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Peek at the Week: January 24

By Jenna Renaud


Word of the Week

Every year since 2013 the New York Times has conducted a Vocabulary Video challenge for middle- and high-school students. For the contest, students take a word of the day from the past year and create a video under 15-seconds long that defines or teaches that word. Then, at the end of the year, they select some of the best. Last August, the New York Times posted compilation videos of their best verb, noun, and adjective submissions over the years. Check it out here! Maybe you’ll learn a new word or two.  

Verbs Featured: abscond, amalgamate, defame, distill, exorcise, feign, levitate, scotch, vex

Adjectives Featured: agape, anachronistic, aquiline, cacophonous, callow, dexterous, ghastly, gusty, indolent, macabre, mellifluous, nocturnal, obsequious, piscatorial, puerile, pugnacious, sartorial, Sisyphean, superfluous 

Nouns Featured: acrophobia, alchemy, arrogance, autopsy, bevy, bluff, carafe, cartographer, catalyst, censor, comeuppance, degradation, entrée, equinox, fecundity, finesse, fluke, hallucination, illusion, killjoy, malingerer, mishap, naïveté, nonchalance, onomatopoeia, peregrination, plagiarism, pyromaniac, regicide, serendipity, telekinesis, upstage 

This Week at Falvey  

NOW–Wednesday, Jan. 15 

“That Fairyland of Ice”: Polar Exploration in Mind and Memory Exhibit / Falvey First Floor & Online / Free & Open to the Public 

Monday, Jan. 24

Mindfulness Mondays / 1–1:30 p.m. / Virtual /  

Thursday, Jan. 27

2022 Literary Festival – Jericho Brown / 7 p.m. / Speakers’ Corner / Free & Open to the Public

Friday, Jan. 28

Villanova Gaming Society Meeting / 2:30–4:30 p.m. / Speakers’ Corner / Free & Open to the Public  

This Week in History 

Jan. 28, 1986 – The space shuttle Challenger explodes after liftoff 

2021 was a big year for space travel with the first all-civilian space flight taking place in September. Thirty-five years prior, Christa McAuliffe was on her way to becoming the first ordinary U.S. civilian to travel into space on the Challenger. McAuliffe, a 37-year-old high school social studies teacher, had won a competition that earned her a spot on the Challenger’s crew.  

Seventy-three seconds after take-off, the Challenger exploded leaving no survivors. This disaster was the first major shuttle accident, and NASA refrained from sending astronauts into space for two years as they worked to ensure a similar tragedy would not happen again.  

To learn more about what went wrong with the Challenger and the future of space shuttle travel, read this article from  

A&E Television Networks. (2009, November 24). Space shuttle challenger disaster. Retrieved January 20, 2022, from

jenna newman headshotJenna Renaud is a Graduate Assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a Graduate Student in the Communication Department.

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Peek at the Week: December 6

By Jenna Renaud


Word of the Week: Ninguid 

Although no longer used popularly, ninguid is derived from Latin and means “snow covered.” We have yet to have more than a sprinkling of snow this season, but I have a feeling snow’s right around the corner (or maybe I’m just hoping it is). I don’t think they’ll be changing the lyrics of the song to “I’m dreaming of a ninguid Christmas” anytime soon, but maybe you’ll be able to work this word into your holiday vocabulary this year! 

This Week at Falvey  

Monday, Nov. 15–Friday, Jan. 7

Cabinets of Curiosity Exhibit / Falvey First Floor / Free & Open to the Public 

Monday, Dec. 6 

Mindfulness Mondays / 1–1:30 p.m. / Virtual / 

Friday, Dec. 10

Stress-less Healthy Happy Hour Event Featuring Pals for Life Therapy Animals / 4–5 p.m. / Room 205 / Free & Open to all Villanova Students 

This Week in History 

December 8, 1980 – John Lennon shot 

On December 8, 1980, former Beatles member was shot and killed by an obsessed fan in New York City. Lennon was entering his Manhattan apartment when Mark David Chapman shot him at close range. Although rushed to the hospital, Lennon, bleeding profusely, died in route.  

Chapman stayed on scene until the police showed up and arrested him. When approached by police, Chapman was reading The Catcher in the Rye, which he referred to as his manifesto. Chapman has spent the last 41 years in prison, and even though he has been up for parole 11 times, he has been denied every time.  

If you want to reminisce more about the Beatles, watch the new Disney+ documentary series “The Beatles Get Back.” The series takes fans back in time to the band’s intimate recording sessions during a pivotal part in music history. 

A&E Television Networks. (2009, November 24). John Lennon is shot. Retrieved December 6, 2021, from 

jenna newman headshotJenna Renaud is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department.


Peek at the Week: November 29


Word of the Week: Air Fryer 

Each year Merriam-Webster dictionary adds new words and definitions to its dictionary, from slang to new science and tech jargon. This year, they have added 455 new words! We don’t have enough “Peeks” to cover the new words, but I decided to share one of the newly added words that also may make the perfect Cyber Monday shopping purchase. 

An air fryer is now defined by Merriam-Webster as, “an airtight, usually small electrical appliance for quick cooking of foods by means of convection currents circulated rapidly by a fan.” Although invented in 2010, in recent years air fryers have become more popular, leading to their addition. Other newly added food-related words include “fluffernutter” and “chicharron.”  

This Week at Falvey  

Monday, Nov. 15–Friday, Jan. 7

Cabinets of Curiosity Exhibit / Falvey First Floor / Free & Open to the Public 

Wednesday, Dec. 1

Fall 2021 Falvey Forum Workshop Series: Introduction to QGIS / 12:30–1:30 p.m. / Virtual / Register Here 

Friday, Dec. 3 

Villanova Gaming Society / 2:30–4:30 p.m. / Speakers’ Corner / Free & Open to the Public 

This Week in History 

Dec. 5, 1945 – Aircraft squadron disappears in the Bermuda Triangle 

On Dec. 5, 1945 at 2:10 p.m., five U.S. Navy Avenger torpedo-bombers took off from the Ft. Lauderdale Naval Air Station in Florida on a routine three-hour training mission. Two hours later, the squadron leader reported that his compass and back-up compass have both failed. The final communication heard over the radio was the squadron leader telling his team to prepare to leave the aircraft due to a lack of fuel.  

A mariner aircraft with a 13-men crew soon took off to find the five U.S. Navy Avenger torpedo-bombers, only to never be heard from again. Although naval officials maintained that the remains of the  men were not found because stormy weather destroyed the evidence, the story of the “Lost Squadron” helped cement the legend of the Bermuda Triangle.

Read more about the Bermuda Triangle here. 

A&E Television Networks. (2009, November 24). Aircraft squadron disappears in the Bermuda Triangle. Retrieved November 29, 2021, from 

Jenna Renaud is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department.


Peek at the Week: November 15


Word of the Week: Fika (v/n) 

Staying in Scandinavia for this week’s word of the week (if you haven’t read last week’s Peek at the Week, give it a look) we’re learning about the relaxing Swedish coffee break, “fika.” Although fika is a daily part of people’s lives in Sweden, we could use a little more of it in America.  

Fika is more than just a coffee break. It’s an opportunity to slow down, grab coffee, pick up a sweet treat, and engage in meaningful conversation with friends. I know I’m not very good at the “slowing down” part of a coffee break, but by focusing on engaging in fika throughout my day, I can work to be more mindful and accomplish more the rest of the day.  

Want to learn more about the art of fika? Check out The Little Book of Fika: The Uplifting Daily Ritual of the Swedish Coffee Break by Linda Balslev in Falvey’s collection.  

This Week at Falvey  

Monday, Nov. 15th–Friday, Jan. 7th  

Cabinets of Curiosity Exhibit / Falvey First Floor / Free & Open to the Public 

Monday, Nov. 15th–Friday, Nov. 19th  

Undergraduate Research Symposium Poster Display / 8 a.m.–5 p.m. / Falvey’s Digital Scholarship Lab & Room 205 / Free & Open to the Public 

Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week Display / First Floor Display Case

Monday, Nov. 15th–Wednesday, Nov. 17th  

Virtual VuFind® Summit 2021 / 9 a.m.–12 p.m. each day / Virtual / Register Here 

Monday, Nov. 15th  

Mindfulness Mondays / 1–1:30 p.m. / Virtual / 

Wednesday, Nov. 17th  

Fall 2021 Falvey Forum Workshop Series: Creating Interactive GIS Maps with Leaflet and R / 12–1:30 p.m. / Virtual / Register Here 

GIS Day Lecture: Signe Peterson Fourmy, JD, PhD, Villanova University, on “Digital Mapping & Last Seen Ads” / 5:30–6:30 p.m. / Virtual / Register Here 

Thursday, Nov. 18th  

GTU Honor Society Talk & GEV Colloquium Lecture: Gordon Coonfield, PhD, on “How Neighborhoods Remember: Mapping Memory and Making Place in Philadelphia” / 5:306:30 p.m. / Mendel 154 & Virtual / Register Here 

Friday, Nov. 19th 

Villanova Gaming Society Meeting / 2:304:30 p.m. / Speakers’ Corner / Free & Open to the Public 

This Week in History 

November 19, 1863 – President Lincoln delivers Gettysburg Address 

On November 19, 1863, President Lincoln delivered arguably one of the best speeches in the country’s history at the dedication of the Soliders’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The 2-3 minute speech consisting of less than 275 words ended up being exceptionally more powerful than the 2-hour speech delivered by orator Edward Everett.  

Here are the concluding remarks from his little speech: “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” 

A&E Television Networks. (2010, March 10). President Lincoln delivers Gettysburg Address. Retrieved November 10, 2021, from 

jenna newman headshotJenna Renaud is a graduate student in the Communication Department and graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library.


Peek at the Week: October 25


Word of the Week: berserk 

We’re back with more spooky vocabulary! Maybe you’ve heard this word before, but do you know its origin? When someone goes berserk, they become crazy, deranged, overtaken by a violent destructive frenzy. Think unhinged killers with chainsaws or blood-thirsty vampires that have lost all control.  

The term originates from Old Norse, a language that evolved from ancient Viking tongues, with bjorn meaning “bear” and serkr meaning “shirt” or “armor.” Imagine covering up your rational, human behavior with the wild actions of a bear… that’s going berserk.  

This Week at Falvey  

Monday, Oct. 25- Friday, Oct. 29

Distinctive Collections Halloween Selfie Station / Speakers’ Corner

Wednesday, Oct. 27 

Authoring an Open Access (OA) Interdisciplinary Textbook: Michael Pagano on Liquidity, Markets, & Trading in Action / 1:30-2:15 p.m. / Zoom / Register Here 

Friday, Oct. 29

Villanova Gaming Society Meeting / 2:30-4:30 p.m. / Speakers’ Corner / Free & Open to the Public 

This Week in History 

Oct. 27, 1904 – New York Subway Opens 117 Years Ago 

At 2:35 p.m. on the afternoon of October 27, 1904, New York City Mayor George McClellan takes the controls on the inaugural run of the city’s innovative new rapid transit system: the subway. London may have the oldest underground transportation system (opening in 1863) and Boston’s system was the first in the United States (opening in 1897), but the New York subway system is the largest, transporting 4.5 million passengers (about twice the population of New Mexico) daily. 

""Jenna Renaud is a graduate student in the Communication Department and graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library.


Join us at the 2021 Cultural Studies Food Matters Week Events

Join us to educate your palate and your mind during the annual Cultural Studies Food Matters Week involving tastings and talks on food justice around the world. The theme of the series this year is Black-Owned Restaurants Building Community.

From Monday, Oct. 18 through Wednesday, Oct. 20, three influential black-owned businesses from the Philadelphia-area will be highlighted: Down North Pizza, Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse, and Dre’s Homemade Water Ice & Ice Cream. Events will take place at 4:30 p.m. in Room 205 of Falvey Memorial Library.

Delicious food samplings from each restaurant will be served at each event!

In addition to learning more about these successful local black-owned businesses, attendees will also have the chance to hear from Karyn Hollis, PhD, Director of Cultural Studies Program. Dr. Hollis share some information about the benefits and process of applying to the Cultural Studies Program. Visit the Cultural Studies website to learn more about the program.

For those already taking Cultural Studies Program courses, please feel free to check out Falvey Memorial Library’s Cultural Studies Research guide, compiled and maintained by Jutta Seibert, Director of Research Services & Scholarly Engagement, who is the subject librarian for Cultural Studies.

This event series, co-sponsored by the Cultural Studies Program and Falvey Memorial Library, is free and open Villanova students, faculty, staff, and friends. All events are ACS approved.

Please join us to be a part of these exciting events, sample some amazing food, and to learn more about the Cultural Studies Program!

Gina's headshot

Regina Duffy is a Communication and Marketing Program Manager at Falvey Memorial Library.




Last Modified: October 11, 2021