Thursday, December 20, 2012

Santa Teresita Book Drive SUCCESS!

We currently have FOURTEEN boxes of books to send to Santa Teresita, with more scheduled for drop-off tomorrow morning.  That's enough books for the students at Santa Teresita to each take home more than one book, or for their new library to add some great titles to their collection.  About half of the books are mint-condition hardcovers that will be great in the school library.  ALL of the books donated are fantastic choices for the K-8 students at Santa Teresita.  It's been fun to go through them and see what all of you used to read (or perhaps what your younger siblings have been reading recently).  Nina Sarian donated some really excellent titles for the middle schoolers, and they were in such pristine condition that I had to ask if she'd even read them!  She had, of course, and clearly takes great care of her books.  Haley Shewfelt's family donated a huge box of books that was so heavy I had to ask Mr. Pariante to carry it across the Library for me.  Someone left three bags of amazing series books perfect for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders.  The recycled bags were marked Water Polo, but that's all the info I have.  Anyone know who the mystery reader is?  We even received donations from an 8th-grader who knew about the book drive because she attends sports camp on our campus.  The kids will be getting some classic kid favorites, like Curious George, Arthur, Magic Tree House, Captain Underpants, Animorphs, Spiderwick Chronicles, Hardy Boys, American Girl, Guinness Books of World Records, Ripley's Believe It or Not, and so many more.  On behalf of the Book Club, thank you all for your generosity.  Books are my favorite gifts to give!!!  I can't wait to present the books to the teachers and principal of Santa Teresita.

Veritas Shield Features the Library

Did everyone read Carra Liwanag's article in the Veritas Shield, "Discovering the library's history in pages from the past" (page 12)?  I hope so!  If you haven't had the chance, stop by the Library to read her article and see a display of some of the books she mentions.  Not only is the article extremely well researched and written, it's also totally fascinating!  Carra did such a thorough job.  She came to the Library several times to follow up on some her interview questions.  She hunkered down in the back with a pile of old books, looking through them for the most unusual and interesting tidbits.  She read an entire novel published in 1909!  Speaking of which, I wanted to make sure you all know about the film versions of The White Sister by Francis Marion Crawford, the romance Carra refers to in her article.  Film adaptations of the novel were made in 1923 and 1933!  The 1933 version stars Clark Gable (of Gone with the Wind fame), and the movie posters for both versions look pretty steamy!  Perhaps a viewing at FSHA is in order....?
1923 movie poster
1933 movie poster

Many thanks to Carra for showcasing our Library's long and rich history.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Girlfriend Theology

This week I had the great pleasure of participating in Girlfriend Theology, a process/project happening in the Religion I classes.  Girlfriend Theology is about storytelling, women and girls coming together, listening to one another, reflecting on their shared experiences, making connections, and all that other great stuff!

Earlier this year, Mrs. Tramontin
and Mrs. Dawson issued an open invitation to the women of FSHA to share stories of their adolescence with the girls, who would then participate in a discussion of the stories.  The girls would be asked to share their personal connections to the stories, their ideas about the wider themes in the stories,  where they see God in the stories, and how they might apply the lessons of the stories to their own lives.  I knew right away that I wanted to participate.  Some of my best friendship moments happened during campfires at Camp Cheley, youth group meetings at the church I attended when I was in high school, and in the lounge of the sorority house where I was very briefly a member in college.  I am well aware of the power of sisterhood! But, what to write??? So many things happened during my teenage years!  What was memorable?  What stood out?  Where might our girls find meaning?  And then it dawned on me.  The perfect first kiss.  What more memorable moment could there be, really?

I read my story to four groups of freshmen this week, who now know much more about me than I know about any of them.  The experience was remarkable in its variety. Each group of girls latched onto different themes from my story, making no two discussions alike.  They talked about friendships built and broken, how boys might feel (though who can really know the answer to that?!?), feeling lost, feeling found, feeling  in-between.  They talked about purpose, decisions, consequences, dreams, and God.  They talked about Ryan Gosling and Nicholas Sparks.  They talked about love of all kinds.  Through these discussions, I could see girls making connections to one another, realizing they are not alone in their innermost thoughts and feelings.  I may have seen some friendships blooming before my very eyes, or some anxieties fading away, or some confusing thoughts finally becoming clear.

And here's the really great part: my story had very little to do with it.  While the story of my first kiss provided the context, and the entertainment, the discussions were about the girls.  The girls and their thoughts/feelings/ideas/fears/joys/faith/doubts/beliefs.  Girlfriend Theology gave them a way to dig in to some issues central to their lives, with structure and security...and sisterhood.

I loved it.  I hope I get to do it again.  Thank you, Mrs. Tramontin and Mrs. Dawson for inviting me to be part of this process.  Thank you, wonderful, thoughtful girls, for making me feel welcome, for responding so beautifully to my story, and for taking risks when you shared your thoughts with one another and with me.

GIRL POWER!  Love it.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Tweeting Wars in Real Time

Ok, this might be the most amazing use of Twitter and Facebook anyone could ever imagine.  These people are Tweeting and Facebooking The War of 1812 and World War II in REAL TIME.  Meaning, they are posting events from those wars as they would have happened, minute to minute, hour to hour, in many cases with links to photos or primary source materials about those events.

So, for the War of 1812 tweets, the posts are all happening EXACTLY 200 years after they occurred.  How?  Who?  Amazing!!!  Here's an explanation of what this guy is doing.  And here is a link to the Twitter feed of the War of 1812 events.

On to World War II.  This one is being done by the University of Coventry in England, and they plan to continue for five years!  Take a look at the Twitter feed.  And here's the Facebook page.  Clearly, they have to be selective in terms of what they've chosen to post, but still.  I want to be part of this project!  How did they think of this?

I'm freaking out.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Google Guidance

Good morning!  So many of you are working to collect sources for research projects right now, I thought I'd give you a few tips on getting good results when Googling. 

***Don't forget to use the LibGuides that have been created for your projects, the databases on the Library's web page, and the Library Catalog!  We have lots of PRINT (yes, print) materials that are not available electronically.  You may miss some great information if you fail to consult the books.***

Ok, so now on with the Googling.  Here are some guidelines to make your searches more efficient and productive:

  1. Don't ask Google a question!  Google is not a person.  EXCLUDE words that are unimportant.
  2. When you have search terms that are phrases, enclose those phrases in quotation marks.  This way, Google knows to keep those words together in that exact order.  For example, "Colonial America" instead of Colonial America (in which case Google will provide you with search results for the word Colonial and the word America).
  3. Think about all the possible synonyms for your search terms.  How might others say/phrase your ideas?  You may want to conduct multiple searches or include multiple terms separated by the operator OR.  (e.g. "Colonial America" OR "early American settlers")
  4. Examine the URL (web address) of your results to see which sites might be the most reliable or useful for you.  Remember that the suffix of the URL tells us what type of site it may be.  .edu is a university site, .gov is a US government site, .mil is a US military site, etc...
  5. If you would like to search for information only on one  type of site, follow your search terms with (or whichever type you'd like).  For example:
    • "Colonial America" OR "early American settlers"
Happy Googling!  For more tips and tricks, visit Google's site for basic search help.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Oral Histories and Freshman Religion

Right now in the Library we are featuring the creative work of the Religion I students.  They have been studying oral traditions and were asked to explore the oral traditions in their own families.  Not only did they interview an family member (most spoke with grandparents), they also found a way to present their family stories creatively.  You can read the full assignment on the class blog.  Their work will be in the library for the next few weeks, so come take a look.

While you are here, you can also take a look at some oral histories that have been collected in print, like Hard Times by Studs Terkel.  Terkel interviewed hundreds of people and recorded their recollections of the Great Depression.  You can hear many of the recordings of these interviews here.

Some other great oral history projects include:
The UCLA Center for Oral History Research
The Veterans Oral History Project
9/11 Memorial

If you want to plan your own oral history project, here are some great tips from The American Folklife Center.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I SO TOTALLY judge a book by its cover

The phrase "don't judge a book by its cover" is an excellent metaphorical maxim to live by, much like "all that glitters is not gold".  It is true that one should not accept the world at face value, and that many things are not what they seem upon first glance.  Some level of discretion is wise.  But taken literally, this phrase holds no water with me.  I judge books by their covers all the time, whether right or wrong.  When I browse shelves at the bookstore or library, I pick up books by authors I love, yes, but also because of beautiful dust jackets, interesting bindings, or titles splashed across the cover in cool fonts.  I'm willing to read a copy of a book with a hideous cover only if I know (somehow) that it's going to be a good read.  It's OK.  I don't feel bad.

Here are some AWFUL book covers from our school library.  Actually, these books are no longer part of our school library, but not because of their covers.  Well, maybe that's not entirely true.  The cover is a factor, but certainly not the only one.

Monday, October 29, 2012

US History Projects are Underway

The second year of Mr. Cramer's US History research projects is now in full swing. Students submitted their initial research proposals and there are some AMAZING topic ideas. We are so impressed with so many of the students' creativity and insight. Personally, I am really excited to help the girls find sources for their research. It's one of the best things about my job. I get to learn right along with our students!

The basic idea is this: Choose a topic of some personal interest and find a thematic link between early American history (pre-Civil War) and modern American history. Research the ways in which the topic/theme/idea is evident in American life/culture/society across time. How are two or more events linked? How did a concept evolve over time? Etc. and so on.

Some FABULOUS topic ideas include:
Spanish vaqueros, early American cowboys and modern cowboy culture
political mockery and political cartoons during two American presidencies
public punishment and humiliation, our fascination with criminals and law enforcement
women's roles in military operations
women's changing roles in the field of medicine
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder among veterans of American wars
the slow advance of the acceptable age for marriage
the practicality vs. pageantry of military uniforms
the Industrial Revolution and its impact on cosmetics and beauty
photography's ability to reveal suffering and hardship
the power of literature to create social change

Aren't these fantastic? These are just a few of the inspiring ideas our juniors have decided to explore. Stay tuned for updates on their progress.

The Whiskey Rebellion
Unknown, attributed to Frederick Kemmelmeyer
circa 1795

Thursday, October 18, 2012

John M. Flaxman Library

At the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (where alum Alex Bernstein is studying), the library collection focuses on "20th- and 21st-century visual arts, design, architecture, criticism, theory, and philosophy".  They have more than 350 magazines!  Imagine.

And OMG, they use LibGuides too!  Are you guys starting to feel like FSHA is awesome, or what?  Here are some of their LibGuides:
Art History

Anyone in contact with Alex?  I'd love to know if she's had reason to visit the library.....

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Teacher Feature #4: Mr. Coria

What do you most like to read?  (this could be a literary genre, or a type of material, like blogs, magazines, etc.)
I love reading the news.  I also like science-fiction.
What's the last great thing you read?
Anathem by Neal Stephenson.  He's my favorite author.  

Do you have a favorite book/author?
Neal Stephenson.  I think Cryptonomicon is my favorite.

Where do you most like to read?

When you were in high school, did you like to read?  If so, what?  
I didn't like to read too much, until I got into science fiction.  My first sci-fi experience was Ender's Game, which was an easy read.  I read the sequels immediately afterwards, along with the rest of Orson Scott-Card's books.  I had no idea sci-fi could be so though-provoking.
What is your most hated book?
I'm really struggling to finish the Game of Thrones series.  It puts me to sleep.  A dreamless sleep.

Los Angeles Public Library: Who Knew?

Ok, so I have been to the central library downtown a hundred times, and I have always noted its beauty, but I have never really looked closely at the amazing details the artists and architects included when designing this building.

Did you know that images of Herodotus, Virgil, Socrates, Justinian, Da Vinci, and Copernicus are included on the outside of the building?

Or that on one of the patios there are relief sculptures of scenes from Alice in Wonderland, Mother Goose, Arabian Nights, King Arthur, Robin Hood, and Ali Baba?

I love this library for so many reasons, but I think next time I'm there I'll pay closer attention to something other than the books.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

UCLA's Arts Library

image from latimes blog
The UCLA Arts Library "has more than 270,000 books in the fields of architecture, architectural history, art, art history, design, film, television, photography as art, theater, and allied disciplines."  They even use LibGuides, just like we do!  Can you believe it?  Personally, I am very impressed.  Here are links to some of their art LibGuides:

image from
Art and Art History
Contemporary Art and Artists
Theater Research Guide

(They have many more.  You can see them all by visiting the Arts Library link above.)

The Arts Library also has exhibits, including displays of student and faculty work.  They also have collections of TV and film scripts, movie stills, original artwork, and so many other fantastic resources that my mind is officially boggled.

Teacher Feature #3: Ms. Kent

  • What do you most like to read?   I read a lot of what I call 'junk food' books, things that are easy reads but entertaining (when I want to relax, i read instead of watching tv). So a little of everything: thrillers, sci-fi, romance, mystery. I tend to have multiple books going on at once, my 'junk food' book, something more intellectually stimulating (for when I've overloaded on 'junk food' books) an example of a book for this could be Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan. Then I have some non-fiction going that i'll pick up on and off for months. I've just started Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv
  • What's the last great thing you read? The Bucolic Plague by Josh Kilmer-Purcell 
  • Do you have a favorite book/author?  My all time favorite author, who's books I read over and over and over is JD Salinger. (I'm unsure I can choose a favorite from his work, I love them all). 
  • But it's hard to not mention: Anthony Bourdain, Tom Robbins, Richard Brautigan, Edward Gorey. Some specific books I love, and are not from the above authors are: The Terror, The Road, The Great Gatsby, Wurthering Heights, American Gods, Blood Bones and Butter 
  • Where do you most like to read? At home
  • When you were in high school, did you like to read?  If so, what?  I have always been an avid reader, in high school my favorite author was Francesca Lia Block (she is still a favorite of mine) 
  • What is your most hated book? I can't think of a specific book… 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Teacher Feature #2 : Ms. Lieskovsky

As part of our Teen Read Week featuring the Visual and Performing Arts department, I asked VAPA teachers about their personal reading habits.  Here's what Ms. Lieskovsky had to say....

I am a massive book worm.....narrowing down my books to be photographed with will be hard :-) But the two major books that influenced my reading the most were Lord of the Rings and Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire. 

  • What do you most like to read?  (this could be a literary genre, or a type of material, like blogs, magazines, etc.) ------I am a massive book worm.  I tend towards the Urban fantasy books, or high  books.  I also enjoy SciFi books as well, but I read only series in this genre (like start trek and star wars)
  • What's the last great thing you read?---------Either Yamine Galenorn's "Shaded Vision" or Kim Harrison's "A Perfect Blood."  I also, in between these books digested the Hunger Games trilogy.
  • Do you have a favorite book/author?-----My favorite books of all time were The Lord of the Rings and Interview with the Vampire. However, my favorite authors at present are Jim Butcher, Simon R. Green, Lurell K. Hamilton, Kim Harrison, Kelley Armstrong, Yasmine Galenorn, Carrie Vaugh, Rob Thurman, and Sherryln Kenyon just to name a few....(trust me I could go on).  The problem with me is I read so fast, that my authors can't keep up.  I have to wait usually a year or more for their next story of the series to come out, then in the meantime, I will look for "filler" books....and find a new favorite author who i now add to my growing list of "waiting for the next book."
  • Where do you most like to read?-----On my couch or in bed, and I usually loose track of time and stay up way too late, or forget to do other more pressing everyday items.
  • When you were in high school, did you like to read?  If so, what? ------I was just as big of a book worm in High School as I am today.  I read more SciFi then, as of now where it isn't as much.  Also, the genre of Urban Fantasy has become very very popular in the past 10 years, where when I was reading it in High School it was relatively a new concept.  I read alot of Start Wars and Star Trek novels, Anne Rice and Laurell K. Hamilton. 
  • What is your most hated book?---------I know its a classic, but I really did not like Event Horizon.  I had to read it for school and I couldn't get into it or really understand it.  I felt like I wanted the hours I had to use to read the book back to be used on a story I would enjoy.

The Joy of Books

Yep, this about sums it up

USC's Fine Arts Library

Did you know most big universities have special library collections for the Fine Arts?  At USC, the Helen Topping Architecture and Fine Arts Library "houses more than 75,000 volumes of books and journals dedicated to the studies of art history, fine arts, and architecture, as well as a notable collection of rare titles and artists' books", according to the school's website. The library is located in Watt Hall, in the Roski School of Fine Arts.  The library was designed by Graeme Morland, a faculty member in the school of architecture.

images courtesy of

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Blast from the Past

You just never know what you're going to find in an old book.  I was looking for a book that would help one of Mr. Cramer's US History students.  Her project is about religious fanaticism, and I pulled a book from the shelves that was written in 1951.  It's called The True Believer: thoughts on the nature of mass movements, by Eric Hoffer.  Inside the book was a cancelled check from 1977, made out to Nally's Uniforms, a business where student used to order school clothing.  It looks like a student names Margaret Yung used the check as a bookmark, because the library card shows that she checked out the book 10/6/77, and then renewed it twice.  I wonder where she is now.....

Sunday, September 23, 2012

More thoughts on Chekhov: Ariadne

Wow.  These people are NOT HAPPY!
Anton Chekhov
at his home in Melikhovo
with his 
dachshund Khina in 1897
from Wikimedia Commons

  • Shamokhin seems really conflicted about his feelings about women in general.  This quote it interesting: "This backwardness of the educated woman is a real menace to civilization." Hmmmm.  That is SO the opposite of what our society believes (well, I guess it depends on who you ask).  I'm not sure I think that Shamokhin actually believes it either.  He just seems ticked off at Ariadne.
  • According to Shamokhin, Ariadne is a total fraud anyway.  He doesn't really think she's smart, but she acts like she is.  He doesn't really think that she's cultured, but she acts like she is.  So the fact that he bases his feelings about women on Ariadne is, well, problematic.  
  • Stories like this make me think how totally crazy the social structure of this time and place was.  I mean, these people don't work at all, but they have all this money to burn travelling around and going to resorts.  Yes, Shamokhin asks his father to mortgage their family home to support this habit (crazy!), but still.  It doesn't even occur to any of them to work.  Now, today, in our society, it is only the super wealthy who can live this way.  In Chekhov's time, it seems, people lived this way even if they were what we would consider middle class.  I would be curious to learn what the tipping point was when the middle class became more of a working class (well, I think I you?).
  • If Ariadne were around today, would we call her a "gold digger"?
  • The money borrowing and lending in this story is out of control.  How did this work?  It seems like people made personal loans, that banks had nothing to do with it.  I wonder how this colored people's friendships and relationships with family members.  What if Lubkov didn't repay his loans (I bet he didn't!)?  Were there any consequences, or could he just borrow and borrow and borrow, endlessly?
  • What is the deal with this Prince?  Hilarious!
  • I love the fat, pale spiritualist brother character.  I wish there was more of him in the story. I think 19th century (and early 20th century) spiritualism is fascinating!  Anyone else?  Mesmerism, seances, hypnotism, all of that.  People were so caught up in it, and those people make such wonderful literary characters.
  • I love that Ariadne tells the narrator that she loved his stories, but the Shamokhin whispers to him that she hasn't even read them.  I wonder, has she?  Does Shamokhin know?  Is he right about her?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Russian Literature: Some Thoughts

Ok, I just read Chekhov’s “The Butterfly”.  Here are some initial reactions:
image retrieved from Wikimedia Commons
  • Was Dymov trying to get Olga’s attention by making so many careless, dangerous mistakes in his medical practice (like cutting himself while performing autopsies, during which he certainly was not wearing gloves), or was he just completely ignorant about how infections spread?  At that time, did doctors know about contagion?  If they did, then what was his problem?
  • Poor Dymov!   I mean, when he shows up at the cabin after such a long journey and Olga just sends him back to the city to fetch her dress, I felt so sorry for him.  Of course, he DID it, which is either pathetic or really sweet, or perhaps both.
  •  It’s interesting that Olga justifies her first kiss with Ryabovksy by thinking about Dymov that “for so simple, so ordinary a man the happiness which he has already received is quite adequate”.  Does that mean she feels that one must be extraordinary to deserve great happiness, and that ordinary people only require a modest amount of happiness in their lives?  Or does it mean that only extraordinary people can really find great happiness, and ordinary people don’t or won’t recognize it or allow themselves to experience it?  Hmmmm….
  •  For what reason did Ryabovsky hide his new girlfriend from Olga when she came to his studio?  I can’t imagine he was trying to spare her feelings, since he was cruel to her so many other times.  Was he just trying to avoid conflict?
  •  Come to think of it, Olga mentions that SHE had hidden in his studio more than once.  So clearly he is something of a ladies’ man, and Olga already knew it. 
  • I love the use of the word “wangle”.  I think it’s a great word.  Olga ‘wangled’ theater tickets from her actor friends.
  • Does anyone else think it’s strange that Olga would throw parties for big groups of men, and that her husband would prepare their dinner? 
  • Who the heck is Schreck and why is so much mention made of him?

Saturday, September 8, 2012

St. Catherine Fun Fact #5

Saint Catherine of Siena.
Painting in the 
nave of San Nazaro Maggiore basilica in Milan.
Picture by 
Giovanni Dall'Orto
Catherine rebelled against her parents!  Her family became furious when she refused to comply with their attempts to marry her off.  Her mother sent a Dominican father to talk some sense into her, but when he realized her devotion to her faith, he encouraged her to SHAVE HER HEAD to prove her commitment to God.  She did, and her mother was spitting mad!  In fact, her mother fired their household servant and instructed the family to treat Catherine as a servant.  Catherine was made to serve her brothers, father, and mother, and was told she'd be allowed to stop if she agreed to marry.  She persisted in her 'rebellion' and did her duties cheerfully.  Eventually her family relented, accepting her chosen path in life.  In the end, they had to respect her resolve.  She would not be deterred!

McDermott, T.S. The Lives of the Dominican Saints.  New York: The Dominican Fathers of the Province of St. Joseph, 1940. Print.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Teacher Feature: Mr. Buxman

Who knew science teachers liked to read?  (Well, I did, but that's beside the point.)
Mr. Buxman, FSHA's physics teacher and basketball coach, is an avid reader.  What does he read, you ask?  Lofty tomes on dark matter, wormholes, quantum leaping, and particle quarks (I don't think that's a real thing, but it sounds good)?  WNBA stats?  Perhaps, perhaps.

What Mr. Buxman really loves to read is Young Adult dystopian and SciFi literature.  Isn't that cool?  In fact, Mr. Buxman had read more than THIRTY books since last spring, many of them YA books.  You've probably read (or heard of) some of them, like Delirium, Divergent, Matched, and I Am Number Four. To see more of Mr. Buxman's reading list, visit his blog, BiblioBux.

How To Succeed in College

Check out this list of tips.  For me, two were especially true.  The first is "Don't Study in Your Room".  My room was tiny, my roommate was not so friendly, and all I ever wanted to do was wander down the hall to a friend's room to hang out, or nap.  I found it was much easier to study in a library, a cafe, a diner, or outside.  The other is "Choose Professors, Not Classes".  As we all know, it's the teacher that makes the content exciting.  Classes I chose because the professors were highly regarded were always the best ones.
See more advice on getting the most out of college here.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

St. Catherine Fun Fact #4

Smokey the Bear
St. Catherine would have liked Smokey the Bear's campaign to prevent forest fires.  According to this website (among other sources), she is the Patron Saint of Fire Prevention.

Twilight Lip-Reading HILARIOUSness

This is so funny, I can hardly stand it.  It makes the movie SO MUCH BETTER!

A Different Look at College Ranking

Washington Monthly has published its list of top 100 colleges nationwide.  Readers might be surprised to see Harvard make the list at #11, and Yale at #41.  That's because the colleges on this list are ranked using and interesting set of criteria.  According to Washington Monthly's website,  "We rate schools based on their contribution to the public good in three broad categories: Social Mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), Research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs), andService (encouraging students to give something back to their country)."  If these are values that appeal to you, take a look at the rest of the lists.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

"The Fault in Our Stars" Fan Song

John Green fans, rejoice!  Here's a 52-second song about Natalie Portman's presence (or lack thereof) in the book The Fault in Our Stars.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

St. Catherine of Siena Fun Fact #3

St. Catherine of Siena besieged by demons
Catherine kept secrets from her mother!  Can you believe?  When Catherine was twelve, her mother started trying to get her to dress up a little, do her hair, make herself attractive to the boys.  You see, it was Catherine's mother's job to try to find a suitable husband for her daughter.  Little did she know Catherine had secretly taken a private vow of celibacy when she was just seven years old!  She intended to spend her life in the service of God.  So her mother called in Bonaventura, Catherine's older (and married) sister, to help.  Bonaventura convinced Catherine to pay more attention to her appearance, but when the older sister suddenly died (!), Catherine swore never to be vain again.  Drama!

McDermott, T.S. The Lives of the Dominican Saints.  New York: The Dominican Fathers of the Province of St. Joseph, 1940. Print.

Friday, August 31, 2012

VlogBrothers: John Green on his books' covers

Do you LOVE John Green?  I do!  Did you know he and his brother have a YouTube channel called VlogBrothers?  Love it!  here's John Green talking about how he feels about the cover art on his books.  He is one fast talker!

The Mortal Instruments: The movie

Fans of The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, take a look at the cast list for the upcoming movies.  I must say, every single person on this list is extremely good looking.  One of my favorite choices is Jonathan Rhys Meyers to play the role of Valentine.  He is the perfect combo of beautiful and sinister.  Clary will be played by Lily Collins, who was in The Blind Side and Mirror Mirror.  The film is scheduled for release next August!

St. Catherine of Siena Fun Fact #2

Den heliga Katarina
retrieved from Wikimedia Commons
As a child, Catherine was such a delight that her family and neighbors nicknamed her Euphrosyne, pronounced you-FROZ-ee-knee.  The name is from Greek mythology.  Euphrosyne was one of the three Graces, the Goddess of Joy, a daughter of Zeus, and symbol of beauty and grace.  That's high praise for a little girl, and quite a mouthful too!

McDermott, T.S. The Lives of the Dominican Saints.  New York: The Dominican Fathers of the Province of St. Joseph, 1940. Print.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Senior Religion Research Project

The senior religion classes have launched their annual year-long research projects!  This week in the Library, seniors are brainstorming topic ideas related to social justice, human rights, and women's issues.  Next week they will refine their topics and begin to figure out how to connect what they are studying to the lives of our beautiful Tologs.  As many of you remember from last year, this project includes surveys designed to collect data from you, the students of Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy.  The seniors will use the results of their surveys, along with their research, to draw conclusions about their topics.  So far, students have been discussing issues like: women in sports, the portrayal of women on TV, the impact of sibling relationships on young women, young women's views on dating and marriage, women in the criminal justice system, and many other exciting topics.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

St. Catherine of Siena Fun Fact #1

courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum,
retrieved from Wikimedia Commons
Did you know St. Catherine of Siena was a twin?  According to The Lives of the Dominican Saints (full citation below), St. Catherine had a twin sister named Jane who died when she was just a few days old.  The twin sisters were born on March 25th, 1347.  Their mother Lapa was unable to nourish them both, so kept Catherine for herself and gave Jane to a friend to raise.  Poor Jane died only a few days later.  Check it out!

Stay tuned for more St. Catherine of Siena Fun Facts!

McDermott, T.S. The Lives of the Dominican Saints.  New York: The Dominican Fathers of the Province of St. Joseph, 1940. Print.

Just Call Me Flintrid

Yesterday I received this magazine renewal notice:

I'm thinking Flintrid S Heart should be the Library's mascot.  Perhaps we need a creative art student to come up with a character/avatar for Flintrid.  Any takers?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Wattpad - read and publish online

Yesterday I was introduced to my favorite new website for reading, Wattpad.  Wattpad is a site on which authors of all kinds publish their work.  Some of these writers are previously published, well-known, critically-acclaimed authors.  One of these is my favorite author of all time, Margaret Atwood, who is serially publishing some of her new poems using Wattpad.  Other writers here are just like you!  They write fan fiction (including lots of One Direction fan fiction), short stories, poems, novels, and more.  If you are a writer or a reader, you will love Wattpad!

New Music and Fashion Mags

This year we're updating our periodicals to include more recrational reading choices.  Two of my favorite new magazines in the Library are Spin and Nylon.  Come take a look!

Spin magazine is an alternative music publication that features college bands, alternative music, hip-hop, and more.

Nylon features pop culture, fashion, art, beauty, design, travel, name it.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Search Smarter, Search Faster

Aaaaand, we're off!
As you learn about your new classes for the year, my guess is that most of you will find that one or more of your teachers asks you to write a research paper or two (Oh NO!).  Here are a few links to various tutorials/slideshows that will help you get started.

Developing a Research Topic
This slideshow will help you think of topic ideas and narrow these ideas into a good research question.

Developing a Search Strategy
This tutorial will remind you how to develop a list of key search terms and use online tools to begin searching for material.

Search Smarter, Search Faster
The video below will help you when it's time to search the databases on the Library's web page.

Monday, August 20, 2012

A New Year, A New Babe, A New Library Life

Welcome back Tologs!  It has been quite a summer around my house, as you may imagine.  (For those of you who don't know or don't remember, I had a baby at the end of the last school year.  His name is Gordon, his is perfect, and we had a beautiful summer getting to know one another.) Now I am back and ready to get at this new school year with all of you fine young ladies.
While you may or may not have made use of the Library's many services last year, I hope we will be seeing a lot of one another this school year.  Here's just a quick reminder of all the FHSA Library offers:

  • great books to read for fun (with all your spare time, I know, I know!)
  • help with research assignments, short and long
  • help finding information of all sorts, online and in print (yes, we have books!)
  • help with citations
  • access to laptops, printers, and copiers
  • a meeting place for group projects
  • silent study space during Enrichment
  • friendly service with a smile :)

Keep an eye on this blog for research tips, book recommendations, and more Library news throughout the year.