Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Teacher Feels Useless Without Glasses

DEAR HARRIETTE: I recently lost my glasses and foolishly don't have backups. My prescription isn't sold in stores, so I have to wait to have an eye exam and then for the glasses to be delivered. In the meantime, I am unable to read presentations to my students or even drive myself to campus. My wife kindly drives me, but I feel completely helpless when teaching. I can barely read my slideshows, let alone students' papers. Should I just cancel my classes until my glasses come? I'm useless without them. -- Lame Duck, Cincinnati

DEAR LAME DUCK: As one who wears glasses, I totally understand how debilitating it can be to go without them. There is good news! Many opticians have on-site optometrists who have the ability and equipment to give you an eye exam as well as produce prescription eyeglasses on the same day or within a few days. This is true for national establishments like LensCrafters and Cohen Optical as well as many smaller, locally owned stores. You do not have to go long without glasses.

What you may want to do for backup at an affordable price is to order additional glasses through one of the online sites. You send in your prescription and select frames online. They come in a few days and are often hundreds of dollars more affordable than those in stores. I have used with great success. There are many other options.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been banking on a scholarship to allow me to take classes that I need for my degree. I casually mentioned that I was applying for a little-known scholarship to my friend, and now I am receiving messages from her about which scholarship this is. I don't want to lessen my chances of getting this money. How can I convey to her that I need to remain competitive? I probably need this money more than she does. -- On My Toes, Denver

DEAR ON MY TOES: Rather than pointing your friend to the specific scholarship that you are seeking, tell her about your process. Let her know that you have been researching scholarship opportunities for a long time, attempting to figure out the right fit for you so that you will be able to continue your education. Suggest to her that she continue to do her own search to match her interests, skills and needs.

If she continues to press you about your scholarship of choice, just don't answer. You do not have to share this information if you do not want to. Learn the lesson, though, that it is better not to talk about what you are attempting to make happen before it happens. You leave yourself vulnerable to other people's thoughts or, in this case, possible usurpation of your dream. Do yourself a favor and claim the victory when it happens -- not before.

(Harriette Cole is a life stylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)