Sunday, September 7, 2008

Getting my driver's license

Today will be my third time to take a road test in East Rochester. 

I underestimated the strictness of this test last year when I was taking it for the first time in my so far life. I did not practice for months after we moved to here. My reason is I was 7 months pregnant. However, this city has useless public transportation, in my eyes, I felt the need to be able to drive a car around. Plus, after the baby came, I did not know when I would be able to take the test. Plus again, perhaps I had good luck, I would drive perfectly out of potential talents, blabla.... (Anyone believes this?) So let's make a road test appointment. It was scheduled on Oct. 26, 2 weeks before my due day. Fortunately, I was still very mobile and agile. The only practice I had before the test was driving home from work the day before the test. I ran into the curb when I was backing up in the parking lot. Great! Anyways, I went to the test area without any feeling of fear or nerve wrecking. I even chatted a bit with the examiner before the test. Driving started, and I failed soon after. I did not wait for the car passing at the stop sign, this is called "near accident"! I lost my mental power from that point on. A bit Flunk! Just as my husband predicted! 

I lost my interest in taking another test for a while. My baby daughter came into this world. I even felt more reluctant to risk her life with me driving the car! So nothing to do with driving for more than half a year. Reality is crucial! I had to get my license sooner or later. 

I started driving between the parking lot at work and the nannies. I felt confident with my driving except parallel parking, which I never practiced. People kept telling me that you still could pass if you failed the parallel parking. OK, I have your words, I can take a test now. I was scheduling a test, which would be on Aug. 8th, 2008. What an auspicious day! It meant for me to pass. I asked my hubby if this date was ok for him to take me to the test area. He insisted on that I needed more practice, perhaps a commercial driving lesson. That would cost me 90 bucks. We don't have that extra money to give away. I would rather use that money to buy something I wanted for long. No lesson needed! In the end, I did not take that appointment after the fight with him. Days passed, I did not practice that much, either. With the 5-hour prelicensing course expiring soon, I had to make another appointment for road test. So it is scheduled on Aug 21st. Later, I realized it was also the exact time my daughter would got her 9 month checkup. I made a bad appointment. I called the peds, no other time available. What a bumper! Test has to be on! Peds visit eventually worked out.  

Time came for my 2nd road test. We were on a mini vacation. So no worries about conflicting with work. We had leisure lunch before heading to the road test. The street leading to the test area we googled was under construction, so we had to follow the detour sign. A car in front of me turned to the left and I decided to follow her/him. Unfortunately, the car made a wrong turn and now we were in the woods. I had to back up. At one point, I stepped on the gas when I wanted to brake. So you can image how that worked. As a result, I got nervous and my hubby got angry with me. We then argued. Argument is common between us. I was very upset at that point since I was going to take the test. I was literally mad at him. My heart beat was faster than when I get really nervous. My test went poorly in the end. I got too intimate from the mistake I made on the way to the test.  The examiner placidly told me that I could make another appointment right away. My tears were out! I had very high expectation from this test and thought I would pass no problem. I did not talk to my husband a word on the way home. 

After I got home, I indeed made another test immediately. That is today.

I focused a lot on this 3rd test. I listened to my husband to take a driving lesson, which cost me 90 bucks and a really early rise on Saturday morning. I drove so confidently even on highway for the first time, which was light and light. I did good with parallel parking and turning. The following Monday, our dear friend P took me to the testing area to practice, focusing on parallel parking. The instructor from the driving school taught me a different strategy than P was teaching me. So I got a bit frustrated with the different instructions. Wednesday noon, we were out again at lunch time. P taught me some tips on braking, which worked like a charm. I practiced on parking over and over again. I actually did well with parallel parking. 

(The following part was written after I came back from the test.)

Time to go to the test. To be fully prepared this time, I suggested to practice a bit before heading on the road. I still did well with parallel parking. OK, set for the test.

I drove to the test area. It was a good drive with P beside me. I was nervous, having fast heartbeat. There were two examiners, a woman and a man. According to the order in the waiting line, I would get the woman examiner, which was what I hoped. The cars were back from the test. We were anticipating whom I would get. The male examiner! Sign... That is it! I confessed to him that I was nervous. He was kind enough to ask me if I had any questions. OK, take off! I was in the driving state. The parallel parking was not the best one I can make, but it was OK. I failed to watch for the car approaching me in time when I was backing up to park. The examiner kindly stopped me. I believe that is the only thing I did wrong. Back to the start point. He said to me "You passed." That is what I have been waiting for all these three times. Finally, I got it! I am so excited! 

I got my driver's license, too, like everybody around me! 

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