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Foto Friday: You’re One Smart Cookie!

You’re one smart cookie!

Thanks for stopping by our midterm stress buster, Wildcats. Have a safe and relaxing spring break.

Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Library. Photos courtesy of Ethan Shea, Graduate Assistant at Falvey Library.





Peek at the Week: February 27


In Memoirs of a Geisha, Arthur Golden wrote, “Adversity is like a strong wind. It…tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that afterward we see ourselves as we really are, and not merely as we might like to be.”

Happy Monday, Wildcats! Although I don’t know if I would consider midterms “adversity,” they are a time of great stress and exhaustion for many of us, and enduring times of stress and turmoil has the potential to reveal our inner strengths and resilience, even if they’re not what we might expect.

We at Falvey hope you have a manageable and successful midterm week and a restful (and fun) Spring Break.


Monday, February 27

Mindfulness Monday | 1-1:30 p.m. | Virtual | Free & Open to Villanova Students, Faculty, and Staff

The Learners’ Studio/Center for Speaking and Presentation | 4-9 p.m. | Room 301 | Free

Tuesday, February 28

The Learners’ Studio/Center for Speaking and Presentation | 4-9 p.m. | Room 301 | Free

Wednesday, March 1

The Learners’ Studio/Center for Speaking and Presentation | 4-9 p.m. | Room 301 | Free

Thursday, March 2

The Learners’ Studio/Center for Speaking and Presentation | 4-9 p.m. | Room 301 | Free


Start midterms off the right way by celebrating The Big Breakfast Day today, Feb. 27. No matter what your go-to breakfast food is, don’t skip out on the most important meal of the day today (especially if you’re fueling up for your midterms with caffeine).

Midterms got you feeling stressed? Celebrate World Music Therapy Day this Wednesday, Mar. 1. Whether you need some chill indie music to relax, some lo-fi beats to focus, or to scream-sing along to your favorite songs in the car, take a moment to listen to some music and de-stress. Your body (and perhaps even your grades) will thank you.

More of a book person? Thursday, Mar. 2, is National Read Across America Day, a day dedicated to reading. Although the holiday has ties to Dr. Seuss, for those who find joy in reading, today is a day to celebrate all reading-for-pleasure. So, crack open a book and take some time to escape the stress of midterms. (And if you don’t have a book on-hand, Falvey has endless options for you to choose from).

After a long week of midterms, National Day of Unplugging, celebrated this Friday, Mar. 3, is a great opportunity to take a break from the screens (as great as they are). If you have time in your schedule, take a walk, grab coffee with a friend, take a nap, or read a book, whatever helps you decompress and recharge (without a blue-light device).

Annie Stockmal is a graduate student in the Communication Department and graduate assistant in Falvey Library.


Curious Cat: Midterm Season

By Olivia Dunn & Ethan Shea

"Curious Cat Banner"

Happy Thursday, Nova Nation! It’s midterm season, but don’t fret. Falvey has your back. With Fall Break just around the corner, there’s plenty to look forward to once you finish up that last essay. That’s why for this installment of the Curious Cat, we chose to clue you in on some tips for making it through midterms. Hence, our question this week is: “What’s key to surviving midterms?” Keep scrolling to check out the responses we received!

"Curious Cat 10/6 (1)"

“Taking breaks to cook and chill. Avoiding cramming.”

— Hannah Phelan ’23

“Setting up camp in the first floor of Falvey for the week!”

— Shannon Foley ’23

"Curious Cat 10/6 (2)"

“Making time to schedule my week.”

— Paige Henige ’23

“Planning and scheduling the work I need to do.”

— Isabella Stone ’23

“Mapping out what needs to be studied and working through my to-do list.”

— Trevor Coleman ’23

"Curious Cat 10/6 (3)"

“Coffee and listening to movie soundtracks while I study.”

— Bridget Caste ’23

Olivia Dunn HeadshotOlivia Dunn is a senior at Villanova University. She works in Falvey Library as a Communications and Marketing Assistant and majors in Communication with specializations in both Journalism and Public Relations.






Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a graduate student in the English Department at Villanova University and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.

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TBT: ’Cat Nap

Image of a student taking a nap on a couch.

Hang in there, Wildcats! Midterms are almost over. Falvey Library has plenty of study space (and a few spots to grab a quick nap). Image courtesy of the 1959 Belle Air Yearbook (page 12).

Read the full yearbook on the Villanova University Digital Library.

Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library.





Peek at the Week: October 3


In Cast Away, Chuck Noland said, “I know what I have to do now. I’ve got to keep breathing because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows that the tide will bring.”

Well, Wildcats, we’re at an especially stressful point in the semester. With midterms beginning this week, it is practically inevitable for many of us to feel tired, overwhelmed, and even pessimistic. But, with midterms eventually comes Fall Break.

Keep at it. Despite the fact that it seems never-ending, the week will end, and Fall Break will come. And who knows, maybe it could be the hopeful tide you were looking for.


Monday, October 3

Mindfulness Monday | 1-1:30 p.m. | Virtual | Free & Open to Villanova Students, Faculty, and Staff

The Learners’ Studio/Center for Speaking and Presentation | 4-9 p.m. | Room 301 | Free

Tuesday, October 4

The Learners’ Studio/Center for Speaking and Presentation | 4-9 p.m. | Room 301 | Free

Wednesday, October 5

The Learners’ Studio/Center for Speaking and Presentation | 4-9 p.m. | Room 301 | Free

Thursday, October 6

The Learners’ Studio/Center for Speaking and Presentation | 4-9 p.m. | Room 301 | Free

Sunday, October 9

The Learners’ Studio/Center for Speaking and Presentation | 3-9 p.m. | Room 301 | Free


Tomorrow is National Taco Day, fittingly on a Tuesday. If you’re feeling festive and in the mood for some good food, swing by your favorite taco place. If you’re ever in the Pottstown area, Los Aztecas is great for a sit-down dinner and Three Brothers Grill has awesome take-out. If you’re staying local, I’ve heard great things about Xolo Tacos.

Photo by A A on Unsplash

Wednesday, Oct. 5 is National Be Nice Day. Not only should you strive to be nice to others on this holiday, try to be nice to yourself! Even if it’s only for a day, being nice to yourself is self care (which we probably all need during midterms).

World Teacher’s Day is also this Wednesday. Celebrate the day by making your professor’s day just a little easier. Whether it’s raising your hand in class, turning in an assignment before the last minute, sending them a thank-you email, or even finding them a dry erase marker that actually works, show some appreciation for your professors.

As a fun start to Fall Break, you can celebrate National Pierogi Day on Saturday, Oct. 8. If you can’t find yourself a Polish grandmother to make you some, you can make some (homemade or not) at home. Or, if you’re looking for a little adventure, try out a pierogi place. (The Pierogi Kitchen in Roxborough has been on my family’s list for a while).


Annie Stockmal is a graduate student in the Communication Department and graduate assistant in Falvey Library.


Peek at the Week: February 21

By Jenna Renaud


Word of the Week: Assiduous  

(adj) showing great care and perseverance  

Mid-terms are upon us, and I implore everyone to be assiduous with your studies this week. A much-needed Spring break is right around the corner, we all just need to persevere and put in those extra hours studying and drafting papers to get there. I’ll be pulling quite a few late nights and early mornings this week to get everything done, so just know you are not alone. 

This Week at Falvey  

NOW–Wednesday, Jun. 15th  

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

Monday, Feb. 21st  

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

Wednesday, Feb. 23rd

Mid-Term Event | 11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. | Falvey First Floor | Stop by for some dough to get you through midterms! Cookie dough and Play-Doh are the essentials you never knew you needed to get through this mid-term season.

This Week in History 

February 22nd, 1980 – U.S. hockey team beats the Soviets in the “Miracle on Ice” 

Stay in theme with the 2022 Beijing Olympics wrapping up this past weekend, this week’s week in history flashes back to the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Games. In one of the most dramatic upsets in Olympic history, the United States hockey team, made up of college students, defeated the Soviet Union team that had one the last four Olympic gold medals. 

The U.S. team, with an average player age of 22, entered the Games as the 7th-seed as opposed to the Soviet Union’s experienced team entering as 1st-seed. In front of 100,000 spectators, the U.S. pulled out a 4-3 win and then went on to defeat Finland two days later, securing the gold. This unbelievable upset and victory was later memorialized in a 2004 film, Miracle, starring Kurt Russell. Miracle is available for streaming on Disney+. To read more about this upset and how it played out, visit 

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



Photo Friday: Master Your Midterm Stress

Library staff greet students in front of the library at Falvey's pop-up stressbusting event.

Photo courtesy of Shawn Proctor, Communication and Marketing Program Manager.

Falvey Library staff hosted a pop-up midterm stressbuster on Tuesday, Oct. 5. Students were treated to some fun snacks, feel-good music, and helpful Library essentials. Have a great fall break, Wildcats!

Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library.





Cat in the Stax: Answering All Your Study Questions

By Ethan Shea

It might seem like the semester just began, but believe it or not, in just a couple weeks it will be time for midterm exams. Luckily, that also means Fall Break will be at our doorstep in no time.

I hope everyone’s had the chance to get into the rhythm of their new daily routines. If so, we can all take advantage of this relatively calm time of the semester and prepare for the trials to come. One habit that’s crucial to surviving midterms is a productive study routine. At least for me, when it comes to lining up my idiosyncratic study tendencies neatly in a row, I’m always left with questions and concerns.

In general, I can never decide how I want to study. Where should I be studying? Should I be listening to music? What time is best to study?

For this week’s “Cat in the Stax” I decided to answer these questions once and for all. I hope you’re able to use the answers I found to improve your academic experience here at Villanova. Enjoy!

Does listening to music help or hurt study sessions?

A study carried out by the University of Wollongong in Australia concluded that the answer to this question depends on the music you’re listening to. Because music tends to reduce stress, students will be more likely to buckle down and focus with greater intensity when aurally occupied. This revelation disproved the complex theory that classical music stimulates specific parts of the human brain that make studying more efficient. Contrarily, just about any instrumental music can help you study if it improves your mood. Songs with lyrics tend to make reading comprehension a bit more difficult, so if possible, stay away from vocal performances.

Where is the best place to study?

At the risk of sounding a bit biased, I’ll posit that all the best places to study are located right here in Falvey Library, but I’m not just saying that because this is a Falvey blog. In fact, I’ve got science to back me up. The ability to retain information and concentration levels are increased when studying in new locations. Being in the same place over and over again does not stimulate the brain to the greatest possible extent in the same way that focusing on one subject for too long can lead to burnout. Studying in an area with very few distractions and relative quietude is also important to learning efficiently. Stimulation overload prevents you from focusing intently on anything because your focus spreads too thin.

Thankfully, Falvey Library has plenty of quiet spaces, such as Third and Fourth Floor Stacks in addition to the Reading Room. There are also many different places to study in Falvey, so you can try a new one everyday without rendering your mind weary!

When is the best time to study?

Odd as it may seem, research has shown that studying when you’re tired is actually helpful. For example, if you study right before bed, your brain will essentially be reviewing the material in your sleep, causing the information to soak in a bit deeper. On the other hand, studying after a workout session has its benefits as well. Because of the increased flow of oxygen and blood that exercise causes, our brains get neurological boosts immediately after exercise. With that being said, feel free to take a jog over to Falvey Memorial Library when it’s time to hit the books!

Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a first-year English Graduate Student at Villanova University and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.

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'Cat in the Stax: Curing the Midterm Blues

By Jenna Newman, Falvey Memorial Library’s Cat in the ‘Stax


Even writing this post, I’m still in denial that midterms are actually in full swing, which is probably a bad thing considering I have an exam in a couple of hours! It feels like we were just meeting professors for the first time and adjusting to taking some of, if not all, our classes online. But here we are—the leaves are changing color, the weather’s getting cooler, and—as much as we all just want to get outside and enjoy spooky season and all of the fun activities fall brings—midterms are upon us. 

Below I’ve shared my top three tips for staying sane during midterms, as well as some super helpful resources that will help you ace your exams, papers, and presentations.

#1 Balance is still important: It can be tempting to spend all of your time studying, but cramming is actually not the solution. You don’t need to cancel all of your plans and have no fun, but you do need to make a plan to study effectively. Spend a couple of hours each day studying for your exam and then take brain breaks doing things you enjoy—going for a walk, getting in some exercise, hanging out with friends, curling up under a blanket with a book, or binging your favorite show. Even short breaks to grab a snack or fill your coffee cup are good ways to rest your brain and reset before the next study session.

#2 You’re not going through this alone: As another famous Wildcat team once said, “We’re all in this together!” Right now everyone is dealing with midterms in some form or another, so don’t be afraid to reach out to other people because they get what you’re going through. There are lots of ways to band together amidst midterms, even with many of us being physically apart. Host a Zoom study session or study with your roommates in your dorm room or apartment. Even if you aren’t studying for the same exam or writing the same paper, being around other people being productive always helps me! A good phone call or vent session can also be beneficial, just make sure complaining isn’t taking up all your study time. 

#3 Eliminate distractions: Believe it or not, studying while watching Netflix is not the most effective way to get things done. As hard as it may be, it’s important to put aside all distractions in order to get focused study time. Thirty minutes of focused study time followed by a 15-minute break is just as, if not more, effective than half doing work while watching the latest episode of Dancing with the Stars for 45 minutes. Turn off notifications on your phone and laptop, and really focus. Personally, I’ll put my phone in a different room so that I’m not even tempted to grab it because “checking one text” can so easily turn into 30-minutes scrolling through content you’ve already seen on Instagram.

BONUS TIP: Take advantage of available resources! Below is a list of resources that Falvey has to offer, both during midterms and all semester long!

Jenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department. Current mood: Contemplating taking my own tips and studying for my midterm exams.





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Last Modified: October 7, 2020

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