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kiota is gone

Fifteen days before her 19th birthday, one of my students --- whom I had been helping with academic and creative work --- committed suicide. It happened very far from UVM, at her college on the other side of the country. They found her yesterday.

She had been born in New Jersey and had grown up in Israel from the age of three, near the West Bank, and returned to the USA last Fall to start college here.

She was doing some brilliant writing, far beyond what I've ever seen from a first-year student, and was being praised for it by her faculty. But she was also carrying a massive amount of pyschological pain, which was growing and had been for the past ten years at least. This finally grew great enough to kill all her hope of ever healing it in this life.

Along the way, many people tried to intervene to help her, including me: but the help proved to be temporary and the damage was unstoppable.

Only a handful of her LJ friends ever got to meet her in real life. I was one of them. That is as unforgettable as her death is. Her light will be remembered much much longer.


Apr. 17th, 2008 12:42 am (UTC)
Hi, M-Nothing: I don't know if this refers to Claire's target, but here are two:

http://www.progressiveu.org is where she did a lot of recent academic work and debate work: you can go there and click on the SEARCH tab [it is in the banner at the top] and then type in KIOTA when the search box comes up. that's going to give you an awesome amount of pleasure if it's your first time there. she urged people to "join" the blog so she could get votes for her writing, and those writer-bloggers with the most votes were eligible to win a scholarship for school. She wanted to earn as much money for school as she could, in order to lessen the burden on her family.

her art galleries are directly accessible just by typing in--



and there are navigation tabs on each page. many of the images can be ordered from Deviant Art or downloaded directly. there are some writings there also!
Apr. 17th, 2008 01:34 am (UTC)
That wasn't the forum, although I signed up there also to vote for some of the things she wrote.

I'm actually going to wait to ask Lin if I should post a link to the forum or not, just because of some circumstances revolving around it. Lin is a good friend of mine, and knew Kiota pretty well-there's some pictures Kiota took of her in her Deviantart-so yeah.
Apr. 17th, 2008 02:01 am (UTC)
Yes, one of her DA photographs of Lin is just terrific: pose, lighting, wondrous.
Apr. 17th, 2008 02:17 am (UTC)
The recent pictures she did were so good, and less then 2 weeks ago.

Although this is not the forum where I know her from, a friend of mine just showed me this, a forum where she was a volunteer.


Personally, I'm amazed. I mean, I never knew that she did any of this stuff, and all we've just said about how she helped so many people is clearly proven true there.
Apr. 17th, 2008 04:35 am (UTC)
Yes, Claire, you're absolutely right. The group and solo shots she got were on the frisbee field right outside her building. Her heart just went out to the homeless people who had called her their "little sister" and "everybody's litle sister" and she had started making a digital video of them. When we were grasping for the tiniest shred of hope, I thought that down to them would be exactly where she would go for unconditional love and support in real life, in your face. I brought with me from NYC six knitted wool caps, handmade [not by me, by a friend] and told her that they were intended as a gift for her street people, and she was absolutely thrilled. She decided to keep one for herself.

TeenHelp was a big big factor in her life and she loved her work there and told me about it constantly, for years---- how proud she was, being able to serve in that way. Thank you so much for the link!

Some of her photos have attracted the attention of a major gallery in New York, and they are devastated at what happened.
Apr. 17th, 2008 03:20 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for your patience and kindness in your reply- I was fearful that I'd be yelled at for wanting to see more of her writings, even if it's in forums. She was such an inspiration... Do you mind if I add you?
Apr. 18th, 2008 11:32 am (UTC)
Please do that, missingnothing. I just now added you.

I don't yell at folks anyway, and even if I did, I wouldn't yell at you! Besides, this is no time for yelling.

I've always loved your Bettie Page icon, btw :P


kiota too late for the stars
Moonfire Marion Bridge / Brad

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