Gratitude- Vaccine, Returning to School, Family, Biden Harris

  1. I am closer to getting a vaccine. I spent 3 hours waiting online to get an appointment. I did not get an appointment, but I am on a waiting list, which is much closer than I was a month ago. This experience was both frustrating and exciting, like I was in line for concert tickets.
  2. A vaccine exists.
  3. The new Secretary of Education was an English Learner. His family is from Puerto Rico, and when he started Kindergarten, he only spoke Spanish. I have taught English Learners for almost 20 years, and I was so excited learning about him that I wrote this poem.
  4. I tested a first-grader this week, and when she didn’t know an answer, she said, “awkward silence.”
  5. It was my first full week back in person with students. Some of them had transferred from distance to in-person learning, so I hadn’t ever met with them in person before. I got to see kids turn pages of actual books.
  6. I love the online coach I have through a program called Omada Mind. I love this program. Mostly because I can just message her when I am in the right space for it, and she messages me back on her next working day. She is so helpful.
  7. I talked to my brother on the phone yesterday. Sometimes, I completely forget to be grateful for things like free long distance.
  8. Because many families chose distance learning this year, I have the best teaching space I have ever had. A big window looks out to a courtyard with trees and falling snow. I have plenty of room to spread kids out.
  9. I am taking a zoom class on Shantideva’s The Way of the Bodhisattva. My teacher said, “People have been studying this text for 1200 years, and this is our time.” It felt so special and sacred.
  10. My daughter is 13 and a half, and I absolutely love watching movies with her. We have been watching teen movies. My favorites were Blinded by the Light, Dumplin, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Love, Simon.
  11. I am also reading her copy of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and it’s so good.
  12. All of the humane and life-affirming things happening in politics right now. For some reason, I have to be more intentional about rejoicing in them. Getting absorbed and angry four years ago was so much easier.
  13. The Muslim travel ban is lifted.
  14. We rejoined the Paris Climate agreement.
  15. Students can forego their student loan payments until September 30th with 0 percent interest.
  16. Transgender citizens can serve their country in the military.
  17. Harriet Tubman is replacing Andrew Jackson (think Trail of Tears) on the 20 dollar bill.
  18. Biden revoked the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.
  19. Discriminating against members of the LGBTQ community is illegal and unacceptable.
  20. The border wall is a thing of the past.
  21. Biden reaffirmed DACA, meaning immigrants brought to the United States as children who stayed in school or served in the military can apply for a temporary work permit if they pass a background check.

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