ones wherein the present moment is always and dynamically treated as the very center of human experience.

Because Buddhism is about practice and experience over theorizing, I’d be wrong to leave you with an abstract thought about what Nhat Hanh might mean. I’ll give you a method of practicing: the next time you walk into the Falvey take your steps evenly and slowly without rushing to the important work that you know you must do. Enter our space slowly and reverently as if we’re the very axis on which the Earth turns. When you return to your work with the same attitude, you might find yourself refreshed, with a new perspective.

IMG_3285A new perspective – like Hunter when she started wearing glasses!

I’d like to thank Hunter for digging up such a powerful quote for her PATW post. I’d also like to thank some of the great professors I’ve had over the years – Julie Regan and Charles Desnoyers – who taught me the history and tenets of Buddhism that have been instrumental in my own life far beyond the explication in this blog post.


Website photo 2 Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant on the Communications and Marketing Team at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.

 

Save


Like

‘Cat in the Stacks: A Reminder to Love

CAT-STAX4I’m William Repetto, a first-year graduate student at Villanova University. This is the “‘Cat in the Stacks” column. I’m your ‘cat. I’ll be posting about college life, about learning and growing here at Villanova, and, of course, about the Falvey Library’s role.


Love has been an important topic in the world in recent months. This week, while we celebrate Valentine’s Day, reflecting on some of the different types of love might do us – writer included ­­­– some good. Of course there are those with a silly mind, like those over at the digital collection responsible for the tweet below, but we’re talking about ‘love’ here and not ‘love making.’

First and foremost, with Valentine’s Day directly in our rearview mirror, romantic love can take center stage. I know that for some, romance and dating isn’t exactly your scene. As our Valentine’s Day listicle shows, however, romance and love in art and literature serve to sweep us off our feet from the daily tedium. One need not be a romantic himself or herself to experience the pleasure of reading Pride and Prejudice or any of the books our librarians recommended.

Next, in the wake of Brit Bennett’s visit to the Falvey yesterday, let’s talk about love of self and love of community. Bennett’s The Mothers, on some levels, talks about how one can recover the love of self after keeping a dark secret. While maybe not the exact message of Bennett’s book, my message for you is this: no matter how you feel that you let yourself down, remember to recover that love of self that helps you move forward.

Lit Fest and The Mothers

The Mothers also deals with a community of churchgoing mothers back in the protagontist’s hometown. While their gossip and talk might seem counter to Nadia’s (the protagonist’s) lifestyle, Nadia (like Bennett herself has said in interviews) retained a love for her hometown that transcended the seeming pettiness of a few of its members.

Having a place you call home is an important foundation toward building a successful career, successful relationships and a successful lifestyle. That place that you call home is generally populated with people who love you, and people who want to see you succeed themselves.

I hope for some of you that this description reminds of Villanova, and more specifically the Falvey Memorial Library. Think about it, the Falvey fits the criteria of home: we want to help lay the foundation for your success and the building is filled with those who want nothing more than to help in the fruition of your education. In this week of celebrating love, we want you to remember that you always have a place in our hearts here at the Falvey.

Falvey Entrance

In the recent months, love has become more than an emotion; it has become a political concept. As we continue our odyssey through the semester, however, let us Wildcats remember that love is at the heart of all that we do. Love of home, love of self, love of topic (e.g. history, engineering, mathematics, etc), and love of community drive everything we do.

As your campus library, we’re proud to say that the entire Villanova community is our Valentine, and we’ll be sending you all the love possible as we continue through the semester.


Website photo 2

Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant on the Communications and Marketing Team at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.


Like

‘Cat in the Stacks: X-Files Edition

CAT-STAX4I’m William Repetto, a first-year graduate student at Villanova University. This is the “‘Cat in the Stacks” column. I’m your ‘cat. I’ll be posting about college life, about learning and growing here at Villanova, and, of course, about the Falvey Library’s role.


 

Warning: Content may be too edgy and hip for some readers. 

This morning, the Falvey Communication and Marketing Team spotted a team of white-lab-coat-clad students working outside of our office windows. With their uncanny appearance through the trees, the speculations began immediately: “what planet have they come from, and what could they want?” “Who have they come to take away?”

It was all very, well, X-Files

The X Files

via YouTube

For those of you unfamiliar with the show, two special FBI agents, named Dana Scully and Fox Mulder, investigate unexplainable phenomena (UFOs, abductions, hauntings, the usual stuff). Mulder believes in the supernatural, while Scully generally attempts to ground his theories. We can imagine how this episode would go:

MULDER: It appears the alien life forms came through the trees here and surprised the library workers in their office by climbing through the window.
SCULLY: The window’s not even broken, Mulder. Why can’t you just accept that they were probably just students from Mendel doing a science project? And the library workers are just away at lunch.
MULDER: Or you could accept that something supernatural has occurred here, Scully, that there may be life and knowledge beyond the bounds of human comprehension.

Lab Coats

Dialogue typically progresses like this throughout the episodes. The characters develop throughout the series, of course, and sometimes Scully accepts Mulder’s propositions (and Mulder even occasionally accepts that something perfectly terrestrial occurred).

The endings of X-Files episodes set the series apart from, say, CSI or Criminal Minds. At the end of an X-Files episode, the incident may not be resolved. And not simply put off until the next week, I mean actually unresolved. Think about how this one might end ­–

SCULLY: Mulder, would you stop trying to collect evidence and accept that they just went back to ­­–
[A bright light flashes through the trees and the scientists along with their footsteps disappear]
SCULLY: That could have been any number of natural phenomena… besides –
MULDER: A natural occurrence that happened to wipe away the footprints too? The truth is out there, Scully.

 

 

“The truth is out there” is a significant quote for the series, appearing at the end of the opening credits sequence and being said in some episodes throughout the series. This phrase is also the message that I’d like to leave you with today.

“The truth is out there” extends beyond the realm of the supernatural and the conspiracy theory genre. The belief that truth exists somewhere out there in the world drives all form of academic pursuit – including that of our friends in the white lab coats.

While the truth is, in fact, out there somewhere in the world, something that we here on the communication and marketing team are entirely sure of is that the resources to find it reside here in the Falvey Memorial Library. We have books on everything from UFOs to CEOs, from fantasy-fiction to factual biographies.

Sue Ottignon's colored page of Falvey

Sue Ottignon’s colored page of Falvey

The truth is out there, Wildcats, and the resources are in here.


Website photo 2

Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant on the Communications and Marketing Team at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.


Like
1 People Like This Post

‘Cat in the Stacks: Three Poems

CAT-STAX4I’m William Repetto, a first-year graduate student at Villanova University. This is the “‘Cat in the Stacks” column. I’m your new ‘cat. I’ll be posting about college life, about learning and growing here at Villanova, and, of course, about the Falvey’s role.


Every few decades, some “brilliant” literary critic declares the “death of poetry.” One need only look around at people quickly browsing social media feeds or getting their latest fix of current events from articles 500 words or fewer to realize that the general public does not care much for engaging literature at the heights of poetry.

The craft, however, continues. Poets of the 20th and 21st centuries have found increasingly interesting and artistic metaphors for thinking through the same facets of human nature as Homer and Shakespeare. For both poets and non-poets, the ‘Cat in the Stacks himself has tracked down three interesting poems for us to work through together.

Flood by James Joyce

Three images stick out to me in Joyce’s Flood: the flood, the sky, and the debris in-between. The lambent (read: ambient, glowing) flood with its vastness and its swaying seem to symbolize the internal “sea of emotions” that we all feel from day-to-day – perhaps Joyce here is thinking about feelings of “love’s full flood,” but we can think about it as emotion generally.

The sky, then, quickly reminds us of our own interior self-consciousness. Looking down on the flood, the sky sometimes offers “dull disdain.” That leaves a few things in-between, though: the “rock-vine clusters” and “vast wings above.” These seem to me to be elements of the imagination or memory that our emotions and self-consciousness cannot always quickly make sense of.

Regardless of how you want to read these objects between, and, if you see elements of your own emotions of love in the poem, Flood helps the reader think about his/her own interiority, and provides an excellent foundation for the next poem of our post –

Dreams by Langston Hughes

Available through the Academy of American Poets: https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/dreams

Screen Shot 2017-01-31 at 11.40.06 AM

Bloom’s collection of critical essays on Hughes

Dreams looks at those interior objects of Flood and asks us to consider the value we place on the ones that relate to ambitions and our vision of the world. Without dreams, “life is a broken-winged bird/that cannot fly,” according to Hughes. Those “vast wings” of Flood have come crashing down without dreams.

Moreover, Hughes states, “Hold fast to dreams/For when dreams go/Life is a barren field/Frozen with snow.” Life cannot produce without dreams, and, for this reason, Hughes cautions us not simply to keep dreams alive but to “hold fast.” Our production, whether it’s artistic, poetic, scientific, or business-related, originates with our dreams.

Hughes poem offers an excellent lens for which we may interrogate our own fidelity to self. So much of modern life, however, depends on what others see from the outside. For thinking through that, let’s turn to the poetry of James Richardson.

How I Became a Saint by James Richardson

Available through The New Yorkerhttp://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/08/08/how-i-became-a-saint-by-james-richardson

Richardson will be visiting Villanova, Tuesday, Jan. 31.

Richardson will be visiting Villanova, Tuesday, Jan. 31.

Richardson’s first line answers the question posed in the title: “Some sloppy Googling at the Vatican.” This line answers many of the questions we outsiders could have about poetic fame. The truth is that most fame results from misunderstandings.

Richardson then recounts the other James Richardsons who might have been a saint over him, and eventually apologizes: “Sorry, guys: admittedly your Works/were nobler than mine, your Faith purer.” The conclusion, then, is that Richardson became a saint (read: famous) by pure accident.

The poem drastically shifts tone for the final four lines, leaving us wondering about the pronoun “her” and the nature of the fog. Perhaps he means to say that we don’t know where we’re going, but that equally implies that we don’t know where we’ve been.

Conclusion

These poems show, despite the belief that poetry has died in recent decades, that poetry has remained strong and as creative as ever in the last one hundred years. Villanova students have the opportunity to explore these poets more thoroughly in the coming weeks.

On Tuesday, Jan. 31, Richardson himself visited the Connelly Center. This evening, Thursday, Feb. 1, a commemoration of Langston Hughes’ life and work will take place at Speakers’ Corner from 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm in the Falvey, and tomorrow, Thursday, Feb. 2, from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm, the Irish Studies Program will hold a James Joyce Reception in the President’s Room at the Connelly Center.

Remember, poetry is not dead, Wildcats, and this is only a sampling of the wonders that poetry holds.


Website photo 2Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant on the Communications and Marketing Team at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.


Like

‘Cat in the Stacks: Lessons of the Past

CAT-STAX4I’m William Repetto, a first-year graduate student at Villanova University. This is the “‘Cat in the Stacks” column. I’m your new ‘cat. I’ll be posting about college life, about learning and growing here at Villanova, and, of course, about the Falvey’s role.


I encouraged you last week to look ahead to the upcoming semester, to revise your goals and think about your place in the current academic year and your college experience holistically. I’d like to use this week’s post to encourage you to look back a little bit at where you’ve been as well.

The future holds all of our goals, ambitions and aspirations. It’s important, and increasingly so in the modern world, to get a jump on your plans in order to stand out against the competition. Where you’re coming from, however, contains a host of information about oneself that is equally important to reflect upon.

Take some time to reflect this semester.

Take some time to reflect this semester.

I talked about how first year students have the chance to revise their first impressions in the upcoming semester, how they might consider getting some extra feedback or taking on extra classes, depending upon the circumstances. I discussed how sophomores and juniors sometimes bite off a lot more than they can chew, and recalled my mixed feelings of nostalgia and anticipation in senior year.

What I failed to mention, however, was the extent to which remembering one’s own past might figure into the process of revising goals. First years may need to revise goals upward or downward, but, by virtue of your attending a top 50 university, you have already accomplished a lot so far. Don’t rest on your achievements, but do remember the tradition of academic and extracurricular success that has brought you thus far and apply the lessons learned to your current situation.

The same advice goes for sophomores and juniors, albeit in a slightly altered form. Familiarization with a process makes that process less stressful. As a sophomore or junior who has taken on tons of responsibilities, try to remember the stress of completing those first couple semesters during your freshman year. The short research paper and final exams seemed overwhelming back then, but were totally surmountable, and what you feel now may be no different.

Seniors, too, have myriad college experiences to draw on to help them complete their undergraduate experience. Their goals, however, usually have to do with what comes next. Looking at only your own past, seniors, might be too narrow. To truly understand how prepared you are for the professional world, take a look at the résumés of the most prolific people in your field; many of their successful careers started with a college degree – and so does yours.

Where all our seniors are headed!

Where all our seniors are headed!

Too often anymore, the past is seen as something retrograde or regressive, history viewed as something to be censored or brought up-to-date with new trends. This ‘Cat, on the other hand, encourages you to remember your past accomplishments as exciting and impressive in and of themselves and urges you to use the lessons learned as you push ever forward into the sometimes uncertain future.

I would argue that this same value – revising goals through remembrance of the past – plays a crucial role in Villanova University’s celebrations of its 175th birthday. As we continue to construct new and efficient buildings, remembering the rich Augustinian tradition that led us to this year will help us understanding where the university is headed and why.

175 Banner

If we come to understanding one’s own past as indicative of his/her present situation, then understanding the current attitudes of another is intricately entwined with learning that person’s history. By commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, the Falvey hopes to offer you that chance on the national level. After all, as President Harry Truman wrote, “The only thing new in the world is the history you don’t know.”


Website photo 2Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant on the Communications and Marketing Team at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.

 


Like
1 People Like This Post

‘Cat in the Stacks: Spring, Forward

CAT-STAX4

I’m William Repetto, a first-year graduate student at Villanova University. This is the “‘Cat in the Stacks” column. I’m your new ‘cat. I’ll be posting about college life, about learning and growing here at Villanova, and, of course, about the Falvey’s role.


 

This time last semester, we talked a little bit about your new school year’s resolutions. We looked at how accomplishments come in various forms for students at different stages of their college careers. We now find ourselves halfway through the school year, so, while our professional counterparts set their new year’s resolutions, we must decide how we’re going to finish out the last half of our two-part odyssey.

It may be too late for a new school year’s resolution, but another semester offers fresh chances to set revised goals. As far as I can tell, these goals may be revised in two separate ways – either revised upward or revised downward. If you find yourself revising your goals upward, then you have met your expectations of last semester and find yourself ready to take the next step. If you’re revising downward, however, do not be discouraged; sometimes students bite off a lot more than they can chew and get bogged down either academically, professionally, or emotionally.

(an example of positive goal setting.)

The sophomores and juniors among us know this all too well. I mean, the first couple of semester weren’t too bad, right? You can surely pack on an internship, a serious relationship, and a second major. Perhaps some of you found out that you really can do it all, but, if you are at all like I was, you recognized that trying to do everything spreads your energy too thin. You might consider revising your goals toward prioritizing those activities most beneficial to your most important future goals.

Seniors find themselves moving into the dorms or into the off-campus house for the last time in their undergraduate careers. I remember the bittersweet feeling very well: excitement at the thought of moving on to the next step of one’s life, coupled with the fear of leaving behind that lifestyle established over the last three and a half years. Goals range for seniors from starting a career and moving out of mom and dad’s house to just finishing strong to boost that GPA (or perhaps it’s about time to set aside some of that schedule for some serious socializing).

Freshman, of course, have this second half of the year to revise their first impressions. If first semester didn’t exactly go as planned, then you still have this second half of the year to improve your academic standing. If you surpassed expectations, then you now have the opportunity to challenge yourself with maybe an added extracurricular, taking the next step to learn that new language, or starting to lay the foundation for adding a minor. You still have time to consider these options, but ask any of your older friends and colleagues: the time flies by.

Falvey in Spring

(Time flies: before you know it, the Falvey will look like this again.)

We here at the Falvey Memorial Library have set some goals of our own for this semester. While we’re disappointed that we can’t open up a brand new reading room for you or share the excitement surrounding an election every semester, this semester still holds some exciting events here at the Falvey.

We will be commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution with a display and an exhibit. We’ll once again be hosting speakers as a part of the English Department’s Literary Festival – including Brit Bennet and Reginald Dwayne Betts. We’ll also be welcoming a new class of Falvey Scholars and celebrating Villanova’s 175th birthday along with the rest of the university.

Russian Revolution

(Russian Revolution banner from Home Before the Leaves Fall)

In other words, we’ll be revising our goals right along with you. While we remain dedicated to providing you with the most up-to-date resources and spaces available to advance your studies, we’ll be striving this semester to provide interactive and relevant events to enrich the academic, literary, and historical culture of the university.

A crucial component of revising any goals involves dialogue. Large companies hold important meetings to establish the year’s objectives. As you plan your semester, you should take into account the advice of professors, parents and friends; they might have an interesting perspective on your goals and ambitions. We here at the Falvey would love to hear your goals, and would love your feedback on our own – start the dialogue on Facebook or by tweeting us @FalveyLibrary.


Website photo 2 Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant on the Communications and Marketing Team at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.


Like

Next Page »

 


Last Modified: January 18, 2017