DR. WALLACE: My cousin, who attends the University of Chicago, just became a Rhodes Scholar. Everyone in the family is excited for her, but my parents and I are not sure what this means. We don't want to act stupid and ask my cousin or her family about her award. Can you enlighten us? — Curious, Chicago, Ill.
CURIOUS: A Rhodes Scholar earns two or three years of study at the University of Oxford in England with all expenses paid. It's worth about $35,000 per year. The scholarship was established by Cecil Rhodes, a wealthy 19th century British industrialist, to bring gifted college students from other countries to Oxford to study. About 25 Americans are selected yearly from 1000 applicants.
Female scholars were barred until 1976 from applying for this prestigious award. Your cousin and her family have every reason to be excited. It's an extraordinary honor to be selected a Rhodes Scholar.
SPEND TIME WITH FRIENDS, FAMILY AND OTHER GUYS
DR. WALLACE: I have a very serious problem and I really need your help. My boyfriend and I are both 17 and have been dating for over a year. Things were wonderful. We were in love and even planned to get married.
Then my boyfriend's cousin moved to town and our romance has almost gone down the tubes. My boyfriend and his cousin, who is 18, are together constantly. In the last several weeks, my boyfriend has started smoking pot and I honestly believe he is experimenting with something stronger. The cousin is crude and vulgar and hates my guts because I've tried to separate them, but it hasn't worked. Several times he has called me vulgar names when the three of us have been together. It's been over a month since my boyfriend and I have been alone together.
He keeps telling me that he loves me and to "hang in there," but I'm at the end of my rope. Please tell me what I should do. I still love him very much. — Lauren, Tulsa, Okla.
LAUREN: The obnoxious cousin may eventually lose his hold on your boyfriend, but I urge you not to wait around for it to happen. Not only is your boyfriend into a bad friendship and unhealthy (and perhaps dangerous) behavior, but he is willing to tolerate the crude remarks his cousin directs at you.
It's time to end the relationship. Tell your boyfriend to call you when he has severed his ties with his cousin. Doing this may give him a wakeup call. But you should get on with your life. Start spending time with friends, family — and other guys.
YOU ARE A RICH YOUNG LADY
DR. WALLACE: I'm responding to the girl (age 14) who complained because her allowance was only $10 per week. I'd blow my mind if I was that fortunate. My dad is unemployed and has been for over a year. My mom babysits to bring money into the house. My younger sister is 12 and I'm 14. We help all we can around the house. My dad has a garden and grows a lot of vegetables that we eat. My grandmother cans all the vegetables that are extra. Yet we are a very happy family filled with lots of love. Somehow I feel I'm richer than the girl who needs more than ten dollars a week to survive. — Sue, Miami, Fla.
SUE: I, too, think that you're richer and probably will be your entire life.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. E-mail him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.