Thursday, December 31, 2020


Glendale City Hall, June 7, 20

                         Artsakh Street, Glendale, CA October 10, 20

Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles.  He is from Barcelona. October 11, 20

Armenian Consulate General, Glendale, California 
October 29, 20

What a year! We all agree it was an usual one filled with many challenges and sad events.  If I put the events in chronological order, the first one that shocked us was the pandemic.  Gradually we learned about COVID-19. But it was confirmed in March and we had to face the reality.

 As a teacher, I was not ready.  The spring break started and after two days we were told not to return to school and work from home.  Had we known about it a few days earlier we could have sent home the textbooks.  After a month we were told that we would not see our students that school year.  I cried.  I was adjusting to reality from day to day. 

Later, we watched a live murder in front of our eyes.  We watched how George Lloyd was killed on May 25.  I watched the funeral through live streaming on June 4. As I was listening to Reverend  Al Sharpton I was crying hard. It was touching. So on June 7, I attended the  demonstration for Black Lives Matter in Glendale, even though I was very careful not to catch or transmit the virus. I wore my mask and did not touch, hug, or shake hands with anybody. But there were many people close to each other.  It was inspiring to see many Armenians and Latinos united.  Fighting for justice was important. Many Glendale School District's administrators and school board members participated. We saw many riots and rallies all over the world.

 The new school year started with distance learning.  Both teachers, parents, and students were better prepared. Students got their textbooks and school supplies. Labor Day weekend was extremely hot. I was frustrated with the heat.  A few days later we had fires in different areas of Los Angeles. I was teaching via Zoom with all the windows closed.  Luckily, the smoke made the air cooler, but it was hard to breathe.  For the first time, after five months of staying home, I drove to San Diego to get away from the smoke.  A few days later we had a minor earthquake.  I screamed out of frustration.  Enough is enough.  Every day something new was happening.

 In September Azerbaijan attacked Artsakh.  Armenia was in a war.  Armenia was fighting high-tech drones and arms supplied by Israel and Turkey. Russia was watching and letting the killings continue.  Armenians organized all over the world.  There was an excitement to get active.  Many went to demonstrations.  Armenian youth organized civil disobedience by blocking traffic on major streets and freeways in Los Angeles. Many young men died protecting Artsakh and Armenia.  Finally, the war ended, but with a big loss. 

 Personally, I know people who died from the virus in different countries. I also know many who recovered.  The elections in the U.S. was another frustrating situation. The lack of civility, rude comments on social media, "I know everything" mentality was thought-provoking.  There were many wars in different places. But for me, the worst was the senseless war in Armenia.  A year ago, Armenia was growing and thriving. Many young people died.

 I have learned to be thankful for what I have. I have learned to take care of myself first and not feel guilty for my blessings.   I had to be strong, resilient, and positive for my second graders. I know it is fine to feel numb or angry.  We deal with distress in different ways. I have learned not to open my heart to everybody. Not many have good listening skills. I can still be friends with them but at a different level. I have realized that sharing knowledge is good. It was a crazy year. It was full of sadness. I am going to remember the lessons that I have learned.


Saturday, December 26, 2020


       My friends tell me that I am a good tour guide.  I am the one who introduces them to new places around Los Angeles. When I travel, I discover new places that the locals don't know.

      Thanks to the pandemic, I don't have any events or parties to attend.  So, my choices are limited.  I have discovered different neighborhoods of Glendale, California where I have been living since June of 1985.  Yesterday I took a walk in the Hollywood hills.  By coincidence, I ended up really close to the famous Hollywood sign.  After many years of living close to Los Angeles, I learned how to get there. 

     There have been many frustrating and sad things that took place in 2020. I really miss going to art galleries and concerts.  I listen to music and watch concerts on YouTube.  In April I decided to take daily walks in different areas of Glendale. Then I walked in neighboring cities. I enjoy walking in Old Pasadena. Architecture fascinates me, especially when homes are built on hills.

     It is refreshing to see where I live from a new perspective.  I teach my second graders "point of view" and how characters solve problems.  We can use a new point of view and solve the challenges caused by the pandemic. Walking, thinking, remembering places from my childhood and travels, and reflecting on relationships are calming for me.  Life is too short to be a pessimist.  As a teacher, I need to be a good role model for my students. I need to be happy during my Zoom classes. It's interesting how much more there is to discover in our backyards.  Los Angeles County is big with many interesting cities and neighborhoods.  I am still learning new things and I love sharing what I learn.