Dr Wallace:

I got into trouble today after school ended because I went back to clean out my locker. The school janitor said that all the lockers were opened and all the good stuff was sent to the office. When I went to the office I looked through a pile of stuff, but I couldn’t find my sweater so I asked the principal if he had seen my sweater and he said no.

That means someone is lying, the custodian or the principal. I then accused one or the other of being a thief. The principal said I could not return to school in the fall until I brought one of my parents to school to talk to him sometime this summer. I can’t do that because both of my parents work and they won’t lose money just to talk with my principal. Does he have the right to do that to me? After all, school was out.

— Carl,

Anaheim, Calif.

Carl: Your principal is responsible for the campus even when school is out for the summer. I guess one of your parents will have to lose a little money if they want their son to continue his education.

I hope you now realize that calling the principal and custodian a thief was not the best way to inquire about your missing sweater.

Dr. Wallace: Please tell me what “designer” drugs are. Are they dangerous and addictive? I’m particularly interested in knowing more about Ecstasy.

— Nameless,

San Francisco, Calif.

Nameless: Designer drugs are produced illegally by people who have a certain knowledge of chemistry. These “chemists” modify the molecular structure of illegal drugs to produce similar substances, or analogs, not specifically banned by law. Such substances are still dangerous.

Ecstasy is an analog of amphetamines and usually appears as white powder. Analogs are much more potent than the drugs they imitate and many deaths have occurred by overdosing. Unfortunately for the chemists who make Ecstasy, the pushers who sell it, and those who use it, Ecstasy has been declared an illegal and dangerous drug. Those connected to it are breaking the law.

Dr. Wallace: My parents and I are into a family exercise program that includes walking five times each week. All of us are overweight, so walking helps us two ways. It gives us great exercise and it burns calories. Please tell us how many calories we burn on a two-mile walk that takes about an hour. If we walk faster, will we burn more calories? How else can we burn calories while we walk?

— Madison,

Burlington, N.C.

Madison: A 160-pound person walking two miles in an hour burns approximately 240 calories. The Mayo Clinic Health Letter suggests that you can double the calories you burn by exaggerating your arm swings while holding two-pound hand weights.

Any time you involve more muscles in an activity, you burn more calories. The number of calories burned varies with walking speed and the height of your arm swings.

— Write to Dr. Wallace at rwallace@galesburg.net.