Dear Dr. Wallace:

I’m 17 and in the 12th grade. I’m a B student and plan to attend a local community college after I finish high school. I’ve just come into an opportunity to work for three hours after school twice a week.

I’m a very good typist, and I would be working for my boyfriend’s dad, who is an attorney. I would be typing up his legal correspondence and briefs, and I could do this from home.

My parents are not sure that working a part-time job while I’m in high school is a good idea, but since my schoolwork is done from home now anyway, I actually have more free time than I did before COVID-19.

I personally think this would be a great opportunity for me to gain some work experience, and I sure could use the extra money.

My dad asked me to write to you for your thoughts on this topic, and then he said we’d make a family decision after we read your answer and the logic behind it.

My father didn’t promise to take your advice, but he did say it’d be honestly considered before he makes his final decision.My fingers are crossed that you will consider my letter here one worthy of an answer!

— Job-Seeking Teen,

via email

Dear Job-Seeking Teen: I’m in favor of teens working part time while in high school as long as their academics will not

suffer.

At the first sign of slipping grades, the job should end. This means that if you are fortunate enough to be granted the chance to start working part time, you must budget your time well, and you absolutely have to keep your studies as your first priority.

I do agree with your point that this could be a valuable opportunity for you to earn and

learn.

You have obviously earned the respect of your boyfriend’s father, so now you need to make and keep earnest promises to your own father if you hope to receive the answer you are looking

for.

Dear Dr. Wallace: I’ve got a gripe that I’d like to air out! I’m 19, and my husband is 22, and we were married six months ago. So far, we are doing great and enjoying married life together.

What bothers me is that in our medium-sized town, when a very young couple decides to get married, a lot of people think that the girl is pregnant and the couple is just getting married to give the baby a proper name.

Please inform some of the judgmental adults who read your column that not every teenage wedding is caused by an unexpected pregnancy!

I’m living proof of this, and the busybodies in our town will realize that the fruits of their gossip will turn sour as soon as they see that no baby is forthcoming

from our happy home anytime soon.

— No Strings Attached,

via email

Dear No Strings Attached: Consider your gripe hereby aired out! You did a nice job of laying out your perspective on this topic, and I am very happy to hear that you and your husband are enjoying married life.

May you enjoy many, many years of wedded bliss together, and if and when you do ever start a family with children of your own, you’ll enjoy the proverbial last laugh over those who gossiped about you.

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

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