The Meat and Potatoes of Life: Driver’s Ed evolves before us

| September 12, 2014 | 0 Comments


Lisa Smith Molinari
Contributing Writer
“Mom?! Where r u?!” my daughter texted at the end of her first Driver’s Ed class.
I pulled up to the community college parking lot 10 minutes late, thanks to a long line at the commissary, only to find Anna standing there with three other teens, looking mortified.

“O-M-G Mom! What took you so long?” she said, hurriedly hopping into our old minivan.
“Never-mind that, so how was Driver’s Ed?” I asked.

“Re-Donk! I’m going to die if I have to sit in that class all week. It is so boring. … All he talked about was how to hold a steering wheel. Eight hours of hand over hand? … Like, seriously?”
“Well, I’m sure the material will get more complex as the week progresses, and besides, the other kids in the class looked nice,” I offered in a feeble attempt to retrieve Anna from her free-fall into an abyss of negativity.

I was worried. But this was the last summer session of Driver’s Ed before the start of the school year, so Anna had no choice but to go.

In the days that followed, Anna became more entrenched in the micro-society that was developing out of her Driver’s Ed class.

Having identified the teacher as their common enemy, the teen captives formed an underground alliance, hell bent on graduating and getting the heck outta there.

At four-o-clock every day, while I waited for Anna to be released from class, I would see the Driver’s Ed teacher, with a permanent smirk on his face, saunter out of the building toward his nondescript gold sedan. Clearly, he saw himself as a sort of celebrity amongst the Driver’s Ed students.

Every day on our drive home, Anna would report what had happened in class. The first couple of days, she ranted about excruciating boredom, but things heated up mid-week, when at lunch, one of the girls admitted her romantic interest in one of the boys. The sophomoric revelation was welcome relief from the daily tedium.

File photo Driver’s ed  transforms students.

File photo
Driver’s ed transforms students.

“Werr is u, Boo?” I texted Anna from the parking lot on the last day of class.

I got no response, but a few minutes later, the teens came streaming out of the community college entrance with their final test results in hand.

I realized that, although they had initially defined each other in the simplest terms — The Dweeb, The Cutter, The Teen Mom, The Dumb Jocks, The Awkward Girls, The Boys with High Hats, and our daughter, The Goofy Military Kid — these teens discovered they shared a common goal. By accepting their suffering and each other, they found what they were looking for in the first place: their freedom.

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Category: Community, Community Relations

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