It seems I was very wrong about that story not being a story. It is indeed a story. And I fucked up bad: when it looked like it would be a small story if anything, I promised someone I wouldn't publish it for two weeks if, in return, he would answer any and all of my questions about his special interest housing. An interview like that is rare in general from one of these guys and would be impossible after writing pretty much any story.
Well, it is a story, and almost definitely not a small one. So I'm writing something. Missing out on the interview isn't that big a deal just because after having written a story about this guy's group, it would be impossible anyways. But dammit, I really should have thought harder before promising him anything.
Ah well. Live and learn. And here's another thing I learned: when a writer we want can't do the story and I double-assign it to have a greater chance that one of them will be able to do it, I should insist on confirmation from the writer that he's doing it. I think we've dodged a bullet this week, but in the future it could be embarrassing (to us) or discouraging or insulting (to a writer) if we give the same story to them and someone else. Like I did this week.
Oh, and I didn't drop Logical Methods in Philosophy. I'm told it will get better, and I can work harder and get my work done earlier, dammit. And if worst comes to worst, I'll just drop it and take a "W" on my transcript. I'm never going to apply to a grad school to study philosophy, so what difference does it make?