DR. WALLACE: I'll soon be in my last year of high school and plan to attend college after I graduate. I participate in lots of activities. I'm president of the pep club, run cross-country, play in the band and am rehearsing as the lead in an upcoming theatrical production. In the 11th grade I maintained a high B average and I plan to do as well this year.
My parents want me to concentrate on bringing my grade-point average up my senior year so I'll have a better chance of getting into the college they've chosen for me. They feel my school activities have taken away from my study time, hurting my grade-point average. They believe that I should be an A student, but I don't think this is absolutely necessary and besides, a B+ average is very good! I enjoy my extracurricular activities and would be terribly disappointed if I had to give them up. Help! — Tammy, Philadelphia, Penn.
TAMMY: It's important to have a good grade-point average to get into college and with a high B average, you certainly meet this requirement. Your parents need to also know that colleges like well-rounded students who have enjoyed extra-curricular activities. Even the highly regarded colleges and universities, including Harvard, Stanford, Notre Dame, and Knox, enjoy enrolling gifted academic students who also participated in extra-curricular activities including various campus clubs, athletics, drama, music, and much, much, more. Be informed about the importance of school activities and college acceptance.
FOLLOW YOUR BRAIN, NOT YOUR HEART
DR. WALLACE: I'm 18 and have a huge problem and need all the advice I can get. I live with my adoptive parents, whom I love very much. I consider them to be my mother and father. I never use the word "adoptive" when I mention them, but in this case it is important for you to know.
I really care very much for Bradley, who is 19 and living in California with relatives because he got into a lot of trouble here. My parents refuse to allow me to be in contact with Bradley in any way and they said that as long as I'm living at home that rule is in effect. To compound things, Bradley is my mother's youngest brother. Since my mother and I are not related by blood, there is no reason why Bradley and I can't be romantically involved. Please tell me what I should do. Bradley wanted me to come to California after I graduate from high school. I just graduated a month ago.
I'm really confused. Something inside me is telling me to go for it, but when I seriously think about it I have my doubts. I guess you could say my heart says yes, my brain says no. — Nameless, Columbus, Ohio.
NAMELESS: In this case, your brain is making a lot more sense than your heart. Running off to California to be with Bradley sounds like certain disaster. Even though you're adopted, he's still your uncle. And your mother knows him much better than you do. Sever all contact with him immediately!
COCAINE USE CAN CAUSE DEATH
DR. WALLACE: Does cocaine have any useful medical application? I heard that if taken in small doses it can actually be a cure-all for small ills. — Jerry, Hobart, Ind.
JERRY: Medically, cocaine is used by medical doctors as a blood vessel constrictor, and as a local anesthetic, and as a central nervous system stimulant. It's a useful drug when taken under a physician's recommendation, but it is not a cure-all for small ills. In fact, when taken illegally, overdosing on cocaine can cause death due to respiratory collapse, or a sudden seizure.
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.