This Guy Is Worse Than “Red Asphalt”

, , , , , , | Learning | July 29, 2020

When I was in high school, our school offered a driver’s ed course. It was a classroom-only course to learn the rules of the road; there was no practical driving in an actual vehicle. I’m convinced that the teacher they’d chosen for this class hated teenagers. Why he was teaching in a high school, I’ll never know.

On the very first day of class, he told us all that he “believed that no teenager should ever drive a car” and that his own teenage son was forbidden from taking a driver’s ed course until [Teacher] was satisfied with how much he knew about driving. I always wondered how the poor kid was expected to learn enough to satisfy his dad without taking any classes. 

Throughout the class, the teacher would tell us graphic stories about what would happen if we drank and drove, used our phone while driving, or even had the radio on in the car. Here are some of my favorites.

He described getting into a car accident and getting thrown through the windshield because, of course, we aren’t wearing seatbelts. This one included a handout with a graphic play-by-play of the horrific damage done to your body from one moment to the next. 

He described taking a run turn too quickly on a motorcycle, losing control, and crashing into a cornfield. In this particular lovely scenario, both of our legs are broken, so it takes three days to drag ourselves back to the road so anyone can see us to rescue us. I’m not sure how far into this hypothetical cornfield he imagined we’d be thrown.

By the end of the five-week course, half of the fifteen- or sixteen-year-old students in the class that had been so excited about getting a license were now completely terrified of going anywhere near a vehicle. 

This was a fine example of a teacher with no interest in teaching. He didn’t want teenagers to drive, and he certainly got what he wanted. I don’t think a single one of us felt prepared for behind-the-wheel practice after that class.

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Motoring Right On Through To Your License

, , , , , | Learning | June 1, 2020

When I am twenty-two, I decide to get a license to drive the second-largest motorcycle, which is the best I can do at the time. (A2, for you EU-citizens out there.) In drivers’ ed for a normal car, I had teachers that I would classify as “meh” at best, but for the motorcycle lessons, my teacher is awesome and knows exactly how to motivate his students.

While I love the driving lessons, the thought of taking the practical exam makes me very nervous as I failed several times when getting a license to drive a car. My teacher has already asked which spot I would prefer for the driving exercises as he has the possibility to make a suggestion to the examiner — unofficially, of course.

One thing that I am scared of most is one of the basic exercises: driving in a perfect circle. It’s not that I can’t do it technically; it’s just that the radius isn’t marked on the ground and I am terrible at guessing how many metres I am from the centre. This goes for motorcycling, biking, or horseback riding — I just can’t do it.

My teacher knows this and tries to calm me down by explaining that the examiner can choose from several exercises but he can only choose one, which means that if I am tested in, for example, stop-and-go, I won’t have to do the circle. I am good at stop-and-go, so I really hope we will do that one.

Fifteen minutes before the exam, we stop at a gas station to fill up and check the tyre pressure. Nervous as I am, I do something stupid and fall down with the motorcycle, hurting my knee — but not so bad that I couldn’t continue — and breaking the clutch lever! I can’t drive like this safely so we stop at the motorcycle dealership and my teacher calls the examiner to tell him we will run late. While the lever is being replaced, I am standing outside in tears. This is about as bad as it can get.

My teacher tries to calm me down. “Okay, so that is done now; it’s over,” he says. “Now you can focus on the exam and pass it.”

“I can try,” I say, shakily.

My teacher says confidently, “No! We’re not here to try. It’s far too expensive for that. You’re gonna do it!”

Cheered up only a little, I start the exam. For the base exercises, my teacher makes sure we go to the place I know best. Now comes the part I am so scared of; will the examiner make me drive in circles? I try to tell myself how unlikely that is when I hear my teacher over the radio making a subtle suggestion to the examiner.

“So, which exercise should we do first? Stop-and-go or—”

“Yeah, yeah, do that,” the examiner says.

I immediately cheer up over the little trick my teacher pulled, even if, on second thought, the examiner probably knew exactly what was going on.

And that’s how my teacher chose the perfect spot for the exam, saved me from the possibility of circle driving, and later even told the examiner that a line I illegally crossed was absolutely impossible to see with the wet surface of the road. I passed on the first try!

To this day, I think he is the perfect teacher and if I ever find the money to do the license for big motorcycles, I will definitely go to him! Even if I still have a guilty conscience about denting that motorcycle.

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Smoking Out The Bad Instructors

, , , | Learning | May 21, 2020

I’m in driver’s ed, and my instructor is severely addicted to cigarettes. The practical portion of the course consists of hour-long driving sessions with two students and the instructor, each student driving for a half-hour.

The instructor can’t make it the full hour without a cigarette. Since he’s not allowed to smoke in the company vehicle, he insists on taking a ten-minute break when switching drivers. He’ll have us pull into a fast food place to practice parking and then tell us to go buy a snack if we want while he smokes outside. All the students are happy with this arrangement because we get the chance to buy a milkshake, but it’s not technically allowed under company rules.

One thing that the instructor teaches us that isn’t in any of the course materials is that we always have to keep the driver’s window cracked open, no matter what. He claims that it’s for safety reasons, but we all suspect it’s because he always has a cigarette in his own car and doesn’t want to marinate in the smoke.

I have a driving session one day when the weather is bad, but not bad enough to cancel. It’s 45°F (7°C) and absolutely pouring, with the rain sometimes blowing sideways. I have just gotten into the backseat, with the other student in the driver’s seat. The instructor has her go through all the normal pre-driving stuff, and then this happens.

Instructor: “All right, the only thing you’ve forgotten is to crack open the window. Go ahead and do that now.”

Student: “But it’s raining!”

Instructor: “So? I told you, it’s dangerous to drive with all the windows closed.”

Student: “I’ve literally never heard that from anyone else, ever. Everyone I know drives with all the windows closed, unless it’s a nice day, maybe.”

Instructor: “Then they’re doing it wrong! See, if you have all the windows closed and your tailpipe gets blocked, exhaust will fill the car. I knew some boys who had that happen way back when. They backed too far into a parking spot, not realizing they had the tailpipe flush against the wall, and sat in the idling car for a while. And guess what? They all died!

Student: “Um… I’m sorry to hear that, but that doesn’t seem likely to happen right now. We’re going to be driving, not idling.”

Instructor: “You have to get in the habit of being prepared! If those boys made sure to always have a window open, they’d still be alive today! Now put the window down!”

Student: “Could it at least be the one no one’s sitting next to?”

Instructor: “No, it has to be yours so you’re always aware it’s open.”

She certainly was aware it was open the whole time, since she got rained on almost constantly. And then, after we switched drivers, I went through the same thing. We were both pretty miserable by the time the lesson was over. 

Our parents weren’t exactly pleased to find their children soaking wet on one side only and shivering when they came to pick us up. On the way home, I ranted a bit to my mom about the window thing and blamed it all on the instructor’s cigarette addiction. I mentioned in passing the ten-minute cigarette break he was taking in the middle of every lesson, which my mom was very interested in.

At the next lesson, I found out that the instructor had been fired after both my mom and the other student’s mom called to complain about the breaks and him letting us get soaked and freezing because of his own weird belief that the company did not share. The new instructor was confused when several students opened the window a crack even though it was a cold day.

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You Want Driving Anxiety? This Is How You Get Driving Anxiety

, , , , | Learning | May 7, 2020

When I am taking driver’s ed classes, I have an instructor that verbally berates me and yells at my friend and me the whole two hours we are in the car with him. This instance is just one of many.

I’m driving at thirty miles an hour and my instructor has not said anything else up to this point

Instructor: “What are you doing?! Speed up to sixty! Sixty! Come on; we’re going on the highway!”

My anxiety kicks in as I accelerate.

Me: “You didn’t tell me where I was going.”

Instructor: “You should’ve known!”

Another thing he did was force my friend and me to push our seats up really close to the pedals, far enough to make it uncomfortable. The only time he ever shut up was when my female friend mentioned that she dated another female student of the instructor.

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Unfiltered Story #143671

, , , | Unfiltered | March 15, 2019

(In the UK, before you are allowed to ride a motorcycle or moped (scooter) on the road as a learner you have to complete a one-day training course called Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) )

Me: “Good morning, *********, ***** speaking”

16 year-old: “Hi there can I book a CBT for Saturday please?”

Me: Yep, no problem, what’s your name?

16 year old: gives name

Me: (goes through whole spiel of how to find us, what to wear, how he can pay, what time to turn up, approximate time we would finish) “Don’t forget to bring both parts of your driving licence with you”

16 year old: “I need a driving licence??”

Me: “-”

(This has happened on more than one occasion!)