Brian Bankler
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Day 1 -- Was told I would be instructing for an hour tonight. How bad could it be? The girl has already had months of lessons, and (as I remember from the dim haze of youth) you have about 10 hours of on-road instruction during the lessons.

So we're in the car, and the daughter does not know how to adjust the mirrors or seat. That's not so bad, she hasn't driven this car before. Backing out of the driveway involves a few jerking motions, a lot of angst, and absolutely no touching of the steering wheel to turn, despite the fact that there is a car parked on the other side of the street directly behind the driveway.

"Stop!"

At least that got through.

It turns out that the 10 hours of lessons only happen if you aren't sick on the first day and fill out the paperwork, so The Daughter is going to take her on-road lessons starting this Saturday.

Based on this, I made the command decision to drive us to the mega-church parking lot, which was empty. Then she tooled around there for a while. Among the comments made.

Me -- "Brakes are analog, not binary. There are degrees of braking, not just all or none. True story."

The Daughter -- "Curb check" (as she has the wheel nearly a foot onto the sidewalk).
"Try not to do that."
"Well, I can't see there."
"If you want advice on driving while short you've asked the wrong parent."
"She threatened to disown me if I made her teach me driving."

"You want to stay on the right side of the road, but when we pass parked cars anywhere away from the cars is acceptable."

"Dad, Did you know that when you do those driving lessons you only have to watch half the time and drive half the time."
"I did know that. I nearly died during my first lesson, but I wasn't in the driver's seat at the time. But the good news is that if you are involved in a wreck then, there's a 50/50 chance you didn't cause it, because you may not be driving. So then you wouldn't have to pay for the car."
"Yeah, but I'd have to pay for the hospital in either case."
"Touche."
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¡dn ʇǝƃ ʇ,uɐɔ ı puɐ uǝllɐɟ ǝʌ,ı
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Chestermere
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My first driving experience was with a car with a clutch and a stick.
I kept looking down at the shifter, and my mom kept steering me away from the ditch (deserted country roads).

When I eventually took driver's ed in high school, with an automatic transmission, I was a star.

Moral: Don't try to learn on a standard transmission if there's any other option.

My wife refuses to buy a car with an automatic, and I'm really quite good with anything with a clutch now. Because I understand it better. (much like her braking experience)
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Celina
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I almost killed my mother the first time I drove with her.

Luckily the other drivers saw us, waited while I got us off the sidewalk, and around the corner. Oof.

I still remember the look on her face. Just last week, she told me about it, so she hasn't forgotten it either.
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Jeff Wiles
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Macon
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This story implies that the elder Taoling is sixteen-ish and there is no way that can be a fact.
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Billy McBoatface
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jeffwiles wrote:


This story implies that the elder Taoling is sixteen-ish and there is no way that can be a fact.

What age is Wiles the Younger?

I assure you, children age whenever you aren't watching them. They do that just so they can sneak up and scare you.
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David
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This reminds me of the time my father tried to teach my sister and me how to ski. One afternoon later he decided that paying an instructor is preferrable to eternal war.

Here's a motivational video for you:
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Brian Bankler
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jeffwiles wrote:
This story implies that the elder Taoling is sixteen-ish and there is no way that can be a fact.


You may remove the 'ish,' as of last month.

So, I was trying to think of when the last time I'd been in a car tooling around so slowly (I'm not sure the daughter ever actually pressed the accelerator). And now I've remembered.

So, I'm in the driver's seat and my dad is in the passengers seat and he's telling me to put my foot on the gas and accelerate, that I was being crazy and that nothing bad would happen. It took me a while but eventually I was in traffic and I accelerated to normal speeds and then drove smoothly the rest of the way home.

I was almost 30 at the time.

I didn't want to disturb the baby on the way home from the hospital.

(At the time I did not know the important life-changing mantra Baby don't care).
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shumyum
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My twins (boy/girl) turned 14 last spring and in Iowa this means they can get a permit to drive with their parents. Next year they can get a permit to drive to school/work without a parent.

I'm short and they're short (although both will pass me this year).

They don't hug the curb...they are trying to get to third base with it.
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Andy Andersen
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My Dad decided I needed to learn how to drive a stick. The '67 Volkswagon was the perfect vehicle for the attempt. He showed me how to do all the stuff you needed to do and I started the engine - promptly drove it forward into the garage door (very little scratching).

I then drove it backwards into the street and it stalled. By then I was no longer able to do anything and Dad was yelling "Get this car off the highway." We lived on a quiet residential street.

I got out of the car and walked into the house, leaving Dad in charge of the car.

That was 47 years ago.

I never again attempted to drive a stick with one exception. I was a volunteer fireman for awhile and my comrades made me drive the truck back from a fire. They thought it was hilarious - it wasn't.
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I also had a complete failure when my dad tried to teach me to drive a stick. Lots of yelling, him always shouting that I was letting the clutch out too fast (looking back, it is clear that that was not the mistake I was making. He never told me I needed to give the engine gas as I let the clutch out, so I never did, so of course it constantly stalled no matter how gently I let the clutch out.) But then a couple weeks later in about a half hour my friend taught me to drive a manual on his pickup truck. Much easier and more pleasant.
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shumyum
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For my first car, I bought a used Dodge Omni and I learned to drive a stick (four gears...) during my test drive. I guess a used car salesmen needs to be a good stick shift instructor or he'll miss a few sales a year.

It also helps that there is exactly one stoplight/hill combo in Des Moines although it is hard to avoid.
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David
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As someone who has been learning to drive (stick) for a while now and decided to switch to automatic I relate to your experiences...

I kinda like the mechanics of driving stick, I'm just not good enough at it.

wmshub wrote:
He never told me I needed to give the engine gas as I let the clutch out, so I never did, so of course it constantly stalled no matter how gently I let the clutch out.
Well my driving instructor is a bit of a show-off that way. He put the car in a higher gear and slowly put it in motion just with the clutch. But then again he does this stuff for a living since who knows when.
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How a country where not everyone is made to learn to drive a stick as part of getting a driver´s license ever made it to the moon is beyond me
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Andy Andersen
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shumyum wrote:
For my first car, I bought a used Dodge Omni and I learned to drive a stick (four gears...) during my test drive. I guess a used car salesmen needs to be a good stick shift instructor or he'll miss a few sales a year.

It also helps that there is exactly one stoplight/hill combo in Des Moines although it is hard to avoid.


Where in Des Moines? I lived there for 20+ years.
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Andy Andersen
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oldsin wrote:
How a country where not everyone is made to learn to drive a stick as part of getting a driver´s license ever made it to the moon is beyond me


The space capsule was automatic.
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Orangemoose wrote:
oldsin wrote:
How a country where not everyone is made to learn to drive a stick as part of getting a driver´s license ever made it to the moon is beyond me


The space capsule was automatic.


But are the crawler transporters?
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Timothy Hunt
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oldsin wrote:
How a country where not everyone is made to learn to drive a stick as part of getting a driver´s license ever made it to the moon is beyond me


In the UK, if you take your test in an automatic, you are not licensed to drive manual.
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One of my early lessons involved endless circuits of an empty field which was surrounded by bush. There was a bit of a hill so dad livened things up by making me stop on the slope and start without stalling. This was in a '68 Ford stationwagon the size of a barge.

The afternoon culminated in a series of handbrake starts up the hill, during which the car moved in backward increments down the hill - in my defense the handbrake was hidden somewhere under the dash near my shins. The car finally came to rest against a 12m tall eucalypt, and I watched the mirror in open-mouthed amazement as the entire tree fell over. Meanwhile dad sat there telling me to get on with it:

"I just knocked over a tree!" I said.

Dad looked through the back window, saw nothing because the tree fell flat:

"Rubbish", he replied.

I had to force him to get out before he believed it. The tree roots were all destroyed by termites.
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shumyum
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Orangemoose wrote:
shumyum wrote:
For my first car, I bought a used Dodge Omni and I learned to drive a stick (four gears...) during my test drive. I guess a used car salesmen needs to be a good stick shift instructor or he'll miss a few sales a year.

It also helps that there is exactly one stoplight/hill combo in Des Moines although it is hard to avoid.


Where in Des Moines? I lived there for 20+ years.


56th and Grand going east.

I thought of two more:

31st and Ingersoll going south (not easy to avoid).
31st and Grand going south (easy to avoid).
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Timotheous wrote:
oldsin wrote:
How a country where not everyone is made to learn to drive a stick as part of getting a driver´s license ever made it to the moon is beyond me


In the UK, if you take your test in an automatic, you are not licensed to drive manual.
In Oklahoma, if you take your concealed carry test with a derringer, you are not licensed to shoot revolvers.
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Learned to drive in my mom's Toyota Starlet, with a 5-speed manual. By the time I went to take the test, she had traded it in for a Lincoln Towncar with an automatic. I failed. For the retake, I borrowed my friend's 5-speed Colt and passed.
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Orangemoose wrote:
My Dad decided I needed to learn how to drive a stick. The '67 Volkswagon was the perfect vehicle for the attempt. He showed me how to do all the stuff you needed to do and I started the engine - promptly drove it forward into the garage door (very little scratching).

I then drove it backwards into the street and it stalled. By then I was no longer able to do anything and Dad was yelling "Get this car off the highway." We lived on a quiet residential street.



wmshub wrote:
I also had a complete failure when my dad tried to teach me to drive a stick. Lots of yelling, him always shouting that I was letting the clutch out too fast (looking back, it is clear that that was not the mistake I was making. He never told me I needed to give the engine gas as I let the clutch out, so I never did, so of course it constantly stalled no matter how gently I let the clutch out.) But then a couple weeks later in about a half hour my friend taught me to drive a manual on his pickup truck. Much easier and more pleasant.



My dad, who was not easiest person to get along with, also taught me how to drive a manual transmission. When I stalled out twice in a row at a stop light on a hill in traffic I started to get flustered. My dad just calmly said, "Don't worry about the cars behind you, if they can drive a stick, they've done the same thing, if they haven't, then they never tried, so f' em."
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