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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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Cat in the Stax: Valentine’s Day and Chocolate

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 Valentine’s Day, Wildcats! Love is in the air and taking the form of flowers, stuffed animals, chocolates, and other sweets. Every nice restaurant in Philly will be packed with couples looking for a romantic dinner. It’s a day to celebrate your relationship with your partner and show how much you appreciate them.

Photo from HIS-USA.com

Fun Fact: Did you know that in Japan, it is traditional for women to give men chocolates on Valentine’s Day? And not just to romantic partners, but to all the men in their lives! Husbands and boyfriends receive a special type of chocolate known as honmei-choco, or “true feelings chocolate” while male family members, friends, and colleges are given a giri-choco, an “obligatory chocolate.” One month later, on Mar. 14, also known as White Day, men in Japan return the favor and gift gyaku-choco, “reverse chocolates,” to women they received chocolate from on Valentine’s Day.

 

How did chocolate come to be associated with love, gift-giving, and Valentine’s Day? Well, the connection between chocolate and romance has roots in Mesoamerican history. The Mayans used cocoa-brewed beverages in marriage ceremonies. Later, the Aztec leader Montezuma II allegedly drank cups of chocolate because he believed it to be an aphrodisiac.

Although Valentine’s Day is linked to various Christian martyrs named Valentine, its connection to romantic love first appears in Geoffrey Chaucer’s 1382 poem “Parlement of Foules” where he writes, “every bird cometh to choose his mate” on “Seynt Valentynes day.”

Photo by Budgeron Bach on Pexels.com

Fast forward to the 19th century. Valentine’s Day is a popular holiday in Europe and North America, but chocolate has not yet entered the picture. Chocolate was still considered a luxury item, and people consumed it by drinking it. Then, in 1861, British chocolate manufacturer Richard Cadbury invented eating chocolates as a more palatable way of consuming chocolate. He packaged these chocolates in heart-shaped boxes adorned with Cupids and roses. The boxes were a huge hit and became a symbol of love and gift-giving.

Now we travel to America to chocolate and candy maker Milton Hershey. In 1907, Hershey created his famous tear-drop chocolate “kisses,” which were named as such because of the kissing noise the chocolate made when it was produced. The association between chocolate and love became even stronger less than 20 years later in 1923 when chocolatier Russell Stover began to sell Valentine’s Day chocolates in heart-shaped boxes. One of his biggest sellers was the “Secret Heart Lace,” a chocolate box covered in satin and black lace.

For all you chocolate lovers out there, Falvey has plenty of books and articles about this tasty treat, from stories focused on chocolate to articles discussing its production and history to chocolate cookbooks. Check out some of these texts if you’re interested:


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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Cat in the Stax: Black History Month

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! Last Thursday marked the start of Black History Month, a time to celebrate the accomplishments of African Americans and recognize their role in U.S. history. Black History Month begins on Feb. 1 and ends on Mar. 1. Started by Harvard historian Carter G. Woodson in 1915, the observance was originally known as “Negro History Week.” President Gerald Ford officially established Black History Month in 1976 as a way to acknowledge and honor the contributions and achievements of African Americans. In honor of this annual event, I’ve compiled a list of contemporary Black writers whose work is available at Falvey. Be sure to check out some of these texts!

Alice Walker (Photo by Noah Berger)

Alice Walker

A prolific writer, Alice Walker is an internationally celebrated author, poet, and activist. She has written seven novels, four short story collections, four children’s books, and several volumes of essays and poems. Her work has been translated in over two dozen languages, and her books have sold more than 15 million copies. Her most well-known bestseller is The Color Purplewhich was made into a film in 1985 and again this past October. Alice Walker also wrote Everyday Use, and Now is the Time to Open Your Heart. Some of her poetry collections include Hard Times Require Furious DancingHorses Make a Landscape Look Beautiful, and Absolute Trust in the Goodness of the Earth

Colson Whitehead (Photo by Chris Close)

 

 

Colson Whitehead

Colson Whitehead is a graduate of Harvard college who began his writing career by writing reviews for the Village Voice. He published his first novel in 2000 and now has 10 books under his belt. A few of his books are historical fiction novels that look at the past and offer a commentary on the current state of race in America. His novel The Underground Railroad won him a Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. He won a second Pulitzer Prize in 2020 for his book The Nickel BoysColson Whitehead is also the author of Harlem ShuffleZone One, and Sag Harbor.

 

Jacqueline Woodson (Photo by Ini Tomeu)

Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson is an incredibly prolific writer who writes books for adults, children, and adolescents. She is best known for her memoir Brown Girl Dreaming which won her a National Book Award for Young People’s Literature in 2014. She also wrote Another Brooklyn and Red at the BoneHer stories often address themes like friendship, race, and coming of age. From 2015-2017, Jacqueline Woodson was the Young People’s Poet Laureate, and a year later, she was named the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature at the Library of Congress for 2018–2019.

Jericho Brown (Photo by Darnell Wilburn)

Jericho Brown (Photo by Darnell Wilburn)

 

Jericho Brown

A professor at Emory University and director of their Creative Writing Program, Jericho Brown is a poet whose poems have appeared in The Bennington ReviewBuzzfeedFencejubilatThe New RepublicThe New York TimesThe New Yorker, The Paris ReviewTIME magazine, and several volumes of The Best American Poetry. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 2020 for his poetry collection The Tradition, which explores how we’ve become accustomed to terror in our society. He has also published the poetry collections Please and The New Testament.

 

In honor of Black History Month, Villanova has organized several events throughout the month of February. Click this link to see the various events the University will be hosting in the upcoming weeks.

 


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


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Cat in the Stax: Finding Journals at Falvey

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! I know we’re only a few weeks into the semester, so it might be a little early to discuss papers, but I want to bring you attention to a useful resource that can help you conduct research when those due dates eventually draw near. And who knows, maybe this is something you can use right now if you’re currently conducting research for whatever reason.

Falvey’s Databases A-Z make it easy for you to find books, articles, and journals. This list contains links to a multitude of databases across a wide spectrum of subjects. It allows you to  browse or narrow in on an area to find journals related to that topic. Definitely something you want to keep in mind or bookmark for later when those research papers need to get done!

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash.com

I also want to bring your attention to one specific resource within the Falvey Database: BrowZine. BrowZine is a comprehensive list of all the journals the Library is subscribed to and allows you to search through them. This blog post from 2016 describes the system in more depth. The BrowZine Library is divided by subject, meaning you can click the area of research you are interested in (Biological Sciences, History, Philosophy and Religion, etc.) and find journals related to that topic. This is a great way to find journals you might have missed otherwise.

Like I said, a little early to be talking about research projects, but you should definitely check out these two Falvey resources and become familiar with using them. That way, you’ll be prepared when you inevitably need to begin searching for journals and articles.


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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Cat in the Stax: Keeping Resolutions 101

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 2024 and welcome back to campus, Wildcats! Hopefully, the break was a relaxing and restful time for you, and you came back ready to tackle a new semester and a new year.

Image of Janus by Andrey Kokorin

Fun Fact: January is named after Janus, the ancient Roman god of gates and doors symbolizing endings, beginnings, and transitions. He’s depicted with two heads: one head looking at the past and the other at the future.

While the month of January is a time of new beginnings and starting anew, with it comes an expectancy to reform yourself in some way (or at least set a goal to do so). The whole “New year, new me” mantra pressures people to change or improve themselves in some way. Not that self-improvement is a bad thing! But when people set new goals each year and then fall short, they get discouraged and quit altogether. With broad, generic goals and no plan on how to accomplish them, people tend to abandon their New Year’s Resolutions after a few weeks or so.

I’m personally of the belief that every day is a new chance to grow. Don’t restrict your personal growth to a yearly tradition, make it a daily focus. Didn’t go to the gym all week? Try again next week. Felt a little lazy and watched movies all day? Write it off as a personal day. Tomorrow is a new day, a new chance to follow through on your goals.

Sticking to New Year’s Resolutions is hard, especially when you’re a busy college student. The key is to be specific, have a detailed course of action, and hold yourself accountable. If you’re serious about your resolutions this year, take a look at this quick crash course with some tips on how you can achieve your goals.

Photo by Tim Mossholder from Unsplash.com

Be Specific in Your Goals

A popular New Year’s Resolution is “to workout more” or “to lose weight,” which I will use as an example throughout this article. Not necessarily bad goals to have, but their broad nature makes attaining them much harder. How many times do you want to hit the gym each week? Are you looking to increase the length of your workouts? How much weight do you want to lose? It’s one thing to say “I want to workout more” and quite another to say “I want to go to the gym at least three times each week.” Make your goals measurable, give them a number so you’ll know when you’ve achieved them.

Have an Attack Plan

Now that you have a specific goal in mind, you need to lay out a course of action for how you are going to achieve it. Let’s go back to the gym example. Your goal is to workout at least three times a week. What days do you plan on going? What time? Set your workout times at the beginning of the week so you know going in when you want to hit the gym. Let’s say you decide you want to workout every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 4 p.m. You should also decide what you want to do at the gym before you get there. Are you going to focus on upper or lower body? Do you want to do some cardio? You should know exactly what you want to do before you enter the gym. This allows you to save time and also makes it easier to accomplish your goals. Having an attack plan can do wonders for your motivation.

Be Accountable

Upholding your resolutions is a lot easier when you hold yourself accountable. The best way to do this is to have someone else supporting you along the way and helping you stay on track. An accountability person doesn’t have to do much, they can act as simple reminders. Maybe all you need is a simple text. Using the workout example, this person could text you twice, once the morning you want to workout and then again in the evening: “Hey, are you going to the gym today?” / “Did you workout today?” Short and to the point, but a good way of keeping you focused and motivated. Now, you could also use reminders on your phone to do this, but I think having an actual person aware of your resolutions and willing to hold you accountable is much more beneficial.

It’s Ok to Start Over

I hate to say it, but you will probably relapse along the way. There will be a day, or a week, when you’re swamped with schoolwork or away or simply feeling lazy. Things happen. Don’t get down on yourself if you fail to stick to a routine or you mess up along the way (Note: your accountability person should not make you feel guilty either if you fall short). Each day is a new chance to try again. Beating yourself up for skipping Wednesday’s workout will discourage you more from going on Friday. If you’ve already ditched your New Year’s Resolution, it’s perfectly ok to start anew. Don’t just use the New Year as a motivator, make every day a new opportunity to improve and achieve your goals.


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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Cat in the Stax: The Christmas Spirit

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 last full week of classes! Hang in there, Wildcats, because the semester is almost over. Then it’s a nice, long, well-deserved break where we have almost an entire month to rest and recharge.

This semester has been flying by, and Christmas will be here before you know it. Now that we are finally in the month of December, I thought it would be nice to provide you with some ways you can get into the Christmas spirit and get excited for the approaching holiday.

Listen to Christmas Music

This one is kind of a given, and I know people who have been listening to Christmas tunes since November, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea. Whether you’re driving to campus, walking to class, or even doing schoolwork, listening to popular Christmas music is a good way to jam out and get pumped up for the season. There are hundreds of playlists on Spotify or Apple Music, and Spotify has an official Christmas Classics playlist if you want to hear those old-time staples.

Check out Christmas Light Displays

If you have some free time this weekend, grab some friends and go see any of the light shows/displays Philly puts on every year. Some popular ones are the Electrical Spectacle Light Show at Franklin Square, LumiNature at the Philadelphia Zoo, and the LuminoCity Holiday Lights Festival at The Greater Philadelphia Expo Center. Take a break from your studies and go look at some beautiful lights to put yourself in a holly jolly mood!

Villanova Christmas Tree at Riley Ellipse

Villanova Christmas Tree at Riley Ellipse

Attend Christmas at Villanova

Villanova hosts a couple Christmas events during December to help bring the holiday spirit onto campus. The Tree Lighting already occurred earlier this week, but don’t fret because next Monday is the University’s Holiday Village and Night Market from 3 p.m.-7:30 p.m at the Riley Ellipse. This annual event features carriage rides, food trucks, local market vendors, entertainment, and more. Celebrate the last day of classes with an evening of food, shopping, and fun! (This is also the perfect opportunity to get some Christmas gift shopping done!)

Get Involved in Villanova’s Holiday Outreach

Christmas is the season of giving, so this is a great time to get involved in volunteering and charity work to help those in need. It’s at this time that Villanova’s Campus Ministry is now hosting the second drive of their Holiday Outreach Programs. The current Christmas Outreach provides multiple options for you to give to others. You could gather a group of friends and “adopt a family” through Villanova’s partnership with North Light Community Center, donate gift cards or contribute to Amazon Wishlists, support a toy drive, or help deliver gifts. The Christmas Outreach is a great way to give back to and support the surrounding community.

Reminder: Villanova De-Stresser Events

Reminding you all of these events happening tomorrow in anticipation of finals week:

To remind students to take care of themselves during finals, 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.


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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 Unsplash.com

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.


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Cat in the Stax: Native American and Indigenous Heritage Month

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!

In a previous blog post, I discussed how November celebrates creative writing and storytelling. This, however, is not the only observance of the month. November is also Native American and Indigenous Heritage Month. Officially established in 1990 by President George W. Bush, this month is dedicated to recognizing the contributions made by Indigenous peoples to the growth of the US as a nation as well as celebrating their traditions, histories, and cultures. What’s really cool is that you can honor both creative writing and Native Americans by supporting Native American storytelling! Use Falvey’s search catalogue to find books by Indigenous writers. This is a great chance to honor their voices and expand your readership. Here are some prominent Native American authors whose books can be found at the Library:

Sherman Alexie

Probably one of the most well-known Indigenous writers today, Sherman Alexie has written several novels as well as collections of poetry and short stories. He has received many awards for his work, including a National Book Award, which he won for the novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. His writing is influenced by his own experiences growing up on a Spokane Indian reservation, and it addresses serious themes such as poverty with humor and compassion.

Louise Erdrich

Louise Erdrich has written a plethora of novels as well as books of poetry, short stories, children’s books, and a memoir. Her first novel Love Medicine won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1984. A later book, The Plague of Doves was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize. Erdrich’s work depicts Native American characters, focusing particularly on the Ojibwa people who live in the northern Midwest.

Joy Harjo

Joy Harjo is best known for her poetry, although she has also written memoirs, screenplays, and children’s books. The 23rd Poet Laureate of the United States, her more popular collections include In Mad Love and War, which won an American Book Award, The Woman Who Fell From the Sky, and A Map to the Next World: Poetry and Tales.

Gerald Vizenor

A professor of American Studies at the University of New Mexico, Gerald Vizenor is one of the most prolific Native American writers. He has written over 30 books along with several poems, screenplays, and essays. He won the American Book Award in 1988 for his novel Griever: An American Monkey King in China, which incorporates Native Mythology into a Chinese setting. He won the same award 20 years later for his book Shrouds of White Earth.

In honor of Native American and Indigenous Heritage month, the Library will be hosting a panel on Wednesday, Nov. 29 from 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. This event is to celebrate the publication of Dana Lloyd’s new book “Land is Kin: Sovereignty, Religious Freedom, and Indigenous Sacred Sites.” Please consider attending.


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


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Cat in the Stax: Give Thanks and Give Blood

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 Puwadon Sang-ngern from Pexels.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Sept. 11, the American Red Cross declared a national blood shortage. This means that the demand for blood is higher than the incoming supply of donations. The day the Red Cross made this announcement, the already critically low bloody supply had dropped 25% since August 2023. Every 2 seconds, someone in America needs blood.

Villanova is organizing two blood drives at the end of November, so please consider donating. One donation can help save three lives! The first drive will take place on Monday, Nov. 27 from 10 am-3 pm in Dougherty Hall. The second drive will be on Thursday, Nov. 30 from 10:30 am-3:30 pm in the Connelly Center. Click here to schedule your appointment today!

Why Should You Donate Blood?

Donating blood helps save people’s lives. The blood you donate is used to deliver transfusions to people who need blood. Transfusions have two main uses: they replace blood someone loses due to surgery or injury OR they help people with blood disorders (like sickle cell anemia).

Remember how I said one pint of blood can save three lives? This is because human blood has three main elements: blood cells, platelets, and plasma. After someone donates, these components are separated out for different treatments. The red blood cells are given to those who need blood transfusions and are incredibly important for people with blood diseases. Platelets help treat cancer patients as well as those undergoing organ transplants. Finally, plasma is used to treat mainly trauma patients and burn victims.

Donation Requirements:

  • You can donate every 56 days: 6 times a year
  • You must be feeling healthy on donation day
  • You must weigh at least 110lbs

 


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


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Cat in the Stax: Celebrating Creative Writing

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 November, everybody! I hope you all had a fun Halloween full of sweets, socializing, and spookiness! But now it’s time to put away the fake spiders and pull out the cornucopia (or the Christmas lights for those of you who start preparing for Christmas two months in advance).

There is so much to celebrate this month in addition to Thanksgiving. While November is a time for thankfulness, it is also a time for creativity as well. For the creative writers out there, this is the month for you!

Photo by Aaron Burden from Unsplash.com

November 1st marks two important occasions. First, today is National Author’s Day! Established by Nellie McPherson in 1928, this day is dedicated to celebrating authors and their literary creations. Curling up with your favorite book or a work by a beloved author is a great way to honor the world of literature. Falvey can help you celebrate National Author’s Day by helping you find books through its expansive search catalogue. Or you can support your favorite writers by purchasing their books either online or at your local bookstore. However you decide to do it, take some time today to honor the craft of storytelling.

If you are a writer yourself, then chances are you know that today is the first day of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). This month challenges writers all over the country to write 50,000 words of their novel in 30 days. Hopefully you’ve done some prep work the past few weeks by planning out your novel and developing a writing schedule; it’ll make winning NaNoWriMo much easier. But don’t feel bad if you don’t “succeed” by writing 50,000 words! The percentage of people who “win” this challenge every year is very small: typically 11%. So even if you don’t reach the word count, congrats, you’ll be in the majority! The purpose of National Novel Writing Month is to get you thinking about your story and practicing your craft. Use the month of November to get serious about your writing, but don’t stress too much over accomplishing your end goal.

Nevertheless, here are some tips to help you out as you undertake this intense challenge. Remember: it’s all about time management and sticking by your plan, but don’t be afraid to change up your routine later if it is no longer working!

Set Weekly Goals

Writing 50k words in one month seems overwhelming, and it is in no way an easy feat. However, you can break this massive word count down into bite-size chunks so the goal is not so lofty. How many words do you want to hit during the week? Is this number different than what you want to accomplish during the weekend? This will also help you avoid becoming distraught and giving up.

Join a Writing Group

You’re more likely to succeed if you have people supporting you, encouraging you, and holding you accountable. National Novel Writing Month can be a great bonding activity to do with writer friends! Or, you can join a writing group through the NaNoWriMo community.

Don’t Edit!

It can be so tempting to review your work and edit it, but you must resist the urge! The goal of NaNoWriMo is to write. You have all of December, January, February, March, and so on to edit, revise, and perfect your novel.

Allow Yourself a Day Off

Create a writing schedule that works for you. Whether that be writing for 20-30 min every day or only writing on the weekends, do what works best with your routine and habits. That being said, don’t feel bad when you have an off day and don’t feel like writing (because you will very likely have an off day during this month). If you make yourself feel guilty or try to force yourself to write, you’re just going to make yourself feel worse which will negatively impact your writing. Use any off days as a day to take it easy, take your mind off writing, and do something you love. You’ll feel refreshed and energized when you return to your novel.


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


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Last Modified: November 1, 2023

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