Wednesday, April 18

Learning to Drive

On Monday this week I got my driver’s license in Mariposa. Yes, I passed the test, and I was told I did an excellent job. I’m not so sure I did “excellent” but hey, I passed! I flubbed a few things…one being I didn’t know where the defroster was in our Range Rover. Also, I did rather poorly on my lane change (It was a left turn so I didn’t really think of it as a lane change where I had to look at my mirrors and over my shoulder). And I was not all there at the end when she had me turn the car off. I just turned it off without putting it in park! You should have seen me there fumbling around when I noticed my mistake. Very embarrassing. I was like, “oh”. And then I tried to just quickly slip it into park while the car was still turned off (as if she wouldn’t really notice my mistake). Of course, that didn’t work like I hoped. When I got it resolved, my instructor was like, “okay, take a deep breath…”. I don’t think she marked me down for that anyway. I’m leaving out an even more embarrassing driving related incident that happened on my testing day. But ask me personally about it and I’ll tell you. And don’t try to ask me in a comment, I won’t tell you there either.

We waited until I was 17½ to get my permit. That way I could skip the driver school and my Dad could teach me, and I won’t have to put in the 60 hrs of driving before I could get my license. I think part of the thinking was that maybe I would be smart by then too, so that would be good. I started studying for the written test a couple weeks before and finished sitting in the dentist office before going to the DMV. I was running off the excuse that I would do better on my test if the information was fresh in my mind. That is fairly legitimate but I’ve been known to push the limits a little bit and I think my parents were somewhat concerned for me. But I did well on my test after all, only missing one, which was somewhat of a surprise to me.

A few days later I got in the drivers seat of the car for the first time, the first time in which the car was actually going to move while I was there. My dad, who was in the passenger seat, pointed out some of the buttons, levers, and controls I would need to know about. Then he said, “Okay now let off the brake and we can head down”. So I did and the wheels started turning and everything seemed too easy. When it came time to turn, I tried to be cool like I could brake good, without a lot of jolting and disturbance. I think I made the turn a little fast for my dad’s liking, who was already risking his life just being there in the car with me. He told me not to feel like I had to go as fast as the “other” drivers, as I was new to this whole thing and still getting the feel for the car and how it handles. I argued back that I didn’t want to bore him. But he responded saying that he wanted to be bored at this time. I will admit that, of all the controls in the car, I especially liked the gas peddle.

We thankfully arrived back at the house safe and well and I think Dad was ready to relax. Susanna noted that when I was coming up the driveway she saw me, “stop right before the garage and then zoom…(laughing)…it was funny”. I think I had yet to impress her with my driving skills. Another thing that was rather comical to some (included myself) was, after a couple outings, I think I must have been tense or something because I was sore in my arms. I know that’s kind of silly to be sore from driving but I really think that is what I got sore from! After all, I’m happy to be on the road.


jsb...merely a man... said...

Way to go Peter! But you need to loosen up a little there is no reason to be sore from a quick jaunt around the neighborhood. :-)