Archive for October 23rd, 2010

Three Great Things

October 23rd, 2010

Of course, I am writing IS. There is always work to do, so every moment not spent on IS could be considered procrastination. However, I am not too bothered by it. It seem like I am remembering the following lesson these days:

“All of the animals except for man know that the principle business of life is to enjoy it.”
Samuel Butler

Yesterday was amazing. It started out as a normal day, but it was also the day of my driver’s test. I went down to the Wooster Department of Motor Vehicles to take my road test. However, upon arrival they told me that I had to take all tests again. The last time I was at the Wooster DMV was more than sixty days ago, so my “written” test and my eye test had expired. Fortunately, I had come a little early. They let me take both tests right there and then. I was most nervous for the eye test, but I am glad that I found out the standards are not that high. The written test wasn’t that hard either, because you can miss 9 out of 40 easy questions and still pass. So, right before my scheduled road test time, I had completed all non-road tests.

The night before this test, I had gone down to the testing area to practice my maneuverability skills. The first time I took the test, I knocked down a cone and that means immediate failure. I didn’t want that to happen again. I went to the test site together with my friend Itai. Unfortunately, they had taken the cones inside for the night. However, Itai and I are liberal arts educated students and therefore possess extraordinary creative skills. We found some crates that people had left outside of a nearby gas station. We placed these crates where the cones usually are and we started practicing. I tried it six times before I felt confident enough that I was going to pass the next day.

Back to the day of the test. I really hoped that I would not get the robot like lady from hell again, but I did. Again, she showed no sign of being human. Small talk, no. Smiles, no. Unscripted sentences, no. I asked her a question that she did not expect and her face went blank. It was almost like one of the blue screens Windows users are familiar with. She rebooted and we could continue my test. I passed my maneuverability test without touching any of the cones. I asked her, just to be sure, if I had passed. She confirmed that I had passed that part of the test. My little in-car celebration again received no human response. We continued on to the road. When I made my first turn I heard a deep manly voice next to be: “SLOOOOOOOOOW DOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWN!” That is always a great start of a road test. Unfortunately, I heard this same exact voice when I turned later. It didn’t feel good, but I just kept going. When we returned to the DMV station, the lady from hell told me I had passed the testing. I couldn’t believe it. I tried some small talk again, but she did not respond. In her robot like voice, she reported that I had to slow things down because if I were to get in contact with another vehicle significant damage could be caused. Never thought of that before, damage after contact with another vehicle… When she handed me the report card, I noticed that I had passed the test with a total of 25 out of the 25 allowed penalty points. One more and I would have failed. Fifteen points for driving too fast (once for taking a fast right turn, once for a left turn, and once for driving too fast in general). Five points taking a turn to the left too wide. Five points for braking too late. I didn’t care, because I never had to deal with those demons again.

Okay, maybe my story about the driving test was a little too elaborate. However, it shows how emotionally involved I was in this process. In the picture on my new driver’s license, you can still see the blushes on my cheeks from the stress. So, the first out of the three great things in this post is that I got my driver’s license.

The second great things is that I went to the Ringling Brothers Circus on Friday. They call it the greatest show on Earth. At first I was skeptical, now I am a believer. I am pretty sure that this must indeed be the greatest show on Earth. I was not too excited that I signed up at first. It was a Friday late afternoon and I was about to board a bus full of first years that were very loud. I felt like a senior citizen on a school bus. However, as the show started I forgot all about the bus trip. I entered a new world where people can do things that go beyond the imagination. The highlight for me was a steel globe with a diameter of 16 feet . In this globe, seven motorcycles raced around. Yes, it sounds as impossible as it looks. They make loops in all directions while they manage to avoid each other in this tiny space. I still can’t believe that I witnessed that. Also, the animals in this circus were amazing, the acrobats inhuman, and the stunts were life threatening. I loved it.

The third great things is that I will be going to the Roller Coaster Capital of the World tomorrow. It looks like the weather in Cedar Point will be 74 degrees and sunny. Perfect for a day of riding coasters.
Bastiaan