Updated: November 2, 2011 1:45AM
Dr. Wallace: I understand that you were a former high school varsity head basketball coach, so I feel that you are qualified to answer my question. How important is it to win in athletics? I coach a Little League baseball team. We aren’t very good!
Joel: That’s about the same as asking, “How high is up?” Personally, I feel that winning should not be a goal. The goal should be to perform at one’s highest level possible, to ethically follow all the rules and to respect the opponent — win, lose or draw. It’s more important to participate, give your all and lose than it is to not participate or to participate and win but to not give your all.
Allow me to make a comparison. Honest competition is the main course, winning is the dessert. Ah, but how sweet the dessert when, together as a team, you win a big game. It’s close to being the ultimate high ... well, at least a very high high!
It’s been a few years since I coached basketball at Hiawatha High School in Kirkland, Ill., Phoenix Union High School in Arizona and La Quinta High School in Garden Grove, Calif., but if I had answered your question back then, I might have made winning most important. I’ve mellowed with age.
Dr. Wallace: Please give me information on the drug PCP.
Nameless, San Francisco
Nameless: PCP was developed as a surgical anesthetic, but was soon stopped because patients using it experienced severe problems with speech and vision. It was later reintroduced as an animal anesthetic.
Also known as Angel Dust, Mist, Flakes, Hog and Crystal, PCP can produce strong side effects — almost total indifference to pain, as well as sweating, drooling, distorted vision and bulging eyeballs.
PCP’s “peak” starts about 20 minutes after use, depending on the way it is consumed, and lasts from 45 minutes to two hours; the effects wear off in stages. It takes from 12 to 40 hours for the user to feel normal again. Strong doses can produce seizures or a coma that can last for weeks.
Dr. Wallace: I was really surprised that you told a young lady to quit attending an evening college because it was causing problems and interfering with her marriage.
Since her husband already had a college education and was employed, why should a wife be denied the same opportunity? Please rethink your advice.
Kelly, Bend, Ore.
Kelly: I would have given the same answer if the wife had been the employed college graduate and the husband’s attendance at an evening college was causing marital problems. Nothing should be placed above the sanctity of a marriage.
In this case, the husband was working during the day and the wife was attending evening classes four nights a week and studying all weekend. She could not afford to attend day classes because the tuition was too expensive for their budget. It wasn’t the husband who was upset, it was the wife. She missed not seeing and being with her husband.
I agree the wife should pursue her educational and vocational goals — when the time is right.