October 31, 2020


At eight o'clock this morning, bundled in layers in preparation for the hour of waiting we expected outside the polling station, my family and I hopped into the car and drove to our designated location to vote on the last day of early in-person voting in our state. Thankfully, the only waiting we did was during the brief period of time before the doors opened at eight thirty. Aside from those few minutes outside in the chilly air, our voting process went incredibly smoothly. We were so pleased not to have to wait in an extremely long line like so many other voters across the country. We also, though, shared a similar sense of frustration at the absurdity of having to wait hours just to vote and a fear that the long lines could discourage some from casting their ballots.

This election is extremely important. Voting for former Vice President Joe Biden in this election means standing up for the rights of women, Black and Brown people, and the LGBTQ+ community. It means condemning white supremacy, something the current president refuses to do, and recognizing that Black lives matter. It means believing in science, understanding that climate change is real and is an existential threat. It means taking action against a pandemic that has killed over 225,000 Americans and is still running rampant across the country. It means voting for kindness, decency, integrity, and honesty, and restoring leadership to the White House. It means voting against a man who has said "grab them by the pussy" to refer to women, who calls Mexicans "rapists," who labeled Dr. Anthony Fauci and other health experts who have worked feverishly to save thousands of American lives as a "disaster" and as "idiots," and who claimed that, in the march led by white nationalists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia, there were "fine people on both sides."

Currently: In-Person Learning, A Dark Winter, Red at the Bone

October 25, 2020

Two Months of In-Person Learning

One week ago marked two months of in-person classes for my school. Thus far, school has felt surprisingly normal, though I think that is because everyone is simply getting more accustomed to adaptations resulting from the virus and the safety precautions of wearing masks and social distancing. Aside from one positive test at the beginning of the year, where a student was sent home to quarantine, and a potential case from a student experiencing symptoms that was deemed as negative after quickly being tested, my school has been very lucky to have not experienced any outbreak. Of course, it is not just luck. It is the result of the safety guidelines that the administration has implemented — including mask wearing, setting up classrooms that adhere to social distancing guidelines, and requiring students to record if they are experiencing symptoms before going to class each day — that has made the school year successful thus far.

Thanksgiving & a 'Dark Winter' Ahead

I currently have three weeks left of my fall term classes and then a short week of class from a unique set of courses offered to students only this year. Because cases are already beginning to rise and health experts have predicted for months that the fall and winter will bring a new surge in cases, my school is closing from November 19 to early January, and students will take virtual, one credit "Intensive" courses during the short period between Thanksgiving and Winter vacations. I chose to enroll in the course entitled Horse of a Different Color: an Epidemic with No Boundaries which focuses on the Heroin epidemic in the United States and around the world.