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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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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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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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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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Weekend Recs: March Madness

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. 

We are mere days away from Selection Sunday and anticipation grows as March Madness teams are selected and the tournament commences. To help you prepare and get excited, I’ve compiled recommendations you can dive into over the weekend from a 5-minute article to a link to the Villanova archives, where you can spend hours looking at old Villanova basketball photos and more! Enjoy and go, Wildcats! 

If you have 5 minutes… keep up with Villanova Bracket Watch as we inch closer and closer to Selection Sunday. See how the rules of the tournament and where all the teams stand now may impact Villanova moving forward.  

If you have 14 minutes… read this article with predictions on which 68 teams will make it into the 2022 NCAA tournament.   

If you have 33 minutes… listen to the March Madness 365 podcast hosted by college basketball analyst and correspondent Andy Katz. Each week he breaks down the biggest news in men’s college basketball and makes his predictions.  

If you have 1 hour… watch Perfect Upset: Villanova vs. Georgetown, the 2005 sports documentary about the Villanova Wildcats’ shocking win against the heavily favored Georgetown Hoyas in the 1985 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. 

If you have an afternoon… spend some time digging through the Villanova Digital Collection and their collection of Villanova basketball items. The archives include everything from images and media guides to tickets and more! 


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


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Weekend Recs: Russia & Ukraine

By Jenna Renaud

map of Ukraine & Russia borders

Source: “The Economist”

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. 

If you’ve been paying any attention to international news lately, you may have seen that tensions are rising between Ukraine and Russia, and war may be on the horizon. If you’ve just been getting bits and pieces from social media, but don’t understand the full story, I’ve done the digging and put together recs to keep you in the know, whether you have 1 minute or 40 minutes.  

If you have 1 minute… watch the latest update from President Joe Biden following Russia’s claim they would “pull troops back” from the borders.

If you have 6 minutes… skim this article breaking down the history between Russia and Ukraine and the details of why tensions are escalating right now. 

If you have 8 minutes… listen to “The Takeaway” podcast by NPR. You will hear them discuss the conflict at the border as well as have a conversation with Alex Ward, a national security reporter at Politico. 

If you have 40 minutes… interact with the Council on Foreign Relations’ Global Conflict Tracker. They offer updates on the conflict as well as a slideshow for a more visual exploration of the conflict. 

If you have 2 minutes or hours… follow live updates regarding the situation via Al Jazeera’s website. 


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


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Weekend Recs: Valentine’s Day

By Jenna Renaud

Happy Friday, Wildcats! After a year off, Falvey Memorial Library is bringing back 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.

Valentine’s Day is here and whether you’re celebrating this year with your friends, family, or a significant other, we have a variety of weekend recs to make the holiday special! This week we cover everything from diving into the archives to fine dining and theatre. Check it out below, whether you have 2 minutes or an entire evening.

If you have 2 minutes… read Anna Jankowski’s TBT this week, where she dove into the digital library and found Valentine’s Day themed content.

If you have an evening… visit The Refectory for dinner and drinks. They have a special Valentine’s Day menu this Friday, Saturday, and Monday, so make your reservation today! The perfect date night option without having to venture too far from campus.

If you have a sweet tooth & a couple hours… make one of these 57 Valentine’s Day Dessert Recipes from Brit + Co. If you do, make sure you tag Falvey so we can see your creations!

If you have 1 hour and 37 minutes… get together with your Galentines and watch the coming-of-age 90s classic comedy, Clueless, currently available on HBO Max. Check out this list of the 30 Best Galentine’s Day Movies for You and Your Bestie to Enjoy for more movie recs.

If you have 2 hours… go on a date to the theatre – the Villanova Theatre. This week marks opening weekend of Villanova Theatre’s newest show, The Revolutionists. Click here to learn more and purchase tickets.


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


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Weekend Recs: Winter Olympics

By Jenna Renaud

Happy Friday, Wildcats! After a year off, Falvey Memorial Library is bringing back 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. 

It feels as though we were just talking about the Tokyo Olympics (because we are), but nevertheless, it’s that time again, when athletes from all over the world are in Beijing, preparing to compete. Between COVID-19 and diplomatic boycotts, the Olympics may not be exactly the harmonious, international event we hope for, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still get excited and tune in to support our athletes! This weekend, I’m providing recs for everything Winter Olympics-related, whether you have 2 minutes or 2 hours (or all weekend, because let’s be honest, I could watch curling for HOURS).

If you have 2 minutes… read about what the robot chefs will be serving up in Beijing this year. 

If you have 9 minutes… skim everything you need to know about the Olympics from the controversies to which U.S. athletes to keep your eyes on. 

If you have 10 minutes… read about the latest Olympic snow sport arms race taking place following an environmental ban on toxic ski waxes. 

If you have 1 hour and 38 minutes… and want to celebrate the Olympics without actually watching (or paying for additional streaming services) watch Cool Runnings on Disney+ or any of these other seven movies based on the winter Olympics (some more loosely based than others). 

If you have 1 hour and 40 minutes… watch the opening ceremonies! Beijing is 13 hours ahead, so the opening ceremonies technically happened at 6:30 a.m. this morning, but if you were sleeping then, check out this article about where you can stream. NBC also offers a full schedule that you can customize, so you know what times you need to be watching! 


jenna newman headshotJenna Renaud is a Graduate Assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a Graduate Student in the Communication Department.


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Weekend Recs: SCOTUS

By Jenna Renaud

Happy Friday, Wildcats! After a year off, Falvey Memorial Library is bringing back 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. 

If you’ve read any news the past three days, you may have seen the rumors that SCOTUS justice Stephen Breyer may be retiring, leading to the fourth new appointment in the last five years and Biden’s first. It can be difficult to keep up with everything in the political sphere, so this week I’ll be providing a range of podcasts, articles, videos, movies, and books to help you get a better understanding of the Supreme Court and what’s currently going on in the news, whether you have 4 minutes or 12 hours! 

If you have 4 minutes… read the latest on Justice Stephen Breyer’s alleged retirement and how Biden could make history with his new appointment, if it reaches that stage. 

If you have 4 minutes and 30 seconds… watch this video breaking down how U.S. Supreme Court justices get appointed to get a better understanding of the process the U.S. government may be going through real soon.

If you have 39 minutes… listen to the most recent episode of the SCOTUS 101 podcast, a podcast breaking down the latest news from the Supreme Court.  

If you have 1 hour and 28 minutes… watch RBG on Netflix. The 2018 documentary on the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life and work on woman’s human rights. 

If you have 12 hours and 30 minutes… read The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court by Jeffrey Toobin. Although published in 2008, this book still offers an inside look at the inner workings of the Super Court and how justices make decisions.  


jenna newman headshotJenna Renaud is a Graduate Assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a Graduate Student in the Communication Department.


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Last Modified: January 28, 2022