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‘Cat in the Stacks: A Reminder to Love

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


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

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

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

Lit Fest and The Mothers

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

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

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

Falvey Entrance

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

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


Website photo 2

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


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Five Books for Valentine’s Day

As the university library on one of the most romantic college campuses in the world, the Falvey Memorial Library has found it judicious to bring some Valentine’s Day literature recommendations to our constituents. Whether you’re single and looking, single and happy, or taken, these books are the perfect companions to spend the day with.

1. “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief

This recommendation comes from First Year Experience & Humanities Librarian Rob Leblanc. A contemplation of beauty and love in the midst of the destruction and horror of The Second World War, “The Book Thief” offers the perfect chance to embark on the journey of a boy who uses literature to overcome terror. Whether you’re cuddled up with your significant other, enjoying the heat of the fireplace over a couple of novels or if other obligations have prevented you from seeing your other half, this story will engross you in a world where love truly conquers all.

2. “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr

All The Light We Cannot See

English & Theatre Librarian Sarah Wingo recommends this book for romantics of all kinds. Also set in WWII, this Pulitzer Prize winner recounts the journey of a blind French girl and a German boy as they come of age during WWII. Their paths eventually cross during the American landing at Normandy on D-Day. Following their exchange, one’s path to safety is ensured, while the other remains dangerously trapped on the battlefields of Europe. For anyone thinking about the very nature of romance and love, this story provides an interesting peak at the very drives at the heart of our nature.

3. “The Pastoral Symphony, or, La Symphonie Pastorale” by André Gide

La Symphonie Pastorale

Recommended by Nursing/Life Sciences & Instructional Services Librarian Barbara Quintiliano, this novella is available in our collection in both English and its original French. Also incorporating the device of blindness, this one recounts the relationship that develops between a pastor’s son and a blind girl named Gertrude. As the pastor himself attempts to shield Gertrude from sin, his son falls deeply in love with her and proposes marriage. From there, the story takes an interesting turn that forces the reader to consider lessons of the bible, honesty, and responsibility in love.

4. “Love’s Labour’s Lost” by William Shakespeare

Love Labour Lost

Interested in what happens when four secular men take the oath not to give in to female temptations? Theology / Humanities Librarian Darren Poley recommends this Shakespeare piece. Featuring sovereign decrees, secret romances, and a king in disguise, this comedy features the claim that man’s highest study ought to be love.

5. “A Walk to Remember” by Nicholas Sparks

A Walk to Remember

Information Services Specialist Gerald Dierkes recommends kicking back on the recliner and reading this lovely story from romantic tale expert Nicholas Sparks. “It’s not specifically about Valentine’s Day,” Dierkes says, “but it is a good love story.” For those of you interested in how emotions of the heart may conquer ailments of the body, this book is especially for you.

(Photos courtesy of the Falvey Memorial Library Collection and Google Books)


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

 

 


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Dig Deeper: Literary Sensation Brit Bennett to Visit Falvey

As a part of the Villanova University Literary Festival, co-sponsored by the English Department, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Falvey Memorial Library (among a slew of other departments), Brit Bennett will visit Speakers’ Corner on Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m., providing you the perfect opportunity to bring your bae to a romantic evening of intellectual discussion and fiction reading.

The traditional “Dig Deeper” post includes a number of the author’s primary texts and a few scholarly articles for thinking through the author’s work. Bennett, however, as a new author presents a series of difficulties as far as building this kind of post goes.

Brit_BennettBrit Bennett poses for a photo.

First, her work is so new that scholars haven’t yet incorporated it into their theoretical pieces. Second, Bennett is very forthcoming about the aims and intentions of her work, especially so in her essays titled “I Don’t Know What to Do with Good White People” and “Ripping the Veil,” which means I can’t provide you with philosophical musings for thinking through what she might mean.

The novel itself ­– The Mothers – uses a fresh and much needed narrative voice to depict the black, middle-class life of its characters. According to an interview with Fusion, The Mothers took Bennett a long period of writing and re-writing to complete, and it mirrors her own life so far in a few crucial ways. Without spoiling anything too much, you should know that it’s available through interlibrary loan currently, and will arrive in the Falvey’s collection in the coming weeks.

Bennett herself was born and raised in southern California. She attended Stanford University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English. From there, she moved east to earn her MFA in fiction at the University of Michigan.

As a graduate student myself, I can tell you that the jump from graduate school success to gracing the pages of Vogue, Essence and the New York Times must have been one shocking journey. It all begins, however, with engagement.

Brit Bennett NYTBrit Bennett, as featured in The New York Times.

Bennett took a topic important to her – racial issues in America – and set herself to writing the most informed pieces about that topic. So far she has produced the “Good White People” piece from above and The Mothers (as well as a piece in The New Yorker praising the work of Ta-Nehisi Coates).

All of these pieces weave a fine strand through the young career of one of the literary world’s up-and-coming stars. Bennett’s central concern is the resolution of some of the racial issues plaguing 21st-century America. Here are a few links for you to dig deeper into the fields of race and trauma theory, curated by our English & Theatre Librarian, Sarah Wingo:

 


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

 

 


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‘Cat in the Stacks: X-Files Edition

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


 

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

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

It was all very, well, X-Files

The X Files

via YouTube

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

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

Lab Coats

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

Sue Ottignon's colored page of Falvey

Sue Ottignon’s colored page of Falvey

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


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


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Curious ‘Cat: Groundhog Day

Curious 'Cat - imageThe Curious Cat asks Villanova students this week, “Punxsutawney Phil predicted six more weeks of winter. What is something you would like six more weeks of?”

DSC_1581Liz Klotzbach – “Fall break.”

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_1589

Vince Maria – “Time with my friends back home.”

 

 

 

 

DSC_1585Andrea Hammond – “Time with my friends.”

 

 

 

 

DSC_1582Thomas Plonski – “Six more weeks of school before I graduate.”

 

 

 

 

DSC_1591Lauren Tupper – “Winter break.”

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_1584Turki Haj Mohamad – “Six more weeks of Obama being president.”


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‘Cat in the Stacks: Three Poems

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


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

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

Flood by James Joyce

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

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

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

Dreams by Langston Hughes

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

Screen Shot 2017-01-31 at 11.40.06 AM

Bloom’s collection of critical essays on Hughes

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

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

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

How I Became a Saint by James Richardson

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

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


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


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‘Cat in the Stacks: Lessons of the Past

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


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

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

Take some time to reflect this semester.

Take some time to reflect this semester.

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

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

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

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

Where all our seniors are headed!

Where all our seniors are headed!

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

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

175 Banner

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


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

 


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‘Cat in the Stacks: Spring, Forward

CAT-STAX4

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


 

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

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

(an example of positive goal setting.)

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

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

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

Falvey in Spring

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

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

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

Russian Revolution

(Russian Revolution banner from Home Before the Leaves Fall)

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

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


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


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‘Cat in the Stacks: A Little Holiday Nostalgia

CAT-STAX4

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


Wow, wildcats. The end of the semester is upon us yet again. Now a graduate student, I am somehow still surprised every time the end of the semester comes around so quickly.

At the beginning of the semester I can recall looking at all the syllabi and thinking, “Wow. How am I going to get this all done in 15 weeks?” But here we are again, with the work winding down, cranking out those final assignments/last few hours of studying.

This was also my first semester as ‘Cat in the Stacks, and, trust me when I say, we here at the Falvey Memorial Library are both surprised and very proud of the many events, activities, and even spaces that we brought to you this semester.

Way back in August (remember those days?), I sat down in my first graduate classes, but I also sat down to bring you my first ‘Cat in the Stacks: a Cup of Cat-feine. Around the same time, the rest of the Falvey Communication & Marketing Team, of which I am a part, sat down to plan out the semester. We saw Hispanic Heritage Month coming up, the pending visit of Elizabeth Kolbert, the opening of a new reading room further down the road, and even heard stirrings of Harry Potter Halloween festivities (pictured below).

Actors at "The Cursed Child" Reading

In my classes, as many of you did as well, I saw short reaction papers, presentations, and longer term projects on the agenda. To tackle the organization required, I utilized many of the tools I learned about here at the Falvey – including Browzine and a word-processing app recommended by Sarah Wingo called Scrivener (with a price tag low enough for this graduate assistant to afford!).

Meanwhile, we were up to our old tricks here at the Falvey: bringing you information on Twitter, Facebook, and our own blog. But we also did some innovative things this semester. Who could forget this year’s VUFind Summit? And how about the opening of the Dugan Polk Family Reading Room?

These events were about making sure that we brings you the same awesome services (technology, spaces), but with updated resources that conform to your needs. (The Dugan Polk Family Reading Room famously has more outlets than seats!) Our continued innovation, and construction projects (photo below), reflect our dedication to the Villanova Community to bring interactive and modern amenities to anyone seeking to use our resources or facilities.

Construction Project IDEA

On a personal level, my own work has benefitted immensely from innovations at the Falvey. I keep up-to-date on Browzine, especially on the Milton Quarterly Journal; I can be spotted in the Dugan Polk Family Reading Room, typing away at several essays (sometimes at once), on some weekends; and I’ve been using Zotero to keep all the sources straight in my head and on the page.

Dugan Polk Family Reading Room

(On some weekends, you can find the ‘Cat in the Stacks writing away in one of those big armchairs. Don’t tell the stacks, though; they might get jealous.)

Here we are, though, 15 tough weeks of classes from that first ‘Cat in the Stacks, from those first days of classes. While the library continues to change, and a new semester will bring new classes, try to keep in mind those things that stay constant: the library’s commitment to your success, your own commitment to perfecting your studies, and my commitment as ‘Cat in the Stacks to helping you make sense of it all.

Thanks for reading, and Happy Holidays!


Website photo 2

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

 

 


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‘Cat in the Stacks: A Tale as Old as Time

 

CAT-STAX4

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


 

We, here at the Falvey marketing and communication team, celebrated an important birthday last week. It wasn’t our team’s birthday and neither was it the birthday of one of our own. The birthday we celebrated was the 25th anniversary of Disney’s 1991 instant classic Beauty and the Beast.

Following the original release of Beauty and the Beast, impressed critics praised Disney for the marriage of modern entertainment quality with classic themes and tropes. You can read some early responses to the film on the Falvey Memorial Library’s databases – including these two from the Historical New York Times and the Historical Washington Post.

As we prepare now for a live-action reboot of the classic tale, and simultaneously prepare for the end of the fall term, I would like to unpack some of the lessons that Beauty and the Beast contains for our place in the semester.

via GIPHY

The beginning versus the ending of a story is always of critical importance. The story of Belle begins in a small provincial town and ends up in a large castle; put simply, the scale of Belle’s lifestyle radically increases.

Our classes in a typical semester function in much the same way. We start small – with a crucial definition, with an introductory text. Then, our scope expands; we read complex texts, full novels. At this point in the semester we are asked to construct the largest project of them all: the term paper.

Like Belle, our fall semester story builds from small, provincial-sized information to large, sometimes baroque books. These last weeks of the semester can sometimes look ugly, which brings us to our next theme: appearance versus reality.

via GIPHY

This theme perhaps needs no explanation in Beauty and the Beast. But for those who need a refresher, the beast is, in fact, a handsome prince who an enchantress has cursed for his own wickedness. Belle sacrifices her own freedom for the freedom of her father, and while imprisoned she discovers the loving gentlemen below the hideous exterior of the beast, thus breaking the curse.

These final weeks of the semester can seem like a curse. The workload piles up and finals follow more term papers that themselves follow other finals. Beauty and the Beast, however, reminds us to look for the reality underneath the ugly exterior that can be visualized on our daily planners and Outlook calendars.

Below the overloaded syllabi and hours spent behind the keyboard typing away at our latest masterpieces resides the true spirit of the college education. The feeling of accomplishment that greets us at the finish line is inspiring for sure, but I think more than just that feeling underwrites the last weeks of the semester.

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Like Belle’s relationship with the beast, I think that love underwrites the final weeks of the semester. Usually not romantic love, but love for a topic, love for a profession, the love of learning and writing, these loves motivate us for the final weeks of the semester. Perhaps for some, even a love for the library keeps them going.

Don’t believe me? Ask the dishes.

via GIPHY

 


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

 


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Last Modified: November 30, 2016