DR. WALLACE: I'm in my first year of college and required to pass two semesters of a foreign language. I decided to take French, but I am having a tough time. I took three years of Spanish in high school and didn't have one problem. That's because my parents and I speak Spanish at home, so I had some familiarity with the language before I learned to read and write it.
My professor advised me to drop French with no grade and take Spanish next semester. I really want to learn a new foreign language at some point in my life, but not at the expense of my current grade-point average. What do you think I should do? — Juanita, Tucson, Arizona
JUANITA: Take your professor's advice at this point. It is very difficult and time-consuming to learn a foreign language at a college level without prior class work at the secondary school level. Fulfill your foreign language requirement by taking Spanish.
If you do want to learn French for your own personal development, inquire if you can audit that class (take it without getting a grade). You may find that you enjoy that language enough to learn it on your own time. In the meantime, your good grades in Spanish will help your GPA. I commend you for seeking to better yourself by learning more languages!
SMILE AND MOVE ON
DR. WALLACE: My best friend and I are very good students, and many times we finish our assignments faster than the rest of our classmates. Because of this, some of our teachers use us to run errands for them. Usually, it is to photocopy something or to pick up a book at the school library.
Because we are asked by the teachers to help, some of our classmates are calling us "Teacher's Pet" and "Goody Two-Shoes." This is really getting us upset. It's no fun being called a teacher's pet. Please tell us how to best handle this type of problem. — Good Students, via email
GOOD STUDENTS: Those who call you and your friend names are very envious, and if given the opportunity, they would gladly change places with you and your friend. If some of your classmates continue to call you names, just smile and move on. Acting as if this does not bother you will take away their desired effect of upsetting you. Once those who say these things realize their words have no effect, they'll likely drop the name-calling.
MOTHER NATURE IS FAIR
DR. WALLACE: Our teacher recently told our class that girls mature faster than boys. Is this true? Now I know why boys my age act so stupid and silly. They just can't help it. — Mature Girl, via email
MATURE GIRL: It is true, and Mother Nature hasn't yet told us the reason. But because Mother Nature is fair, she allows the boys to catch up with the girls, and by age 15 or 16, most boys are equal to girls mentally and physically. You'll notice I said most, not all, boys!
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.