Phoenix deals with contracts for most of the day - commitments...
|First thing in the morning, Phoenix had to go up to the university to complete his internship contract for his thesis. He arrived to find the secretary already in the office. She was a cheerful and knowledgeable woman who was pleasant to be around. Phoenix was thankful for her conversation. She got Phoenix a copy of the internship contract, which he filled out as best he could until the professor arrived. She was also pleasant to be around. This was good, because Phoenix had a feeling he would be spending a lot of time with her over the next year. He had a class with her as well as her being his thesis supervisor. Phoenix was also going to do some data entry for her. He would do the data entry in exchange for being able to analyze the data, which would work out well for both of them. This professor had also sent Phoenix many articles for his literature review. So far, it was a great working relationship.
The two of them discussed thesis ideas and potential pitfalls before filling out the contract. The contract was specific enough to be an acceptably clear outline of what Phoenix would be doing, but not so specific as to trap Phoenix and put him in a bind if something went wrong. All the signatures were done except the Chair's, which the professor promptly requested as Phoenix walked out the door. Phoenix would have to prepare an application to the IRB because he was working with human subjects, but the data would be archival, so it would almost certainly be approved. The professor had not foreseen any problems with that.
Phoenix went home and slept for a bit before his next appointment, which was with the case manager from the mental health clinic. They met at a restaurant and had a good conversation for a couple of hours. She presented Phoenix with a copy of the contract that he had to sign every 90 days for assessment, goals, and evaluation. He had signed it the week before and she had filled the rest out very similarly to the last contract he had signed. She just wanted to make sure that everything looked okay to Phoenix, which it did. Phoenix now had a copy of another contract. Another commitment. All these commitments in one day. That bothered Phoenix somewhat. He was afraid of commitment because he was afraid of failure, rejection, and disappointment. He had enough of that in his life, past and present. For example, Phoenix weighed 220 lb., but was only just over five feet tall. He was a warrior. Warriors could not be fat like that in Phoenix's mind. He was ashamed of his weight, but depressed enough about it that he could not seem to do much about it, and the VA did not have a dietitian on staff at the moment. The old dietitian was more concerned with Phoenix's colors than with his dietary needs. Sweet lady, but not doing her job. Her comment to Phoenix had been, "Well, you're probably going to be this weight for a while, so you might as well get some colors that accentuate your natural looks." He knew then that he was not going to get much help from her. Evidently, Phoenix had no idea how to dress himself. This was not something that Phoenix cared a whole lot about. He knew how to look sharp when he needed to, and that was what he was concerned with. Day-to-day, he was not too worried about what people thought of his appearance. He could not afford to care. It would be one more worry on top of the heap of worry that he had already created within himself.
The visit with the case manager went well and Phoenix went directly from that appointment to pick up a fellow graduate student for a graduate student shindig that the university was holding. He picked up his friend and they arrived at the event in time to get a laptop bag and a planner just for showing up and putting on a name tag. That was cool. Many more faculty and staff showed up than students, but that was okay. Phoenix got to meet some of the people in the higher positions and put names to faces. They were all very helpful and offered their help and support should Phoenix ever need it. That was a relief to Phoenix. His friend, having taught a research writing class for ten years at the university, knew some, but not all, of these people already. It was an interesting time. His friend soon needed a cigarette, though, and they had just made the campus tobacco-free 15 days earlier. They could not even smoke in their cars! People actually had to drive off campus to smoke. Phoenix thought that was a bit strict and infringed on people's rights more than it should, but he had no say in the matter. This policy had been pushed through during the summer when most of the students and non-essential staff were not around to protest, support, or be indifferent about the issue.
After the graduate get-together, Phoenix spent some time with his friend on her patio. Her dog loved Phoenix, and almost licked him to death when he came over. Phoenix spent most of the time with the dog sitting on his lap licking him. Phoenix loved the dog back and talked with his friend about various things. Finally, it was time for them to part ways for the night. His friend had plans for the next day, but wanted to get together on Friday so that she could pay Phoenix back part of the money she owed him, get her books, and run some other errands since she could not drive. Phoenix did not have any plans for Friday and running around with her sounded like a simple enough thing to do. He went back home and found his spouse playing the PS3. He also found that one of the books for his thesis had been delivered. It was on a fairly morbid topic - agrarian crisis and farmer suicides - but it turned out to have a lot of valuable information in it. This would be a great resource for Phoenix.
Phoenix's spouse got a phone call about payment for a job and the two of them went to pick up the check at around 2000 hrs. His spouse took Phoenix to a restaurant to get him some supper and then they went home. Phoenix had had enough of the world for the day. He showered and then put on his pajamas. He had planned on doing several things before going to bed, but his medication had kicked in by the time he was done with his shower, so he went to bed. Day over.