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HUMAN SCIENCE (standard:drama, 1062 words)
Author: Jennifer GreenAdded: Jan 07 2001Views/Reads: 2801/1344Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Ph.D. student has troubles with her life and studies.


Copyright 2001 by Jennifer Green 

Sandy  walked  sadly  into  the lab early one Monday morning. It was the
fourth year of her postdoctoral studies, and she had yet to complete 
her dissertation.  Each  time  she would get close to something 
significant, design  and execute the experiments, but fail to come up 
with verifiable results. 

She  was  thinking  more and more about giving up the Ph.D. program, but
her  family  wouldn't  hear  of  that, and her advisor just kept 
saying, stick with it, stick with it, when she could manage to track 
him down at all. He sounded like a broken record! 

She put her lab coat on and started in to work. She put a good six hours
straight  at the lab bench, then grabbed a quick sandwich before 
heading over to the library. 

On the way over she ran into Phyllis. She was so jealous of her. Blonde,
very  smart,  engaged  to  a handsome doctor, everything seemed to go 
so well  for  her. Sandy had to work so hard for each little 
accomplishment and even then something invariably would go wrong. 

Cautiously Phyllis asked her how her dissertation was going. Phyllis had
heard  some  rumors  about  Sandy's  problems. She herself had her 
Ph.D. studies  almost  finished,  right  in  time  to be able to 
graduate this spring. 

Sandy  just  smiled  when  she  asked, and said, "It's coming," but even
Phyllis could see how downhearted she was. 

Sandy's  boyfriend was no help. He hated her long hours spent at the lab
bench,  and  wanted  her  to  spend  more  time  with  him. He worked 
in management  at  an  insurance company, a regular 8 to 5 type of job, 
and had  the  weekends  off, where Sandy usually worked six days a 
week, and sometimes even seven. 

Phyllis  offered to go over her lab notes and give her a hand, but Sandy
refused,  saying  she would be fine, she just needed some more time. 
She waved her off and walked to the library alone. 

She started to drink several glasses of wine after coming home late from
work, and hardly even spoke to Rick much anymore. Then, getting up 
early the  next  morning,  fighting  a  headache,  things  would be 
groggy for awhile, which didn't help much either. 

Another few weeks went by. Sandy and her boyfriend Rick had a huge fight
about  her  hours;  she  started  getting frequent headaches, 
everything seemed to be closing in on her. 

Finally  a  few  days  after  the fight with Rick, Sandy decided to call
Phyllis  late  one night. She had been drinking, and had started to 
cry. She  blew  her  nose,  tried to compose herself, and then in 
desperation poured it all out on the phone to Phyllis. 

Phyllis  just  listened quietly, and then kindly said, "Sandy, why don't
you stop by my house tomorrow morning. Bring your research notebooks 
and everything,  and  we'll go over all of it, and try to make some 
sense of it  all.  I  think  you  just been working too hard and need 
to get some perspective on all of this." 

"O.K. Thanks, Phyllis. And don't say anything to anyone, O.K.? 

"No problem. Get some sleep now, O.K. Sandy?" 


Early  the next morning she knocked on Phyllis' door. She was up and her
friend  invited  her  in, she could smell the fresh-brewed coffee 
inside her  kitchen,  and  her  spacious  apartment  was  immaculate 
and nicely furnished. 

"I'm  sorry  for  bothering  you  last  night, Phyllis. I just really am
getting  scared.  I  don't  seem  to  be getting anywhere and, well, 

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