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.
It’s the first week of spring, Wildcats! Our men’s basketball watching schedule has perhaps been cut a little short, and, judging by those spots of snow still hanging on, winter has decided to hang around for a while, but this time of year reminds me of a Wallace Stevens quote that always makes me laugh. He wrote, “poor, dear, silly spring, preparing her annual surprise!”
In his journal entry (pictured above) Stevens writes about the clouds and the fields, but since my own undergraduate years, I’ve come to recognize that Stevens’ quote applied to many aspects of spring that he anticipates coming. It seems only at surface level that he talks about the clouds and the coming rain as “poor, dear, silly” spring’s surprise.
So that begs the question: what is spring’s annual surprise? I think it has to do with those three adjectives that Stevens uses to describe the season; it’s at once poor, dear, and silly.
For us college students, the spring does have one poor surprise – the semester’s quick descent into finals and term paper due dates. While the weather warms outside and the birds begin chirping again, we find ourselves inside looking longingly out during breaks from studying.
It is, however, dear as well. During the spring, everyone on college campuses begins to feel they are approaching the end of another academic-year-long odyssey. These last few weeks with our college friends before we disperse, these last class sessions with a favorite professor, or even the last few strolls around campus before going home – these are the memories that remain dear to us.
I know I got sentimental on you there, but spring is also a time to be silly! While the frigid temperatures kept some of us inside all winter long, the receding clouds and bright sunshine make the perfect mix for a pickup game of ultimate Frisbee. Or maybe the nicer weather makes using that 30-minute break all the more attractive for a walk down to Campus Corner, instead of a quick microwavable meal.
If you feel like the stereotypical, poor college student, caught up in the blur of spring semester’s final weeks, Falvey has plenty of resources to ease your suffering. Whether you need articles or books, resources from another library or help finding a database, the staff here at the library looks forward to making spring’s surprise not so “poor.”
If this is your sentimental time of year, Falvey Memorial Library has great spaces for you to spend those last school weeks with your friends – the first floor lounge and the Dugan Polk Family Reading Room, to name my favorite. And, if you’re feeling silly this spring, I’ve heard that a pet-related stress buster is in the works for Friday, May 5.
I know, I know, “C’mon, William, you’re really stretching the limits of Stevens’ words.” I might be guilty as charged! But anytime Stevens took a look at nature, I think we can safely assume that he was talking about something deeper – maybe something spiritual, maybe something like college life, maybe the nothing that is not there.
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.