Sunday, August 10, 2008

Driving . . . Me Nuts

I spent the last couple of days participating in my (court-mandated) Defensive Driving Course. For convenience, I opted to do the course in the comfort of my own home--via a DVD called "Wheels in Motion" and then take the quizzes and final exam on my computer. (Click here for the post about my speeding ticket) Because of the price of gas, and the hassle of driving into San Antonio this seemed like a great idea. Especially since I could pull on my red sweats, curl up on my very cushy couch . . . and munch popcorn.

All very cool . . . except that the popcorn ran out in 15 minutes, and the DVD lasted SIX HOURS. Kid you not. And it was loaded with enough facts and figures to make my head explode. Oh. My. Gosh. I have been driving for . . . over 35 years, and I had no idea how how many problems I have been blessed to avoid. Like: Road Rage lunatics, exploding car batteries, head on collisions with bicyclists, skids, spins, car fires, failed brakes . . . and the hood of a car flying open on the freeway. Not to mention braking suddenly and being smacked in the back of the head by an airborne can of Diet Coke. I'm SO glad they didn't show what could happen if you got hit while curling your eyelashes. Not that I would do that while driving . . . ever again.

But aside from the omigosh factor, by far the worst part of this course was the TIMED quizzes.
Now, it's not that I'm not bright--I am--and I'm a champ test taker (heck, I do surveys just for fun), but I can't stand to be timed. And these quizzes had an actual little moving black timeline under each question that got smaller and smaller and . . . aagh!!! Thirty years as an ER nurse, and the stress of taking those little quizzes turned me into a quivering mass of anxiety! Worse, the quiz was sprinkled with odd questions that are designed to "verify your identity." Apparently some people get other people to take their test? Anyway, the little time ticker goes by when you're answering those identity questions, too. So, I'M EMBARRASSED TO ADMIT that I missed the following quiz questions:

1) According to your driver's licence, what is your middle initial?

2) What year is your vehicle?

3) Is your vehicle . . . a truck, a motorcycle, a sedan . . . or an "other?"

In my own defense, let me explain. First, I am not a natural blonde. However, the middle initial question seemed too obvious, you know? And, I had the time-pressure. So I answered "not applicable." Heck, I rarely use my middle name. It's Lee.

I always thought my Honda was a 1997. And the officer who wrote my speeding ticket has lousy writing. It looked a lot like a 97.

Who knew there was difference between a sedan and coupe? Not me.

The humiliating truth is that I missed so many personal identity questions that they froze my computer screen and I had to call the 1-800 number to be re-instated to take the test. (Yes, I had to admit I had missed my own middle initial). (I'm pretty sure the woman snickered)

HOWEVER, in case you're all afraid to share the roads with me, I DID pass the final exam with a score of 100%. And my speeding conviction has been set aside. So relax when you see me out there on the road. I'll be the blonde driving really slowly and cautiously. In my 1998 Honda Coupe. But if you pull alongside and ask me my middle name . . . give me longer than thirty seconds, okay?

It's Lee. Lee. L-E-E.

Buckle up and drive safely, y'all!


Mocha with Linda said...

Oh yeah, I did one of those fun online DD courses a few years back. Simply riveting. As exciting as home study CEU's!!

My boy is about to turn 15 so he'll be doing the real thing for the first time sometime in the next year. I'm NOT looking forward to it. I suspect I'll have to change my license to indicate my hair is gray. . . .

CandaceCalvert said...

Heh heh. Yes, the home-study of Basic Phrenology . . . was bumpy. ;-)

And never admit to gray. Although I suspect too many years of L'Oreal Natural Blonde . . . can make some women forget their middle names.

Thank you for stopping by the blog and happy birthday to your son!

L M Gonzalez said...

Hi Candace,

Love your blog! You always make me smile, at times, even laugh out loud! Thank you.

I would be a nervous wreck with timed testing, too. Sometime back I took a Defensive Driving course -a Comedy course. What was not so funny was the instructor who took 10 minute breaks every hour for a smoke break. Of course, the other smokers loved it, but we non-smokers, knew the course could have been shorter if not for so many breaks!


P.S. I've always wanted a middle name. Maybe I lucked out after all. LOL

CandaceCalvert said...

Hi Lupe--there was COMEDY driving class? Without timed quizzes? Boy, oh boy, did I make the wrong choice!

I'm glad you're enjoying your visits to the blog--I love having you here. I want it to feel like a fun place for readers (and writers) to hang out and talk. In fact, I'm having a new website designed with a homepage that actually LOOKS like a NURSES'LOUNGE, with lockers and hanging scrubs, stethoscopes . . . and a big pot of coffee of course. Sort of an "insider" glimpse "backstage" in the world of ER. The website will likely go "live" after the first of the year. Can't wait to be able to "tape up" a poster of the cover of CRITICAL CARE, my debut medical drama for Tyndale House!