Learning To Drive: The Average Teenage Driving Lesson

Car ExplosionSociety loves status symbols.  That’s the whole reason we have huge SUV’s that each use a Middle Eastern country’s supply of oil just to get out of the gas station driveway.  So it’s not surprising that as soon as teens turn 15 (or younger, for some rural states.  The reasoning here is that the state’s population is so small that it would be impossible for a driver to find someone to hit with a car) they want a driving permit.

Then, of course, come the driving lessons.  The parents of the teen administer these, unless the parents find someone who owns a full set of football pads and helmet and is a responsible driver.  Since these people don’t exist, the parent gives the driving lesson.  From my limited experience, the average driving lesson goes something like this:

Start of Driving Lesson

Setting: an abandoned parking lot.  No other cars, a few lampposts and decorative shrubs.  Overcast.  58 degrees Fahrenheit.  Wind is 5 mph North-Northeast.  The parking lot is approximately at Latitude 45 and Longitude 56.  About 42.7483 feet from the left back car tire is a small pothole .29384 inch deep.

Parent: Seatbelt first.  Then overhead mirror.

Teen: [Gung-ho] Seat-belt. Good.  Mirror [With a sound reminiscent of fingernails-on-chalkboard, mirror breaks off in Teen’s hands.  Teen tosses it in back.]

Parent: Um, that’s fine.  Good. Alright, first put the key in lock, and turn it all the way.  Good.  Now put your foot on the brake and lift up the parking break.

Teen: [With a gut-wrenching shriek, the parking brake breaks off in Teen’s hand] Like that?

Parent: [Getting slightly nervous, but trying to hide it] Sure, that works.  Now you can shift into ‘D’, as in ‘Drive’.

Teen: It’s stuck.

Parent: You have to push in the button on the back, first [slightly more agitated].

Teen: Oh, I see it.  [With a sound akin to that of cutting firewood, the shift comes off in Teen’s hand.  Teen tosses it in the back, next to the parking brake handle and mirror].

Parent: AAAAAH! I mean-quick, put your foot on the brake. [Car had moved 3 inches forward].

Teen: Okay, okay, geez! [Teen accidentally hits the gas; car shoots forward into nearby lamppost, leaving it sitting at a 78.634 degree angle west-west-southwest].

Parent: [Taking deep breaths] Okay, it’s alright. Look, figure out which is the break.  Got it? Now, go around the lamppost.  Good, good.  See if you can make a turn-first put the turn signal on.

Teen: [Hits windshield wipers instead] Ooops… [Then acts surprised and happy that the windshield wiper stick did not break off in Teen’s hands].

Parent: [Points to turn signal] That control. Good.

Teen: Oh, right.  [Pushes up turn signal.  It breaks off in Teen’s hand with a noise similar to that of a paper shredder.  Ends up in the back with the growing pile of controls].

Parent: [After turn is completed successfully].  Good job.  Good.  Okay, see that exit from the parking lot? That street looks pretty deserted, aside from the young children playing in the road with their backs to oncoming cars, the pick-up basketball game, the moving van, the block party, and the sewer crew-oh, and the Rolls Royce on the corner.  Try there.

Teen: [Intensely dramatic silence as teen maneuvers to the exit].  Okay.

Parent: Good.  Now stop and look both ways.  Good, okay, now pull out into street.  Great. You can go a little faster if you want.

Teen: [Still concentrating, hits the gas] Whoa.

Parent: Forget I said that-slow down [Catches breath, as Teen veers over the yellow line in the road].  Stay on your side of the road [Firmly].

Teen: Sorry.  [Checks side-mirror, sees a bus coming from behind].  Uhm, there’s a bus behind me.

Parent: [Practically faints] Pull off the road, now.

Teen: [Speeds into, predictably, a mailbox].  Oh, wow.  This is clichéd.

Parent: What?

Teen: Nothing.  Oh, crap, the bus is still coming.

Parent: Well, move!

Teen: [Hits gas, but car is stuck on curb] Uh…

Parent: Try reverse.

Teen: [Grappling with missing control] Okay.  [It works] Thank God.

Parent: Good.  You are doing great.  Watch out for the bus-!

Teen: [Hits bus as 15.328 mph, severely denting the front].  Crap. [Changes to drive] There we go.

Parent: [Turned around, looking at the bus] Look, that’s all right, it happens to me all the time. Pull over; we have to deal with this.

Teen: [Picking up speed] It’s okay, I don’t think he got our license plate.  If he did I know a friend who can stea-uh, get us some new ones.

Parent: Just go back to the parking lot. I’ve had enough driving for today.

Teen: [Concentrates, drives back to the parking lot].

Parent: Good.  Great.  Fine.  Okay, get out please.

Teen: Sure. [Teen opens car door, and with something close to the sound of a trash compactor, the driver’s side door comes off.  Teen tries to throw it in the back with the other various parts, but it lodges in the door opening.  Teen becomes frustrated and starts shoving at the stuck car door.  It hits the horn, then the windshield wipers, and then, somehow, the airbags.

Parent, coming around the back of the car to get in on the other side, becomes aware of the damage at this moment.  A mumbled “goo..d…” can be heard as parent faints.  Then, local law enforcement arrives, called in by the concerned sewer crew.  They first ask for Teen’s permit.  Teen accidentally gives them a sample American Express card that says “Your Name Here”, which he kept in his wallet as a status symbol.  Then, teen finds permit.  Eventually, after many group therapy sessions, both Teen and Parent will return to their normal lives].

End of Driving Lesson

As you can see, driving lessons can be relaxing events and great for teen-parent bonding.  The health benefits alone, from lowering blood pressure to the overall calm aura, are well worth the time.  In fact, I recommend that you get out and drive with your parent/teen today, because tomorrow, who knows? The world could run out of gas, save the US Government reserves, which, of course, will be saved for one final Daytona 500.

5 Ways to Embellish a Project

An example of a perfect projectDo you every have lower-back pain for days at a time? Do you ever experience severe cramps in the abdominal area? Do you ever think High School Humor Blog is the best blog ever? Do you ever want to turn in something more exciting than your typical, boring school projects? If you answered yes to either of the first two questions, contact your doctor. If you answered yes to either of the last two questions, read the rest of this post.

Throughout the year, we high schoolers turn in many deeply philosophical homework assignments and projects. While the scholarly level of these pieces is always at a high level, there is one aspect that could use improvement: the presentation. However, I have created five fantastic methods of embellishing your project. Not only will you have a higher sense of self-satisfaction in your work, but teachers will be so amazed by the presentation that they have no choice but to give you an A!

1). Spruce it up…with WordArt!

WordArt – if used correctly, this tool can be a key asset for your academic success. A typical student would use WordArt on, perhaps, the title page of a project. The problem here is that the rest of the project is left bland and boring. Therefore, my first method of project embellishment is to choose a few words throughout your project. Then, use WordArt on that word every time! For example, maybe you’re writing an essay on the post-colonialism issues of Africa. Choose good words, like corruption and Gaddafi. Next, embellish those words with bright, vibrant colors and cool three-dimensional features. Now you’ve got the best project in the class.

2). Stapling Spree!

It is human instinct to be attracted to shiny metal things, and there is a great opportunity to integrate those into your school projects: staples. But one staple in the top-left corner is sooo boring. Instead, do better and staple all four corners! Although this embellishment method may create some issues in terms of turning pages, no worries! Your teacher will be so mesmerized by the four shiny staples that they must assume the rest of the project is just as good.

3). Set it on fire!

Throughout, elementary school, middle school, and high school, teachers have the habit of assigning projects about the medieval times. Usually, the directions are along the lines of, “Create a ‘Medieval Diary’ from a serf’s standpoint. Be creative in presentation of the project.” Apparently, some English king during the middle ages read Fahrenheit 451 and got ideas, so every student decides to singe the edges of their ‘Medieval Diary’ to make it look authentic. But, in my opinion, this method can be applied to any other type of project – for example, your 91-page dissertation about the neurological effects of cheese. When you’re done, just light it on fire. But for authenticity purpose, let the whole thing burn. Then, turn it in and your teacher is sure to love it!

4). Your own art form!

Paintings, sketches, and drawings are too mainstream, so why not create your own art form. I suggest do something really unique, like taping hundred dollar bills throughout your project. For some reason, teachers love creative art forms like this, and tend to give those projects A+s.

5). An Awesome Pseudonym!

It’s official; your name is way too boring. It is so boring, that it hurts to put it on the first page of your important project. Solution: think of a pseudonym. For example, say you’re writing a paper about the human effects on global climate. Instead of writing at the bottom, “By: Boring Name,” think of a random, made-up name like Al Gore. Because the truth is, your name is just inconvenient, but a silly name like Al Gore is sure too embellish your project and get you the best grade possible.

How to Properly Understand Class Acceptance Letters

An example letterIf you’ve followed my advice, and filled out your advanced class applications correctly, then you should be getting back class acceptance letters (or notes to go to the counselor/psychologist’s office.  My advice could have been misinterpreted by the school administration).

Let’s stay on the positive side, though, and focus on the acceptance letters.  If you didn’t get an acceptance letter, ask yourself this soul-searching question: is there any basis for a possible lawsuit? If so, act upon it.  I’ll still be here when you get the acceptance letter.

Generally, the letter goes something like this:

 

Dear Person/Mindless Slave/Deranged Organism/Student,

You knocked our socks off by being good enough to be approved for AP Advanced Class with TONS of Homework (taught by Mr. Ur-Doomed).  This is for the 2011-12 school year.

IMPORTANT: Your attendance is mandatory at the after-school meeting on May 25th, where you will receive a summer reading, writing, and spirit-summoning assignment.  Please come prepared with a wheelbarrow, shovel, and/or a large car trunk to carry the materials for this assignment.  The questions, as you will learn, can be found at http://www.ur-doomed.com/summer/torture_assignment/questions/#s=1-34,953/.

If, for some mysterious and obscure reason, you have changed your mind at would like to not enroll in AP ACwToH, please tell your counselor this as soon as possible, but no later than: August 4th, 1974.

Congratulations on being accepted.  This letter is almost over, but I am being paid by the word, so I’d like to thank you again.  I wish you good luck in your attempt to survive this class with fully functioning organ systems, because God knows that you will need it.

In fact, the administration has asked me if I will compound the luck I am wishing you quarterly, so that you will have enough to survive the summer and to pay your tuition fees.  The equation for the luck I am sending you is Total Luck=Luck(1.03)4.  If you did not understand that, I’d advise you to un-enroll from AP ACwToH, unless, of course, it is later than August 4th, 1974.

Happily signing off,

Didimention Ur-Doomed

AP ACwToH Professor

 

After reading your letter, you’re probably a little overwhelmed.  So I’ll help you through it.  The first paragraph says you’ve been accepted, the second paragraph tells you that you need to show up at x time to receive the fuel for your fireplace next winter, the third paragraph hasn’t been changed since 1975 (yes, I mean 75, not 74), and the fourth paragraph exists because the teacher gets paid per word (so the luck compounding was just an example.  Yours could have a haiku, a statement about how excited the teacher is for next year, or an advertisement for life insurance).

At this point, you understand the letter.  Now the question becomes: what should you do next?  The way I see it, you have three options.  Number one, you could reset your watch so it said the date was sometime in 1973 and try to switch out of the AP class.  Option two is changing your name so that the letter isn’t actually addressed to you, and returning it to the office under the guise of it being erroneously delivered to the wrong person.  Choice three is dropping out of school and selling watches on the corner of a busy street.

However, I would not recommend option three.  Although there are many people advocating for the education of the “future generations”, and will be against you dropping out of school, these people are actually trying to cover up the fact that they are extremely bad drivers, and will likely run you over if you stand, stationary, on a corner for more than two seconds (unless, of course, you live in New York, where they allow the taxi drivers to triple the speed limit so that they keep the corners free of high-school drop-outs).

With that said, I leave you with this famous quote (by the frequently quoted and extremely famous Anonymous): “Wise men learn from other people’s mistakes.  Average men learn from their own mistakes.  Fools, however, take AP classes all four years of high school.”

5 Types of Odd Substitute Teachers

KauaiMark has put a guest post that both Ted and I wrote for him on his blog.  It is a full-length post that can be found here.  You should definitely check it out, because it provides valuable information that could (but probably won’t) help you in some way.  Also, this is the first ever post that was written by both Ted and I.

“A must-read for anyone who metabolizes!  Terrific! Fantastic! Karl Marx, beware, there is a new set of humor writers coming to town.”-The NYT* Book Review.

*Note: NYT stands for National Yodeler’s Times.  Want to know why the Yodelers gave it such a great review? Read the post and find out.