Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sliding Into My Driver's License Permit Test

My computer has been broken for the past two weeks, which is why I haven't been posting here, or on my "real" Livejournal blog. Rob's computer doesn't have the same graphics software that mine does, so I can't draw the comics that I've been planning to post here or the new header for my distro site. My Corel Painter disc is around here somewhere, but damned if I can find it... and my computer will be back soon enough anyway (I hope!).

Last week I studied for my driver's license permit test. It was not so great. I'm a person who learns more by doing things than reading about things, and the driver's manuals are not interesting reading in the least. Kinda dry actually. I read through parts of them (especially the parts about turning) several times, and I still think they could have done with a few more illustrations. Or maybe a narrative. "The Maryland Department of Transportation Presents: Learning to Drive: Starring Captain Caution and the Stop Sign Kid: A Graphic Novel."

Anyway, Maryland's DMV has a section where you can take practice tests comprised of questions from the real knowledge tests. I set a benchmark for myself: if I could take four perfect tests in a row, I am prepared to take the test. (I don't know why it's four, it just is.) The site said that if you had read the driver's manuals, you would be well prepared to take the test.

Not really! Maybe it would, if the questions themselves weren't so confusing. Like this:

Q: What is the best way to avoid an accident?

A. Search ahead for hazards.
B. Keep your eyes on the road.
C. Take a swig of your beer, it will help you concentrate.

It seems that B would imply A; however, after taking the test a few more times and memorizing the answers, A was the right choice. And there were several questions like that, where it could have easily gone one of two ways. So I wound up failing most of the practice tests, which sent me into a tailspin of self-recrimination because oh my god am I really this dumb? and well I am a 29-year-old taking a driver's license permit test WTF is wrong with me?? and I will never be a real adult. And then making plans to move to Montana long enough to secure residency because they have the most relaxed driving test in the country. You just have to, like, back out of someone's driveway and you pass. Or so I've heard.

I'd planned to take the test yesterday, but the poor test results made that seem impossible. So yesterday instead I took some more practice tests and... I passed. Several times in fact, although I didn't get 20/20 four times in a row. Now I'm shooting for next Thursday as the "big day." I still have a long way to go to get a driver's license (60 hours in a car with someone, classes, and passing the practical test), but the permit is the first step toward showing that I'm serious about driving and thus real adulthood. It's important to me to get this license before I'm 30. Mostly because, as weird as I feel about taking a permit test when I'm 29, and being in classes with people a decade younger than me, it's going to be that much stranger if I'm 30 and doing those things.

Otherwise, I've been spending this week putting up roughly a quadrillion auctions on Ebay and decorating for Xmas, normally my most-loathed of all holidays, but I put up some decorations anyway. I've also been watching first- and second-season episodes of Sliders on DVD, which was my favorite show in junior high, but lost me when it stopped being an alternate history show and turned into Farscape. This is an example of how weirdly uneven my SF fandom is: despite reading/writing a lot of SF (although less now than in the past), I watch almost no sci-fi TV shows, and in general I don't like science fiction movies. There are some exceptions, like the aforementioned Sliders (although I don't think I'd have watched it if it had premiered even two years later), and original Star Trek. Oh, and Lost, which I watched in its entirety over the past few months and have mixed (but generally positive) feelings about. I didn't even see Star Wars until I was 21. I think part of this is that like a lot of girls, I didn't spend my childhood watching those things and pretending to be Luke Jaywalker or whatever with plastic light swords, so when I watch them as an objective adult, I can only see the rubber alien masks and ho-hum, standard Hero's Journey storyline. Watching these Sliders episodes supports this theory, because even though I can see how objectively awful the show is, it's still enjoyable to me.

Or maybe other adults don't see Star Wars et al as objectively-awful-yet-enjoyable. Maybe I am just a jerk who is totally making fun of something you hold near and dear to your heart! Deal with it, nerds!!

6 comments:

  1. I'm sort of the same way with horror. There are gaps. I like films and the occasional comic or graphic novel and TV show. I don't really read too much horror "literature" or read the magazines, or every horror blog on the planet.

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  2. Star Wars is near and dear to me, but I love that you referred to Luke Skywalker as Luke Jaywalker.

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  3. You don't even know it's Luke SKYwalker?

    Worst.
    Sci-Fi Fan.
    Ever.

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  4. Oh, right, Luke SKYwalker. Hanging out with his best friends Hans Sono, Newbacca, and Dark Helmet.

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  5. for anyone in the same position, try taking a practice permit test over and over before the real thing...thats by far the easiest way to study.

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