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Poking idiots in the eye since 2002
...it's mocktacular!
I hate to think what would happen if they hadn't taken the class... 
12th-Feb-2008 08:38 pm
I'm 22 and recently got my driving license.  One can get a license at 16 here, but home and work were close enough that I never bothered 'til now.

Given that I'd never been behind the wheel of a car before, I decided to take a few driving lessons...

The class involved me, the teacher, a lady older than me, and fourteen 16-year-olds.  The class was great, both in terms of the things they taught, and the entertainment value.

The entertainment value was better than the class.

On the first day, the teacher asked what we should do if we saw a red flashing light.  One kid puts up his hand and says we should stop, then proceed with caution.  Next, the teacher asks what we should do if there's a flashing amber light.  There is no answer.  I died a little bit inside, when a girl in the back put up her hand, and said in all seriousness, "Someone's been kidnapped and there's an Amber Alert?"

Please tell me you didn't just say that.  You did NOT just say that.  We're learning how to operate motor vehicles and you're confusing traffic signals with techniques for recovering missing children?  I'm going to name you Amber.  I think you'll need a name.

I'm not as think as you drunk I am.

The teacher told us it was illegal to drive with a blood-alcohol level of greater than .08.  A guy immediately raises his hand, and goes, "That's 80%, right?"

What I want to know, is if that's what you're used to, what do you usually drink, and more importantly, where is it legal to buy some?

It bothers me that she got THIS excited.

The teacher told us that we would later be having a lesson in how to avoid a head-on collision.  Amber's excitement level goes from 0-60 so fast it would put a Porsche to shame.  She goes, "Ooooooh!  Does that mean we get to go on the highway and drive in the wrong lane?"

Amber, I'm not sure which bothers me more.  The fact that you actually thought that was part of the lesson, or how excited you got thinking about it.

His answer didn't seem to phase the teacher at all.

She asked what we should do if a pedestrian stepped out into our path.  One kid said we should honk the horn.  The teacher then asked a further question: "What if the pedestrian is deaf?"  The kid goes, "Oh, we'd be able to tell that.  He'd be carrying a white cane."  The girl next to him goes, "That's blind." He gives her a look like SHE'S the dumb one and goes, "No, it's not!"

It took the girl sitting next to you, the guy behind you, and finally the teacher to convince you that people who are hard of hearing rarely carry white canes, because they can see perfectly well.  I have some advice for you.  Learn when to admit defeat.

This one made her raise an eyebrow.

The teacher talked about driving at night.  If there were no streetlights, she explained, one would have to rely on the car's headlights in order to see.  Thus, one should never drive so fast that the distance in which a hazard can be seen is less than the distance it takes to stop the car.  This is known as "overdriving your headlights."  White Cane Kid retorts scornfully, "How could you drive faster than the speed of light!?"

I have more advice for you.  When you're already at the bottom of the proverbial hole, stop digging.


Part way through the class, we were introduced to this acronym, which stands for "Where You Look Is Where You Go".  A full FIFTEEN MINUTES into the next unit, some kid JUMPS up and goes, "But...but...in that acronym...there's no S!"

No.  No, there's not.  See, now you're catching on!

The teacher decided to teach us a little bit about how a car operates.

She explained various parts of a car.  When she was done, a guy stood up and goes: "So...a drive belt...that's the same as a seatbelt, right?"

I had no idea what a drive belt was, so thank you, thank you very much, for your insight.  I actually thought we were talking about auto mechanics, but given that the picture she's showing is under the hood of the car, where the seatbelts are always found, yes, I'm sure you're completely accurate.

Even the concept of changing a tire was lost on Amber.

The teacher was talking about changing tires, and mentioned that one should tighten bolts in a star pattern when changing a tire.  Otherwise, one could strip the threads.  Amber, with her keen senses, immediately understood the whole point of the conversation, and, as if to offer a demonstration, volunteered to strip.

Amber, if there were some sort of record for getting the full, undivided attention of a room of 16-year-olds, the majority of whom were male, you would win that award.  That is all I can say about this one.
15th-Feb-2008 09:28 am (UTC)
one should tighten bolts in a star pattern when changing a tire. Otherwise, one could strip the threads.

No, one should tighten bolts in a star pattern to even out the forces and avoid warping the brake discs and possibly wheels.
15th-Feb-2008 03:06 pm (UTC)
But it could in theory strip the threads because of the warpage. (so I totally made that word up, but I like it so I am leaving it) And if the wheel is not put on evenly it could strip the threads by causing the bolts to thread improperly, I know being a small girl who isn't necessarily the strongest person in the world when I change a tire I have to rely on the pegs (for lack of a better word) to hold the wheel onto the car while I put on the bolts and until all of the bolts are on it usually hangs at an angel...
16th-Feb-2008 01:17 am (UTC)
By the time you have any risk of warping anything, the lug nuts need to be tight, when means they've already been threaded correctly and tightened.
15th-Feb-2008 03:38 pm (UTC)

Of course, this right answer in no way relieves Amber of her obligation to strip.... ;-)
16th-Feb-2008 01:16 am (UTC)
This would be correct.
16th-Feb-2008 01:30 am (UTC)
We didn't go over this in my class, and my class wasn't in English anyway so I don't know all the terminology, and this really confused me. Tightening the bolts in a star pattern -- that's tightening the caps onto the bolts that keep the wheel on the car? And starting with the top one, then the lower left one, then the upper rigt one, etc?

And I'm afraid I can't figure out how this would affect anything. Help? (Don't worry, I'm not a complete dimwit, and I can change a tire.)
16th-Feb-2008 01:39 am (UTC)
Some cars have nuts on studs sticking out of the hub - others have bolts screwed into holes in the hub. (I'm more used to the latter.)

Yep, that's the pattern - it's about getting even forces on the disc and wheel, so you don't press them out of shape.
17th-Feb-2008 03:19 pm (UTC)
Odd, I don't think I've ever actually /seen/ anything other than studs coming out of the hub, with lugnuts then screwed onto them.

Way I was always told was to do every-other one, then go around again to make sure they're all the way tight. Same for taking them off. Break them loose every-other, /then/ jack up the car, then take the lugnuts the rest of the way off.

Although that every-other trick kinda falls apart if you have 4-lug rims instead of 5-lug, but I'd guess one pair diagonally then the other pair would be the way to go there...
17th-Feb-2008 04:18 am (UTC)
The idea is that if you were to just go around clockwise, all the pressure would be on one side when you were half done.
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