3rd Annual LC500 Salem Road Rally/Scavenger Hunt

You are hereby invited to take part in The Library Club’s 3rd Annual LC500, a road rally and scavenger hunt in historic Salem, MA. This year’s event will involve solving a series of clues that will lead teams through the streets of one of New England’s most charming and seasonally festive cities. Winners will be awarded a grand prize, compliments of The Library Club. Form a team of your own or allow the club to pair you with other groups or individuals looking for additional members. If last year’s hunt is any indication, this will be a very fun and memorable experience for all.

This year the club will be putting together a more challenging packet of clues for our participants. For this reason, we will need to know how many teams will require the tools necessary to solve our challenging puzzles. The size of each group will also determine the size of the grand prize, so please RSVP as soon as possible to help us put together the best event possible.

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Sugar and Spice

“Yes, I Would Like Coffee with my Milk and Sugar, Thank You”

By Eric Odynocki

So this is not a book report, but a review of a café I and other members of the Library Club went to the other day after work. Ever since I have come back from Spain, I have had an insistent craving for coffee and to sip it amongst friends in a cozy café. Living out in the middle of suburbia affords only the McDonalds of coffee joints, Starbucks, to enjoy such a social activity. I absolutely despise Starbucks coffee for its horrible taste. I really think their brand should not be even called coffee at all and I am doubtful as to the validity of their coffee beans actually being coffee beans and not some other foul substance which looks like them (I’ll allow your imaginations to conjure up what I insinuate…)

Getting back on topic, my search for a good café where I could drink warm beverages like the cappuccinos I enjoyed in Europe have been met with much disappointment. Even the coffee joints in the ritzy town near the university were disillusioning since their drinks did not satisfy my expectations and their stores close too early for my friends and I to hang out there after work or let alone on a Saturday night. I complained of my failed quests to Victor, the Library Club advisor, who then suggested the “Milk and Sugar Café” in Bayshore. The name sounded magical and due to his enthusiasm, I was eager to try this place out. Hence, a Library Club field trip was born.

While it is on the complete opposite shore of Long Island in relation to Stony Brook, I would have to say the forty-minute-or-so trip was well worth it. The café was more of a restaurant, but not very big. Though not bohemian, the setting was not snobbishly aristocratic either, being very warm and inviting, with comfortable furniture placed throughout the dining room, though perhaps a bit too formal for my taste. The service was very helpful and immediate, though not rushed like in a diner or other eatery. The cappuccino I had was delicious and exactly what I had been looking for. My companions were also more than satisfied with their teas and coffee that they chose. The variety of beverages is remarkable and not redundantly fancy like in other coffee joints where the combination of flavors and ingredients becomes another language or secret code that only the most frequent of customers can crack (None of this fake corporate jargon: “Yeah, could I get a double frappe-mocha-choco-choco-chai-latte-frizzle…)

Though a tad bit on the pricey side, I would recommend the “Milk and Sugar Café” over Starbucks any day. The café’s quality is superbly better and might actually be cheaper. Who can resist that? After a crazy week at work, or a long time of not seeing old friends, or enjoying time with a significant other, the “Milk and Sugar Café” is sure to please you in any circumstance.

Milk and Sugar on Google Maps.

The Store

The Author

Review of “The Intelligent Investor”, a helpful guide to investing by Benjamin Graham

During this time of financial turmoil, with the country’s economy sprinting towards recession, Stony Brook University MBA student (and former Treasurer of The Library Club) Sinan Cinar examines the textbook “The Intelligent investor”, which covers the ins and outs of smart investing.

This book doesn’t tell us how to beat the market. Instead, the purpose of the book is to supply, in a form suitable for laymen, guidance in the adoption and execution of an investment policy. Comparatively little was mentioned here about the technique of analyzing securities. There are three major topics which book is trying to accomplish.

· How we can minimize the odds of suffering irreversible losses

· How we can maximize the chances of achieving sustainable gains

· How we can control the self-defeating behavior that keeps most investors from reaching their full potential.

This book is pretty good guide for professional and non professional investor. To be an investor, you don’t have to be very knowledgeable about finance. If you read the book, even people who don’t know anything about stocks invest money into stocks. But they should consider the advice provided in the book.

Graham states that there are two types of investors that are considered. One of them is a defensive investor and the other one is an enterprising investor. The defensive investor should follow some steps if he doesn’t want to hit the wall in the first attempt. The biggest advice for the defensive investor is not to take higher risk. To control the risk level, the investor should keep some proportion between stocks and bonds in this portfolio. This range changes between 25% and 75%. It means that the investor should invest at least 25% or highest 75% to stocks and rest of proportion should be invested to the bonds. This proportion may change according to the condition and the risk level of the market. Also, if the investor is not successful to pick the right stocks and bonds, he should take professional advice from the professional brokers and portfolio managers. It is very important because if you don’t know how to go somewhere, you should take some help from the map and this map in this situation is professional portfolio managers and brokers.

For the enterprising investor, the steps vary a little bit according to the defensive investor. The book mentions that if we want to be enterprising investors, we should devote most of our time to analyze and collect the right information about the stocks. Further, the investor should do a lot of practicing before investment.

Actually, the book doesn’t guarantee the higher return in the investment but at least, it gives lots of useful tips how to be a successful investor and to protect ourselves from the risk in the investment. Further, it defines our common mistakes and delusions in the investments. One of them is patience. Firstly, the investor should be patient and should invest for the long run. Secondly, the investor shouldn’t invest emotionally in the stock market. Finally, we should also prepare ourselves for the bad results and determine the risk level which we afford to take in the investment.

For further reviews, or to purchase this book, visit amazon.com

http://www.amazon.com/Intelligent-Investor-Definitive-Investing-Practical/dp/0060555661/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1217353718&sr=1-1

Book Report on: Lope de Vega’s Fuente Ovejuna

Book Report on:

Lope de Vega’s Fuente Ovejuna

By Eric Odynocki

                 While I was away in Spain, I took all Spanish literature classes and so learned quite a bit of the Castilian literary heritage.  One of the authors whose works I read was the playwright, Lope de Vega, who is basically the Spanish equivalent of Shakespeare and was renowned for his poetic diction, colorful characters and his intricate plots which the masses could enjoy.  One of his plays that most impressed me was Fuente Ovejuna, the translation of which might be something like Sheep Fountain or perhaps even Sheep Well.  Now, I must caution that I will provide a full synopsis of the play below so for those of you who do not wish the story to be spoiled, I suggest you stop reading now and simply take out the text from the library or watch its many film versions.  Of course, it would be better to see it in Spanish but I believe English versions of the play are available, but as with most translations, the original beauty of the diction may be lost.  I will end this introduction before going on to the plot by saying that for those of you who enjoy Baroque theater, a strong female character, and bloody vengeance during an awesome rebellion, then Fuente Ovejuna is right up your alley!

                Based on an actual event, this play takes place in a remote village called, of course, Fuente Ovejuna during the reign of the Catholic King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella (that’s back in the late 1400’s, folks).  In this village live two childhood sweethearts, Frondoso and Laurencia whose courtship promises a happy future marriage.  The tranquility of their lives is brutally interrupted, however, when Mr. BAMF himself, Fernán Gómez de Guzmán, a commander of the army, enters the village and begins acting like a tyrant, or jerk if you prefer, towards its people.  Fernán sets his beady lascivious eyes on Laurencia and causes misery at her wedding with Frondoso by imprisoning the groom and taking the bride away to do as he wishes with her.  Later on, the men of the village sit in the house of Laurencia’s father so as to chat over the predicament.  Laurencia enters all battered and bruised to the point that no one recognizes her.  She then presents my favorite part of the play, a monologue in which she throws the biggest (pardon my language) b*tch fit at the men of the town, calling them sheep, cowards, women, and even maricones for having let this atrocity happen to her.  Abashed, the men try to recover their machismo by taking up arms against Fernán.  Laurencia, who is apparently still pissed off, even rouses all the women of the town to join in the fight.  The village then marches on the castle of Fernán and captures it, freeing Frondoso and killing and decapitating the tyrant.  When the king and queen hear about this, they are horrified and send an inquisitor to investigate.  Despite his many methods of torture, the inquisitor returns to the king and queen to report that no one in the village divulged the name of the murderer but kept insisting, “Fuente Ovejuna did it.”  In the end, the king and queen must decide whether to pardon or condemn to death, the entire village…

From the description I provide above of the play’s story, it should be quite easy to fathom as to how groundbreaking it really was.  During a time when women were subservient to men and took a secondary role in society and public affairs, Lope de Vega provides Laurencia and the other women of the town as reprieve from the reality of the past.  Unlike the typical, or at least expected, “Oh-woe-is-me” attitude most dainty and frail female characters would have in such a situation during this literary period, Laurencia actually fights back with no mercy, inspiring an entire village to rebel and defend its dignity.  Such a radical difference is what made me love the play, and I am sure you will, too.  It should also remind us of a little saying that goes a little something like: “Hell hath no fury…”

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Interview with David Weiner

LC: Who are you?

DW: David Weiner….Head of Circulation Services at Stony
Brook’s Main Library.

LC: We hear that you were a student here back in the day. Tell us what SBU
was like as a student then?

DW: I graduated from East Meadow High School back in 1972, and went to Nassau Community College, where I got my AA degree in 1974. Then, not knowing what I wanted to do, worked full time for Bloomingdales in Garden City, and married in
1976. Both my wife (Vicky) and I started at Stony Brook in 1977.
Obviously, the campus was very different back then, but it’s hard to
remember what it looked like! The academic mall wasn’t as nice – no
fountain, no SAC, no Wang Building. No stadium. There was a track and
softball fields where the stadium is today, and there were tennis courts
where the stadium parking lot is located. The tennis courts were packed
back then and it was always hard to get onto a court. Those were the
days of Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, Rod Laver, Bjorn Borg, Ilie Nastase,
Arthur Ashe, Billie Jean King, Yvonne Goolagong, Chris Evert and Martina
Navratilova, and tennis was getting to be very popular. We went from
wooden rackets to metal!

I was an Anthropology major, and classes were all over campus – Grad
Chemistry, Psych A and B, Engineering. The department didn’t have a
home until the Social and Behavioral Sciences Building went up. A
couple of my Anthro professors are still around…David Hicks and
Elizabeth Stone.

The library was very different back then. The Reference Room was where
the North Reading Room is now. I used to do assigned readings in the
Reserve Room, which was located where ILL and The School of Journalism
are now. There was no Core East or West in the Main Stacks!

There used to be great concerts in the gym…I went to see two of
them…Dan Fogelberg and James Taylor.

LC: Were you a resident or commuter? What do you think the advantages and
disadvantages for both are?

DW: When Vicky and I first applied, we asked where the married housing was and was told that there wasn’t any. So, we found an upstairs apartment in a house in Centereach, which was only a few miles from campus. The rent was $225.00 per month…which was still too much for us!! For me, I think that living off campus has its
advantages since I always had a quiet place to study, could have a few
friends over for dinner, cook my own food, and have the privacy to watch
TV and listen to my music without bothering any one. I was never a
resident on campus so never go to know what it was like…what it’s
advantages or disadvantages were. All I know, was that for me, I was
more comfortable being off of campus.

LC: What activities were you involved in? Are they still around?

DW: I wasn’t active with any campus activities like clubs. I worked 15-20 hours per
week in the Stacks. Back then there were three distinct areas of work
in Main Circulation – Reserve Room on the first floor, Stacks and the
Desk. I was hired to work in the Stacks, where I stayed from 1977 until
1979 (graduation). I did try to join a club that ran the concerts and
movies (by the way, every Friday night there was a movie shown in the
big lecture hall (100?) in the Javits Building. It was something like
50 cents per ticket, so I saw a lot of movies there), I think it was
called COLA…I had to interview in order to join and they didn’t select
me! I don’t remember the interview very much but do remember that the
room was filled up with pizzas and beer. And, by the way, they also
used to sell beer in the basement of the Union by the pitcher…$3.50
sounds right. There was also a small bowling alley, gift shop and a
hair salon. I really wanted to be part of COLA, but they wanted no part
of me!

LC: What exists now that did not when you were a student that you would have
joined?

DW: Probably The Library Club. I’m not really the type of person
that seeks out activities to join. I’m shy by nature. I did play on a
co-ed softball team and a men’s team, but that was after I graduated and
started working here. I did enjoy being with teams, meeting new people
and going out to The Ground Round once a week with a bunch of guys and
girls who were on the team.

LC: How do you think the library has changed over the past few years?

DW: Technology has taken over. There were no computers when I was a
student. Along the wall in the office where Victor’s desk is located, up
to my office door, were carrels with typewriters for students to use.
The problem was that students used to take the ribbons or typewriter
keys so that it was always difficult to find a working machine. I think
that doing research was much more difficult since we had to rely on the
ability of a Reference Librarian and find one who would guide you to
the correct resources, along with an inordinate amount of time pouring
through journals, encyclopedias and bibliographies. There have been
improvements made in terms of quality of furnishings and the look of the
reading rooms.

LC: What do you think every student should know about not getting fines?

DW: Read the email notices – renew on-line and on-time. I understand the
problems that students face and the complexities of time and study, and
how easy it is to forget to return or renew books on time. I don’t know
what else could be done to help, since we do send out a reminder notice
a few days before items are due. I also think that we have a fair
appeal system.

LC: What is your favorite book? Why?

DW: Lincoln, by Gore Vidal. It’s a great and accurate historical novel, that takes you through the Civil War, how Lincoln had to deal with the Union Generals, and his cabinet, and the struggles he had with depression and his own family problems. It’s a
fabulous book if you’re interested in American History and the story of
probably our greatest President.

LC: What is your favorite movie? Why?

DW: The Hunchback of Notre Dame, starring Charles Laughton (1939). It’s a beauty and the beast love story, full of life and passion. A beautiful gypsy girl who is tortured to confess to a murder that she didn’t commit, who finds sanctuary in Notre Dame.
There are three memorable scenes; one when Quasimodo (the Hunchback)
after being whipped in the town square, begs for water and the crown
mocks his cries. Esmeralda, the Gypsy brings him water to drink, and he
falls in love with her. The second is the scene when Esmeralda is going
to be hanged, and Quasimodo swings down from the church eaves and saves
her, and the third is at the end of the movie when Esmeralda is freed
(the killer confessed his crime) by her lover and Quasimodo hangs on a
gargoyle and says, “Why was I not made of stone like thee?” It’s heart
breaking.

LC: What do you think is the most important thing people should know about
coming to the library?

DW: That our staff is friendly, courteous and here to help. What is your favorite section in the library, call number-wise? The E section…history.

LC: If you could visit anywhere, where would you go and why?

SW: Hawaii…the climate looks perfect, the water is warm, there are beaches and forests too and it all looks so peaceful and calming.

Interviewed by Cher Armstrong

Edit by Kristen Reynolds


More Books For Books For Africa

The Library Club has sent 50lbs of exciting textbooks to Books For Africa bringing our total to 690lbs.

If you want to show a little love to Books For Africa here is where you can donate… http://www.booksforafrica.org/howhelp.html

The LC in full effect

From left to right Danny, Maria, Kristen, and boxes.

From behind the camera TMV

Trip Report: Sevilla, España

A Little Snippet on:

My Study Abroad Experience in Sevilla, España

By Eric Odynocki

Instead of a book report, I have been asked to write a little review or reflection of the spring semester I spent abroad in Spain. To begin, I suppose it would be good to explain that ever since high school I have had a dream, as cliché as it sounds, to study abroad for a semester in Spain. After planning and working furiously towards this goal throughout college, the opportunity finally became fulfilled this past spring semester. While my own university had several programs in Spain, I opted to participate in the program that another SUNY school offered in Seville, a provincial but very historic city in the culturally rich southern region of Andalucía. I think I made the right decision since I could not have asked for a better experience: it seriously was the best time of my life… well, at least so far.

There were some difficulties when going through the paperwork for applying to the program such as supposed missing documents and some miscommunications as to how long the visa process actually took. Other than that, though, I was able to arrive in Spain without any stress and begin my semester abroad.

For orientation, eighteen other students and I spent two days in Granada, another Andalucian city, and then two days in a resort in Marbella, a vacation spot on the Costa del Sol with beautiful beaches. Afterward, we arrived in Sevilla where we settled into our quite spacious apartments in the modern center of the city. I was fortunate enough share an apartment with three other individuals who I came to know more as siblings than as suitemates.

We were foreign students in the University of Seville system, and the literature and history classes we attended, which were all conducted in Spanish, were held in the Old Factory of Tobacco. It may not sound so pleasant, but in actuality, the building was constructed back in the eighteenth century and looks like a palace with patios and courtyards with fountains and corridors of red and black marble columns. The fact is that it used to be a factory where all the tobacco from the Americas was made into cigarettes and was later converted into academic space for the University of Seville in the 1950’s. The building is so impressive that its main courtyard with its picturesque fountain inspired Merimée to write his famous Carmen.

The city of Seville itself is, as a song says, a marvel to behold. The old part consists of winding twisting, not roads, but alleyways with bleach white houses dating back to the seventeenth century. Parks perfumed with purple flowers and filled with whispering fountains, such as the Parque María Luisa, are stitched throughout the city and the broad avenues are lined with orange trees that seem to be sprinkled with creamy white blossoms that give off a sweet fragrance during the spring. The majority of the days were sunny and warm, allowing for lively evening outdoor activity in the cafes and bars that are everywhere. One of my favorite pastimes in Seville was going out with friends to drink a café con leche.

Now that I look back on my four months abroad, I feel as though it were not even real, but a dream. There would not be sufficient space on this page to describe all the adventures and cross-cultural discoveries that I enjoyed while away. So, I think I will conclude by simply saying that if one has the possibility to study abroad, (because, for the love of all things intelligent, it is expensive) to go ahead and do so. I assure you it will be one of the best experiences of your life.

Gardens of Sevilla’s Alcazar (castle)

La Plaza de España

La Calle Agua (Water Street)

Entrance to the University of Sevilla

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