Living in a Driver’s Ed. Movie

When I think about it, it was an amazing thing that Provo, Utah had electronic faux cars that we got to use during Driver’s Ed. What tecnhological progress! I can still vividly remember taking that course–because I was trying SO hard and it was so important to pass. “Keep your eyes moving” and “Keep your hands at 10:00 and 2:00” are still things I think about as I drive (although I have heard that because of air bags, the whole 10 and 2 thing has been revisited so that you don’t break your arms in an accident). Anyway, using the little cars in a darkened room was about the best thing I had ever done–remember, I had never played any video games, since they hadn’t been invented in 1968. The instructor would turn off the lights and we would sit in our little cars with brakes, gas pedals, and steering wheels, and he would play a movie that made it seem like you were driving a car. Then you got graded by whether you braked, turned, or stopped at the right time. The thing about it was, in this movie, everything bad that could possibly happen to you while driving would happen: balls followed by little kids came bouncing into the road; people opened up their car doors; trucks pulled out in front of you; and trains came barreling down at railroad crossings. It was terrifying!
So today is one of those days I’m living in a driver’s ed. movie–in more ways than one. In a literal way, for example, I have had trucks pull right in front of me, students run into the street chasing a frisbee (they might be drunk), and doors open out of nowhere. In a more figurative way, I’m getting e-mails from left field, disappointing news about projects I’m working on, and strange e-mails from even stranger people with whom I work. There are some days when it honestly is better just to stay home.
The only thing keeping me going is the thought that in less than an hour I will be home, will change into my grubbies, and will be outside digging weeds and planting my cute little raspberry bush. Hallelujah!


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