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Day 121

Productivity is back in fashion. Today is July 16.

One of the strange upsides to having my wisdom teeth removed is I can now easily wake up in the morning. Whenever my alarm goes off, I seem to be ready to start my day because I can no longer easily fall asleep. As soon as I’m semi-conscious, the aching in my jaw acts as a secondary alarm, throbbing until I ice it or take a pain pill. In a strange way, my surgery has helped put me on a normal sleep schedule because I don’t want to be awake for too long or else my mouth hurts, and I can’t really oversleep because my mouth hurts. I’m not sure if it’s a win-win or a lose-lose situation. 

Because I’m not typically hungry after first waking up, I decided to shower and shave to start my day. I’m curious to see what the bathroom situation is in college with four people sharing one space. I shared a bathroom with my brother when we were both younger, and that was a unique kind of insanity and chaos. I think everything will work out eventually, especially if we have different class schedules, but I’m sure life in a dorm will take some getting used to.

From what he outlined, I have four jobs: help create a website, transform complex scientific papers into easily understandable articles, edit the graduate students’ writing, help write grants. For the most part, all of those tasks seemed to fit with my current skill set.”

Once I’d gotten some food in my stomach, I was able to take my antibiotic and a painkiller. I also iced my jaw to reduce the slight and ease the ache. Once the medications were in my system and I was feeling better, I rinsed my mouth out with saltwater and listened to music. I wasn’t in the mood to do much, so I browsed different show options to watch. I eventually decided on the 1994 medical drama ER. Even though I’m sure most medical dramas aren’t comparable to real life, I still find them entertaining. From what I’ve seen of the show so far, I think I’m going to like it.

At 1:45 p.m. I logged on to a Zoom meeting with Dr. Noel Aloysius, an assistant professor at the University of Missouri ― Columbia. He’d reached out a month or so ago to see if I’d be interested in joining his team, and I said yes. This was the first time we’d spoken in person, and I was excited to learn about what my role would be. From what he outlined, I have four jobs: help create a website, transform complex scientific papers into easily understandable articles, edit the graduate students’ writing, help write grants. For the most part, all of those tasks seemed to fit with my current skill set. I think I’m going to be paid for my work, too, so that’s exciting. I have to fill out some paperwork, and I still have a few questions about my role, but overall I’m grateful for this opportunity.

These are the notes I took during my Zoom meeting. I’m excited to being working on this project and see how I can help. Photo by Bailey Stover.

When the meeting ended, I made myself some mashed potatoes (because they are easy to eat) and watched the most recent episode of The 100. I’m not a huge fan of the current season, but I’m holding out hope everything will work out and make sense in the end. As I finished eating, a workman arrived at our house and I directed him to our back porch so he could do his job. Shortly after, my mom returned home with groceries and a few items for me. I’d asked her to pick up a new dress so I could have one for graduation, and she brought home four options for me to try on. The last time I got a nice non-winter dress was probably freshman year, so I thought it was about time for me to upgrade my style. Three of the four dresses fit well, were comfortable and looked nice, so I decided to keep them. I’m not sure which one I’ll wear to graduation yet, but I’m excited to have more than two options for once. 

In the evening, my mom sent me electronic copies of my graduation party invitations so I could email them to my former teachers and text them to my friends. They looked nice, and I was glad to have the potential opportunity to thank the people who’ve helped make me who I am today. Sending out all the emails took me about an hour, and I heard back quickly from five people confirming their attendance. I couldn’t track down seven or so emails because the teachers had retired, but I’m planning on searching more tomorrow. I’m not sure how many people to expect yet, but between former teachers and friends I think I’ll have a reasonable sized group. 

“The lesson, dear human: All loving is not benign.”

Akif Kichloo

Tomorrow morning my mom and I are planning on addressing the physical invitations for the rest of the people we’re asking to come, such as family members and family friends. My tentative plan is to end these entries either on July 31 when I have my graduation ceremony or Aug. 2 when I have my graduation party, but knowing me that will change just as it did when I’d said I’d stop on my 100th post. For now, at least, I’m content to keep writing and documenting my experience, mundane as it may be, during this pandemic. 

“The lesson, dear human: All loving is not benign.” ― Akif Kichloo

How did you spend your 121st day of social distancing? Let us know in the comments below.

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