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The Driving Lesson

November 7, 2007

I had a driving lesson recently. My years of teaching have helped me understand how to be a receptive and eager student.

“Hello, Andrew. You have a lesson.”
“Yeah, I know.”
“I’ve been waiting outside for ten minutes”
“Yeah, I know”.
“Well why didn’t you come out”
“Couldn’t be bovered”

“Well I’m going to have to charge you for the time I was waiting outside.”
“What? You’re charging me for NUFFINK!”
“Well I think that’s only fair as you’ve left me waiting.”
“Racist!”
(We go to the car)
“Okay, lets get started. I think …. Andrew?”

“What now?”
“Why have you sat in the back seat?”
“I like it here. I can see the road better.”
“Look, you aren’t going to learn anything from the back of the car.”
“Why do I always have to sit in the front? My last instructor let me sit in the back. And he let me drive at whatever speed I liked. He was a solid teacher.”
“Just get in the front”
(He waits)
“Come on.”

“I am getting in the front.”
(He waits some more)
“You can’t sit like that.”
“I drive better like this. I can’t drive properly when I’m facing the windscreen”
“I’m afraid you have to face the windscreen. And sit so you can put on your seatbelt. And your feet won’t be able to reach the pedals if they are stuck out of the window. Now what do you need to do before we start?”
“I dunno. You’re the instructor, you tell me.”

“Well you need to do the safety checks. You need to see if the car is in neutral and check the handbrake.”
“Why do we have to do that every lesson?”
“Well you’ll be expected to do that for your test.”
“What? I’ve got to do a test?”
“Yes… you will have to take a driving test to get a licence”

“It’s your fault if I don’t pass.”
“If you’d just like to get started…”
“I am getting started.”
(He waits)
“Well can you turn the ignition, please”
“I am turning the ignition!”
“Now you can adjust the mirrors.”

(He waits)
“I said, you can adjust the mirrors.”
(He waits)
“Andrew, are you listening to me? ANDREW!”
“What?”
“Can you take those earphones out, please?”
“Why? It’s not hurting anyone?”
“You need to be able to listen to instructions.”

“My last instructor let me listen to music. It helps me concentrate.”
“Look, I don’t care what your last instructor did. We have to do this in a safe way.”
“It is safe. I learn more this way.”
(I relent, take my earphones out, spending a couple of minutes switching my iPod off)
“Okay, we’re ready to go. Make sure you look in all the mirrors and out of the window before you pull out.”
“This is boring. Can’t you make it more interesting?”
“I’m not sure what you mean.”

“Well can’t we have a fun lesson, you know one where we just chill?”
“No.”
“Can I go to the toilet?”
(After a short, further exchange of views we pull out.)
“That was good, now you need to change gears. No. Not like that.”
“But I like doing it that way. It’s better.”
“Look, if you are going to change gears properly you need to use your hand not your knee, okay?”
“But I like doing it that way.”

(A short while later.)
“Okay that’s enough. Please get out. I have to end the lesson.”
“What? We’ve only been driving for ten minutes.”
“I’m afraid I have to end the lesson now for reasons of safety.”
“What? I was driving really well. You said I was driving really well. I’ve driven all the way to the shops””
“You were driving well for a bit, but that’s not what this is about.”

“Well why do I have to stop driving? I’ve driven all the way to the shops.”
“Please, just get out of the car.”
“Why are you making me get out of the car, when I’ve driven all this way? Look at the length of this road. I’ve driven all along it and you are making me get out of the car. For NUFFINK”
“Look, it’s nothing to do with how far you’ve driven. I am asking you to get out of the car because of what you just did.”
“I didn’t do NUFFINK. You’re making me stop driving for NUFFINK”

“I am stopping the lesson because I don’t think it’s safe for you to be driving after what you just did.”
“What did I do?”
“You took your hands off of the wheel in order to answer your phone.”
“So what am I meant to do, just ignore it?”
“Yes. You shouldn’t even have your phone switched in your driving lesson.”
“But it was my Mum.”
“I don’t care who it was.”

“You’re a rubbish instructor. It will be your fault if I fail my test. I hate this lesson.”
(After spending another five minutes arguing I get out of the car.)
“Goodbye, Andrew.”
“Same time, next week?”

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12 comments

  1. LOL – school has obviously prepared you superbly for real life ;)


  2. Classic. LOL.


  3. At last I understand why the kids at school don’t even bother doing lessons or sitting a test.


  4. ROFLMAO …. should be compulsory reading :)


  5. With your permission , if you don’t charge for copyright, I would like to use this as a script in my RE class next week. I am sure most of them will see themselves in there and it will be a bit of ” fun”.


  6. Go ahead. Let me know how it goes.


  7. All I wanted to say is

    ‘God, I love this blog’


  8. I told my year 10s today that I act like this on driving lessons.

    When I said “I told my instructor that if I don’t pass my driving test it will be his fault” two of them interrupted me to say “But it will be his fault”.


    • I’m going to make a video of this and play it in detentions…. lol!


  9. [...] The Driving Lesson [...]


    • I have translated this article to Slovak language; the translation is here:

      http://www.viliam.bur.sk/sk/preklady/teachingbattleground/driving-lesson

      Situation is Slovakia is very similar to one described in this blog. To make this article seem written by Slovak author, only two small changes would be necessary. First, removing the accusation of racism. Second, adding a comment that the student owns a car that is much more expensive (and therefore much better) than the instructor’s car; the student would blame the cheap car for all his failures, even failures to notice traffic signs, etc.

      Thanks for writing this article! Sometimes making fun is better way to show people how bad the situation is.


      • This is brilliant. I think it says it all about the attitude of many students and their sense of entitlement. Its interesting that many of these students of course in reality would never dare speak to their instructo r like this. Nope, just acceptable to speak to your school teacher….



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