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The Final Hurrah: Reflections from a GA

By Jenna Renaud

My two years at Falvey Memorial Library and Villanova have officially come to a close. At the close of last semester, I wrote a similar post reflecting on the changes that Fall 2021 brought; however, now I am faced with a much more daunting task—reflect on the entirety of my GA experience.

tolkien books on map

Jenna’s personal Tolkien collection for celebrating National Hobbit Day

Thinking back to my first day at the Library, I’m struck by how different it is from the end in almost every way. My first day, I came down to almost an entirely empty office. I spent the semester in office only two days a week. My first semester was filled with time spent in the stacks helping Access Services and writing Cat in the Stax each week, discovering my voice and role in the Library. The post that stands out the most from that time was one of my first, talking about how to celebrate National Hobbit Day through Falvey’s collection. This was during a time where the majority of my inspiration came from items laying around my home office—including my husband’s new collection of Tolkien books.

Second semester, I focused on finding new ways to connect with the Villanova community and started the Read with the (Other) Jenna book club. Although short-lived, it was fun to dig deeper into books including Angela’s Ashes and Aftershock. Despite not being in-office with the team, our Zoom meetings were definitely a highlight of every week, discussing everything from Mosaic to upcoming events to the pros and cons of scrapple (don’t ask!).

GAs Jenna & Ethan outside of Falvey

GAs Jenna & Ethan at the Finals Stress Buster event

With the kick-off of the 2021-22 academic year came student workers, another GA, and the return of office work. It was definitely a transition going into the office four days a week, but it was a much needed change of pace. Passing off Cat in the Stax to Ethan, I looked for new recurring blogs to take on, settling on Peek at the Weeks and Weekend Recs. In addition to having another GA to collaborate with, we had student workers in the office again! Kelly showed Ethan and I the ropes for poster deliveries (something I had yet to experience) and Anna and I collaborated on what is to this day my favorite Weekend Recs following the drop of Taylor Swift’s Red (Taylor’s Version) album. The semester flew by and was such a fun experience, getting into the swing of how things were pre-pandemic.

And with that, it was my final semester! Ethan and I had the opportunity to attend more Villanova Theatre performances, including their most recent production, Curtains, which you can read more about here. In addition, Ethan and I took on a new project introducing In Case You Missed Ita YouTube series where each month we broke down the top stories based on social media data. Our Wordle episode was probably my favorite, along with all of the bloopers when we forgot how to talk. The spring semester also brought more in-person events, including one with Lit Fest author Camille Dungy, where I was the point person. My final event of the semester was our baseball-themed stress buster, with everything from soft pretzels to Bundt cakes (Get it? Bunting? Like in baseball?).

Maybe the past two years haven’t been “traditional,” but I wouldn’t change anything! Big thanks to Joanne, Shawn, Kallie, Gina and Ethan for being the best team and taking my graduate student experience to the next level. 168 blog posts later—I’m out!

This isn’t good-bye, it’s just see you later (I definitely need to come back for updated Falvey swag)!


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


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Weekend Recs: Nostalgia

By Jenna Renaud

Happy Friday, Wildcats! Falvey Memorial 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. Jenna, 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. 

The end of the semester is upon us and the only thing standing between us and summer is a couple of exams and final papers. For many people, this time of year is a nostalgic one. Maybe you’re a senior and thinking back over your four years at Villanova and all the memories. Or maybe your nostalgic for your childhood home, knowing going back home for the summer will bring back a flood of memories. No matter what the reason, sometimes it’s just fun to take a stroll down memory lane. Keep reading for some ways you can play into that nostalgic feeling this weekend. 

If you have 2 minutes… read this article about what nostalgia actually is and the impact it can have on us and our mood.  

If you have 10 minutes… and are near Falvey, stop by between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to grab some baseball-themed treats, destress from finals, and reminisce on the school year with your friends.  

If you have 30 minutes… and want to go way back, spend some time digitally flipping through old Belle Air yearbooks, available in Falvey’s digital collection.  

If you have 1 hour and 28 minutes… watch the new Netflix documentary “White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch” that does a deep dive into the company’s exclusionary marketing and discriminatory hiring practices. Just thinking about the documentary, I instantly get transported back to wandering the mall with friends in middle school and coming across the strong scent of their store. 

If you have 8 hours… and a lot of papers to write, visit your favorite study spot in Falvey. The semester is coming to a close and though it may not seem like it now, you may miss grabbing a coffee from Holy Grounds and having a productive study session this summer!


Jenna 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: April 25

By Jenna Renaud

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Word of the Week: Nudiustertian  

(adj) of or relating to the day before yesterday 

Maybe you’re thinking to yourself “Why wouldn’t I just say the day before yesterday or the name of the day?” And that’s a valid point. But if you want to impress your friends and family with your extensive vocabulary, throw nudiustertian into conversation.  

For example, “I really should have done more studying nudiustertian morning for my upcoming finals.”  


This Week at Falvey  

NOW–Wednesday, June 15 

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

Monday, April 25 

Russia’s War on Ukraine: Historical Turning Points | 6–7 p.m. | Virtual | Register Here 

Wednesday, April 27   

2022 Falvey Forum Workshop Series: Bringing Historical Maps into GIS | 12–1 p.m. | Virtual | Register Here 

Thursday, April 28

Alfred F. Mannella and Rose T. Lauria-Mannella Endowed Distinguished Speak Series Lecture Featuring Poet Maria Famà | 2:30–3:45 p.m. | Register Here 

Friday, April 29

Falvey Library’s Semi-Annual Stress Busting Open House: Make Finals a Grand Slam | 11 a.m.–1 p.m. | Free & Open to all Villanova Students 


This Week in History 

April 29th, 2004– World War II monument opens in Washington D.C. 

18 years ago today the World War II monument opened in Washington D.C. providing recognition of the 16 million U.S. men and women who served in the war.  

The monument was formally dedicated by US President George W. Bush, although the memorial was inspired decades earlier by veteran Roger Durbin. Durbin served under Gen. George S. Patton and in February 1987 he asked US Rep Marcy Kaptur why there was no memorial on the National Mall to honor World War II veterans. Kaptur then introduced legislation to build one, initiating the 17-year journey until it opened.  

The World War II monument is my favorite memorial in Washington D.C. In high school, I spent part of one summer exploring Washington D.C. and taking a writing seminar. As part of the seminar, we had to choose a monument to visit, reflect on, and then write about. I have always taken an interest in World War II, in part due to my Jewish heritage and the atrocities my Great Aunt lived through as a young girl in Romania during the Holocaust. When it came time to choose a monument, I was immediately drawn to the World War II monument.  

What has always struck me about the World War II monument is all the symbolism and how each detail and piece represented something about the war and the many lives lost. From representing the war in Europe to the war in the Pacific to the hundreds of thousands of American lives lost, the monument produces a sobering effect. Read this article from the National Park Service talking about the various aspects of the monument to learn more. 

Read more about the monument’s opening from History.com. 


Jenna 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: April 19

By Jenna Renaud

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Word of the Week: Type II Fun 

Maybe you’re thinking, “I know what fun is,” but did you know that there are different types of fun?  

Type II fun usually feels terrible while you’re doing it, like climbing up a mountain in the freezing cold, running an ultra-marathon, or standing in line at Disney World in the blazing sun, but when it’s over, your memory erases the miserable parts, and you would do it again for fun.  

This is all based on the “fun scale,” typically used by outdoor enthusiasts. You can read more about it in this article from REI. But in summary the other types of fun are: 

Type I Fun – Enjoyable when it’s happening. Simply fun. Eating good food with good friends. Celebrating birthdays or holidays with family. Movie nights.  

Type III Fun – Not actually fun at all. While you’re doing it or in retrospect. Maybe you’re waiting for the Type II fun effect to hit, but it never does. 

For many people, Type II fun is the sweet spot. It’s challenging but isn’t actually putting your life at risk. With finals right around the corner, consider planning some Type II adventures for this summer. 


This Week at Falvey  

NOW–Wednesday, Jun. 15th  

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

Tuesday, April 19th  

Polar Voyaging and the Humanities | 4–5 p.m. | Virtual | https://villanova.zoom.us/j/98337578849 

Wednesday, April 20th   

2022 Falvey Forum Workshop Series: Capturing the Web – Introduction to Web Archiving | 12–1 p.m. | Virtual | Register Here 

“The Politics of the Irish Harp Symbol from Henry VIII to Brexit” Lecture & Harp Performance with Mary Louise O’Donnell | 4 p.m. | Speakers’ Corner | Learn More Here 

Thursday, April 21st 

2022 Literary Festival: Tiphanie Yanique | 7–8:30 p.m. | Speakers’ Corner | Free & Open to the Public | Find more info here 

Friday, April 22nd  

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

2022 Falvey Scholars Virtual Research Presentation and Awards Ceremony | 10 a.m. | Virtual | Register Here 

2022 Concept Virtual Recognition Ceremony | 1–2 p.m. | Virtual | Register Here 


This Week in History 

April 22nd, 1970 – First Earth Day was celebrated 

Earth Day is an annual event used to demonstrate support for environmental protection and bring awareness to a wide range of environmental issues. 2022 marks the 52nd celebration of the holiday.  

Earth Day was started by Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, an environmentalist who wanted to increase awareness and provide unity to the environmental movement. “The objective was to get a nationwide demonstration of concern for the environment so large that it would shake the political establishment out of its lethargy,” Senator Nelson said, “and, finally, force this issue permanently onto the national political agenda.” 

Earth Day has contributed to the passage of the Clean Water and Endangered Species Act. Each year the holiday is recognized by 192 different countries. 

Read more from History.com. 


Jenna 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: April 11

By Jenna Renaud

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Word of the Week: Cwtch (pronounced “kutch”) 

(n) cuddle or hug; cubbyhole or cupboard, small place to store things safely 

The Welsh word has no literal English definition; however, when you combine the two definitions above you end up with a better sense of what the word actually means: wrapping your arms around someone to make them feel safe in the world. 

Cwtch goes beyond just a hug you give out but is reserved for special people and times where the action represents more than a hug. Think when your friend just went through a rough break-up. Think when you’re finally at home and seeing your family after a rough semester. Think seeing someone you care so much about after a long time apart.  

Be intentional this week with the Easter break and cwtch someone you care about this week.  

Shoutout to my other amazing GA Ethan Shea for the “Word of the Week” this week! If you have a word recommendation, drop a comment on this post.  

Learn more about cwtch and why it was named Wales’ best-loved word in 2007 here. 


This Week at Falvey  

NOW–Wednesday, Jun. 15th  

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

Monday, April 11th  

Mindfulness Mondays | 1–1:30 p.m. | Virtual | https://villanova.zoom.us/j/98337578849 


This Week in History 

April 15th, 1947 – Jackie Robinson breaks color barrier 

On April 15th, 1947 Jackie Robinson stepped onto the Ebbets Field in Brooklyn as part of the Brooklyn Dodgers team, becoming the first Black person to play in Major League Baseball. Prior to Robinson playing, baseball had been segregated for more than 50 years.  

His first year in the League, Robinson was named Rookie of the Year and two years later, in 1949, was named the National League’s Most Valuable Player and league batting champ. Throughout his baseball career he led the Dodgers to six National League pennants and one World Series, in 1955. 

Despite breaking the racial barrier in this way, Robinson still experience significant racial discrimination throughout his career, not being allowed to stay in the same hotels or eat in the same restaurants as his teammates as they traveled throughout the country.  

In 1957 Robinson retired from baseball and became a businessman and civil rights activist. 50 years later to the day, the MLB retired Robinsons number, 42. This was the first time a number was retired by all teams in the league. 

Read more from History.com. 


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


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Weekend Recs: MLB

By Jenna Renaud

Happy Friday, Wildcats! Falvey Memorial 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. Jenna, 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. 

The MLB season is finally upon us, despite delays that pushed opening day from Thursday, March 31, to Thursday, April 7. The 2021-22 MLB lockout was the first since 1994; however, negotiations have now been settled, and the season can begin!

So let’s root, root, root for the home team (Go, Phillies!) and learn a little more about what’s happening currently in baseball with this week’s weekend recs, whether you have two minutes or an entire afternoon. 

If you have 2 minutes… read about MLB Opening Day and the decline in ticket sales. 

If you have 7 minutes and 39 seconds… watch this video from December breaking down the MLB lockout, what both sides want, and what the consequences are. 

Bonus: Watch this 8-minute-and-37-second video updating people on the MLB lockout. 

If you have 1 hour and 48 minutes… watch “Bull Durham,” arguably the best baseball movie of all time. 

If you have 8 hours and 20 minutes… read Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, the story about the Oakland Athletics baseball team and its general manager Billy Beane. 

If you have the afternoon… buy tickets to support Philadelphia’s very own Phillies in their opening weekend games against the Oakland Athletics.  


Jenna 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: April 4

By Jenna Renaud

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Word of the Week: Abibliophobia 

(n) Someone who is afraid of running out of things to read 

I’ve definitely experienced this fear before, especially when getting ready to travel. I’ve always been anti-Kindle and pro-physical books, which has occasionally made it difficult to gauge how many books I need to bring with me when traveling, especially for long flights.  

The good thing about being on campus though is that there’s never a shortage of books in the Falvey collection. Stop in to pick up your next book before your abibliophobia kicks in.  


This Week at Falvey  

NOW–Wednesday, June 15

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

Monday, April 4

Mindfulness Mondays | 1–1:30 p.m. | Virtual | https://villanova.zoom.us/j/98337578849 

Monday, April 4

Conversation with the 2022 Charles A. Heimbold, Jr. Chair, Emma Dabiri| 6–8 p.m. | Speakers’ Corner| Free & Open to the Public | Find more info here 

Wednesday, April 6  

2022 Falvey Forum Workshop Series: Getting Started with Building Digital Exhibits in Omeka | 12–1 p.m. | Virtual | Register Here 

Friday, April 8

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


This Week in History 

April 4th, 1968 – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. assassinated 

Just after 6 p.m. on April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was fatally shot standing on his second-story balcony at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn. King, age 39, was in Memphis to support a sanitation workers’ strike and was on his way to dinner when he was shot. He was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital. 

The day before, on April 3, King gave his last sermon in Memphis, saying, “We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop … And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we, as a people, will get to the promised land.”

Today, movements such as Black Lives Matter continue to highlight racism, discrimination, and inequality experienced by Black people. 

The assassination was traced back to escaped convict James Earl Ray. Ray was arrested after being found in a London airport in early June. He was then sentenced to 99 years in prison.

Read more from History.com. 


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


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Weekend Recs: 2022 Oscars

By Jenna Renaud

Happy Friday, Wildcats! Falvey Memorial 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. Jenna, 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. 

Beyond the Wildcats clinching their spot in the Final Four, the weekend brought additional excitement with what was poised to be the first “normal” Oscars since pre-COVID. However, in actuality, the Oscars were anything but. From a big win for Deaf culture to the slap heard ‘round the world, we’re breaking down everything Oscars-related, whether you have 2 minutes or 14+ hours. 

If you have 2 minutes and 39 seconds… watch Megan Thee Stallion perform “We Don’t Talk About Bruno.” 

If you have 5 minutes… read this article breaking down everything you need to know about Will Smith slapping Chris Rock and why Chris Rock’s joke was problematic. Synopsis: You don’t joke about a Black woman’s hair. 

Bonus: On a lighter note, look up the memes that have resulted from the incident! 

If you have 1 hour and 14 minutes… Listen to Hans Zimmer’s score for Dune, winner of best original score category in last weekend’s awards. 

If you have 1 hour and 52 minutes… watch the 2022 Oscar’s best film CODA, a movie bringing Deaf culture and Deaf actors to the forefront. 

If you have 14 hours (and no work to do)… read the novel Dune. Because let’s be honest, the books are better than the movie nine times out of 10, and the movie had a pretty good showing Sunday night. 


Jenna 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: March 28

By Jenna Renaud

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Word of the Week: Offensive efficiency 

Villanova is in the Final Four, so we’re back with more basketball terminology this week. Offensive efficiency is the number of points scored per 100 offensive possessions. Currently, according to the popular KenPom Ratings, Villanova has a top-10 offense, despite relying heavily on defense in this past weekend’s win against Houston.  

Fingers crossed for another big win this Saturday against the Kansas Jayhawks! If we secure the win, I will be back again next week with more basketball vocabulary as we move into the finals. 


This Week at Falvey  

NOW–Wednesday, Jun. 15th  

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

Monday, March 28th   

2021 Outstanding Faculty Research Award Lecture Featuring Christopher Kilby, PhD, and Samantha K. Chapman, PhD | 1–3 p.m. | Room 205 | Free & Open to the Public | Find more info here 

Tuesday, March 29th   

2022 Literary Festival Schedule: Camille Dungy | 7–8:30 p.m. | Speakers’ Corner | Free & Open to the Public | Find more info here 

Wednesday, March 30th   

2022 Falvey Forum Workshop Series: Photo Management with Tropy for Archival Research | 12–1 p.m. | Virtual | Register Here 

Thursday, March 31st   

Spring 2022 Digital Seeds Lecture: David R. Ambaras, PhD, and Kate McDonald, PhD on “Bodies and Structures 2.0: Scalar and the Practice of Digital Spatial History | 4 p.m. | Virtual | Register Here 

Friday, April 1st   

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


This Week in History 

March 31st, 1889 – Eiffel Tower opens  

For this week’s “This Week in History” we’re traveling across the Atlantic Ocean over to Europe, specifically, Paris, France. On March 31st, 1889, the Eiffel Tower is dedicated in Paris. Gustave Eiffel, the tower’s designer, French Prime Minister Pierre Tirard, various other dignitaries, and over 200 construction workers were in attendance.  

The Eiffel Tower is 984 feet tall and boasts an iron framework supported on four masonry piers, from which rise four columns that unite to create a single vertical tower. There are observation decks on each of the three levels.  

Despite now being regarded as an architectural masterpiece, the project was originally met with some resistance, in part due to concerns it would be structurally unsound. At the time, it was the largest man-made structure in the world, a title it held until the New York Crysler building was completed in 1930.  

Read more from History.com. 


Jenna Renaud is a Graduate Assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a Graduate Student in the Communication Department.

 


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Weekend Recs: Women’s History Month

By Jenna Renaud

Happy Friday, Wildcats! Falvey Memorial 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. Jenna, 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. 

As the month of March wraps up, so does Women’s History Month! This week we are spotlighting a variety of news articles, websites, videos, and more that celebrate women. Whether you have three minutes or  three hours, there’s a recommendation for you. Missing a recommendation or want to celebrate the accomplishments of a women in your life? Find us on Instagram (@villanovalibrary) or Twitter (@FalveyLibrary) and leave us a comment.  

If you have 3 minutes… scroll through this timeline celebrating the accomplishments of rule-breaking women from 2013 to 2022. 

If you have 5 minutes… take some time to learn about the gender pay gap with this comprehensive guide from The Skimm. 

If you have 6 minutes… read about how last month the U.S. national women’s soccer team settled in the equal pay dispute. 

If you have 2 hours and 15 minutes… watch one of my favorite movies, Little Women, directed by Greta Gerwig. 

If you have the weekend… watch some of the NCAA women’s basketball tournament. Villanova’s women team may not be there, but that doesn’t prevent you from putting a bracket together and watching some games with friends and family. Find the full weekend schedule here. 


Jenna Renaud is a Graduate Assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a Graduate Student in the Communication Department.

 


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Last Modified: March 24, 2022