Friday, March 19, 2010

Stories of Driver's Ed

One of my sisters is currently taking a driver's education course, and when she told me this story I thought it was funny enough that I asked her to write it up with the promise that I'd publish it here to share with the world. So here is her story (in her words)...

When I took driver’s Ed these past two months I was told I would have to go on six drives, and I was a little nervous. However, all nervousness faded after my first drive, when I met the driving instructor. She was everything an instructor should be, calm, business-like, and cheerful. She would politely point out when I should start to stop, when I should turn, and about when the wheel should be moving for me to successfully make the light. Everything went great on my first two drives, and I was absolutely confident in myself when the third drive came around and I was told I would have the sub, Derek, because my instructor was going out of town for a wedding. I smiled and said okay, not worrying about it because of my past experience with driving instructors. The day came and I hopped happily into the car with the driving instructor, who, sadly for him, had the misfortune of looking like a certain older brother of mine who is famous for having a need for speed. In his own way Derek was just as polite as my other instructor. He insisted on singing a solo of lady gaga for me the entire way and I was forced to smile and nod, smile and nod. Derek was an absolute gentleman. There was no need for me to drive, thought he, and he gallantly relived me of both wheel and brake. As we drove along, I had one side of the wheel, and he had the other. I controlled the accelerator, but long before we reached the stop light, he politely used my brake, despite the fact my foot was already easing down on it. When I turned a corner, I signaled, and he turned. When he told me to angle park, he explained it, drew a picture of it, and then did it himself. I not only felt like a bad driver, I didn’t feel like a driver at all. Even in the parking lot, going five miles an hour, he insisted on letting me relax while he told me how to, and then demonstrated all the various kinds of parking and passing. I did my best to smile and nod, when I now realize I should have taken this time to take finish my book. It’s really sad I left it at home, but when I left I had no idea I would have the opportunity to read! At one point he asked me how I would back from the parking place I was in, to one on the far side and far end of the lot. I told him I would put the car in reverse, pull out of this spot, back along until I reached the other, and then back into it. He told me he had a serious problem with me backing for such a long time. “What I would do,” he told me, “would be to back out of this, pull forward to the next one, and then back into that.” I was confused and asked him if it was just me, or if he had really said “Back from this spot to that one.” He told me that is exactly what he said, but that there was no need to back the whole way! Needless to say (unless you are one of the rare breed of Derek-understanders) I was confused. It ended up okay though, because he did it for me. After that drive my confidence was in need of patching up, but it was partially repaired when at my next class, the other students who had had the pleasure of being chauffeured by Derek, said he did the same thing to them.

On my next drive I was once again with my normal instructor. After getting into the lesson car and adjusting the seat, she asked if I had practiced parallel parking. “Well,” I said, “Derek did.”

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