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Rated: ASR · Short Story · Other · #1859280
Phoenix has too much to do in too little time at the end of the semester...
Phoenix woke up feeling good.  He showered, ate breakfast, and played his guitar for a while before going to school.  He had classes until 1340, then would administer the MCMI-III at 1400 and get that piece of the assessment out of the way.  He had all the consent forms and assessment materials ready for the administration.  He thanked God that he had found someone willing to participate in the assessment.  Classes went well for Phoenix, and he and his friends in the front row of the classroom even had fun in graduate statistics class.  The topic of the day was factorial ANOVAs.  Finally, it was time.  Phoenix walked over to the library and got a test booklet from another classmate.  Three of them were doing the assessment at the same time.  Phoenix and another grad student walked up to the third floor and discovered that there were no rooms available for testing.  Both of them politely asked if they could use the rooms that others were occupying for their assessments.  Good.  In both cases, the other students were willing to allow the assessments to be done and left the rooms.  Phoenix was relieved.  It made him nervous to have to ask someone to evacuate the space that they were occupying, but at least he had a room now.  It was almost time.  Phoenix waited down on the second floor for his participant.  The time was 1355.  Phoenix waited until 1400 passed.  No participant.  At 1410, Phoenix voice-messaged the participant on his cell phone.  No answer, no participant.  At 1420, Phoenix texted the participant.  No response, no participant.  One of the other two classmates' participants cancelled on her at the last minute, as in the minute she was supposed to meet with the grad student.  There they stood, the three of them, with no participants.  It looked like the third student's participant was not going to show up, either.  As the three of them walked to the elevators, the third student's participant showed up.  One out of three.  It seemed that those were good odds for the day.  Phoenix and the other grad student that had gotten stood up by her participant went to the fifth floor.  The Psychology Department was open, but the assessment professor was not in.  As they were getting ready to leave, the professor showed up.  Phoenix explained what had happened and asked for an extension on the report due date, as they would both have to reschedule and find time to score the assessments, then interpret and write them up.  With this setback, Phoenix was really sweating the deadline.  The professor gave the extension, asking only that Phoenix and the other student keep her up to date on what was going on.  They were relieved.  Phoenix decided that his stress levels had already exceeded their healthy upper limit for the day, so he told the professor he would attempt scheduling again the next day.  Phoenix left the campus, drove home, and found his spouse working on the stairwell enclosure.  They went for a drive and a beverage, and then Phoenix decided he needed to rest.  He woke to the sound of his cell phone.  It was Sherri calling to ask how his assessment went.  He told her it did not go because the participant did not show up.  Phoenix was still angry about the disrespect of his participant and having to kick the other student out of the study room for no reason because his participant decided not to show up or call or text or anything...  Sherri and Phoenix discussed how much fun stats had been that day and got Phoenix's mind off of the disaster that was his would-be assessment gone wrong.  Phoenix decided to get up and his spouse was just getting home with movies and pizza.  Phoenix was not hungry, and the first hour of the movie was very slow.  All of the action scenes had been shown in the previews.  Phoenix's best friend texted wanting to know if he wanted to go have coffee.  Of course!

Phoenix and his friend went to the coffee shop.  There, Phoenix had an asthma coughing fit.  He and his friend enjoyed each others' company for a couple of hours, including supper, and then his friend dropped him off at home at 2200.  Phoenix went to bed stressed over his list of things to do.

Deadlines.  Those were what were worrying Phoenix.  The list ripped through Phoenix's mind, keeping him from sleeping.  It was as follows:

MCMI-III scheduling, administration, scoring, interpretation, write-up, and deadline
Narrative therapy questions and deadline
Thesis research, proposal, supervisor search, and deadline
Reading for existential psychotherapy, questions, and deadline
Statistics homework and deadline
Assessment final
Psychotherapy final
Statistics final
Summer class fee payment deadline
ECT (looked forward to)
Appointment with psychiatrist (looked forward to)
Studying for the MCAT for medical school
Asking for letters of recommendation for medical school
Preparing AMCAS primary application to medical schools
Enclosing the stairwell before the rainy season

There were endless things to worry about.  Phoenix had all of this on top of his regular PTSD and Depression symptoms to deal with.  No wonder Phoenix had felt stressed earlier in the day.  Worry and mental illness took a lot out of Phoenix.  He finally drifted off to sleep, waking several times in the night as usual, and finally getting up at 0500 the next morning.  Another day.  At least he would see his psychiatrist today and be able to give him the Easter card he had made for him.  It had a photo of Phoenix and his guitar on it.  Phoenix wanted his doctor and his wife to have a good photo of him so that they would remember him and not forget him.  He hoped they would keep it.
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