Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole


DEAR HARRIETTE: I really want to have a child, but my doctor told me that soon I will be in the danger zone, agewise. I am not in a relationship right now. My doctor says I need to find someone who will help me to have a child -- or else. I am very active in my church, and I know that my pastor will not look favorably on me if I have a child without being married. It goes against my religious beliefs. What can I do? -- Pleasing in Your Sight, Lake Charles, La.

DEAR PLEASING: Schedule a meeting with your pastor to talk about your situation. Find out what your church's stance is about a sperm donor. There may be some leeway in using medical technology because you will not have violated the vow to not have sex before marriage. Find out.

Although it's clear that you want to give birth to a child, you do have the option of adopting. In that way you can remain true to your religious convictions and still have the privilege of shepherding a child through the world.

DEAR HARRIETTE: My macroeconomics teacher is an intelligent woman who knows a lot about the economy and clearly has a passion for it, which I respect. However, she is teaching a one-sided position only, and all our outside readings are opinionated articles that are left-leaning. Writing about the articles makes me feel like I am being brainwashed into believing different opinions than my own. My teacher does not even provide an alternative or other argument to these topics, which is frustrating. I did my own research after I had turned in my paper, and I want to address this with her. What should I do? -- Standing My Ground, New York City

DEAR STANDING MY GROUND: The ideal educational experience is a well-rounded one where students are presented with wisdom from different points of view by an objective teacher. I'm sorry that your teacher did not follow that protocol.

I recommend that you send a formal note to your teacher describing your disappointment that you were not exposed to a range of thinking on the topics that were being taught. You can explain that you subsequently read other perspectives and wished you had had the opportunity to consider all points of view in class. I would also send a note to the department head and/or guidance counselor with the intention of learning about curriculum protocol. It would be helpful for you to know if it's standard for your school to allow teachers to teach one perspective or if it is more common for them to be objective instructors.

In the future, if you have questions about what any of your instructors is teaching you, speak up and schedule an appointment to discuss your questions or concerns or send an email. Typically, educators appreciate interacting with their students.