DR. WALLACE: I'm a 17-year-old senior in high school, and I'd like to comment on the advice you gave a girl who, after graduating, wanted to ask a former teacher for a date. You advised her not to do this. I was shocked at your response!
Ever since seventh grade, I've had a crush on a certain teacher. My mother told me that I would forget all about him when I got into high school and started dating boys of my age.
Well, I'm in high school now, and I've dated guys my own age, but my crush on this teacher has grown into a full-fledged love for him. I see him often, and we discuss many things. I actually get quite a rush just sitting next to him and looking into his eyes as we converse.
When I graduate from high school, I plan to have a relationship with this former teacher. And why not? He is a super human being. He is single, and I'm pretty sure he would accept my invitation, as we are already close friends. And it's widely known that couples who start off as friends and then move into a deeper relationship usually fare better than those who are not friends for a period of time first.
Also, I saw a television program recently that featured students who, after graduation, married a teacher they had in high school. They were happily married and love each other very much. The student was always a woman and the teacher a man. In some cases, the teacher was only 5 years older than the student he married.
Dr. Wallace, are you aware that true love conquers all? — Anonymously in Love, Little Rock, Arkansas
ANONYMOUS: Certain television program see high ratings by producing programs that are highly controversial or that dwell on sensationalism to invite viewers to tune in. The mere fact that this particular program dealt with this issue tells me that the marriage of former students and their teachers is not a normal occurrence and that it is highly controversial. It's interesting to note that all the former students featured were women.
Teachers have a moral obligation not to get involved romantically with their students, and those who do so are subject to employment termination.
When a teacher gets involved romantically with a former student who has left high school, no action by school authorities can be taken, but the teaching profession still "frowns" on this type of relationship.
I'm also aware that some students mistakenly take a teacher's concern for them as a signal that romance is forthcoming. That could very well be the case with your "former" teacher. Don't forget that almost all teachers who take an interest in their students do so in a platonic and professional way.
I HAVE A "PRISON SCHEDULE"
DR. WALLACE: I am a junior in high school and have better than a B average in my college prep program. I know studying is important, but my parents are unreasonable. They have assigned me the 6:30 to 10 p.m. time slot, Monday through Friday, as study time. I cannot receive phone calls, send texts or watch television during this time, even if I finish all my homework. To make matters worse, I must also study two hours on Saturdays and Sundays as well, but at least I get to decide the timeslots myself on the weekends.
I resent this "prison schedule" very much and would like to hear your comments about it. Are my parents being fair, or are they acting like dictators or even prison wardens? — Anonymous, Seattle
ANONYMOUS: Providing a set study time is a good idea, but your parents are a bit excessive with their demands here. I believe they mean well and are not intentionally acting in a dictatorial manner or trying to confine you. Unless a special project is required, 10 to 12 hours of study at home per week should be sufficient. At present, you're tied to about double that. Perhaps a call from your counselor or one of your key teachers might help make a moderate reduction of your study time more reasonable to your parents and allow you more balance in your 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. 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.