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Basically, this means that I'll continue working on my dissertation, but I won't be an enrolled student, and I won't be earning any income for 6 months, starting in October (thankfully, I have a teaching job lined up for spring quarter). Being unfunded and technically unemployed is a bummer, (and feels kind of embarrassing) but I'm coming to terms with it. Hey, at least I don't have to schedule my honeymoon around finals week!
Anyhoo... So I stopped by Wendy's office to update her on my decision. She was super cool about it, and gave me the lowdown on which UCLA perks I'll keep (email, library card, office space), and which I'll lose (health insurance - yikes!). About halfway through the conversation, I noticed that something didn't feel quite right in my left eye. At first I thought my contact lens was just a bit dry, but then it felt worse and I started tearing up in a big way. I rubbed my eyes a bit, hoping to shift things back into balance, but it didn't work. Tears began streaming down my face. Naturally, Wendy assumed that I was crying about the leave of absence situation (granted, I did cry a bit about that, but not in her office!).
She asked if I was okay, and started to give me a "there there.... don't worry, it'll all be okay" speech. I interrupted to say that there was something in my eye. "Oh!" she replied, "do you want a mirror?!" She started to hand me a makeup compact, and I hurriedly (still crying) said "No! I can't look in mirrors." She looked confused (at least out of my right eye) so I proceeded to blumber on about the no mirrors project. Wendy just sat there and nodded as though I wasn't weeping, and was talking about something normal. Ugh. Aaaaawkward!!!!
I ended up having to take out and then put back my contact lens. Wendy was "amazed" that I could do this without looking in the mirror, but I was just amazed that the "put your contact in your mouth to re-wet it" trick actually works (at least until I get pinkeye in a few days!). And thus the eyeball crisis passed. Hopefully the unemployment crisis will too, in time!
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