This September is Self-Care Awareness Month at FSU Libraries! We’re partnering with the Center for Health Advocacy & Wellness (CHAW) to discuss self-care and offer some tips for how you can get started.
What is self-care and why does it matter?
Self-care means prioritizing the things that support your overall wellness. Caring for yourself is essential to thrive and survive both in calm moments and challenging ones.
Here at FSU, we focus on creating a culture of care by celebrating the contributions of individuals and groups in our campus community. We are all responsible for creating this culture of care. To do that we must take care of ourselves and others. And we cannot take care of others without first taking care of ourselves.
How to practice self-care
Step one: learn about the nine dimensions of holistic wellness. The nine dimensions are:
To learn more about FSU’s holistic wellness campaign and each of these dimensions of wellness, visit DSA’s website.
Step two: Do a bit of self-evaluation to see where you might have unmet needs related to these areas. For example, in the area of physical wellness, are you meeting your needs? You might ask yourself a few questions to check in on this such as: am I taking breaks when I can to eat? Am I staying hydrated? Am I getting enough rest, both at night and overall?
Next: come up with a plan to meet your needs. For example: pack snacks to munch on between classes. Carry a water bottle. Set boundaries to allow for adequate rest. Put your phone on do not disturb after a certain hour. Practice saying no (a complete sentence BTW) to commitments that would require more energy and time than you can invest.
Finally, learn which resources are available to you to support your self-care. These resources can include your personal strengths and social networks and campus resources.
CHAW can help you practice self-care
One campus resource that can help you on your self-care journey is the Center for Health Advocacy & Wellness (CHAW). CHAW encourages students to make healthy lifestyle decisions that facilitate academic success and lead to life-long health and wellness. CHAW provides a wide range of presentations and outreach events on health topics related to:
alcohol tobacco and other drugs
nutrition, body image and eating disorder prevention
interpersonal violence prevention
How you can practice self-care with CHAW
Visit CHAW’s website to learn more about their services.
Follow CHAW (@fsuchaw) to stay up to date on current events and for plenty of quick tips to optimize your overall wellness. Look for #LiveWellFSU for content that is related to holistic wellness.
To support your physical wellness, call (850) 644 – 4567 to schedule an appointment for nutrition counseling or HIV testing. Visit CHAW’s office on the 4th floor of UHS to get free condoms, lube, and/or menstrual products.
For overall and academic wellness, call (850) 644 – 4567 to schedule a wellness coaching appointment.
For occupational wellness, work for CHAW through internships and federal work study positions.
For intellectual wellness, request a presentation related to any of the above topic areas for your classroom or RSO.
Happy Self-Care Awareness Month! Remember that you can’t pour from an empty cup. This month, practice filling that cup up by prioritizing your overall wellness and let CHAW help you get there. Also, be sure to stop by Strozier Library this month to visit the self-care shelf and discover your next read!
This post was written by Samantha Thoms, Registered Dietitian for CHAW.
July 21, 2023 marked the release of two highly anticipated blockbuster films, Barbie and Oppenheimer, in the United States and several other countries. Despite the films’ stark differences in themes and content, the shared premiere date was preceded by months of excitement for both films online. As a result, many fans flocked to the theaters to watch both movies in a double feature during the opening weekend and solidified ‘Barbenheimer’ as the “the biggest box office weekend of 2023 so far.”
Other Barbie picks explore Mattel’s iconic creation and her impact on American society. We also pull in feminist texts from our collections, both foundational and contemporary. Among our selections for Oppenheimer are books about the scientists who worked on the atomic bomb and the communities devastated by it in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Team Barbie, Oppenheimer, or ‘Barbenheimer’? Let us know in the comments!
Reviving Ophelia is a call to arms from Dr. Mary Pipher, a psychologist who has worked with teenagers for more than a decade. She finds that in spite of the women’s movement, which has empowered adult women in some ways, teenage girls today are having a harder time than ever before because of higher levels of violence and sexism. It is critical that we understand the circumstances and take measures to correct them. We need to make that precious age of experimentation safe for adolescent girls.
To some she’s a collectible, to others she’s trash. In The Barbie Chronicles, twenty-three writers join together to scrutinize Barbie’s forty years of hateful, lovely, disastrous, glorious influence on us all. No other tiny shoulders have ever had to carry the weight of such affection and derision and no other book has ever paid this notorious little place of plastic her due. Whether you adore her or abhor her, The Barbie Chronicles will have you looking at her in ways you never imagined.
She’s skinny, white, and blond. She’s Barbie—an icon of femininity to generations of American girls. She’s also multiethnic and straight—or so says Mattel, Barbie’s manufacturer. Illustrated with photographs of various interpretations and alterations of Barbie, this book encompasses both Barbie glorification and abjection as it testifies to the irrefutably compelling qualities of this bestselling toy. Anyone who has played with Barbie—or, more importantly, thought or worried about playing with Barbie—will find this book fascinating.
In Barbie Chang, Victoria Chang explores racial prejudice, sexual privilege, and the disillusionment of love through a reimagining of Barbie―perfect in the cultural imagination yet repeatedly falling short as she pursues the American dream. This energetic string of linked poems is full of wordplay, humor, and biting social commentary involving the quote-unquote speaker, Barbie Chang, a disillusioned Asian-American suburbanite. By turns woeful and passionate, playful and incisive, these poems reveal a voice insisting that “even silence is not silent.”
An unabridged version of Beauvoir’s feminist exploration of the psychological, sexual and social roles of women and their historical and contemporary situation in Western culture at the middle of the twentieth century.
In The Will to Change, bell hooks gets to the heart of the matter and shows men how to express the emotions that are a fundamental part of who they are—whatever their age, marital status, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. Toxic masculinity punishes those fundamental emotions, and it’s so deeply ingrained in our society that it’s hard for men to not comply—but hooks wants to help change that. With trademark candor and fierce intelligence, hooks addresses the most common concerns of men, such as fear of intimacy and loss of their patriarchal place in society, in new and challenging ways.
In this magisterial, acclaimed biography twenty-five years in the making, Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin capture Oppenheimer’s life and times, from his early career to his central role in the Cold War. This is biography and history at its finest, riveting and deeply informative.
This striking work of narrative nonfiction tells the true story of six-year-old Sachiko Yasui’s survival of the Nagasaki atomic bomb on August 9, 1945, and the heartbreaking and lifelong aftermath. Having conducted extensive interviews with Sachiko Yasui, Caren Stelson chronicles Sachiko’s trauma and loss as well as her long journey to find peace. This book offers readers a remarkable new perspective on the final moments of World War II and their aftermath.
The story of the twentieth century is largely the story of the power of science and technology. Within that story is the incredible tale of the human conflict between Robert Oppenheimer, Ernest Lawrence, and Edward Teller – the scientists most responsible for the advent of weapons of mass destruction. Gregg Herken gives us the behind-the-scenes account based upon a decade of research, interviews, and newly released Freedom of Information Act and Russian documents.
This is the story of Edith Warner, who lived for more than twenty years as a neighbor to the Indians of San Ildefonso Pueblo, near Los Alamos, New Mexico. She was a remarkable woman, a friend to everyone who knew her, from her Indian companion Tilano, who was an elder of San Ildefonso, to Niels Bohr, Robert Oppenheimer, and the other atomic scientists who worked at Los Alamos during World War II.
A non-technical narrative of the actual making of the first Atom bomb with an accent on the personal cases of the participants and the industrial companies that built it. Rich in human stories and anecdotes.
Black Rain is centered around the story of a young woman who was caught in the radioactive “black rain” that fell after the bombing of Hiroshima. lbuse bases his tale on real-life diaries and interviews with victims of the holocaust; the result is a book that is free from sentimentality yet manages to reveal the magnitude of the human suffering caused by the atom bomb. His sensitivity to the complex web of emotions in a traditional community torn asunder by this historical event has made Black Rain one of the most acclaimed treatments of the Hiroshima story.
Book images and summaries via Amazon.
This post was created by Alaina Faulkner, Student Engagement Associate at FSU Libraries.
On June 28, 2023, the Strozier Library basement is officially reopened!
Strozier Library experienced flooding in the lower level and subbasement due to an air handler coil freezing on the night of December 25, 2022. FSU Facilities worked with contractors to extract the water from the building and Libraries’ team members worked through the night and over the next days to protect and preserve collections. Due to the efforts of these Flood Heroes, damage to collections was minimized. However, the basement was closed for renovations during the spring semester.
We are happy to announce that the basement is now open. This is in thanks to the many colleagues at the Libraries and at FSU who helped not only on the night of the flood, but also throughout the spring semester.
The reopening was marked by a ribbon cutting and celebration of the Flood Heroes.
All faculty, staff, and students are invited to check out the newly renovated space.
Did you know that Tallahassee holds a fascinating distinction? It’s the first city in Florida to hear a reading of the Emancipation Proclamation on May 20, 1865— preceding Juneteenth, when the remainder of the nation recognized that all enslaved persons were emancipated, by a month.
Tallahassee pays homage to its rich African American heritage and culture year-round, embracing its historical significance through captivating museums, boycotts, and serving as the sole stop in Florida on the esteemed National Blues Trail. In light of this monumental holiday, we will explore various resources related to Juneteenth and African-American history, ranging from local events and organizations in Tallahassee to noteworthy books and movies that shed light on this pivotal chapter in American history.
Explore our community and campus
Tallahassee-Leon County Civil Rights Heritage Walk: Immerse yourself in a profound journey through history with the Tallahassee-Leon County Civil Rights Heritage Walk. Spanning just half a block, this remarkable sidewalk memorial tells the story of several significant events, including the city’s bus boycott of 1956 and the lunch counter sit-in demonstrations of the early 60s. Adorned with 16 intricately designed terrazzo panels, this tribute honors the names of local Civil Rights leaders and activists who played a pivotal role in these protests. Explore this landmark located at the corner of East Jefferson Street and Monroe Street.
Visit the John Gilmore Riley Center/Museum: Delve deeper into African American history and culture by discovering the vibrant legacy of Smokey Hollow, a thriving black neighborhood that once flourished just east of downtown Tallahassee. Since its establishment in 1996, this remarkable museum has been dedicated to fostering awareness illuminating the contributions made by African Americans to Florida’s history. Check out the Riley Museum here!
Support the Black Student Union: The Black Student Union (BSU) here at Florida State University fosters unity among Black students and promotes awareness of issues pertaining to Black culture throughout the entire university community by actively organizing and participating in political, academic, and cultural activities. They host numerous events throughout the year, stay connected with BSU through their website and social media platforms for updates on what they’re up to!
Dive into the pages of a book
The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson: This award-winning book chronicles the Great Migration of African Americans from the rural South to urban areas in the North and West. Through compelling narratives, Wilkerson captures the struggles, aspirations, and hopes of those who sought a better life and opportunities away from the Jim Crow South. The Warmth of Other Suns is available online through FSU Libraries, or purchase a copy here.
13th (2016): Directed by Ava DuVernay, this thought-provoking documentary explores the the history of racial inequality and mass incarceration in the United States. The title refers to the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which abolished slavery but included a clause that allowed for the involuntary servitude of convicted criminals. The film examines the deep-rooted connections between slavery, racism, and the modern-day prison industrial complex, shedding light on systemic injustices and raising important questions about the criminal justice system’s impact on marginalized communities. 13th is available to watch for free on YouTube.
Selma (2014): Depicting the historic Selma to Montgomery marches led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the Civil Rights Movement, the film focuses on the struggle for equal voting rights for African Americans in the face of violent opposition and systemic racism. Selma serves as a reminder of the continued fight for justice and equality that Juneteenth symbolizes. Request the DVD from Strozier, or stream through Paramount+.
Whether by exploring local resources, engaging with thought-provoking literature, or watching impactful films, we can deepen our understanding of this significant holiday. Let us embrace Juneteenth as a time for celebration, education, and solidarity, supporting and uplifting Black voices within our communities!
This post was written by Kaylan Williams, Student Engagement Assistant at FSU Libraries.
June is LGBTQIA+ Pride Month, a yearly celebration that honors lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA+) individuals and communities around the world. Observed every June in the U.S. to commemorate the Stonewall Uprising on June 28, 1969, Pride Month first began as a celebration of “Gay Pride Day.” Since then, it has evolved to span an entire month filled with global events, parades, concerts, and other community celebrations. If you’re interested in learning more about the history of Pride Month, check out this page from the Library of Congress!
FSU Libraries are celebrating Pride this June by highlighting resources centered around LGBTQIA+ stories, experiences, and histories. All of the books, movies, and videos below are freely available to the FSU community. Other support and resources are also listed at the end of this post. Let’s celebrate Pride while taking care of ourselves and one another!
LGBTQ advice columnist John Paul Brammer writes a “wise and charming” (David Sedaris) memoir-in-essays chronicling his journey from a queer, mixed-race kid in America’s heartland to becoming the “Chicano Carrie Bradshaw” of his generation.
Five years after a suspicious fire killed his ornithologist mother, a closeted Syrian American trans boy sheds his birth name and searches for a new one. Following his mother’s ghost, he uncovers the silences kept in the name of survival by his own community, his own family, and within himself, and discovers the family that was there all along. This book is a timely exploration of how we all search for and ultimately embrace who we are.
Yaichi is a work-at-home dad in Tokyo; formerly married to Natsuki, and father to their young daughter, Kana. Their lives suddenly change with the arrival of a Canadian named Mike Flanagan, who declares himself to be the widower of Yaichi’s estranged gay twin, Ryoji. What follows is an unprecedented and heartbreaking look at the state of a largely still-closeted Japanese gay culture: how it’s been affected by the West, and how the next generation can change the preconceptions about it and prejudices against it.
Postcolonial Love Poem is an anthem of desire against erasure. Natalie Diaz’s second collection unravels notions of American goodness and creates something more powerful than hope―in it, a future is built, future being a matrix of the choices we make now, and in these poems, Diaz chooses love.
How We Fight for Our Lives is a stunning coming-of-age memoir about a young, black, gay man from the South as he fights to carve out a place for himself, within his family, within his country, within his own hopes, desires, and fears. Through a series of vignettes that chart a course across the American landscape, Jones draws readers into his boyhood and adolescence. Each piece builds into a larger examination of race and queerness, power and vulnerability, love and grief: a portrait of what we all do for one another—and to one another—as we fight to become ourselves.
When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they’re thrown out of the house and forced to move in with their older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas. Struggling with an anxiety disorder, Ben’s attempts to keep a low profile in a new school during their senior year are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, takes Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan’s friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life. I Wish You All the Best is both a celebration of life, friendship, and love, and a shining example of hope in the face of adversity.
A “provocative and seductive debut” of desire and doubleness that follows the life of a young Palestinian American woman caught between cultural, religious, and sexual identities as she endeavors to lead an authentic life (O, The Oprah Magazine).
Transgender activist and TED Resident Samy Nour Younes shares the remarkable, centuries-old history of the trans community, filled with courageous stories, inspiring triumphs — and a fight for civil rights that’s been raging for a long time. “Imagine how the conversation would shift if we acknowledge just how long trans people have been demanding equality,” he says.
Happy Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month! May marks the official celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. Established in 1990, the month of May was specifically chosen to commemorate the first Japanese immigrants to arrive in the U.S. in May 1843, as well as to honor the Chinese immigrants who worked to complete the transcontinental railroad in May 1869. (Read more history here!)
In recognizing the varied experiences of all AAPI individuals and communities, we’ve selected 13 books from across different genres to celebrate Asian and Pacific Islander authors from our collections at FSU Libraries. Our list brings together contemporary titles that highlight distinct AAPI voices and raise important questions about culture and identity in the United States.
From cozy cat mysteries to critical essays, all of the resources included can be checked out or accessed online through our website with an FSUID. Whether you’re in Tallahassee or elsewhere this month, join us in celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with these notable books!
From the indie rock sensation known as Japanese Breakfast, an unforgettable memoir about family, food, grief, love, and growing up Korean American. Rich with intimate anecdotes that will resonate widely, and complete with family photos, Crying in H Mart is a book to cherish, share, and reread.
“A time being is someone who lives in time, and that means you, and me, and every one of us who is, or was, or ever will be.”
Full of Ozeki’s signature humor and deeply engaged with the relationship between writer and reader, past and present, fact and fiction, quantum physics, history, and myth, A Tale for the Time Being is a brilliantly inventive, beguiling story of our shared humanity and the search for home.
Poet and essayist Cathy Park Hong fearlessly and provocatively blends memoir, cultural criticism, and history to expose fresh truths about racialized consciousness in America. A radically honest work of art, Minor Feelings forms a portrait of one Asian American psyche—and of a writer’s search to both uncover and speak the truth.
Following two families from Pakistan and Iraq in the 1990s to San Francisco in 2016, The Bad Muslim Discount is an inclusive, comic novel about Muslim immigrants finding their way in modern America. With deep insight, warmth, and an irreverent sense of humor, Syed M. Masood examines universal questions of identity, faith (or lack thereof), and belonging through the lens of Muslim Americans.
In a stunning collection that announces the arrival of an incredible talent, Kristiana Kahakauwila travels the islands of Hawai’i, making the fabled place her own. Exploring the deep tensions between local and tourist, tradition and expectation, façade and authentic self, This Is Paradise provides an unforgettable portrait of life as it’s truly being lived on Maui, Oahu, Kaua’i and the Big Island.
A stunning graphic memoir recounting actor/author/activist George Takei’s childhood imprisoned within American concentration camps during World War II. Experience the forces that shaped an American icon — and America itself — in this gripping tale of courage, country, loyalty, and love.
Seamlessly transitioning between the absurd and the tenderhearted, balancing acerbic humor with sharp emotional depth, Afterparties offers an expansive portrait of the lives of Cambodian-Americans. As the children of refugees carve out radical new paths for themselves in California, they shoulder the inherited weight of the Khmer Rouge genocide and grapple with the complexities of race, sexuality, friendship, and family.
This sassy cat mystery by Jennifer Chow follows the adventures of Mimi Lee, owner of Hollywoof – a new pet grooming business in Los Angeles. When a local breeder is found dead, Mimi must enlist her dreamy neighbor Josh and fluffy cat Marshmallow to clear her name and save her shop. A fun read with plenty of intrigue!
A powerful, darkly glittering novel of violence, love, faith, and loss, as a young woman at an elite American university is drawn into a cult’s acts of terrorism. Haunting and intense, The Incendiaries is a fractured love story that explores what can befall those who lose what they love most.
At the age of 12, Sharmila Sen emigrated from India to the U.S. The year was 1982, and everywhere she turned, she was asked to self-report her race – on INS forms, at the doctor’s office, in middle school. Never identifying with a race in the India of her childhood, she rejects her new “not quite” designation – not quite white, not quite black, not quite Asian — and spends much of her life attempting to blend into American whiteness. Part memoir, part manifesto, Not Quite Not White is a searing appraisal of race and a path forward for the next not quite not white generation –a witty and sharply honest story of discovering that not-whiteness can be the very thing that makes us American.
“Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.” So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. A profoundly moving story of family, secrets, and longing, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.
What does it mean to lose your roots—within your culture, within your family—and what happens when you find them? With warmth, candor, and startling insight, Nicole Chung tells of her search for the people who gave her up, which coincided with the birth of her own child. All You Can Ever Know is a profound, moving chronicle of surprising connections and the repercussions of unearthing painful family secrets—vital reading for anyone who has ever struggled to figure out where they belong.
Alisha Rai’s viral novel follows a reclusive Katrina King as she’s flung reluctantly into the spotlight of the Internet. Haunted by her traumatic past, Katrina escapes with her bodyguard Jas Singh into the country for refuge. Looming threats to Katrina’s safety reveal not-so-unrequited feelings, blurring the lines between the duo forever. This is a romantic and exciting read about family, healing, and trust.
Did you know that May is Mental Health Awareness Month? It’s a time to encourage individuals to prioritize their mental health, seek support when needed, and work towards breaking the stigma that often surrounds mental illness. In honor of this important occasion, we’re tackling a topic that’s often overlooked but crucial to our emotional well-being: sleep. You might think that pulling an all-nighter or burning the candle at both ends is the key to productivity, but what if we told you that the opposite could be true? The sleep-productivity paradox is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the impact of sleep on our mental health. Let’s dive deeper into how the two interact, and how prioritizing your Zzz’s could be the secret to a happier, healthier you.
The Sleep-Productivity Paradox
Sleep. It’s something we all need, yet it’s often the first thing we sacrifice in the name of productivity. We live in a society that glorifies the “hustle culture,” where burning the midnight oil and working around the clock is seen as a badge of honor. But at what cost? The truth is sleep plays a crucial role in our mental health and well-being. And during Mental Health Awareness Month, it’s important to take a closer look at the impact of sleep on our cognitive state. So, what happens when we don’t get enough shut eye? Let’s explore the science behind the sleep-productivity paradox and how it relates to our mental health.
My curiosity about this subject was sparked by a TikTok video that my best friend showed me, which has since entirely changed the way I operate. The video, created by a sleep medicine physician known as @thatsleepdoc, discusses a study conducted by a team from UPenn and Harvard back in 2003. Over the course of two weeks, the participants underwent a variety of cognitive tests and evaluations aimed at measuring their memory, attention, and reaction time.
The participants were divided into four groups, each allocated a different amount of time in bed (TIB): 8 hours (TIB), 6 hours (TIB), 4 hours (TIB), or 0 hours (TIB) (Note: The 0 hours TIB participants were only involved in the study for 3 days to avoid serious health consequences.) The study’s data is presented in the graph below.
The study found that even mild sleep deprivation had a significant impact on cognitive function and performance. Specifically, the participants showed decreased attention, slower reaction time, and impaired memory recall. In addition, the participants reported increased feelings of fatigue, sleepiness, and mood disturbance. As shown on the graph, even the participants that spent 8 hours in bed had increasingly worse performance. This is because 8 hours in bed doesn’t equate to 8 hours of sleeping.
Getting enough quality sleep isn’t just a luxury – it’s a necessity for our overall well-being.
The negative effects of sleep deprivation go far beyond just feeling a little groggy the next day. Chronic lack of sleep has been linked to a host of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and even suicidal thoughts. In fact, studies have shown that people with insomnia are 10 times more likely to have depression and 17 times more likely to have anxiety. Additionally, sleep disorders can exacerbate symptoms in those already suffering from mental health conditions. This is why it’s crucial to prioritize your sleep and seek professional help if you’re struggling to get the rest you need. Remember, getting enough quality sleep isn’t just a luxury – it’s a necessity for our overall well-being.
Prioritizing Sleep and Well-Being
Ultimately, it’s clear that getting enough quality sleep is essential for our mental health and productivity. The sleep-productivity paradox is real, and it’s time to stop glorifying burnout culture and start prioritizing our well-being. While it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life, we must remember that our bodies and minds need rest to function at their best. So, let’s make a conscious effort to improve our sleep hygiene and make sure we’re getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Your brain – and your future self – will thank you. Happy Mental Health Awareness Month, and sweet dreams!
This post was written by Kaylan Williams, Student Engagement Assistant at FSU Libraries.
As part of her fieldwork abroad, Leah visited archives and museums in Paris, France, and Genoa, Italy, and she was able to make a stop in Florence along the way. While visiting the study center, she met with several colleagues, including Florence Librarian Kate Dowling, and toured the spaces at the palazzo where the Study Center is newly located. Leah also offered a lecture on introductory Art History research skills to students in the Florence Study Center library.
Given Florence’s history as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, the study of art history has long been a popular discipline among students studying abroad with FSU there, whether they intend to major in Art History or not. This talk was aimed at researchers for whom Art History as an area of study might be completely new, in hopes that they would go into their coursework informed about best practices in approaching research topics and materials that are unique to the history of art.
Leah visited the study center not only as the Arts Librarian from FSU, but also as a multigenerational alumnus of Florida State’s Florence study abroad program: she was a student there in spring of 2008, and her mother studied with FSU in Florence as well, earlier in the program’s history in spring 1969.
Now, let’s get to the actual studying. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite spots on campus where we think the characters from Mean Girls would study. Strozier Library boasts five full floors of study space, ranging from a more social environment on the first two floors to a serious atmosphere on the third, fourth, and fifth. Seated at the center of FSU’s science buildings, Dirac makes an easy stop for STEM students.
This blog post will help you align your Mean Girls twin with one of the many study spots to choose from at Strozier, Dirac, and more! Are you a Damien? You might like the Mary Lou Norwood Reading Room. More of a Mathlete? Swipe into Dirac! And if you’re feeling like royal Regina George this week, check out the Werkmeister Reading Room, a hidden gem on campus.
If none of these spots sound right, keep reading! We’ve got the rooms and resources to get you started on a totally fetch finals week.
Karen Smith: The Learning District at Strozier Library
Karen would definitely need to study at the Strozier Learning District, where walk-up tutoring for Math, Physics, and Chemistry is offered Sunday – Wednesday from 8pm to Midnight. She might also stop by from 5pm to 8pm, when the Reading and Writing Center offers help on essays and other written projects. Our tutors can certainly help you spell the word “orange.” Looking for a little extra help with your finals? Head to the Learning District, located on the first floor of Strozier Library.
Regina George: The Werkmeister Reading Room, Dodd Hall
If Regina would trade her Mom for the master bedroom, then she’ll definitely trade a study room for the splendid Werkmeister Reading Room in Dodd Hall. With its vaulted ceiling, ornate blue windows, and gorgeous stained-glass murals, this is the place for Regina George! The Werkmeister Reading Room was built in 1923, serving as the original main campus library until Strozier was erected in the 1950s. Today, it’s home to the FSU Heritage Museum, where you can peruse a collection of old Florida State photographs, artifacts, and other memorabilia. If you’re looking for a little glitzy ambience to go along with your finals prep, head over to Dodd Hall for quiet study 10am-3pm, Monday-Thursday.
Gretchen Weiners: The Strozier Starbucks
“That’s why her hair’s so big… it’s full of secrets!” The Strozier Starbucks is about as close as you’ll get to a lively high-school lunchroom vibe. As the resident gossip queen of North Shore High, we think Gretchen would choose this spot. The Strozier Starbucks is open from 7:30am to 12:00am weekly, with limited weekend hours. If you want the 411, head to the café seating area on the first floor of Strozier!
Aaron Samuels: A Group Study Room
The most popular guy in school, it only makes sense that Aaron would book a group study room to hit the books with his best friends. Study rooms are available at both Strozier and Dirac and can be booked up to three days in advance. Study rooms offer projectors, floor-to-ceiling white boards, and seating for up to 12 people, depending on the space. If you’d prefer to study on your own, we’ve got you covered! Individual study rooms are also available. You can check out a key from the main desk in Strozier or book online for Dirac by clicking here.
The Mathletes: Dirac Science Library
Need to get serious about STEM? Dirac’s the place to be. We’re sure you’d find the Mathletes here, hard at work preparing for their next competition. As Florida State’s Science Library, Dirac is located at the heart of FSU’s STEM facilities, making it a convenient stop on your way to and from finals. Inside, you’ll find wall-length white boards, desks flanking the windows, and the new Dirac Media Suite, where you can complete audio-visual projects. Dirac has a quiet, serious atmosphere that’s good for finals prep; and if you need to destress, head outside to the porch or the surrounding green, where you might find some of FSU’s beloved campus cats looking for a little love.
Janis Ian: The Fourth Floor of Strozier
We think Janis would study between the stacks of the fourth floor, where you’ll find our extensive Fine Arts collection at Strozier. As a non-talking zone, the fourth floor provides a quiet, yet comfortable study space. Janis can plan her revenge on The Plastics at a study booth, or draft a new sketch for her show on the wide tables located at the center of the floor.
Damien: The Mary Lou Norwood Reading Room
Our personal favorite study spot, The Mary Lou Norwood Reading Room is located on the second floor of Strozier Library. Damien would likely find himself here, looking out over the different cliques and clubs that abound on Landis Green. The historic ambience of this room makes it truly unique to the rest of Strozier Library, not to mention its panoramic views of campus. Here, you’ll also find vintage FSU yearbooks dating as far back as the 1920s; they can make for a fun and fascinating read when you need a study break. The Mary Lou Norwood Reading Room is a non-talking, non-eating or drinking room, so you won’t be able to practice for the talent show here. It’s open from 9am-6pm Monday-Thursday, closing at 5 on Fridays.
Kevin G: The Dirac Basement
As the captain of The Mathletes, Kevin would choose the quietest spot on campus… the Dirac basement. The non-talking rule is strictly adhered to in the basement, so it’s a great spot if you require zero distractions. Here, you’ll find individual study booths along the wall, tables and chairs located the shelves, and individual study rooms available for booking. This is no place for noise, so if you need to have a Mathletes team meeting, head up to the first floor.
Cady Heron: The Restroom
Last but not least, we have Cady Heron, who’s got a bit of a habit for hanging around the restroom. While we hope you won’t have to study in the stalls, Men’s and Women’s restrooms are available on all floors of Strozier Library. They’re located in the main annex on floors 1-3; and can be found in the annex stairwell on floors 4-5. There is an All-Gender restroom located on the first floor of Strozier, behind Special Collections and to the right. Dirac Science Library has restrooms on all floors. We wish you luck on finals… it’s gonna be SO fetch!
This post was written by Lila Rush-Hickey, Student Engagement Assistant at FSU Libraries.
Artificial intelligence is a very broad topic that includes machine learning and deep learning. These terms are often used interchangeably with the assumption that they are all the same topic. However, while the terms are related, there are specific characteristics that differentiate between them. Deep learning is actually a subfield of machine learning, which is a subfield of artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence involves developing computers that are capable of mimicking human cognitive functions and following through with specific tasks. Machine learning uses algorithms to recognize patterns and trends from previous data, and then uses this information to make real-world applications. The whole goal of artificial intelligence is to allow computers to work independently, without the need for humans to instruct and interact with them. There is a large variety of applications for artificial intelligence and machine learning, ranging from essentially every industry. Artificial intelligence is widely used in the manufacturing, banking, and healthcare industries. In this blog post, we will go deeper into the definitions of artificial intelligence and machine learning, and their practical applications.
What is Artificial Intelligence?
There are many different ways to define artificial intelligence, and over the course of several years, the definition has changed drastically. Alan Turing, who is often referred to as the father of modern computer science created a test known as the Turing Test in an attempt to answer the question “can machines think?” In this test, a human has to differentiate between a computer’s response to a question and another human’s response to the same question (IBM). Furthermore, in “Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach”, Stuart Russel and Peter Norvig discuss a human approach vs. a rational approach to artificial intelligence. They discuss four different goals to pursue when designing artificial intelligence: systems that think like humans, systems that act like humans, systems that think rationally, and systems that act rationally. Each method or goal has its own advantages and disadvantages, and all of these methods are used today. An overall definition for artificial intelligence, that fits into these different goals, is that artificial intelligence allows machines to learn from previous experiences and information, and perform human-like tasks (SAS).
Along with the general definition described above, artificial intelligence can also be differentiated into weak and strong artificial intelligence. Weak artificial intelligence, also known as narrow artificial intelligence is artificial intelligence that is programmed and trained for one task. Narrow artificial intelligence can not mimic a human as a whole, but rather certain aspects, and has very specific applications. For example, narrow artificial intelligence is used in Amazon Alexa, Google Home, personalized advertisements on social media, recommended songs on Spotify, and so many more.
Strong artificial intelligence, also known as artificial general intelligence, focuses on creating a machine that can perform any cognitive task that a human can. In other words, a machine that can mimic a human. There are three main tasks that are critical to making an artificial general intelligence machine. The first is the ability to generalize knowledge (being able to use knowledge from a different area) and apply it to an issue or task. The second task involves the ability to make a prediction based on prior knowledge and experiences, while the third and final task is the ability to adapt to changes (Forbes). Notably, there are a lot of ethical arguments that come along with artificial general intelligence, and it can be argued that it is impossible to make a “strong” artificial intelligence.
Overall, artificial intelligence can be used to add intelligence to preexisting technologies. It can perform tasks reliably, with much less error than a human, and faster than a human. Artificial intelligence can also adapt through progressive learning. In the future, artificial intelligence may have even more of an impact on our everyday lives, and we can learn so much from it.
Real-Life Use Cases for Artificial Intelligence
Daily Tech Use
Depending on how much tech you interface with, you may be thinking: “Artificial Intelligence isn’t used for anything I do or use. Why would I need to know where AI is used?” To answer the question quickly…artificial intelligence is currently embedded in a lot of daily tasks that most people (possibly even you!) use.
Whether you’re trying to find something via Google, trying to decide on what you’d like to watch on Netflix, or trying to discover niche music genres on Spotify, all of these sites use algorithms via AI in order to deduce what you’re probably interested in looking at. (University of York n.d.) For example…if you’re a STEM major who happens to search for the phrase “R Programming” enough, Google will eventually pick up that you are most likely not looking for the history of how the letter R came to exist. Likewise, if you’re a linguistics major looking for how the modern letter R came to exist, you will most likely not get search results related to the R programming language. Of course, this isn’t the only situation where two people will get radically different search results. In fact, Google’s algorithmic presentation of information based on what you typically look for has a name — “filter bubbles”. The term was coined over a decade ago by political activist Eli Pariser. He demonstrated this phenomenon in a 2011 TED Talk with two different people searching for “Egypt” around the same time. While the conversation was predominantly about how filter bubbles impact politics and activism, it should be noted that filter bubbles would not exist without artificial intelligence behind them. This said, being aware of how AI algorithms can influence what you see is an important aspect of civic engagement. This concept may become even more pertinent as newer chatbots present further issues, such as giving false information when asked certain questions. Thus, the implementation of AI is important for everyone.
For a less ominous use of modern AI, there are also applications with handwriting recognition software. Even with written English, a touch-screen interface combined with AI, image processing, and computer vision to convert handwriting into text-compatible notes. This can be extremely useful for transferring text data from one computer to another. While you could take a photo of your notes for someone else to look at, this might have limited use for finding words within the text after the fact – you would not be able to search for a keyword if it was only saved as an image. Further, a computer that can convert handwriting to typed text also allows someone to use a search engine without typing. This use of AI even extends beyond the English language. Handwriting recognition research has been used for several different languages, including non-Western languages such as simplified Chinese, Arabic, Thai, and more. As a consequence, handwriting recognition AI can bypass the need to type (a skill that is separate from writing and is even less common). Further, converting from hand-written text to computer text formats is also applicable to these languages, which can be used for translation AIs – while things such as Google Translate may not be the most reliable, they can serve in a pinch in situations such as a hospital ER.
AI in Economics and Finance
Economics and Finance also embrace technology to carry out their work. For example, technology is particularly relevant to detecting credit card and insurance fraud. There are well-established ways to use mathematics and statistics to determine if someone’s financial accounts have been compromised. However, the conundrum that comes with modern finance and economics is that transactions happen at far, far faster speeds than humans can currently keep up with. An AI algorithm can calculate the probability that a financial transaction was fraudulent far faster than a human could. Therefore, as long as the humans behind the algorithm have given their AI formulas to work with, faster processing speed is of great assistance in preventing modern-day fraud.
Likewise, AI is already the cornerstone of the modern foreign exchange market (also known as FOREX). While the concept of foreign exchange has existed since Antiquity, there are some additional considerations in contemporary times. Specifically, modern currencies are traded in significantly larger amounts and at faster speeds than anything before. In fact, modern FOREX is so large and so fast that a human being cannot efficiently or consistently make profits without AI tools! This is predominantly due to the majority of FOREX transactions being carried out by AI bots instead of humans. A study commissioned by JPMorgan in 2020 determined that about 60% of all FOREX transactions were made by AI rather than humans! This is not to say that human involvement in FOREX is non-existent. Instead, the human role of a FOREX trader is no longer in the realm of physically placing trades, but in examining formulas and creating better and better code that a FOREX AI bot will operate with. Essentially, AI frees up time for human financiers to make analytical decisions as opposed to physically waiting or physically making trades…if so inclined. It should be noted that these applications of AI are still new, and often come with the risk of sudden price shifts wiping out short-term profits.
AI in Healthcare
Artificial Intelligence also has applications in healthcare. It might be odd to think about how AI would impact something as physical as your own body, but there are already several cases where it can be used.
For example, AI can be used to detect lethal drug interactions and make vaccines from scratch. For the former, researchers at Pennsylvania State University used AI to study what prescription drug combinations could cause liver damage. In the case of the latter, in 2019 researchers at Flinders University in Australia developed the first flu vaccine that was completely designed by artificial intelligence. Previously developed vaccines have been partially designed by AI, giving precedence to the first 100% AI-made vaccine. Furthermore, AI is used in physical machines developed for medicinal purposes – namely, via Robot-assisted surgery. While most robotic surgical systems are not 100% AI-driven, the very first instance of a surgical robot doing surgery by itself was back in 2006 (United Press International 2006)! This isn’t a commonplace practice at the moment, but robot-assisted surgery with human intervention is. Hence, it is worth considering whether or not medical science should completely automate surgery altogether, or use AI-surgical robots as collaborative machines.
What is Machine Learning?
Machine learning is a subset of AI specializing in taking data and improving the accuracy of predictions using that data. For example, if the temperature increased by one degree Fahrenheit every day, a machine learning algorithm could use that data to predict that the temperature would keep increasing by one degree per day. This is arguably the simplest form of machine learning, called linear regression (as there is a linear relationship between the number of days and the temperature). However, machine learning can encompass a number of different ideas and models, even including items such as weather forecasts.
Machine learning is used in many ways throughout our everyday lives, such as for Spotify/YouTube recommendations, stock market predictions, and advertisements. With more data being readily available every day, the potential applications of ML will only continue to increase. Creative destruction, in economics, is the concept that with new and better technology, some jobs may be lost in the short run. However, in the long run, productivity will increase, new jobs will be created, and living standards will increase. With AI potentially taking over some jobs such as customer service jobs, and some of those jobs being replaced by jobs requiring the coding of AI tools, creative destruction is taking place and will only continue to do so. Therefore, with ML taking over a large portion of the Internet today, it is fundamental to obtain an in-depth understanding of what it does.
Machine learning can generally work in two ways: supervised and unsupervised learning. With supervised learning, a computer is trained with labeled data and can then use that data to make new predictions. For example, if we wanted to train a computer to recognize a picture of an apple, we would first need to input a large number of pictures containing apples and pictures that do not have apples. Then, we would appropriately label them. The computer would then take this data, make a model out of it, and predict whether or not something is an apple from a new picture. Unsupervised learning is generally used to cluster or group segments of data. For example, Spotify could use this type of ML algorithm to group listeners into certain categories. One potential grouping of the listeners could be hip-hop and rap, enabling Spotify to suggest hip-hop artists to rap listeners and vice versa.
One way a computer can make a model is through reinforcement learning, which tells a computer to predict the future given the past. Going back to the apple example, the computer could start out by making random guesses on which pictures have apples and which do not. Then, the model would check the guesses against the data – if the guesses were off, the model would change to adapt. Each pass through the dataset (each time the model goes through the dataset and guesses which pictures have apples) is called an epoch. Eventually, after tens or hundreds of epochs, the model will get better and better. Ideally, a good model would be able to guess which pictures contain apples with close to 100% accuracy.
Use Cases for ML: Sports Analytics
One example of machine learning in the real world is using the rushing yards over expectation (RYOE) metric in the NFL (National Football League). To calculate RYOE, developers can calculate the expected rushing yards given a few factors, such as the speed of defenders and the number of blockers in the area. Then, given the actual rushing yards that occurred, RYOE can be calculated as (actual yards) – (expected yards). Using new data and machine learning modules based on this metric, teams can better determine whether rushing yards are the products of running backs themselves or of offensive linemen and schemes. This also allows for quantitative comparisons related to the value of passing plays versus running plays, and subsequently where teams should invest personnel resources into. Thus, with the introduction of new data and machine learning models applied to that data, we are able to make a cohesive argument to finally answer the question: do running backs really matter?
Another use of machine learning is in sports betting. By analyzing previous historical data with player ratings, injury history, and various other metrics, betting companies and bettors can use this to train a machine-learning model. By plugging in the current values of those metrics, the model is able to predict, for example, who will win a game and by how many points. By doing this, betting companies can set betting lines for games, and if the models of bettors do not align with this, the bettors may believe that their model is better and use that to bet on the game.
Furthermore, machine learning can be used to analyze game-time decisions in sports such as baseball and basketball. By looking at player performance in the past and seeing how they perform compared to other players in specific situations, such as in the rain or sun, teams can utilize machine learning to predict how players will perform in the future. Given this data, they can put their players in the best possible position to succeed.
In essence, it can be noted that Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are deeply interrelated concepts. This is especially true when Machine Learning is a subset of the broader AI field itself. Further, both broader AI and more specific Machine Learning techniques have applications ranging from entertainment such as sports and music, to daily living tasks just as hand-writing recognition and home assistant devices, to critical infrastructure such as finance and medicine. This leads one to ask where artificial intelligence is not implemented yet. While it can be hard to say when tech experts in academia and the private sector cannot come to a consensus, there is one thing that is absolutely certain. AI and Machine Learning carries least some importance to everyone’s lives in one way or another, whether directly or indirectly.
Further, This also leads to further discussions, such as “is the importance of these technologies overstated or understated?”, as the exact magnitude to which artificial intelligence and machine learning will impact society is still unknown. With the introduction of machine learning chatbots such as ChatGPT, it can be challenging to ascertain how useful it will be in the long run. While it can answer questions from “Where was Abraham Lincoln killed?” to “Code a website for me”, it fails to answer some simple logical questions from time to time. Although the tool has been trained on an astounding three billion words, it’s far from perfect at this time. However, as time goes on, ChatGPT and similar tools will be trained on even more data, computers will become even faster, and the applications and accuracy will only increase – leaving us to wonder if future applications will be indistinguishable from humans. Similar to our previous example of robotic surgeons, time will only tell if AI and ML-powered chatbots will require extensive assistance from humans or if they will be capable of being autonomous in the future. While we cannot answer this question at this time, nor do we encourage a specific stance on artificial intelligence and machine learning… we can say that it is a topic to keep an eye on.