Dear Dr. Wallace:

I’m a 16-year-old guy who’s always in trouble at school because I’m always late in the morning. It’s hard for me to wake up early. It doesn’t make any difference what time I go to bed. My problems could be solved if I owned a motorcycle. I live about 3 miles from school. If I drove 30 miles an hour, it would only take me 2 minutes to get from my house to school. It takes me about 15 minutes to walk this distance.

My dad said he liked the idea because he’s tired of getting calls from the assistant principal complaining that I’m tardy, but my mom overrides him. She thinks motorcycles are unsafe. She would rather I be late than injured. I told her I’d be a safe driver, wear a helmet and pay for the bike, insurance and gas. The answer is still no.

What can I do to get my mother to agree with the two male members of our family?

— Sleepy head,

via email

Dear Sleepy: I’m positive that your mother’s reason for vetoing the motorcycle is that she’s concerned for your safety. I agree with you that most bikers are safe, courteous riders and that you would aim to make safety a high priority if you were to own a motorcycle. However, no matter how safe you may strive to be, you’d be sharing the road with thousands of four-wheel vehicles.

It’s those vehicles that can cause problems for motorcycle riders, especially young and inexperienced ones as you would be starting out.

As a former high school administrator, I am very familiar with reasons why students are tardy.

I would estimate that 90 percent of late arrivals are the fault of 10 percent of the student body.

The constantly tardy students are usually not on time because they lack self-discipline and responsibility.

Write to Dr. Wallace at rwallace@galesburg.net.