DR. WALLACE: I'm 19 and in my second year at the University of Michigan. My major is prelaw. I plan to be an attorney and practice law with my father's firm in Detroit. My brother is also going to become an attorney. He's in graduate school at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He is married, and his wife is already an attorney in Chicago.
That means that only my mother is not involved in law. She met my dad at Michigan State University. My dad went on to earn his law degree, but my mom became a housewife at the young age of 19. Now, my mom has decided that she wants to get her degree, so she can become a teacher at an elementary school. Mom is 45 now, and if she gets her teaching credentials, it will take about four more years — even with the credits from Michigan State University. That means she will start teaching at the ripe old age of almost 50.
My brother is encouraging Mom to go for it, while my dad is neutral. I'm not against Mom taking university courses to keep her mind sharp, but the pressure of teaching is out of the question. What do you think? — Law family sister, Michigan
LAW FAMILY: As a former school administrator, I can assure you that I would offer your mother a teaching contract if she met all the requirements. She would have at least 15 wonderful years to teach and guide eager young children.
You should be encouraging your mother to reach her goal. Adopt your brother's go-for-it philosophy and encourage Dad to join you. Your mother should be celebrated for setting her new goal!
STAND BY YOUR FRIEND
DR. WALLACE: My friend and I have been best friends since we met in first grade. Both of us graduated from high school, and we are both freshmen at San Diego State University, but she had to drop out because she's pregnant.
Her boyfriend from home is the father. Ever since my mom found out about my friend's "situation," she doesn't want me to hang around or even talk to her when I come home for a weekend. This is not right. This girl and I have been good friends for over 13 years, and now she needs me more than ever. I can't and won't desert her now that she has a crisis in her life. Your thoughts, please. — Friend in need, Chula Vista, California
FRIEND: Friendship can't be turned off and on like water from a faucet! This young lady is a best friend, and you should not turn your back on her at a time when your trust and love is very important to her.
Explain this to Mom in a way that she will understand your position, even if she still doesn't agree with it. We all must make our own choices in life, and both of you young ladies are facing this fact at this time. Good luck to both of you.
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. Email 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.