Learning to Drive -- All over Again

Learning to Drive -- All over Again

Learning to Drive '' All Over Again

I learned how to drive in my first vehicle, an ‘84 family sized station wagon striped with
faux wood trim, red velvet seats with matching headliner and an automatic transmission. I
thought I had driving all figured out. Little did I know a surprise was on the road to my house
in the form of a flashy, blue 1997 Nissan 200sx sports car my mom had acquired while visiting
family in New Mexico. The excitement of getting a new car was abruptly halted when I peeked
in the window and saw something that my first car did not have '' a stick shift. I was thrown
into a whole new realm of the driving world. I will never forget the day I learned to properly
operate a vehicle with a standard transmission.

The day came to begin the task of driving a standard. It was a clear, crisp and sunny
March afternoon. The place was Mohawk Park, a sprawling, luscious recreational area with
plentiful parking as well as narrow winding marked streets. I was filled with anxiety as my
mother pulled up to one of the many large parking lots. As I sat in the driver’s seat for the first
time, I felt a wave of excitement, followed closely by fright, much like the day I first sat behind
the steering wheel of the station wagon. I suddenly realized the complexity of the task at hand. I
felt awkward and uncomfortable, yet eager to learn a skill that I would use on a day-to-day

Thinking of safety first, I adjusted the seat and the mirrors, as well as buckled my
seatbelt. My mom, knowing what was in store for us, mumbled under her breath something
about needing a body suit for the whiplash. I nervously dismantled the emergency brake,
clutched in, shifted to neutral and turned the key. It was on. Bracing herself, my mom directed
me to clutch, shift to first and ever so slowly let off the clutch while pressing on the gas
simultaneously. After that was when I understood her cautiousness....

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