Dear Dr. Wallace:
I don’t like my English teacher. She is very boring, too strict and gives too much “busywork” for homework. I went to my counselor and asked him to transfer me out of this teacher’s class. He wouldn’t do it. I said I would bring my dad to school to talk with him, but the counselor said that wouldn’t matter. I thought counselors were supposed to change classes for students. What can I do to get out of this class? I hate it, and I can’t stand the teacher.
Dear Anonymous: Rarely, if ever, will a guidance counselor transfer a student who is unhappy with their teacher. If they did, counselors would spend most their time changing classes for students who didn’t like their teachers or wanted to be with a friend in another class.
Sometimes a student is transferred because his or her skill level doesn’t match that of the class, but this is not your case.
Do your very best in this class, and you will be a better person for the experience. If nothing else, this challenge will make you truly enjoy the classes and teachers you relate to better. And someday, if you are working at a job after you graduate, you just may run into a supervisor or manager above you who you find to be difficult. The experience of successfully persevering through an unpleasant class will prepare you for potential challenges that may pass in and out of your future career path. Hang in there!
Dear Dr. Wallace: My girlfriend and I have been close friends for many years. Recently, she broke up with her boyfriend because she got tired of him.
Now I’m thinking that I better hang on to my boyfriend tightly because she was thinking of taking him away from me. She said she was only fooling, but I’m not so sure she was.
Last night, she and another friend met me and my boyfriend at the mall, and she really made a play for him, telling him he was handsome and such a good athlete. I almost threw up on the spot listening to her.
Now I’m convinced she’s out to steal him away from me! Please tell me what I can do to insulate my guy from her clutches. Please don’t tell me to drop my girlfriend as a friend, as that would likely only make matters worse. I like my boyfriend very much, and I’m pretty sure he feels the same way about me. At least he says he does, and, so far, his actions have definitely been backing up his words.
— Playing Defense,
Dear Playing Defense: There’s nothing like a “close friend” of the same gender to make you feel insecure. If you really have a good relationship with her, ask her, for your sake, to stay away from your guy. If she ignores you, she really isn’t your friend, so dropping her as one isn’t even an option. If she is surprised that you’re nervous and supports you, hopefully you’ll have the best of both relationships to continue enjoying and leaning on.
Meanwhile, the next time you go out, tell your boyfriend that you are mildly concerned about your girlfriend’s actions. Let him know you care for him very much and hope he feels the same way about you. Chances are, he will laugh about this and reassure you that you’re his one and only.
If his response falls somewhat short of that, perhaps things aren’t going as well between the two of you as you had hoped.
In either case, the issue isn’t your girlfriend but instead about you and your guy. If the two of you are solid, she won’t be a threat. And if you are solid, perhaps he could introduce one of his friends to your girlfriend!