Here’s a quick catch-up. A few months ago, I passed my learner’s license and signed up for driving lessons. So the morning of my first lesson, I woke up an hour earlier than normal – this is a superhuman feat in itself for me – and headed off to meet my instructor. Let's call him… Paul.
He drove me off to an isolated parking lot and kicked off with a very professional "driving instructor speech" to reintroduce himself. Then he explained every single aspect of the car. Even the most obvious stuff – I mean, who doesn't know where the steering wheel is, right? But I didn't mind. I figured the more he told me and the more often he repeated it, the easier this whole mission would be.
So we started by running through the exterior and interior car checks. What a freaking lost list!
"Under the car? Over the car? The driver's door? The mirror? The windscreen? The windscreen wiper? The wheel? The nuts and bolts? The bumper? The car registration? It's there. We can both see it's there. Are you blind?What more is there to say about it?" I thought. Plenty, as it turns out.
We went through the list of 20-odd items three times. THREE TIMES.
"We're going to do that at the beginning of every lesson," Paul said.
Jeez. I was never going to drive.
Then Paul did the unthinkable. He said I should sit in the driver's seat, adjust it, check the interiors (again), turn the car on, check the gauges then (gasp!) start the car.
"Um… Are you sure about this?" I thought. "Isn't there some kind of mini-step we should be doing?"
Of course there were a gazillion more mini-steps to come: another endless repetition of blind spot check, mirror check, mirror check, mirror check, blind spot check. Then the clutch, first gear, balance, check, check check check checkety check check check…
"Oh, wait, now I can actually move? What? No other check needed? Let's add another one just for the heck of it!" I thought. *I'm very sarcastic in my head when during driving lessons.
Nope. There was nothing. This is it. I was about to actually move the car.
After a few rounds of going around the parking lot he said, "Great. Let's go on the road!"
Yay! Oh wait. I still have no idea what I'm doing.
“Paul? Are you trying to get us killed?” I thought.
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Keep an eye out for the next entry of the Learner Driver Diaries next week. See the previous two articles here and here.