Today I was driving along and saw a familiar scene: white-knuckled teenager seated next to a stern gentleman holding a clipboard and who was undoubtedly holding his foot an inch above his passenger-side brake. Their car was embarrassingly identifiable with its driving school magnets to warn fellow drivers. It’s a scene I remember far too well.
Driving like a normal person was never my problem, but going through the stunts my driver’s ed teacher made me check off his list were torture. The worst day of driver’s ed was practicing backing up around orange cones in my high school’s parking lot. Being a height-challenged individual driving a really-high back window Dodge Neon meant I couldn’t even SEE the cones, let alone back around them. The experience, which forced me to explain over and over, “No, I could NOT see the cones.” Who has to back up in a zig-zag pattern in real life any way?
My friend, Rachel, had never even sat behind the wheel when her 16-year-old self went for her first test drive. “My parents weren’t the kind to let us drive on my grandma’s farm when we were 14,” she says. When she went on this drive, she misjudged a right turn and almost ended up in a ditch. From then on, Rachel vowed to let her children drive on the family’s North Dakota farm someday before they have to face the driver’s ed teacher.
My mom had to take driver’s ed from the baseball coach who pulled her ear when she turned left instead of right. Since she was driving in Northern Illinois, the teacher would take the car out on country roads and get it stuck in the snow and the students had to get it out. That seems even worse than the parallel parking test!
What are your driver’s ed memories?
LWTK’s mommy blogger, Sarah, is attempting to be a good mama to little Henry, wife to Shea, full-time employee and part-time grad student all while avoiding making dinner from a box every night. In her non-existent free time, she’s running, eating popcorn and blogging about it all at The Gatsby Diaries.