I finally had my second behind the wheel. After a gap of about seven months.
I did my driver's ed classes at Sears' Driving School, and they do 3 behind-the-wheels that last two hours each. The first behind-the-wheel is the same for most schools: driving on basic roads, following regulations, etc. The second-the-wheel for Sears is the highways and downtown lesson. I think this is where most schools differ.
I was actually kind of nervous for this lesson. I had never driven in downtown before, and getting on and off highways was still a sore point with me.
My instructor was extremely large, and I mean that in the most un-mean way possible. He was actually extremely large. He had red hair tied back in a ponytail glasses. I'm not trying to be judgmental, just painting a picture for you. I spent twenty minutes adjusting the car to my petite frame and its requirements. When I checked my rear view mirror after adjusting, I could still see my instructor's face in it. My point: HE WAS VERY LARGE.
The lesson itself actually went really well. Downtown is actually not that bad, and I just need a little bit of work on my highway skills.
The other elements of the lesson, however, were weird. John, my instructor, was a very vocal person. He had a lot to say, and I don't think he cared if I wanted to hear it or not. Over the course of two hours, I learned about his entire life's story. He had worked at numerous places, doing very different things. He enjoys being a driving instructor because it makes him feel like he was changing lives. He likes singing. His mother liked mountains and the state of Arizona. She passed away in March. He has a brother. His family likes to take road trips. You get the idea.
While this was really interesting for some time, all I wanted after about an hour was for him to just SHUT UP. I was sick of his voice, his stories, and missing the exit because he was distracted. I started to strategize how best to get him to be quiet. I decided that it would be best to just get the upper hand in the conversation and talk about myself instead. What I didn't realize was how difficult this would be. Every time I started a conversation, John found a way to relate it to his life.
It was quite the adventure.