What do I do? I haven’t any idea how to start or what to do. I was 15 years old the last time I was in a classroom. I just can’t work up the courage to walk in somewhere and say: “I need help. I don’t know anything. Can someone help me?” I don’t know if you will read this. If you do, thank you so much for your time, and I look forward to reading more of your articles. Dear Reader, Thank you so much for your kind words. You think I’m intelligent, strong and powerful? You sound much that way yourself, having raised a son and landed a good job without anything more than a GED. That shows more than a little moxie. I do not think you have to prove yourself to anyone – except maybe yourself. If you cannot go into a school yourself and ask for some guidance, ask a buddy to come along and lend his or her support. Sometimes we actually need help asking for help. You do not have to say, “I don’t know anything” because of course you do. Your life experience will be a welcome addition to any classroom. Dear Leslie, I read your article “Make sure you love job path you pick.” It is intelligent, strong, powerful women such as yourself who encourage me. I want to be that way. I am 33 years old. I live in L.A. County. I have a 17-year-old son. I have a good job. I enjoy my job, and I want to continue in this job path, but I have no education past my GED. I never finished high school. If you do the math, you can see that I had my kid while I was a kid myself. You say to put your secret desire “front and center.” My secret desire is to get a degree. I have no idea how to start. I am ashamed and embarrassed to walk into a college office or any school. Pursuing a degree is both a worthy and practical goal. Don’t let anything get in your way. If it will help motivate you, I’m sure your fellow readers would like to keep track of your progress. Write and let us know where you end up applying and where you ultimately enroll. We all wish you luck. Dear Leslie, My secretary, who is dynamite, announced that it’s her birthday next week, and I want to do something for her, but I don’t know her very well. I just moved to town. Any ideas? Dear Reader, That’s an easy one. Lunch at her favorite restaurant is always a winner. Another option is a gift certificate from a popular local store or attraction. If you are new in town, that will demonstrate your commitment to supporting local concerns. Mark her birthday in your 2007 calendar, so you can surprise her next year with your great memory. Leslie Whitaker, co-author of The Good Girl’s Guide to Negotiating, would like to hear from you. Write to her at [email protected] or 2918 N. Hackett Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53211160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!