Professor Lionel Phelge was sitting in a chair just outside the dean’s office at The University of Oregon. He wrung his hands nervously as he knew this was not going to be a pleasant meeting. Lionel got a heads up from one of his colleagues in the Biology Department that some of his students had been complaining about him.
This had been a hard term for Dr. Phelge, His beloved wife, Edith had just passed away seven months ago. He and his deceased wife had enjoyed a wonderful life together. Edith had been a professor in the English Department at The University of Oregon. The couple had met when they were both first year lecturers. As they were both rookies in the world of university academics and teaching they quickly bonded. Although he considered himself as a scientist first, Lionel also loved literature. His tastes were somewhat different from his wife’s. Lionel was a child of the sixties and had read the writings of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and Ken Kesey. Edith was a specialist in the area of The English novel.
The couple would spend many delightful evening’s at home reading different books and later discussing what they had read. Then they would each spend an hour or two grading papers or preparing lectures for tomorrow’s classes.
Edith and Lionel loved to travel. They had driven to many U.S. States and Canadian provinces. They had planned a long trip to Europe before Edith got her diagnosis of leukemia. Edith’s chemotherapy and radiation treatments had been very hard on her and had exhausted what little energy she had left. She had to go on long term disability and greatly missed her work at The University of Oregon.
Edith passed away four months after her diagnosis. Lionel was devastated by his loss and fell into a deep depression. His doctor ordered Lionel to take at least six months off work. Lionel’s doctor prescribed the antidepressant, Cymbalta as part of his treatment. He didn’t tell his doctor that he had been turning more and more to Jack Daniels during his time of grief.
When Lionel returned to work after seven months he was still not psychologically ready to assume his regular duties.