DR. WALLACE: Is it possible for someone to "lose" some or all of their intelligence? When I was 6 years old, I was a very bright young child. In school, I was placed in the "gifted" classes. Then my mother died, and my grandmother punished me for grieving too long and too deeply about my mother's death. It was then that I experienced a "brain block."
For the next several years, I was back to regular classes at my school because I had trouble learning, and most of the time, to be honest, I just didn't care. By the time I was in seventh grade, I had seen many counselors, and they said all the same thing: I was unintelligent and a below average student who would likely not be suitable to attend college. Last year, as an 11th grader, I dropped out of school thinking I was stupid and that it was all a waste of my time.
But something strange then happened! I discovered art, and it didn't take me long to discover that I actually had a decent amount of artistic talent. In the evenings, I now read the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, David Henry Thoreau and other selected writers. I also have a fascination for human psychology and philosophy. What's happening to me? I'm 18 now and am even considering going back to get my GED so that I will at least be considered a high school graduate. — Back on the Beam, via email
BACK ON THE BEAM: First of all, no person really ever loses intelligence. It's obvious that your "brain block" has ended, and it's time for you to get back to continuing your education. I agree that you should go for your GED and then consider attending a community college in your area. Start with a class or two in subjects that interest you, like the arts. Make an appointment with a counselor, and line up some classes for the fall semester.
Since we are not sure if classes will be attended in person or online during these times of the COVID-19 virus, I suggest you go online to see what may be possible. It may be possible to hold a videoconference with a person who can guide you toward successful enrollment. You've got a lot of learning to catch up with, but I trust you'll do it at a rapid pace, and I wish you all the best with your renewed enthusiasm for learning.
DON'T GUYS REALLY LOVE US GIRLS?
DR. WALLACE: I'm a girl of 17 who wants to point something out to you. When we go to the movies, the guys in many films tell girls "I love you" in the love scenes, but from my experience (and what all my girlfriends tell me), this rarely happens in real life. No matter how close a girl is to a guy, the guy will rarely say those three little words she often wants to hear. When a girl tells a guy "I love you" his response, almost always, is, "I care for you, too," or, "Ditto."
Don't guys really love us, or are they just trying to avoid this topic when they say things that dance around that little word with the big meaning ... "love"?
Are guys ever sincere — or do they just like to act tough? — Curious Girl, via email
CURIOUS GIRL: Guys are often taught to be rough and tough, and saying "I love you" to a girl may be considered to be at odds with their macho self-image. It's always nice for a girl to hear these words from the guy she loves, but be wary if you only hear them when a guy is passionate — or aims to be! There may be an ulterior motive attached.
When a guy tells a girl "I love you" while they are strolling hand in hand on the beach, and no one other than the girl can hear it, the words are usually from the heart.
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.
Photo credit: Free-Photos at Pixabay