Wednesday, December 20, 2006

...Let's not do the 'part' scheme, let's just get around to the summary of the past three days

As suggested by the previous entry, I have spent two hours out of each of the previous two days as well as today learning to drive. Submitting to my request that we get an independent instructor, we hired out of Safety First and out came a lad named Justin at 6.15pm yesterday.

As soon as I got into the car, my heart started to race. I was on a road restricted to 15 miles per hour (due to a few people down the road). I decided to tap the accelerator when I was told that we were still in park. I moved to drive position and started slowly down the road until we came to the stop sign, at which point I felt my arms lock. For the first day, my steering and method thereof generally was wanting — whereas I would witness quick motion of the arms crossing over as others turned, I remained to shuffling shyly around the steering wheel. This ended up dogging me the entire night, during which we cruised around Galloway Township and Port Republic. The instructor seemed to know the parts, although I was merely familiar with the route numbers. After a few juggles with the wheel whilst trying to remain in the lane and braving a six-way junction in Absecon (my classmates know the one), I finally managed to drop off a previous student and make my way back to Brigantine. I didn't want to share my experiences in public that day; I'm lucky the entry below is here.

The second day, following some words of confidence from table friends*, I met the instructor yet again, this time waiting in the roundabout in front of the school. I cautiously made my way out and we headed for Galloway yet again. This time glare, not curves, posed the problem, although it was only when we retreated into Linwood that I finally managed, painstakingly, to execute a proper, non-shuffling turn in a work zone of all places. The highlight, though, was parallel parking: We made our way to a park and the instructor took a few cones and poles out of the boot. My objective would be to scoot by the cones until the smudge on the back starboard of the car lined up with the forward pole facing the street, reverse, turn the wheel full right, and back up until anothe smudge lined up, and so on as many of my driving friends would know. I'll leave it to them to explain the 'K' turn. Nevertheless, this continued for ten trials or so until it came time to pick up the next client.

Today, I started at 4.00pm. We made our way out once more and took the previous client home in Egg hrabour Township. Once that was done, we took the promised shot at the city, Ocean City. Once we had covered a few blocks in the city and my turning had improved, we outed and went to the Linwood client again. When we parked outside a pub in Brigantine, the instructor filled out a few forms for me to deliver and I walked off, realising only a few seconds later that the pub was closed on Wednesdays.

* I don't sit with the seniors, due to irreconciliable differences. Rather, I now sit a table with five nursing juniors, a culinary student, and one senior. They're all female, and are interestingly enough those I didn't like in the beginning due to their social mischief. I've settled down with them now.

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