"January 2020... history was dramatically unfolding in the streets of Hong Kong and I wanted to be there to photograph it. That was my plan... get to Hong Kong as soon as the school year ends, but more importantly, before Beijing's patience with the protester's and Western eyes ends. It was hard to contain my excitement planning and preparing for my trip... but it was short lived. While I was writing the date on the board that morning, March 13, 2020... I had a bad feeling about this particular Friday the 13th. More so than the normal anxiety that comes with any Friday the 13th on a middle school campus. Since then, the pandemic has taken away our most basic human rights ... it has taken life... it has robbed us of our personal freedoms... and it has made it very difficult for us to pursue our dreams and our own happiness. The good news is, my hope for a better 2021 is intact... beat up and knocked around...but thankfully still breathing. I look forward to my turn for a vaccine and seeing my most behaviorally challenged students again...I look forward to sitting in a crowded airport waiting out a 2 hour flight delay... I look forward to standing shoulder-to-shoulder on a steamy NYC subway... and I even look forward to waiting in line so long for that final beer and hotdog that I missed the entire 7th inning. All things I had little patience for then, might not seem so bad now. Life can be crazy... life has been crazy. Speaking of crazy, I'll close by dedicating this update to my film photography students, who have graciously and without whining or complaint, learned all the required theory remotely, while being denied the fun and magic of the darkroom by a virus. I hope I can inspire you as much as you continue to inspire me. "
- jj sullivan