DR. WALLACE: I'm 17, in the 12th grade and have very good grades. I've been accepted and will attend Oklahoma University in the fall of 2010. I have an opportunity to work part time (two hours after school and four hours on Saturday) at our city library. I would really like to have this work experience, and the money will be put to good use.Lulu: She is already accepted to college! What does she need grades for?
My parents are not sure they want me to take this job. I'm sure you will say take the job, but I should quit if my grades start slipping even a fraction. I just want to see it in writing to show my parents. -- Corina, Oklahoma City
CORINA: I hope your parents will allow you to take the job. The work experience will prove beneficial, and I'm sure the money you earn will be well spent. But I'm also sure they will make you quit if your grades start slipping — even a fraction.
Ashley: Plus, fourteen hours a week? It's barely a part time job. I played Everquest for way longer than that, and that was on top of my part time job!
Lulu: Presumably she won't stop playing Everquest, or whatever else she does, but yeah: it's not like she would automatically spend all that time studying. Being busy doesn't make you less likely to complete your original set of tasks; in my experience, it makes you more likely, because you have to set aside specific time to do things instead of procrastinating forever.
But even beyond that, I don't understand this fanatical reverence for grades! They are an artificial measure of how well you complete worklike tasks; is not work experience just better? I guess maybe it's a different mindset when you are trying to get into college, but from here on out, people may care if you passed or failed or graduated or didn't, but they don't care what grade you got. But work experience is always helpful, for getting future jobs, and for having money and a sense of purpose and general job satisfaction right now.
Ashley: Are you at work right now?
Apparently I'm really pro working, because I also approve of Dr. Wallace encouraging the girl in the last letter to become a model.
DR. WALLACE: I'm 17 and all I can think about is being a model. I'm popular, get good grades in school, have a perfect shape, and I'm considered very good-looking. My only flaw is that I'm too short.Lulu: Can you think of any careers that are similar to being a model, but for a short person? The only one that springs to mind is "department store santa elf" but that is seasonal at best.
I've been told by modeling schools that a model must have a height of at least 5 feet 8 inches, but I'm through growing. Is there anything close to modeling that you can recommend? — Ashley, Portland, Ore.
ASHLEY: This is a popular question. Every week, I receive three or four letters from young ladies asking about requirements for being a model. I can understand why. It's a glamorous job that pays extremely well for those lucky enough to reach the top.
I contacted a model/talent agency and was told that the 5 feet 8 inches height requirement is only for high-fashion models in centers like New York and Los Angeles. If you meet the other requirements (proper weight, poise, appearance, etc.), it's possible to model regionally.
Check on modeling opportunities in the Portland area. Contact department stores (fashion shows and make-up demonstrations), advertising agencies (for TV and newspaper ads), local companies (for showroom demonstrations) and city magazines.
Ashley: There's a lot of promotional stuff. If she wants to hand out fliers,
or work in marketing/PR/outreach. They all require young pretty girls.
Lulu: Ooh, good idea. Much more respectable than the obvious 'exotic dancer' route.