DEAR ABBY: I am 29 years old and have been reading your column since I was 10. Becoming a high school teacher was always my dream. I graduated from college with a degree, but not in secondary education. I needed to begin working full time to support myself, so I never considered going back to school to certify.
Because I admire the field of education, I offer this tiny contribution for teachers everywhere:
I will teach your child to read -- if you teach your child to have an open mind.
I will show your child how to solve a math question -- if you show your child how to solve his/her problems.
I will tell your child about war and its aftermath -- if you tell your child to treat others with equality.
I will introduce your child to Shakespeare -- if you introduce your child to others he/she may not now understand, but will come to respect.
I will point out the many places on the globe -- if you point out that the world is open to him/her.
I will explain the stars and planets -- if you explain how your child can surpass them.
I am able to teach your child some things, but TOGETHER we can teach your child everything and help your child to grow. -- VERONICA M. DE CRESCIO, CROYDON, PA.
DEAR VERONICA: Something I've learned over the years is that when people feel they have a calling, they should follow it.
It's never too late to realize your dream. With your degree, perhaps you could begin working now as a substitute teacher. There is a great need. It could serve as a giant step toward getting you back on track. Please consider it.
CONFIDENTIAL TO MY READERS: Have a Merry Christmas, but please keep in mind: If you're drinking, don't drive; if you're driving, don't drink.
DEAR ABBY: I am 100-plus pounds overweight. My husband has repeatedly asked me to lose weight but I have not. We no longer make love.
My husband is cordial and continues to provide beautifully for me and the kids -- he's a great dad. Do you think it's fair that he is withholding sex from me? I think he expects too much, as I love to eat. Now he has moved to another bedroom and claims he is turned off sexually. -- FRUSTRATED WIFE
DEAR WIFE: Although everyone has the "right" to weigh whatever he or she wishes, your weight gain has jeopardized your marriage.
By moving to another bedroom, your husband has given you an important message: Your marriage is in serious trouble. If you think it is worth saving, ask your doctor for a referral to a registered dietitian so you can begin to lose the extra pounds you have put on.
Next, consult a psychotherapist. The fact that you have chosen your love for food over your love for your husband needs to be addressed.
Dear Abby is written by Pauline Phillips and daughter Jeanne Phillips.
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)