I sit here after watching the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Madam Vice President Kamala Harris, and I'm cautiously happy. Tomorrow it'll be back to demanding accountability and action, but today, I'm celebrating.
Also, Amanda Gorman, the Poet Laureate who read at the inauguration, is absolutely amazing!
2021 has come in with a bang.
The new year started with more snow in Logroño, and the biggest snow in years for many parts of Spain. Madrid was in a state of emergency due to the snow and ice on the roadways, while a dusting covered Barcelona's beaches and Alicante's mountains. I was literally jumping up and down with excitement when I woke up to snowy rooftops. :P
I began the new year watching friends get vaccinated on video and writing holiday cards to friends and family. My roommates and I again made dinner, and like always, I barely made it to midnight. As soon is it hit 12 I was headed to bed haha. But, I stayed up for a few minutes to listen to the outside world. This year, there was a sense of happiness in the air- people were waving and cheering from their balconies, setting off fireworks and clapping. I think, even though we all know 2021 won't bring any magical cure for covid, it at least gives us hope.
That hope was rocked a few days into the new year, when white supremacist's attempted a coup on the capitol building in Washington, DC as the electoral votes were being counted. We knew this was coming, as 45's supporters had threatened violence before and it was only a matter of time before they acted on it. trump has also officially been impeached a second time for inciting the violent riot, so let's hope he gets charged. Overall it was a blatant example of white privilege, and a perfect depiction of "This is America".
All of us, especially my fellow white people, have so much work to do--deliberate and constant work.
Due to holiday reunions and people being irresponsible, cases continue to rise here and everywhere. Today, La Rioja announced increased restrictions. The 10pm-6am curfew will remain unchanged, but starting on Friday, everything non-essential will shut down for a month. Strangely, they won't be shutting down schools. So supermarkets, pharmacies and schools will remain open. I don't really understand that logic, but hopefully it'll help flatten the curve. While I worry for shop owners and small businesses, I also believe a full lockdown like last spring would help get the cases under control again, but I know those in charge are worried for the economy. Unfortunately, in desperate times, there is rarely a "good" solution.
So yes, the new year has started with mixed emotions, but it's still new and hopefully we'll all be able to make something of it. I've begun applications for masters degrees here in Spain and registered to take the C1 DELE in April. I've also signed up for an online DELE prep class in March- I really, really hope I pass this darn test. My life for the next few months is going to be lots of studying and little else.
The kids were crazy coming back from winter break, but they had many stories of snow ball fights and family gatherings. Okay, I think that's enough for now. I'm going back to class planning and power-point making, before heading to bed. It's been a long day, but I'm ending it with hope and and motivation. Here's to 2021!
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An aspiring polyglot and globetrotter, an avid reader, and a lover of good food. :)