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kristinsmoyer

kristinsmoyer

Joined June 2024

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blurb
kristinsmoyer
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The narrative form allows the reader to see how something so clearly harmful and dangerous was overlooked and deemed as acceptable. The desire for peer acceptance, the “need” to post radical material in order to gain attention, and the friends who did not question the content but rather encouraged it all shows how this hate page was able to grow. It‘s important to be willing to call out hate, even if you‘re accused of taking things too seriously.

Alexa_Cussans I completely agree with this! I was also shocked how the school handled this situation. It really shows how racism is overlooked in our society and school system! 1d
1 like1 comment
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kristinsmoyer
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I agree that often people don‘t engage with the news to learn about current events but rather to confirm their biases. Much news is catered to people‘s values. Often journalists target the values of their audience in order to stir them up for or against something. This allows the journalist (especially those with soc media platforms) to gather a larger audience. It‘s easy to gather an audience that way, as the viewers receive a confirmation bias.

ms.gabourel I agree with you. It feels like all the media west every day is just trying to capture our attention. It can be exhausting to see what and how stories are being reported. 5d
1 comment
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kristinsmoyer
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Yasmin‘s comments on the importance of local news interested me. Generally national and global news has become the focus of our attention. However, we have much more access to making changes on a local level than a national or global one. With a loss of informative local news, citizens are less aware of how local government is spending money, controversies within the community, the state of the education system, etc.

amw40488 Lately, I've been seeing a lot of people urging others to focus more of their attention on their local government rather than the national government. Some have admitted that they never thought it was important to take part in voting for their local government. Perhaps the tides will change and local governments will start getting the attention they deserve from citizens; small changes can, in fact, lead to big changes! Great post! 1w
AriaBlue Yes I agree. I noticed that the national and global news and least on local news. Local news is important because of it being near home. (edited) 1w
colby_reads I noticed this too, and I totally agree with her. Our voice may never be heard on a national level, but we definitely have the capability of making an impact on a local level. 1w
ms.reagan Local media is such an overlooked outlet and because of that we are inundated with a menagerie of national news that sometimes has no effect on where we live! I love that Yasmin highlighted local news importance! 7d
4 comments
blurb
kristinsmoyer
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After exploring the unreliability of media, I thought, “how can I discern truth?” I like how the author mentions deductive and inductive reasoning. Inductive reasoning is based in perception but can‘t always be proven. Although we can‘t prove all of our perceptions as 100% accurate, that‘s okay! Our beliefs can exist on a scale and shape our worldview for good. However, we should be willing to have our beliefs challenged/explore new info and POVs.

kristinsmoyer This also reminds me of the phrase “sacred uncertainty” from my Melville class last semester. Some things can‘t be accurately predicted or proven, but that doesn‘t mean we should have a pessimistic outlook on life. When we let go of the need to know and control everything, it‘s freeing! At the same time, this is not an excuse to deny factual evidences/make claims that are clearly unsupported. 2w
1 comment
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kristinsmoyer
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Two things that have particularly interested me from this book are the Soviet Union‘s tactics in spreading disinformation for political purposes and how those tactics are still used + the use of bots and trolls in disseminating false information.

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kristinsmoyer
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This is one of my chosen books! I love any sort of literature that delves into history/geography, so when I saw the setting of this book was the Silk Road, it caught my eye. Early in the book, I‘m already seeing references to all sorts of religions and cities of the eastern world. I love looking up unfamiliar places on maps, and I could see myself teaching some history/culture/geography while reading a book like this with students.

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“The memory hurt her almost physically” (334) and “everything she and Kath had done could be erased so easily” (378) were quotes I found relatable regarding loss of loved ones. Whether it be through death, a lost relationship, etc, it‘s hard to not replay the memories of a past lover, friend, or family member and long for them. Lo does an exceptional job at evoking emotions in the reader, and her writing flows naturally without embellishment.

colby_reads Kristin I would have to agree. I felt the pain through her words many times throughout the novel, and her words would sometimes make me start to think of loved ones I no longer have. Powerful words by a powerful author. 2w
2 likes1 comment
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kristinsmoyer
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When Lily is about to confront her mom about the Telegraph Club, she thinks “you (her mom) will never look at me like this (with affection) again” (325). When her mom hears the news, she says it must have been a mistake and that “whoever Wallace saw…it wasn‘t Lily” (327). Lily‘s mother refuses to see her daughter. It‘s heartbreaking to think of her mother‘s unwillingness to love her.

DanyYnad This part was so devastating because it not only shows her mom‘s disapproval of her sexuality, or simply the idea of it, but also represents how she refuses to see Lily for who she is outside of what her mom wants her to be and represent. 2w
amw40488 This part of the novel was a tough pill to swallow. It's hard to comprehend that some people are willing to give up the love they have for their child just because the child didn't fit into some expected mold. I was proud of Lily, though, for refusing to lie about her true identity and sexuality just to appease her mother. Giving up the comfort of her life, her home, and her parents must have been so scary for Lily, but I'm glad she didn't waver. 2w
2 likes2 comments
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kristinsmoyer
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(part 2 of post 1) - In contrast, Kath and Lily support and encourage each other‘s interests. On page 221, Lily is said to miss “having Kath listen to her. Rockets to the moon didn‘t seem so far-fetched when Kath listened to her”. I also noticed Shirley tries to make Lily do things that make her uncomfortable (go to the dance with Will, be on her pageant board, etc). Unlike Shirley, Kath always makes sure Lily feels comfortable in new situations.

Alexa_Cussans Kath and Lily‘s relationship was one of my favorite parts of the book! 2w
abbytayloryalit I completely agree. This reminded me of how at the beginning of the book Shirley shamed Lily for wanting to go to space one day. Whereas, when Kathleen and Lily were bowling, Lily was explaining the physics behind the game and they both started discussing what it would be like to be on a rocket. Kathleen is supportive and engages in conversations about Lily's interests whereas Shirley shames her. 2w
3 likes2 comments
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kristinsmoyer
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While reading this book, I noticed a theme of authentic vs superficial friendship. Shirley consistently ignores Lily‘s interests and instead focuses their conversations on herself. On p.215, Lily considers sharing her interest in studying aeronautical engineering, but she “knew Shirley wouldn‘t be interested, and she might even be resentful of Lily‘s aspirations”…(continue to next post).

Alexa_Cussans Yes! I also really liked this! I think this book does a great job at exploring toxic female friendships. I related to this part a lot in the book. When I was in high school, I met a couple of “Shirley‘s.” 2w
3 likes1 comment
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kristinsmoyer
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When Faery was trapped in the woods, he told Whimsy he didn‘t want her help/to put her at risk of danger. Depression can lead to self-isolation and feelings of unworthiness. One may feel they are a burden to others. But in order to leave the forrest (a representation of depression) Faery and Whimsy had to fight together. There is power in uniting with others to overcome suffering. We were never meant to go through life‘s trials alone.

AriaBlue I agree it's important to reach out for help we going through a hard situation. We as humans are social beings so I agree with you when you say we weren't met to suffer alone. 2w
2 likes1 comment
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kristinsmoyer
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Throughout this book, I noticed Whimsy‘s narration was guarded. At first, she did not let the reader nor Faery fully into her world. When she felt familiarity with Faery, it scared her. Not only was Whimsy disconnected from those around her, but she was also disconnected from herself. The group therapy passage on page 29 was a great representation of how mental illness can make one afraid of oneself/create a discomfort with one‘s own thoughts.

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part 2 - …when Fae and Whimsy finally confront the truth, or in other words, bravely surrender themselves to it, they are freed from the forrest. So many struggle with mental illness yet deny they have a problem or refuse to receive the help they need. However, by confronting their illness and bravely reaching out for help, they are able to receive the support they need.

AriaBlue Yes it can be tough to face illnesses but it‘s crucial to not be afraid to seek help. Seeking help isn‘t a sign of weakness instead it‘s sign of strength. 3w
1 like1 comment
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kristinsmoyer
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There was an evident transformation in both Faery and Whimsy in this book. At the beginning of the story, they both felt unworthy of love and rejected light. On page 13, it says the sun tried to love Fae but he ran away. Oftentimes mental illness can cause individuals to feel guilty and unloveable. Just a page before is written “there is bravery in surrendering” (12). When Fae and Whimsy finally confront the truth…(next post).

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kristinsmoyer
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In “The Beans and Rice Chronicles of Isaiah Dunn”, Isaiah‘s home life leads him to find an escape in reading/typing his father‘s old works at the library. The stuffiness of the motel room where his family lives made me think of how an unstable home life can leave a child feeling a sense of homelessness…like there‘s nowhere secure for them to turn to. This can definitely affect a child‘s behavior at school, with other adults, peers, etc.

amw40488 While reading this story, I thought about how difficult it must have been for Isaiah to have to grow up that fast and assume the role of a parent for his younger sister after the death of his father. Finding his father's writing seemed to make him feel like a kid again, no matter how momentary the moment was. The library may have also felt more like home for Isaiah than that stuffy motel room was. So many layers to this story! 1mo
1 like1 comment
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kristinsmoyer
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At the beginning of “The Difficult Path”, Lingsi experiences a lack of agency as a servant and a prospect for an arranged marriage. When Lingsi is taken by pirates, her ability to read makes her useful and saves her from a more brutal fate. This illustrates how literacy enhances an individual‘s agency.

Alexa_Cussans I loved this story! Your perspective on it is so interesting! I never saw this as a story of agency until now. 1mo
2 likes1 comment
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kristinsmoyer
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In the story “How to Transform an Everyday, Ordinary Hoop Court”, I like how the narrator says there is a part of our brain that tries to justify procrastination or laziness. He is particularly referring to wanting to sleep in rather than practice basketball. I like how in the next line he says, “Reach into your own skull and smack this part of your brain upside the head”. It was a good reminder of the importance of diligence for achieving goals.

colby_reads I loved this line too. I especially resonated with this part of the story as a former athlete, but it also applies to just life in general. 1mo
1 like1 comment
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In the Editor‘s note at the beginning of the book, I liked how the editor mentioned humanity‘s proclivity to tell stories. Our stories as individuals and groups help us form our identity. (page xii)

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kristinsmoyer
Solito: A Memoir | Javier Zamora
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By the end of this book, Javiercito creates another family. It made me think of how those who support us through life and engage in the struggle of life with us become family. When Patricia, Carla, and Chino leave, he thinks of how they are the only ones who will ever fully understand his experience. Though their time together was short and their leaving compared to the fleeting nature of a dream, he knows they have left a lifelong impact.

abbytayloryalit Hi Kristen! I agree. The moment I realized that this group was more than just a group was when Patricia sacrificed her and the kids' safety in order to stand up for the men when their papers were being questioned. Her actions showed that they were more than acquaintances. 1mo
1 comment
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kristinsmoyer
Solito: A Memoir | Javier Zamora
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Zamora‘s story being told from the perspective of his nine year old self allows the reader to live vicariously through Javiercito. If the story were a reflection told from his adult perspective, the reader wouldn‘t be able to understand the experience as well on a personal level. Rather than use lots of facts or explanations, Zamora chooses to use succinct, observational phrases that highlight the uncertainty he experienced.

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kristinsmoyer
Solito: A Memoir | Javier Zamora
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I thought Zamora did an excellent job at using figurative language to convey certain sensations or ideas throughout the book. For example, Javier really wants to express something but instead “swallows” the thought “like a big gulp of cough syrup” (40). He also describes everything in the desert as “having a fever” which helped me imagine how the desert air and landscape must have felt (202).

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kristinsmoyer
Solito: A Memoir | Javier Zamora
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…Javier realizes his grandpa is much more nuanced than he thought. His grandpa‘s past remains somewhat mysterious but begins to reveal itself; the reader can‘t help wonder how his alcoholism, career as an officer, failed marriage, and childhood have affected him. Before parting ways, it is clear the abuelo loves Javier, and his teary eyes and long hugs show a softer side beneath his hard exterior. This part particularly touched me.

ms.miranda_readsbooks Hi Kristin! I also really loved the part of the story where Javier bonds with his grandpa. It was really touching (I'm gonna be honest it did make me cry.) It also really reminded me of something called machismo that is present in many hispanic cultures. I think seeing how Javier's grandpa cared for him in his own ways was such a good way to show different people show love, and how love does not have to be said with words. 1mo
1 like1 comment
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kristinsmoyer
Solito: A Memoir | Javier Zamora
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Javier‘s relationship with his abuelo particularly interested me, as I think his abuelo is a good representation of a round character. There are moments throughout the story when Javier has traumatic flashbacks of his grandpa abusing his abuelita and mother. These memories seem to make Javier hesitant in his interactions with his abuelo. However, after spending more time together in the immigration process, Javier realizes…(refer to next post).

colby_reads Hey Kristin I noticed this as well and also thought it to be very interesting! 1mo
1 comment