She's got the Driver's Ed Blues...
I had never wanted anything more than I wanted my driver’s license.
I thought it was something that I couldn’t survive without, that it was essential to being a teenager. Being the dramatic person I am, I made getting my drivers license into a big deal.
But anyone who is even slightly educated about driving knows that getting your license is a long process.
First, you need to take the Driver’s Education course. You need to learn all the safety and road rules within a certain number of hours, and then you need to pass a permit’s test in order to get your driver’s permit.
Anyone who has taken the class knows it’s the most boring thing you can do as a 15-year-old.
I took my class during the summer of 2016, and it was probably the most productive but least interesting thing I did during that summer.
After I passed my permit’s test with a perfect score, my mom decided it was a great idea if I drove us to Menards to get outdoor lighting for the Fourth of July.
I ran a stop sign. It wasn’t a good idea.
Now whenever someone in my family doesn’t stop completely at a stop sign they say they are pulling a “Magen.” I regret getting into that car to leave City Hall.
After passing your permit’s test, and continuously driving to anywhere your parents don’t want to drive, you have certain hours you have to fill with a driver’s instructor.
In Kasson-Mantorville, Mr. Denter and Mr. Johnson are the two driving instructors that most 15-year-olds sign up with.
When you do sign up for your hours, you sign up with a partner. Together, each of you drives for an hour in a two- hour session.
Throughout the sessions you learn different, and rather basic but unknown skills.
They teach you simple things like how to look over your shoulder, how to merge, how to park, appropriate speeds in certain areas, how to adjust your mirrors, etc.
If you don’t execute something right, or you put everyone in the car in harm’s way, the instructors have a brake they use to stop or slow down the car.
They had to use it often.
There was one time I just didn’t see the pedestrian, so I didn’t stop. They stopped for me.
There was also another time I didn’t check if anyone was coming when I was backing out of my parking spot. They stopped for me.
Or the time I was driving 75 mph instead of 65 mph down the highway. They slowed me down then too.
Looking back at it, I realize how important those rather embarrassing hours were. Those hours taught me how observant I have to be on the road, and how heavy the responsibility of driving really was.
Now whenever I see the sleek, new looking car with the “Student Driver” stickers on the sides, I take my time to reminisce about all the times Mr. Johnson got annoyed with me.