Subject: Family problems, Hate issues
Scene: Faculty member's office
Daytime: One week after the second major test
(A student enters the office looking tired & disheveled.)
Hi! Come in!
Ummm…,I wanted to talk to you about how I'm doing in class.
I missed the last test because I had to go home for a family emergency.
I really need this class, so I'm hoping I can make it up.
Which class is that?
You don't even know who I am, do you?
I'm sorry, I just can't place you. Have you been coming lately?
Well, yeah, I mean…
Why don’t you tell me your name and which class it is.
Joan Bates. Psych 2. Tuesday Thursday? Nine thirty?
Yes. Yes, okay. Ummm, well….
STUDENT (rushing on)
I know it probably looks bad for me because I haven't been coming
lately, but…. Well, things have been kinda….
PROFESSOR (nodding sympathetically/encouragingly)
STUDENT (urgent & defensive)
My Dad lost his job over the summer, and now my parents argue
about stuff all the time. My boy friend just…. Well, that's
over with now, I guess. And I just got one of those hate emails,
so I'm kinda nervous about that….
Is there anyone you can talk to about these things?
There's some groups on campus. I've been active with some of them,
but everyone else is scared, too.. And, oh yeah, then my Mom calls
me every night -- she's a mess lately. And you know? I'm really…
just even having trouble getting out of bed sometimes. And I'm
crying. There I go… I'm crying a lot these days.
It sounds like….
I know. You should hear her. Last week my Mom called and was in
a panic. They'd been fighting, and my Dad had been, I don't know,
drinking, I guess. She was talking about divorce…. She just
asked me to come home, so I just left. I know I haven't been doing
things right and missing class, but I just can't help it. I'm
just… running all the time and can't keep up!
You've got quite a load on your shoulders.
(Student reacts: "Boy, you can say that again…"
Can I make up the test?
Well. I could let you take the make-up exam. That would certainly
help with this class. But I'm wondering if it might be helpful
for you to talk to someone over at CAPS.
CAPS? Is that the, ah….?
It's the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services. You
probably should talk to someone who has some experience with….
I'm not crazy or anything. It's just a lot of things are going
on right now.
Oh, I know it's just that….
Someone on my floor goes to CAPS, and she's a real nut case! She
called a crisis line last week and they had the police in there
and everything. I don't have those kinds of problems.
No. I'm not saying you do. You're just trying to deal with a lot
and it's getting to you. It's normal to need help when your family's
in crisis. It sounds like you've been giving your parents support,
so where are you going to go? You see what I mean? And this hate
business is very scary.
(STUDENT hesitates, weighing things)
They really do have a lot of experience….
What if….? Well. Maybe that would be good. Do you know anyone
(FADE TO BLACK with hopeful look on Student's face.)