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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Learning to Drive

T and I took a big step yesterday: I began teaching her how to drive a stick shift. I have a stick, and I'm not planning on getting a second car in the near future, so she's going to have to learn how to drive it.

I've been putting off teaching her because I'm not much of a teacher; I have very little patience. I thought it would be best for BOTH of us if someone else taught her. Unfortunately, friends and family members willing and able to help don't have manual cars themselves, so logistically it was getting too complicated for my harried existence (see, no patience!)

But now T has been 16 for almost 4 months, her driving class is over and hours are in, and she will get her license very soon. So I bit the bullet and tried to teach her the basics. I was very impressed with how she did, and the only time the car "died" was when I purposely directed her such that it would. She was scared of letting off the clutch, so I tried to show her that the worst case scenario really wasn't all that bad and therefore nothing to be afraid of.

T did great, despite our share of comical moments. At one point we discovered that she wasn't able to get the car moving because we still had the emergency brake on - at another, I'd forgotten to have her take the car out of neutral and put it in first. Finally, she got comfortable with first and second gears. Unfortunately, the parking lot we selected turned out to be too small for any more than that.

We agreed to table the lesson until a later time. I was sitting in the passenger seat, T was in the driver's seat. The car was on, in neutral, and T had her foot on the brake. I asked her what she needed to do so that we could get out and switch seats. "Um, put it in park?" Ha.


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