On This Day: Driver’s Ed

I’m excited to announce a new segment on the blog, On This Day. On This Day will utilize the Facebook “On This Day” feature to see what I was doing with my life on this day in the past. I’ve actually wanted to launch this feature for a while, but most of my old Facebook posts that popped up were so incredibly dull and insignificant (“Won soccer game, 1-0”) that they weren’t even worth blogging about. There is really no theme of structure to OTD. I’m simply going to see what pops up every day, and if something is worth talking about, I’ll just see where the blog takes me.

So let’s kick it off for 11/9. On this day eight years ago, I felt the need to tell the world that I was going to Driver’s Ed because learning to drive was cool.


I can’t think of a bigger waste of time or money than driver’s ed, except for maybe graduating college with a degree in liberal arts. I learned absolutely nothing in driver’s ed, and nobody, not even the instructors, took it seriously.

The classroom portion consisted of trying to do various activities wearing drunk goggles and watching Red Asphalt, a video by the California Highway Patrol which featured graphic footage from fatal car accidents. I swear at least half of the class was dedicated to the dangers of drunk driving, even though I had never touched an alcoholic beverage and wouldn’t for at least another three years. And the kids in my class were SO DUMB. I mean I’d taken plenty of high school classes with idiots but the worst case scenario for the girl texting under her desk the entire algebra class is that she messes up my caramel macchiato in a few years at the local Dunkin Donuts. But the kid sitting next to me in driver’s ed, the fifteen-year-old who puts on the drunk goggles and says, “This is nothing like the real thing,” — that kid is going to operate a 4,000 lb piece of heavy machinery. That’s terrifying. Whenever I’m driving down the highway going like 75 and a car flies up on my ass, I always think of that kid–the one who brought his bag of weed to driver’s ed and used discussions about drunk driving to tout his partying experience.

The road lessons were worse. I had about five different instructors who did the road lessons, and only one of them actually made an effort to have me practice driving procedures I hadn’t tried before. A road lesson with the other four consisted of the exact same thing every time. First, we drove down a side street to find a car to practice parallel parking on. Then I drove to a gas station so the instructor could get a cup of coffee and smoke a cigarette. Then we went and picked up the next student. And that cost like $75.

Yeah, so, on this day eight years ago I bragged to the world about going to driving school, even though it was an enormous joke and I felt uncomfortable the entire time. Such was the life of a high school sophomore.


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