- Sweetlips- American Foxhound- Washington
- Scentwell- American Foxhound- Washington
- Vulcan- American Foxhound- Washington
- Drunkard- coonhound- Washington
- Royal Gift- donkey- Washington
- Satan- dog- Adams
- Grizzle- shepherd dog- Jefferson
- Billy Button- pony- Grant
- Veto- dog- Garfield
- Mr. Reciprocity- opossum- Harrison
- Mr. Protection- opossum- Harrison
- Washington Post- parrot- McKinley
- Admiral Dewey- guinea pig- T. Roosevelt
- Fighting Bob Evans- guinea pig- T. Roosevelt
- Bill the Lizard- lizard- T. Roosevelt
- Emily Spinach- garter snake- T. Roosevelt
- Mooly Wooly- cow- Taft
- Calamity Jane- Shetland sheepdog- Coolidge
- Boston Beans- Boston bulldog- Coolidge
- Nip and Tuck- canaries- Coolidge
- Do-Funny- songbird- Coolidge
- Tax Reduction- tiger- Coolidge
- Budget Bureau- tiger- Coolidge
- Eaglehurst Gillette- setter- Hoover
- Billy Possum- opossum- Hoover
- President- Great Dane- F. Roosevelt
- Him and Her- beagles- Johnson
- King Timahoe- Irish setter- Nixon
- Grits- border collie- Carter
- Misty Malarky Ying Yang- Siamese cat- Carter
- Little Man- horse- Reagan
- Our lovely friend Wired Magazine’s all purpose computer physical and digital cleaning guide.
- Cleaning your computer’s guts (with pictures!)
- Maintenance tasks for Windows that you should do more often.
- When computers rebel: basic repairs you don’t have to pay anyone to do.
- The all purpose resource to just about every common computer problem
While people may assume that you have to live in a big city to have access to good art, that simply isn’t true. There are plenty of places here in West Tennessee alone that have fantastic work to offer. Here are three places in the West Tennessee area where you can get your art fix (and maybe take home some of your own).
Memphis, TN 38103
- Blobfish Plush: for the Stuffed Animal Enthusiast
Despite what some people may say, no one ever truly grows out of enjoying a good stuffed animal. Bonus points if the animal in question is a very quirky deep-sea fish. This stuffed blobfish is the perfect companion in a college student’s dorm whether they be a zoology major or simply a plushy enthusiast. With rave reviews, this less-than-perky pink pal is a fantastic addition to your Christmas repertoire.
- Scratch-Off Map: for the Globetrotter
As a fan of travel myself, I can say with utmost certainty that you know someone with a serious case of wanderlust. For those of us with the need to scratch the travel itch, this scratch-off world map is a must-have. Not only is it stylishly designed, but it also serves as a wonderful personalized reminder of the places we’ve been. For those of us with cross-country ambitions in mind, there is a state scratch-off version too. Will Christmas wonders never cease?
- 40cean Jellyfish Bracelet: for your Eco-Friendly Friend
With plastic pollution at an all-time high, it can be incredibly disheartening to think of how little we can do to help our planet, but there is a way to spread a little green Christmas cheer. The 40cean Jellyfish bracelet (as well as their other products) are sold to fund efforts to clean up our oceans. For every one of these adjustable, stylish, 100% recycled material composed bracelets purchased, 40cean removes one pound of plastic waste from the oceans and protects our marine life. Save the turtles (and time with your Christmas shopping too) and give this gift to a green guy or gal.
- R2-D2 Sweater: for your Cozy Nerd
Sweaters are a timeless classic in the winter gift-giving season, but don’t just settle on your average sale rack staple this year. With the new Star Wars movie just around the corner, give your droid-loving friend this cozy R2-D2 sweater (provided by every nerds’ trusted resource, ThinkGeek) so the Force will be with them even when the warm weather isn’t.
- Fujifilm Instax Mini Camera: for your Trendy Shutterbug
As polaroid style cameras become more popular, it’d be a shame not to include this wonderful little camera into the selection. The Fujifilm Instax Mini is a small, portable, and easy-to-use camera that is not only all of those things, but is also quite stylish. Coming in several adorable pastel colors, this camera is easy to use with several exposure settings and a sensor indicating which one is best for the lighting of any particular situation. It comes with an attachable close-up lens and easily fits into any backpack or tote. As someone who owns one of these cameras, I can only offer it glowing recommendations. Some of my favorite photos from my trips came from this camera, and the small film is very scrapbook-friendly and comes in a variety of styles. (I’m quite partial to this Gudetama one.) This camera is the perfect addition to any amateur photographer’s collection.
Amount Of Blog Views In 2019: 4,306
The following posts had the most views and interactions of 2019:
Top 10 Blog Posts of 2019:
- How To Print In The Library With Paw Print
- Book Review: “To Shake the Sleeping Self” by Jedidiah Jenkins
- Library FAQs
- 5 Tips For Surviving Severe Weather
- Matthew’s Monday Movie: “Cinderella Man”
- Matthew’s Monday Movie: “King Kong”
- Matthew’s Monday Movie: “The Last Samurai”
- How To Print In The Library (For UU Students and Faculty)
- Top 5 Underrated Library Perks
- Top 5 Social Work Journals
Top 10 Book Reviews of 2019:
- To Shake the Sleeping Self
- The Testaments
- Shoji Hamada: A Potter’s Way and Work
- Brief Answers To the Big Questions
- Norwegian Wood
- Serious Moonlight
- Gone Girl
- Ender’s Game
- Looking For Alaska
Top 10 Monday Movies of 2019:
- Cinderella Man
- King Kong
- The Last Samurai
- National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
- Raiders of the Lost Ark
- I, Tonya
- The Princess Bride
- Mean Girls
- The 13th Warrior
So you want to study abroad? You’ve fantasized about traveling to far off places, experiencing the culture, speaking a new language, and tasting foreign cuisine. However, despite the concept of living abroad making you starry-eyed, you may not know the best way to start planning such a trip. I recently returned from a six-month study abroad in Tokyo, and I am going to explain the steps I took to get there.
Step One: Deciding Where to Go
For some people, deciding where they want to travel is a no-brainer. For me, I had been interested in Japan for about as long as I could remember, so it had been my travel goal from the start. For some, the decision is not so easy. It can be daunting to pick one place out of the entire world to choose. To help you pick, making a list of your interests and expectations can weed out some options. Love soccer? Check out places in Europe or South America where the sport is popular. Noodles are your favorite food? Italy or a country in Asia might be your best bet. Even your dislikes can help you choose a place. Afraid of tsunamis? Avoid beachfront locations. Don’t want to learn a new language? Go somewhere that you already know the preferred tongue. After you’ve compiled your list, then you can work on the next step.
Step Two: Finding an Academic Program
If you’re lucky, your school will have a program available in the country you want to visit. If you’re not so lucky, you’ll have to be a bit more creative. If you don’t want academic credit, you don’t have to worry about finding American accredited programs, but you may also have difficulty finding scholarships. If you need academic credits, find programs that are either accredited or have connections to an American institution that can transfer those credits for you. You’ll want to contact that particular institution at this point and ask if they allow students at other institutions to concurrently enroll. This is what I did when I studied in Tokyo. I attended an international language school called KCP International but had my course credits transferred through Western Washington University. It may cost an extra fee to do this, but it shouldn’t cost a fortune, and it will open up the opportunity for a variety of academic scholarships.
Feel free to communicate with your study abroad advisor during this process. They are a wealth of information about a number of options you can choose regarding the international study. Once you’ve chosen an institution, bring it up to your advisor so that they can clear it.
Step Three: Bureaucracy, Bureaucracy, Bureaucracy
This is the part that will wear you out if you’re not careful. Between your school, the U.S. Government, and the government of the country you are visiting, you will have plenty of paperwork and requirements you will have to figure out. I cannot stress enough that you need to GET STARTED EARLY! It took me around two full years between initially talking with my study abroad advisor to actually departing for Japan.
Depending on your stay, your steps will be different. Is your country on good terms with the United States? What kind of travel insurance is the ideal one for you? Will you be flying or using some other mode of transportation? Will you have to apply for and receive an international visa? Where is the nearest consulate for your destination country? Can you bring prescription medications and, if so, how much? Will you live in dorm housing, a homestay, or will you have to arrange housing for yourself? Will you need to research and request for disability accessible amenities? Do you have to make down payments on anything for your trip? When is the best time to book travel tickets? All these and many more are questions you are going to have to figure out during the prep stage.
Use government web resources, your university staff, and your international contact to address unexpected questions. You may need to get a physical or vaccines depending on the country or program you attend, so be sure to get that done well before your trip. If this step is done well, it can save you a lot of headache down the road.
Step Four: Raise Money
While you shouldn’t wait to start building your savings, you’ll probably need to apply to a program first in order to apply for some scholarships. As boring and annoying as applications can be, it can make or break your finances. I was able to receive several thousand dollars in funds from outside organizations and federal and university scholarships. Your advisor can probably recommend some scholarships for you, but a quick internet search can provide country, language, or field-specific scholarships to apply for.
Keep good track of what you’ve applied for and received, as well as application and disbursement deadlines. For many scholarships, you’ll probably need a transcript as well as letters of recommendation. I recommend getting these one time and then saving the copies to send off to however many scholarships you apply for. Many scholarships have other requirements such as writing papers after the study abroad, completing service projects, or even working for a specific entity for a specified amount of time, so please read the fine print of whatever you want to apply for. For extra liquid funds, some students get help from family members, start crowdfunding campaigns, or work to build up savings. Between my savings from two summers and winters of interning and delivery driving, as well as a generous gift from my grandparents, I had enough cash to pay for my program fees and live comfortably in one of the most expensive cities on earth while only taking out a small safety net loan. As long as you’re willing to set realistic expectations and work hard, you likely won’t have too much difficulty getting the funds you need.
Step Five: Getting Ready To Go
You’ve gotten your passport and visa, you bought your plane tickets months ago, you’ve made mental lists of everything you want to see and eat once you arrive, and you’ve even been studying your target language with renewed vigor. Now you just have to make sure your affairs are in order.
If you have a long layover before you reach your target country, I highly recommend getting a hotel room near the airport. I made the mistake of booking a sixteen-hour layover in Shanghai Pudong Airport after my fifteen-hour long-haul flight betting that the in-airport hotel would have a room available. Upon fumbling my way through Chinese customs and immigration, I hoisted my luggage on a cart and made the incredibly long trek to the hotel only to find that they were completely booked. None of the seats in the airport recline, so I was reduced to lying on the floor of the very cold international terminal, using my jacket as a blanket and maneuvering my travel pillow into a very uncomfortable headrest. All and all it was miserable, and the few hours of sleep I did get left me sore, stiff, and cranky just in time for my flight to Narita Airport.
Also, don’t forget to go to your preferred local bank and request currency for your target country as well as any countries you stop at in between. You don’t want a delayed flight to make you choose between the unfortunate airport exchange rate or starving to death in terminal C. Always remember to weigh your baggage in both pounds and kilograms before you leave and to pack only what you need. Don’t be like me and pay an extra hundred dollars on overweight charges because of a pair of ice skates I only used once.
Make sure to read up on your airline carry-on policy and to pack your carry-on bag in such a way that you can easily access its contents. You’ll also want to check the country safety rating provided by the state department for your target country and all countries you’ll stop in. The rating for China went down just a few days before I was going to leave the country. This allowed me to decide against my plans to visit the city during my layover. Look up the country’s emergency numbers before you leave and research sim card options online. I purchased a data-only sim card for my time in Japan and it was a more cost-effective tool than buying a sim card with data and a cell plan. Ultimately you’ll have to choose which option best fits your location and budget. Once all your incidentals are in order you are ready to go! However, no matter how prepared you think you are, life will still find a way to bring in odd, confusing complications to your trip. Just remember to remain flexible, and that this will probably become a funny story in a month or two.
Wherever you decide to go, I wish you the best of luck and happy travels. Studying abroad can provide a rich experience that you can learn so many things you’ll never find in a book. I know I enjoyed my experience more than words can say. If you found this useful, don’t forget to share this post and check out what else we have on the Union University Library Blog.
*written by Ruth Duncan
In my opinion, I find that sometimes the most interesting biographies are the ones whose people aren’t too well known. Oftentimes household names have so much in the way of lore and common knowledge that, in many ways, we already know some of the best parts. This trend continued in the book Shoji Hamada: A Potter’s Way and Work. For those who don’t know, Shoji Hamada is a former living national treasure in Japan due to his work as a folk potter. He has become internationally renowned in the ceramics community, his works becoming synonymous with Japanese mingei (民芸 meaning “folk arts” or “art of the people”) ceramics. Having spent four months with Hamada, author Susan Peterson has written a charming glimpse into his life, home, and work.
The book is based in the small town of Mashiko located in Tochigi prefecture and about a two-hour drive north of Tokyo. As the book was written in 1970, the context is of what Mashiko was like during Hamada’s time. However, I had the privilege of visiting Mashiko during this past spring break, and it was wonderful to compare with what was written during Hamada’s life with how the town has changed throughout the years since Hamada’s fame. Shoji Hamda’s house has been turned into a museum of his life and work, and it was fascinating to compare the images from the book’s photo galleries to the real thing. After reading the book, I can’t imagine not wanting to visit.
This book covers anything and everything one might want to know about the potter and his work, but even so, it is still an incredibly easy read. The language is accessible to people who have not studied pottery, but also enriching for those that have. The book covers everything from his workflow, techniques, glazes, kilns, family life, and even the way Hamada himself thinks. The book is not a detached biography written by historians years after the death of the person, but rather a living telling complete with the thoughts and actions recorded in these first-person accounts. The photo albums scattered throughout the book are both an enjoyable and invaluable addition to the biography, as seeing the work for oneself is both contextually important as well as very interesting to see the stages of his work and life. If you are at all a fan of the arts, even just a little, I would definitely recommend this book.
*written by Ruth Duncan
The library blog gained several new, dedicated writers in 2018. We wrote about everything from new books to wrestling and all that falls between. Let’s take a look back at the best of the blog from this year!
Amount of Blog Views: 2,055
Top 10 Posts Of 2018:
- Top 5 Underrated Library Perks
- Donny’s Deductions: The History of Professional Bowling
- How To Reserve A Study Room
- How To Use The Library As A Guest
- How To Print In The Library (For UU Students & Faculty/Staff)
- New In Our Archives: “The Private Papers of John Jeter Hurt”
- Myth-Shattering Fun Facts
- Top 5 Education Databases
- How To Download eBooks To Read Offline
- A Brief History of Union University
*these had the most views and interaction for this year
Top 10 Blog Post Quotes From 2018 (In No Particular Order):
1. Bowling two-handed makes it easier to hook the ball, thus scoring higher games with less experience. This makes the sport more accessible and many more middle and high school bowlers are using this technique. Jason Belmonte has helped grow the sport more than just about any other professional bowler. – Donny Turner, “Donny’s Deductions: The History of Professional Bowling”
2. A wrestling match can tell a story unlike any sporting event can, and sometimes it can do this better than television shows. A good wrestling match, if done well, can be up to half an hour long. This is longer than many TV shows and in that time, with few words and technically one scene, two wrestlers can tell a story unlike any other. – Brennan Kress, “Book Reviews: ‘Headlocks and Dropkicks’ by Ted Kluck”
3. 1975: it can be argued that this is the year that the first true “summer movie” was born, Jaws. – Matthew Beyer, “Matthew’s Monday Movie: ‘Jaws'”
4. Human beings pride themselves on their extensive and diverse knowledge of the world, but sometimes information gets confused along the way. Misunderstandings, urban legends, and flat out lies can infiltrate what we believe is common knowledge. – Ruth Duncan, “Myth-Shattering Fun Facts”
5. Some afternoons you sit on the first floor of the library, bent over your Chemistry textbook, and hold up your eyelids because they stubbornly decide to close on you. “I can’t spend five dollars on a coffee this week. I’m broke!” you tell yourself. If you notice an acquaintance who’s in this situation, escort them into Modero and tell them to pick out a warm and caffeinated beverage – it’s on you. – Danielle Chalker, “Random Acts of Kindness Day”
6. Akage no An (Red Haired Anne) was introduced to Japan during the educational reforms of 1952. The series and its authorized prequel have both been adapted into anime, and two schools in Japan (the Anne Academy in Fukuoma and the School of Green Gables in Okayama) teach their students how to speak and behave as the admired character would. – Jordan Sellers, “Fun Facts You Might Not Know About Anne of Green Gables”
7. The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve turned to nonfiction when I want to read something. Maybe I’m looking for advice, or maybe I just want to know how other people live, and think, and figure things out. To Shake the Sleeping Self is the perfect book to get inside someone else’s mind and feelings. Jenkins writes in a genuine, self-aware tone. He’s easy to relate to because he wonders about things we all do- who he is and who he will be in the future. – Olivia Chin, “Book Review: ‘To Shake the Sleeping Self'”
8. Are you an Anglophile? It’s okay, you can admit it. If you drink Earl Grey every morning, have the Union Jack hanging on your dorm room wall, or dream of going to grad school at Cambridge, you probably are. – Danielle Chalker, “Featured eBook: ‘The Cambridge Art Book'”
9. Reading can help increase empathy. By reading, especially fiction-reading, you increase your ability to empathize with others. If you can understand a character in a novel, you can better understand the people around you. – Brennan Kress, “On The Importance of Reading”
10. In the history of philosophy, it is important to learn about each philosopher’s predecessor, since many philosophers build off of what their mentor taught (or, interestingly, completely reject it). – Olivia Chin, “Featured Book: ‘A Short History of Modern Philosophy'”
These days, everyone and their mom knows that comic books are a huge cultural phenomenon, but if you want to get into them it can be tough to know where to start. Between deaths, revivals, alternate universes, alternate timelines, reboots, and more, the newly minted comic nerd probably feels a little overwhelmed. In order to feel a little more whelmed (Young Justice anybody?) we’ve put together a list of comics for total beginners.
Loki: Agent of Asgard
*written by Ruth Duncan
Come to the Circulation Desk to check out your “blind date” book!