tatjna (tatjna) wrote,

In which 5 hours turns out not to be very much time for learning a skill

Yesterday I did a thing that made me feel like a proper grownup. You see, the YoT recently got his learner's licence. This gives him the right to drive a car - as long as someone with a full licence is in the passenger seat. Yes, you guessed right, that someone is me.

Well, he's had 5 lessons to get him going, but lessons are expensive and from here to the 120 hours' driving he's supposed to get in the next 8 months or so, it'll be mostly me.

We live in the middle of a city - like, seriously in the middle. We don't even have a driveable road running past our house because it's in the middle of the central mall in Wellington. The car lives in the burbs with the couple we share it with, and so driving lessons involve a bus ride to get there and then getting out of the city to somewhere learner-safe.

Anyway, we started off up by Karori and drove the back way to Porirua, which is about 20 minutes normally and involves about 10 roundabouts and one set of traffic lights. By the time we got there he was getting used to the car, so we looped around the giant roundabout system out there and came back along the motorway, then he drove through town and back up to Brooklyn.

I only thought I was going to die once. Which isn't bad given the circumstances. And I think I kept my operation of the imaginary brake pedal pretty subtle too.

Actually he did pretty well. He managed a U-turn, loads of roundabouts, several sets of traffic lights, changing lanes on the motorway, multiple give ways and pedestrian crossings, and a right turn onto a busy road. Also, it was the first time he'd gone on the open road so there was cornering at speed too. There were only a couple of hairy bits and one missed gear change (hit second instead of fourth going down Ngauranga Gorge wheeeeeee!).

It's given me an increased appreciation for my Mum, who did this for me back in Ye Olden Tymes. It's kind of scary being the helpless passenger when the driver is that inexperienced, trying to maintain a calm even tone of voice - "Focus on steering smoothly into the corners, that's it." "Remember to look over your shoulder before changing lanes, that's the way, well done."

I had forgotten what looking over your shoulder does to your steering before you get used to it. *cough*

So, um, yeah. Thanks Mum. You rocked in a lot of ways and I am still discovering new ways that I wasn't aware of. And for those of you who still have your parents that taught you to drive, please go thank them now because OMG as a teenager I had no understanding or appreciation for how much mental fortitude it takes to sit in a car with a learner driver.

And since the long weekend's over, now it's time to get back to the study grindstone. This morning I printed out exam papers from the last 6 years. It appears I'll have to answer 3 questions from a list of 7, all long answers. They seem to be hooked on the Chicago school, feminist criminology, and this guy who insisted that there will always be wicked people and the best we can do is to keep them away from the rest of us. I guess that's right realism/conservative criminology - I'm not sure they really want to hear what I think of that tbh. Anyway, at least now I know where to focus my study. One week to go and I'm free!

Today, this is making me happy:

He just looks so pleased with himself!
Tags: moar grey hairs!, parenting is scary, teenage drivers, the yot and his elderliness
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