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’Cat in the Stacks: Signing Off

CAT-STAX4I’m William Repetto, a second-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 a short drive down Route 1, and a confusing interchange to I-76 West, then a turn south on 476 until a short drive down Lancaster Ave that brings you from La Salle University to Villanova University. Or the opportunity to expand the horizons of your history undergrad with a graduate degree in English ­– that could bring you to Villanova from La Salle as well, especially if the former offers you a very fulfilling graduate assistantship at their campus library.

Here’s me presenting our Diversity and Inclusion Resource Guide idea at Pitch Day, 2017 – one of my favorite memories here at Falvey.

 

When I think about how far some of my fellow graduate students have traveled to be here at ’Nova, I often feel blessed to have had such a minor change in location and studies. I usually have this thought when I park my car over at the Law Garage and start my walk toward Falvey. In fact, I’ve come to see this stroll from west campus to the library as a metaphor for my experience here at Villanova.

As I set out down route 1 from La Salle, so every morning I start walking down the hill from the garage to the train station. As I started my studies here at ’Nova, so too did I feel pulled heavily downward toward readings and papers more difficult than any other I’d yet read or written. Little did I know how quickly things could change. In one very, very short year, I found myself adapted to the workload, and the downward movement leveled off.

My morning walk levels off in the halls of the underground SEPTA tunnel. In my studies, I too ended up in a strange land – albeit a much more scenic one. During the summer between my first and second years, I enrolled in the Abbey Theatre Summer Studio Program. In the course of an MA, I somehow found myself in totally unfamiliar territory – writing a play of all things. My initiation felt somehow complete.

Many thanks to everyone who has helped me along the way so far, here at Falvey and beyond.

From here began the uphill climb to the thesis and, ironically enough, the library. Every workday I reached Falvey with the same sense of pride and accomplishment that accompanied my acceptance to Villanova. This morning, as I make this walk for a final time, as I feel the weight of my thesis removed, this is a sense of accomplishment that I’ll never forget. I found my way here a determined explorer, and I arose a Wildcat.


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


The Highlighter: It Takes a Village – Signing Off


The Highlighter is not a sentimental blog. If you have been following it from its start, you’ll notice that it’s changed in the last year. The Highlighter went from a once-every-now-and-then video tutorial to a weekly column covering topical resources available at or through Falvey. It is that time in every graduate assistant’s career, however, when I must graduate and move on, so this Highlighter will be very sentimental.

One of my favorite moments at Falvey was getting to Highlight the Diversity and Inclusion Resource Guide, my work on which earned me a Meyer Award, pictured here.

In the year that I took over the Highlighter, we’ve covered such topics as Octavius Catto, Advocacy Week, and Lit Fest. Bringing to light the resources we have at Falvey to deepen your experience or understanding of these topics has been a pleasure for me, but I want to mention that assembling these resources is almost never done alone; it requires, as my final highlight, an entire library village.

Let me explain the process to you. Our Comm. & Marketing Department Team Leader Joanne Quinn comes to a meeting and tells me the major events on campus or elsewhere that the Highlighter could cover for those looking to deepen their understanding, or, our Library Events and Program Coordinator Regina Duffy reminds me about an event scheduled here at the library that the Highlighter might cover beforehand by directing visitors to helpful resources.

From there, you might think that I type in a simple search and assemble all the information I find. Wrong. We actually have too many resources for that to be effective. I consult the professionals. If I need to know the depth of a particular database, I contact our subject librarians for information about the appropriateness of a particular database for connecting to an event. If I need to find a book, the access services staff can quickly locate a call number, but they also seemingly have encyclopedic knowledge about the particular locales of sometimes very specific types of information. (I have the sneaking suspicion that they might be magical beings, sent to us from the research gods.)

Here’s a photo of one half of the Comm. & Marketing Dept. taking in the Idea Accelerator’s “Way too Early For Christmas” Party, also always one of my favorites.

With my assignment collected and my information assembled. I set to work bringing the resources to you in an organized fashion, of course bothering PATW author Hunter Houtzer during the composing process. This is how I write a typical Highlighter – but not this week, not on my very last one. This week I just wanted to highlight for you the special love I’ve had in my heart, and will continue to have, for this library village that took me in two years ago.

Thank you!


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Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant in the Communication and Marketing Dept. at the Falvey Memorial Library. He has just completed his MA in English at Villanova University.

 


Highlighter: It’s Crunchtime!


It’s the time of year when my walk to my desk in the library brings me past hordes of engineering and math students huddled around our whiteboards, teams of future nurses cramming in those long lists of anatomical terms, and scores of writers frantically “banging out” those last two, or five, or ten pages before that term paper is due.

You might expect this week’s “Highlighter” to cover the journals and databases at your disposal for end of the semester success. You would be sadly mistaken! In this week’s column, I’d like to share some of the ways that Falvey has – and will continue to – help relieve students’ end of the semester stress.

Two students pose for a photo at our holiday event’s backdrop.

At the end of my first semester working at Falvey, in fall 2016, we brought you an Open House that featured a photo backdrop, a Will D. Cat visit, and Mario Kart. Set during the holiday season, this event gave you the chance to get out and get together as a library community as the weather cooled down. Most importantly though, events like this give you some time to laugh, relax and reflect with your classmates while you dot the semester’s i’s and cross its t’s, which is why…

Three students pose for a photo at our spud-tacular tater tot bar.

… We followed that event up the following fall semester with a visit from Pals for Life and a fully loaded tater tot bar. The tater tot bar sold itself and was a big success! I personally loved the Pals for Life visit though. Few things help me relax like hanging out with pets. How can you possibly stress about anything with such cute dogs hanging out –

A collie named Cali relaxing with students.

“How in the world, William, is Falvey Memorial Library going to top that?” you might be wondering. Drum roll please! Introducing, or shall we say “reimagining,” Crunchtime! This Thursday, May 3 at noon, Falvey will host a cereal bar – pun intended – in the first floor lounge. Come out and decompress with some of your favorite cereals! Rumor even has it that there will be a new photo backdrop featuring everyone’s favorite cereal – Will D.’s.


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


’Cat in the Stacks: A Little Creative Inspiration, Courtesy of Ariel Levy

CAT-STAX4I’m William Repetto, a second-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.


Yesterday evening, Ariel Levy visited Falvey’s Speaker’s Corner. She talked at length about her new book The Rules Do Not Apply and her writing process generally. I myself had just read The Rules Do Not Apply in preparation for her visit and have one selection that I’d like to focus on for this week’s ’Cat in the Stacks.

Levy speaks in front of a jam-packed Speakers’ Corner.

Early on in the memoir, before describing her rise to prominence as an author, her miscarriage, and her difficult marriage, Levy posits, “Daring to think that the rules do not apply is the mark of a visionary. It’s also a symptom of narcissism.” I wanted to take some time to dwell on this quote because of it’s powerful message for me as a graduating student, for undergraduates, and for Falvey Memorial Library.

I’ve always seen myself as transgressing the normal “rules” laid down for our generation of college students; instead of majoring in business or communication as an undergrad, I chose to study history, English and French – they seem so “antiestablishment” somehow. I decided early on that I’d study what I really enjoy, not what might have the best material payoff. Overlaying Levy’s quote on my own life, I’ve come to realize in the last year or two that coloring outside the lines requires knowing how to color first.

Allow me to explain in terms of the undergraduate experience. Whether you major in marketing, religious studies, English or engineering, you have probably thought of how to make it on your own, to discard the rules and live on your own terms. Well, Levy’s quote – and indeed her career – shows us that this lifestyle is possible, BUT, if we come at it from the wrong angle, we may seem to all the world like narcissists. We have to learn the foundation of our field before we can construct something entirely new, something visionary.

Levy was even nice enough to leave some writerly advice in my copy of her book!

So, Villanova has become one step in your journey toward “daring to think outside of the rules.” With your liberal arts education, you’ve become prepared to tackle some of the biggest challenges of our time – where do you go next? Enter Falvey Memorial Library. Within the databases and stacks, you’ll find the mastery you’re looking for; in the Idea Accelerator, you’ll find a staff of thinkers ready to help you shape your thoughts. Here, we will all team together not to make you rich but to enrich your humanistic ideas.


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


Highlighter: Esteemed Author Ariel Levy to Visit Falvey


Ariel Levy will visit Falvey Memorial Library’s Speakers’ Corner as part of the Creative Writing Program’s ongoing Lit Fest today, April 24 at 7:00 p.m. Levy will discuss the publication of her second book, The Rules Do Not Apply, a memoir that recounts Levy’s most personal moments from her memories at Wesleyan University, to her partner’s struggle with alcoholism, to her own miscarriage.

This Highlighter brings together some of Levy’s work available to you through Falvey. As you will find browsing her already written materials, Levy’s talk promises to unveil how we might channel our own personal difficulties into those things we are most passionate about, for Levy: writing.

Ariel Levy poses for a photo.

1. Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture

Female Chauvinist Pigs” starts with a simply asked question, yet one that might not be so simple to answer; “why is laboring to look like Pamela Anderson empowering?” In “FCP,” Levy looks at the rise of a new type in American culture: the female chauvinist pig, who she claims uses a traditionally male aesthetic as a guise for feminism. Exploring the rise of, for example, lad mags and Howard Stern, Levy comes to the conclusion that “‘raunchy’ and ‘liberated’ are not synonyms.”

2. “Thanksgiving in Mongolia”

Learn some intensely personal autobiographical information in this essay. Levy herself claims to have not liked her introverted childhood very much – redeemed by her early decision to become a writer. She contemplates what the future might hold for her own child. Unfortunately, she miscarries in a place far from home – Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. In this “Best American Magazine Writing, 2014” selection, she recounts the details of that experience.

“The New Yorker’s” cartoon depiction of Levy.

3. “Postscript: Edith Windsor, 1929-2017

In this obituary of Edith Windsor, Levy’s latest contribution to “The New Yorker,” Levy gives pedigree information, of course: where Windsor received her degrees and the direction of her career. But Levy stands in awe at the woman who worked to topple the Defense of Marriage Act and who teased her partner, despite their 30 year separation in age, for having too little energy.


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

 


’Cat in the Stacks: Diversity and Diversification, Revisited

CAT-STAX4I’m William Repetto, a second-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.


A few weeks ago, I brought you a ’Cat in the Stacks about our new Diversity and Inclusion Resource Guide and encouraged you to implement the ideas of diversity into your own life. Well, yesterday at Falvey we hosted a panel titled “The Language of Race and Gender in 2018,” featuring Sonia Velasco, Brighid Dwyer, and Dr. Terry Nance. In light of this event, I wanted to revisit the topics of diversity and diversifying.

In my earlier post, I talked about the importance of both educating oneself about and interacting with other cultures, but I also pointed out the ways we can diversify our own lives to aid in personal growth. I’d like to turn presently toward the lessons of our panel to continue that same line of thinking, starting with Brighid Dwyer’s message that the language of diversity changes, i.e., words we used five years ago might not carry the same connotation today.

From left to right: Velasco, Dwyer and Nance

This message drastically deepens our personal understandings of diversity and inclusion – as both a field of study and its practical implementation. For me, this means that some of the messages I learned about these topics even at the beginning of my undergraduate years might not be up-to-date. For you, it might mean that words or phrases that were acceptable during high school have developed a new connotation – meaning (a) you should be sensitive to how you’re saying things and (b) you should always seek out new sensitivities.

I would say also that this perspective on change should affect how we look at diversifying our own lives. Just because something was normal for us five or ten years ago does not mean that it’s normal now. For example, ten years ago it might have been different for me to take an entire day to read. Nowadays, as a graduate student, it’s a break from the norm to take some time off to socialize. Keep this constant change in mind when you think about diversifying your own life – be it by meeting new people or changing your routine.

This all ties back to a message that Dr. Nance gave at the event; different does not equal negativity. This message applies to our language and our personal lives. Just because someone says something differently from how we say it, does not necessarily imply something negative. It’s often worthwhile to learn their point-of-view to improve our own sensitivity (and sensibility!). In your personal life, trying something new has two outcomes: either you enjoy it or, well, not so much; it’s not always negative, so you might as well experience it!

University Librarian and Director of Falvey Memorial Library Millicent Gaskell introduces the panel.

Dwyer also left us with another inspiring message: it all comes down to constant engagement, constant learning and constant reading. We can help you with all of those things here at Falvey. You can visit our Subject Librarians, our stacks, or even the Diversity and Inclusion Resource Guide to engage, learn and read all about diversity and diversification.


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


Scholarship @Villanova featuring Dr. Ian Clausen


Introduction: Ian Clausen & The Moral Self

Please join us today, Tuesday, April 17 at 3:00 pm in Falvey’s Speakers’ Corner for a Scholarship@ Villanova talk featuring Ian Clausen, PhD. In this book talk, Dr. Clausen will take us through key phases in Augustine’s development as a teacher and philosopher as presented in Reading Augustine: On Love, Confession, Surrender and the Moral Self (Bloomsbury 2017).

Describing an intellectual journey that will resonate especially with readers at the beginning of their own journey, Clausen will show that Augustine’s early writing career was an outworking of his own inner turmoil and discovery, and that both were to summit, triumphantly, on his monumental book Confessions. On Love, Confession, Surrender and the Moral Self offers a way of looking at Augustine’s early writing career as an on-going, developing process: a process whose chief result was to shape a conception of the moral self that has lasted and prospered to the present day.

As part of our ongoing coverage of the event, we’ve included information on Clausen’s own scholarly works, which are available through Falvey, to bring you a primer on his talk.

Dr. Ian Clausen, Ian Clausen, Scholarship at Villanova, book talk, faculty book talk

Highlighter: Reading Clausen

As a college student at Villanova, you might have pondered about the role of values or ethics in your liberal arts education. I know that I sure have. Clausen has written about this very question in the past in his Seeking the Place of Conscience in Higher Education: An Augustinian View. Centered around the question of how educators can inspire students to encounter their own conscience, this article asks one to think about – among other things – the definition of “conscience,” the third chapter of Genesis, and the role of education more generally.

We come to learn that the conscience can, or perhaps ought, to be viewed as a starting place for moral judgment rather than an ending place for negative emotions associated with our actions. We discover that God’s question “where are you?” might have a figurative meaning that drastically alters how we read the fall of man. And lastly, we learn that education might have more to do with bringing us in touch with awareness of truth rather than asking us to transmit the truth. Click the link above to read the article in its entirety; you won’t regret it!

Reading Augustine begins with the very same question from Genesis 3 – where are we? In this book, Clausen seeks to present the early writings of Augustine as relevant to the world we find ourselves in today as the archetypal conversion experience. Clausen also interrogates what Augustine scholars mean, and indeed what we mean, when we claim to talk about our “selfs.”

Image of St. Augustine, courtesy of Digital Library.

Conclusion: More on Clausen and Attending the Event

Dr. Ian Clausen is an Arthur J. Ennis Postdoctoral Fellow in the Augustine & Culture Seminar Program at Villanova University. He completed his PhD at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, where he studied the writings of Augustine under the tutelage of Professor Oliver O’Donovan, and as a recipient of the international British Marshall scholarship. Before that, he received his BA in English and Religious Studies from the University of Illinois.

In his research, Dr. Clausen combines a focus on Augustine in his historical time and place, along with an interest in perennial questions around moral agency, formation, and the complexities of human love – all of which he will discuss at the event.

The talk, which is free and open to the public, is co-sponsored by Falvey Memorial Library and the Augustine & Culture Seminar Program. Please be sure to join us!


Written by Library Events and Program Coordinator Regina Duffy and Falvey Communication and Marketing Department Graduate Assistant William Repetto.


‘Cat in the Stacks: National (Champions) Library Week

CAT-STAX4I’m William Repetto, a second-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.


What a whirlwind book it has been, Nova Nation. Our team won the NCAA National Championship a little over a week ago now, spring seems to be finally arriving and we’ve been celebrating National Library Week here at Falvey. Nursing those championship hangovers, while looking forward to what’s next, and trying to appreciate the time and place of the present can be hard work separately – let alone all at once!

Hunter has found time to both celebrate and zen out! Have you read her weekly column, PATW?

We should all be veterans at recovering from a championship celebration. I mean, with the Eagles celebration just behind us, as well as that other NCAA basketball championship and a Flyers Stanley Cup almost certainly on the horizon, how could we not be, here in the city of champions? But getting back on track after the emotional highs of such a great run can still be tough. If you need a little quiet zen before your amazing run to the end of the semester, make sure to stop by one of the library quiet spaces and rediscover your productive side.

Spring offers other opportunities for finding moments of zen. We can finally get outside a bit and enjoy the sunshine, enjoy some outdoor activity, or even discover some new quiet section of campus to hunker down and read. Spring also brings with it new events here at the library. Whether you need some final paper inspiration or simply want to learn about something new, visit our events page and come hang out with your fellow Wildcats, professors or the members of the Falvey Memorial Library Communication and Marketing Department.

Speaking of that wonderful department of marketers and communicators, did you know that this week is National Library Week? We like to remind our visitors every day of how Falvey tries to establish itself as a leader, at the heart of the campus community, but this week has been set aside to celebrate this fact about all libraries. So, whether you come into Falvey or your public library back home in the next couple of days, make sure to stop and thank a librarian for all they do. Speaking on behalf of those librarians here at Falvey, they truly do put their visitors first and make sure you always have the materials you need on hand.

It was my birthday yesterday! While you might think it was my first from this illustration, I actually turned 24. What?!

One of my favorite parts about the springtime is seeing the population on campus ostensibly double as students head back outside to spend some time. The whole Comm. and Marketing Department at Falvey loves bringing you engaging events, and you can always feel free to reach out to us with comments (use the comments below!). Our librarians look forward to hearing from you too as the semester winds down. Consider all three of these things your Gatorade, greasy food, and ginger ale for that Championship hangover!


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Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant in the Communication and Marketing Dept. at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University. (Graphics courtesy of Bitmoji, and Hunter and I spending hours perfecting our representations!)


Highlighter: Catherine Kerrison to Visit Falvey

On Thursday, April 12 at 6:00p.m., Catherine Kerrison, Ph.D., will visit Speakers’ Corner of Falvey Memorial Library. Kerrison recently published Jefferson’s Daughters: Three Sisters, White and Black, in a Young America.  In the collection here at Falvey, with additional copies available through Interlibrary Loan, Jefferson’s Daughters has been called “dogged and thoroughly detailed detective work,” and Kerrison’s writing considered “richly textured,” “recapturing the patterns of Southern women’s lives.”

If you aren’t familiar with Kerrison’s work, you can read these three selections in advance to prepare yourself for the event:

1. “The French Education of Martha Jefferson Randolph

I did not know how curious I could be about the education of a founding father’s daughter until I read this article. You’ll learn about Martha (“Patsy’s”) lavish education at an Enlightenment-inspired girls’ school among a cloister of nuns. Kerrison weaves an approachable style and a truly intriguing topic in this essay to transport you back to immediately pre-Revolutionary France.

2. “Toward an Intellectual History of Early Southern Women

Roughly a hundred years of US history separates vignettes of oppression and stories of highly educated, independent women in this essay by Kerrison. In fact, fortune often favored northerners at the beginning of this time period as well. Over the course of this essay you’ll discover how Southern women changed this northern, masculine-centric paradigm of learning in early American history.

3. “Sally Hemings,” Chapter in A Companion to Thomas Jefferson

Are you familiar with the story of Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson’s intimate relationship? Well, Kerrison retells the tale in a new light. She recounts this history from the point of view of Hemings rather than from the perspective of Jefferson and his reputation.


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

 


Highlighter: “Much Ado” with this VU Theatre Primer

Welcome to “The Highlighter,” where we’ll be exploring the various new and old services and resources available through the Falvey!


On Wednesday, April 11, “Much Ado About Nothing” opens at the Villanova Theatre. Falvey Memorial Library has a host of resources on Shakespeare, among them Shakespeare in Performance: Prompt Books from the Folger Shakespeare Library. You may use this resource to explore what are called prompt books – it’s right there in the title.

“Much Ado About Nothing” Banner, courtesy of VU Theatre.

What in the world is a prompt book, you might be wondering? If you are at all like me, and find the development of a play from page to production to be absolute magic, you might find that prompt books reveal the mechanisms of that magic.

According to Shakespeare in Performance, a prompt book, “is the production’s bible, containing a wealth of instructions and information alongside the basic text of the play.” In other words, prompt books contain the notes, ideas and thinkings of others who have put on the play before to help the next generation of actors understand and explore the characters, sights and sounds of the play.

For example, in one book for “Hamlet,” you might find that one actor like to hold the skull aloft during the famous “To Be or Not To Be” speech, where another might like to put it down altogether. In a third book still, you might find notes that indicate an actor likes to hold the skull differently. All of these notes help the production staff and performers create a cohesive and purposeful rendition of their show.

A photo of that famous speech, courtesy of Shakespeare in Production.

All of this is to tell you to search “Much Ado” on the database; you’ll get an insider’s look at how directors choose their staging and how performers decide their diction. Then check out “Much Ado” at VU Theatre on April 11-14 and April 17-21 at 8 p.m. or the matinee showings at 2 p.m. on April 15 and 22. You’ll end up with a ton to talk about!


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

 


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Last Modified: April 3, 2018