Grieving Uvalde: Young voters, this is your time

TW: School violence.

Columbine High School (Columbine, Colorado), April 1999:
Students grieve the death of their friend Rachel, whose car remained in the school parking lot. 12 students and one teacher were killed; 21 other students suffered gunshot wounds.

In the national grief that, for the zillionth time, envelops us after an act of mass murder at an American school, house of worship, shopping center, or other public gathering place, my thoughts return to high schoolers, college students, and other young adults. These are the people I have spent most of my time with throughout my adult life, as I’ve worn the vocational hats of teacher, minister, activist, and now, once again, teacher.

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American Girl’s 2022 Girl of the Year is Asian! But she’s not the first

Let’s celebrate – American Girl’s 2022 Girl of the Year doll is Corrine Tan, a Chinese American character hailing from Colorado! She also comes with a “little sister” doll, Gwynn, the first time American Girl (hereafter AG) has packaged a Girl of the Year with a sibling. Neither my daughters nor I have read the Corrine books yet, but reportedly, Corrine explores her Asian heritage as part of her storyline, and she even has to deal with anti-Asian prejudice on some level. And AG tapped none other than Wendy Shang, author of the popular middle grade novel The Great Wall of Lucy Wu, to pen the Corrine stories. Big thanks to AG and its parent company Mattel!

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The Wheel of Time: Two Things That Will Keep Me Watching

Fantasy stories are one of my favorite genres, and I’ve experienced them in print (J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion is my favorite), online (I use Naver’s Webtoon app almost as often as I use Google Maps), and on film (I’ve seen The Lord of the Rings  trilogy around 12 times, which translates into about four-and-a-half days out of my total existence). When I was young, I also got to know them through role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons, which draw heavily from fantasy literature.

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