hermionesviolin: image of a bicycle painted on pavement inside a forward-facing arrow (moar bike lanes pls)
I probably could have biked yesterday (it got close to freezing -- as opposed to the previous day when it topped off at low 20s and was more consistently windy) but I wimped/lazed out, so as we dispersed from Mike's at literally 11:30pm I asked FCS-Ian if I could drive his car home. It was basically uneventful -- though when I take a right turn onto a street that has a lot of parked cars I go kind of slow 'cause I wanna make sure I don't hit any of the parked cars, and FCS-Ian reminded me to go faster 'cause there was oncoming traffic (slow/far enough away that I wasn't in danger, but I was gonna piss them off).
hermionesviolin: image of a bicycle painted on pavement inside a forward-facing arrow (moar bike lanes pls)
I drove for about an hour and a half today -- after having not driven for almost two months, so I was feeling nervous leading up to it. Actually driving, I felt fine -- though interestingly, after I was back inside my house afterward I felt high heart rate etc.

I still felt a little nervous on roads where I was going more than ~30mph, but I was routinely in the lefthand lane on major roads and didn't feel nervousness about the oncoming traffic (well, I sort of felt it, but it was sort of like there was a wall separating me from that feeling).

I was fine pulling into parking lot spaces, but less good pulling out, so that's probably worth practicing -- and FCS-Ian wisely suggested consulting the driver's manual about the official most correct way.

On reflection, I'd also like to pratice 3-point-turns and parallel parking once more before I actually take a road test.

I feel like I'm a (at least) minimally competent driver at this point (and FCS-Ian continues to be mostly wholly unworried while I'm driving), but I'm not sure how stickler/demanding the instructor will be (despite [livejournal.com profile] trijinx's assurances that her road test was "basic and boring," I'm still partially convinced that I'm going to fail my first road test).

Edit: I went online to schedule a road test for over the Christmas Break and apparently the next available road test is January 27 in Cambridge -- I don't even know when the next one in Watertown would be. :/
hermionesviolin: image of a bicycle painted on pavement inside a forward-facing arrow (moar bike lanes pls)
Having learned from last time, the plan tonight was that I would drive wherever I wanted and FCS-Ian would read facebook on his phone. He was remarkably attentive to what I was doing, though -- like, could give me detailed critique about why/how I'd ended too far out from the curb when pulling into the space or whatever.

My first attempt tonight was good but room for improvement. My second one was perfect.

The rest of the night was a mix. After having gotten good [tonight] at parallel parking behind a vehicle when there was no vehicle behind me, I got way less good at parallel parking between spaces. I got better again -- though having a car over to my left also makes me nervous (yay, narrow streets!). But my last 2 parallel parks were perfect! \o/

And FCS-Ian commented multiple times during the night that I seemed to be operating a lot more intuitively -- parallel parking was more of a single step ("to parallel park") rather than a 3-step process ... which was a little problematic because I was paying less attention to the individual steps, but I was also developing some intuition about how to fix things.
hermionesviolin: image of a bicycle painted on pavement inside a forward-facing arrow (moar bike lanes pls)
FCS-Ian and I did driving practice this afternoon. More traffic than we were expecting, on the residential side streets we were attempting to practice parallel parking on, which made it challenging. After a while, he reminded me that I tend to do better when I'm making the decisions and he's not talking to me all the time, so he told me to just pick streets and spots to try, and he wouldn't say anything (unless, e.g., I had the wheel turned the wrong way when I was about to reverse and thus would be about to hit another car). Apparently his checking facebook etc. while I was doing this was not just because he trusts me but also to keep him from talking -- but he did trust me enough that he could be on his phone most of the time. And I definitely got better as we went along. (And after like the 3rd time I consistently remembered which way to turn the wheel -- to my right when reversing to parallel park on my righthand side -- which I have no optimism I'll remember next time, hence writing it down now so I can refresh my memory before we go next time.)
hermionesviolin: image of a bicycle painted on pavement inside a forward-facing arrow (moar bike lanes pls)
FCS-Ian and I were gonna go driving yesterday before church, but after much back and forth we ended up rescheduling to 7:30pm tonight. Now that it's still light out at that hour, it works well (after his kids are in bed, etc.).

He'd had a lot of coffee today, which was fine except that he wasn't super-focused and so would be like "pull over here" practically as we were passing something, and I need to get better at being like, "Explain to me exactly what you're about to ask me to do" (and make sure I actually understand! like have the correct visualization) instead of just following his instructions and ending up being llike, "Yes, I totally overshot that, in part because I had literally no idea where I was supposed to be aiming." (I reminded him at the beginning that last time we spent the first half on the street and the second half in a parking lot and realized after we were done that it would have been much more effective to have started in a parking lot. He decided that we would drive until we found an acceptable parking lot -- since our usual would probably be full/busy -- and I was fine with getting street practice, but e.g. "drive until forever, don't worry about turning" followed almost immediately by telling me to turn somewhere is suboptimal.)

Near the beginning, he commented that my actual driving was fine -- that I haven't put in a lot of actual hours on the road, but I've improved significantly since I started. And near the end (driving back to my house) he commented that I'm much more confident driving when I know where I'm going, to which I said that we learned this when I drove through the Powder House Rotary of Death at like 4pm on a holiday.

At the end, he said I'm doing great with k-turns (aka, 3-point turns -- which, along with parallel parking, was what I'd said I felt stood between me and passing the road test).
hermionesviolin: image of a bicycle painted on pavement inside a forward-facing arrow (moar bike lanes pls)
This morning, we drove to FCS-Ian's neighborhood and spent about a half an hour trying to practice 3-point turns & parallel parking. I can follow really explicit instructions, but I have basically no internal understanding of why the car is doing what it's doing when I'm going in reverse, so after about a half an hour (at which point I was half-expecting FCS-Ian to say we'd maxed out his anxiety quotient for the day) we went to a parking lot so I could just practice reversing -- in retrospect, it would have been more Effective to do the parking lot first, but live and learn.

Doing 90-degree turns while reversing, I quickly internalized (well, after I got through the part where I was just memorizing -- which was less helpful) that I turn the wheel the opposite direction of where I want the front of the car to be pointing. Which, in retrospect, probably people had attempted to explain that to me before? And it's probably more nuanced when you're making less than 90-degree turns. But hey, I have learned a thing.
hermionesviolin: image of a bicycle painted on pavement inside a forward-facing arrow (moar bike lanes pls)
My mom drove us to Singspiration (partly because the car was parked out back, where it's a bit challenging to get it out), but I got to drive us home. My mom said I drove more confidently, and I definitely felt more confident than I had the last time. (Obviously it helped that there was basically no one else on the road.)
hermionesviolin: image of a bicycle painted on pavement inside a forward-facing arrow (moar bike lanes pls)
We didn't drive last Sunday, due to a scheduling conflict -- which given that we lost an hour to Daylight Savings &c. was okay with me, as it meant I was significantly less underslept for a long day -- but we did this morning.

We took 93 North for about a half an hour, stopped at a Dunkin' Donuts, and then took 93 South back -- with some extra practicing on and off exit ramps on the way back.

FCS-Ian thinks I'm doing fine. I continue to feel a little bit nervous -- I think largely I just still haven't internalized all of how it works ... being aware of and responding appropriately to all the stuff around you (traffic [incl. reading what the other driver is thinking and intuiting what they think you're thinking as you all do this non-verbal dance of not crashing and ideally keeping a smooth flow of traffic ... !], exits [I keep feeling like exit ramps pop up suddenly way after I've seen the initial sign and have been looking for warning about when I should start slowing down in anticipation of said exit], etc.).

One of the biggest adjustments, actually, is that I've gotten trained to not manually turn off my turn signal since it does it on its own -- except that when you're just shifting lanes rather than doing ~90-degree turns, it doesn't.
hermionesviolin: image of a bicycle painted on pavement inside a forward-facing arrow (moar bike lanes pls)
Mom let me drive us home from Singspiration. So like a 5-minute drive, with almost no traffic (though there was one person behind me while I was still driving 20 -- I did get up to 30 ... and also opted to get off that road at the next streetlight). The towering snowdrifts do make driving kinda dodgy, ngl -- and I probably wasn't do the greatest job of staying in a consistent portion of the lane (in part because I had almost no cues). But I successfully pulled into a parking lot space on the first try (within the lines even, albeit at a weird angle) and seem to be getting better at judging space, because I suspected I could have pulled up further and when I got out of the car I saw that was true.
hermionesviolin: image of a bicycle painted on pavement inside a forward-facing arrow (moar bike lanes pls)
Thursday morning, my dad picked me up to bring me to my parents' for Thanksgiving.

Yesterday (Friday), my mom and I visited friends two towns over. My mom cleared the snow/ice off the car and as I got into the car (she was already in the driver's seat), I said, "So I guess I'm not driving to [town], huh?" and my mom was like, "Oh yeah, I guess not." As if we couldn't have switched seats then before we left the parking lot. I was still a little tired, though, so I wasn't too inclined to push to get to drive.

Today she was having lunch with friends ~2 miles away and I was welcome if I was still gonna be in town. So I did drive to that. The windy (long-i sound) downhill with the sun in my eyes, my mom commented I could drive faster (when I'm nervous I slow down), but otherwise I mostly managed to drive 25-30mph (the speed limit was 30).

At one point, someone in the oncoming traffic made a lefthand turn, and yes a more experienced driver would likely merely have slowed down, but it startled me and I slammed on the brakes. I started up again once the vehicle was no longer in front of me, but the vehicle behind me honked and they and like 5 other cars proceeded to pass me.

Other than that, it was fairly uneventful. I tried to start turns earlier than I'm inclined to (per my dad), though I remain terrible at actually looking in my mirrors for what's going on behind me at all.

Despite the parking lot being somewhat crowded (and my thus feeling somewhat nervous about my ability to actually park), I pulled into a parking space and was actually within the lines (far over to one edge, but within the lines). I took a photo to show FCS-Ian on FB (yay smartphones).

Driving back was also a little bit nervous-making (ugh, parking lots), but the traffic wasn't too bad. The parking lot across from my parents' was empty, so I could drive straight into a spot easily (though I was still far to one side -- righthand side both times). I pulled up a couple times (I have a tendency to overestimate how big the car is and thus how close I am to things) and felt a little bit nervous like I'd overshot, but I was right up to where I should have been.

My dad drove me home, and I said I wasn't especially feeling up for trying that and he deadpanned that the Southeast Expressway is everyone's favorite place to drive.
hermionesviolin: Boston skyline at sunset with the word "Boston" at the top (Boston)
You know when is a terrible time to practice driving? When the sun is directly in your face.

Okay, I've driven with sun-blindness before, but highway driving when you can't see the speedometer...

I wasn't actually super-anxious, though -- I definitely slowed down whenever I couldn't see the speedometer (and FCS-Ian would alert me when I got down to 45 or 40 -- the posted speed limit was 55), but there wasn't a lot of traffic (it was ~7:30am on a Saturday); I think with more traffic, the limited visibility would have made me a lot more nervous.

Driving on Mt. Auburn last weekend, I really felt the difference between 20mph (which I'd been comfortable driving at) and 30mph (the posted speed limit), so I was nervous about the ~60mph nature of highway driving, but because of the road surface, I mostly didn't feel it at all -- which is a little nervous-making, because I can't rely on my bodily experience of the driving and have to be sure to keep an eye on the speedometer (and the traffic around me, which would usually be primary, but in the absence of much traffic, very much the speedometer) or else I could easily drive a wildly different speed than I intended, but I was mostly fine.

I didn't do the full drive to Framingham, 'cause we used up FCS-Ian's anxiety quotient (not that I was driving badly!) plus he was helping with AV stuff at Super Saturday so he wanted to get there early-ish and while I was hovering around the speed limit (even getting up to ~65 at times) when the sun wasn't blinding me, obviously he drives faster.

We talked about doing some Sunday morning (pre-church) highway driving (possibly on north-south roads, to avoid the sun-blindness issue) because he wants me to get to practice changing lanes on the highway without there being much traffic.

***

On the drive home, we had productive and enjoyable church-related conversations, in which I acquired more to-do list items, but I am currently in phase one of my "do laundry then go the fuck to sleep" post-Super Saturday to-do list (I was out late last night because Drag Gospel at Club Cafe, and up early this morning because Framingham; bonus: I biked ~16mi yesterday for the first time in a while [my work commute is ~8mi roundtrip] and my knees were definitely feeling that during the afternoon workshop today).
hermionesviolin: image of a bicycle painted on pavement inside a forward-facing arrow (moar bike lanes pls)
Shoshana's plan for driving practice today was real roads, preferably multi-lane roads, to work on my difficulty staying in my lane.

I definitely still drift a lot (and overshoot turns), but there were no collisions or even honking -- even though I was initially responding really badly to bicyclists on my right (slowing down AND moving over into the lefthand lane? terrible idea). And I successfully yielded to rotary traffic (and am developing more of a habit of looking in my lefthand mirror at least). And there was one intersection where Shoshana said she was impressed by my handling of it (mostly her verbal contributions, other than GPS-type stuff, were to express concern about my driving -- which is totally fair and appropriate).

I'm not sure if I'm now less or more nervous about highway driving this Saturday (with FCS-Ian, going to Framingham for Super Saturday).

Oh, and I didn't think to intentionally look after I got out of the car when we were done, but I pulled up in front of the church and I don't think I was ridiculously far out from the curb.
hermionesviolin: image of a bicycle painted on pavement inside a forward-facing arrow (moar bike lanes pls)
As we were finishing up lunch this afternoon, Shoshana asked, "Do you want to go driving?"

I said, "No" -- but that it was what we had on the schedule for the afternoon ... and that while I felt nervous and anxious, I am committed to this.

She asked what I wanted to work on, and I said three-point turns and parallel parking. She said she didn't feel well-equiped to teach me to parallel park, so we just did three-point turns.

She drove us to Mount Auburn Cemetery and despite the terrible dappled light, I navigated all the turns etc. successfully. And I apparently have a high tolerance for people repeatedly telling me I'm slightly too far over to the left (or the right) -- which is good, since appropriately staying in my lane is apparently a skill I have not yet mastered.

We practiced three-point turns turning to the left and turning to the right. Having done them a bunch, it definitely felt more intuitive.

After about an hour, we drove back to church (where my bike was parked), so no rotaries or anything. There was a bicyclist going the wrong way on Mass. Ave. and flipped him off and complained but forgot that I have a horn for displaying my displeasure (hey, there are a lot of things to remember in a car).

This morning, FCS-Ian and I chatted about when he might be willing to go back on sound booth rotation and/or resume driving lessons with me, so when we do resume in October-ish I'll try to remember to ask him to focus on parallel parking.
hermionesviolin: (small girl in big world [_extraflamey_])
FCS-Ian's wife gave birth to their second child the night after our last driving lesson.

Sunday afternoon, Shoshana picked me up at my house and drove us to Mount Auburn Cemetery. I drove around, getting used to her Prius.

Then I practiced three-point turns and parallel parking. I did them successfully (eventually), but I needed step-by-step instruction and definitely need a lot more practice. (Steering wheel direction while reversing continues to be completely non-intuitive to me -- among other issues.)

She GPSed us out of the cemetery (yay, technology) and thought I could drive back to my house (she GPSed it and directed me). So that was Mystic Valley Parkway, and rotaries.

I didn't crash into anything or even get honked at (until I was almost home and was being careful of a bicyclist in front of me and the car behind me was cranky), despite some seriously flawed driving.

QOTD was possibly, "We're yielding to rotary traffic, remember?"

Though as she pointed out, there's a steep learning curve when first learning to drive because there's so much you need to pay attention to -- and as you do it more, much of it becomes rote and you can focus on just paying attention to the stuff that's unfamiliar.

***

On the drive over to Watertown, I talked about my continuing indecision about ASA. I told her that the previous afternonon I had told Ari that basically I want someone to convince me to go to ASA, and that in that conversation Ari had said, "I'm not hearing anything that tips me over from neutral."

During our conversation, Shoshana said, "I think you want someone to convince you NOT to go," but she was attempting to be amenable.
AAR/SBL is clearly the better choice for me -- but I have the disposable income and vacation time &c. that it doesn't have to be an either/or choice.
Just showing up to panels and taking notes is basically what I do at Arisia -- I mean, I end up bumping into people I already know and hanging out with them, but I don't go out of my way to make new friends. So doing that at ASA isn't going to feel like a waste of a con to me. And there are sessions on sexuality and media and stuff that's of interest to me at basically every time slot, so it's not like I'm spending a thousand dollars or whatever just to go to the porn panel.

I also talked with Jenna at Coffee Hour. She asked, "What else would you be doing with this money? [...] I'm not trying to encourage people to be reckless, but..."

***

In, "decisions I feel more equipped to make than ASA," I think I'm finally going to get a smartphone.

Based on my previous experience with could-be-smartphones, I have a strong preference for one with a pullout keyboard. Otherwise I don't really have any specifications in mind. I want to keep my phone number and transfer my contacts, so that probably means staying with Verizon, though I assume those transfers are doable across carriers, albeit possibly for a fee.

Input is welcome.
hermionesviolin: image of a bicycle painted on pavement inside a forward-facing arrow (moar bike lanes pls)
FCS-Ian and I went driving after work yesterday. He has a Ford Focus and yeah, it definitely handles differently than my parents' Toyota Corolla.

He proposed that he not talk (unless necessary) -- because when he's nervous he talks more, and that's not necessarily helpful (to me), that I know the stuff I need to practice/be careful about/whatever and him continuing to tell me doesn't necessarily help me any. I don't think it's unhelpful, but I said sure.

I briefed him on the driving practice I did with my dad on Saturday, and he said he thought it was good for me to get practice in other vehicles (and with other instructors).

I asked where he wanted me to drive (recalling that we had planned to do more trafficked streets) and he said I could go wherever I wanted. (And we did talk while I drove, he just didn't tell me where or how to drive -- much.)

I did some familiar routes (there are only so many side streets around the church) and then decided to take a right instead of the left we'd done last time, even though I suspected that would take me toward a more trafficked street (yes, Shoshana was like, "So you knew you needed to practice on more trafficked streets and you were avoiding them?"), and yup, that was Broadway coming up ahead of me. The police had pulled someone over up on the left, so instead of taking a left onto Broadway we took a right -- then a right onto Medford Street. While on Medford Street I noticed it was 6:05pm and suggested we head back since he needed to get home. He actually hadn't noticed the time at all (yay!). We took School Street to Highland and then came through Davis Square (the easiest possible way, because it's just staying to the right, but still -- and FCS-Ian did remind me to be attentive to people trying to merge into my lane as we were coming into Davis on Highland).

I was definitely like a foot and a half away from the curb when I pulled up in front of the church, but we didn't really have time for me to work on parking at that moment.

FCS-Ian said I was more confident (and [thus] a better driver) on the more trafficked roads -- which makes sense; they're wider, more predictable (you have the yellow line to your left and parked cars to your right and everyone's just doing their thing, fewer cross streets or people etc. possibly jumping into the street). I still get nervous when there are bicyclists on my right, worried I'm going to be too close to them and tragedy will ensue (since I still don't have a great sense of how much space my vehicle is taking up -- I can get into a groove on the road, but when there's something between me and what's been on my right...). He said the bicyclist and I were clearly aware of each other and I was being conscientious and he gave me permission to let go of that worry.

(It occurred to me later that I could drive us to my house -- not through the Powder House Rotary of death, but the way I bike home.)

I still haven't done a lefthand turn onto a ~major street -- oops.

Shoshana volunteered to take me parallel parking etc. once FCS-Ian is indisposed due to newborn (baby is due August 7). I think parallel parking and 3-point-turns are the things you get on the driver's test that I really don't feel equipped to do. *looks up the list online*

Page 31 of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Driver's Manual says:
During a road test, you should be prepared to demonstrate your ability to...
• Use hand signals
• Start the engine
• Start and stop the vehicle
• Parallel Park
• Back the vehicle approximately 50 feet
• Make left - right turns
• Start, stop, and turn the vehicle on a hill
• Turn around between curbs (three point turn)
• Enter and leave intersections
• Recognize and obey traffic signs, lights and signals, and other rules of the road
• Use good driving sense

In addition to judging your overall driving skills, the examiner will note how well you follow general good-driving procedures, including whether you...
• Use good driving posture, with both hands always placed properly on the wheel
• Drive in the proper lane and look carefully and signal properly before changing lanes
• Maintain enough distance between your vehicle and the one ahead of you
• Always drive at safe speeds to comply with speed limits and varying traffic conditions
• Properly yield the right-of-way
• Are generally aware of your actions and particularly those of other drivers
hermionesviolin: (Giles on a horse)
I was in Norwood Friday night for a belated joint birthday celebration with Elyse and her mom Janna (they live 2 towns over from my parents).

At dinner, I said to my mom, "You're not going to let me drive to Janna and Elyse's tonight, are you?"
my mom: "Are you capable of driving there?"
me: "Define 'capable'."
My mother was not inspired by this answer.
I explained that obviously I think I'm capable if I'm asking, so I didn't really know how to answer the question.
She asked about the driving I'd done and decided that no, I was not going to drive to Janna and Elyse's -- but she pointed out that my dad could take me driving the next day.

So we did. I drove around the parking lot a bunch first to acclimate to the car. I hadn't expected to need to do that, but taking my foot off the brake the car moved a lot more than I was expecting, so I wanted to get used to maneuvering it before I took it on the road. (He asked me what kind of car I'd beee driving and I had no idea. I mean, I know it's about the same size and it's also an automatic and I know how to adjust the mirrors in the car ... but I pay zero attention to car brands. My parents' car is a Toyota Corolla, but I couldn't have told you that until Saturday.)

My dad let me choose where I drove, since I know the town. I mis-estimated, however, and ended up on more trafficked streets after not too long. There wasn't a lot of traffic, though, so it wasn't very stressful. I think I still haven't done lefts onto major roads now that I think of it, but I've done rights onto them and crossed them (both of which I'd done before). I also did a rotary for the first time -- almost empty, which is good since I got all confused about how I was supposed to be signaling (where I wanted to turn off would have been a left when I entered the rotary if it wasn't the rotary, but you don't signal until you're approaching your street and at that point it's a right).

I mostly stayed in my lane -- though at least once my dad pointed out that I was drifting across the white line on the right; and the big thing was that I need to start turning sooner when I make turns ... I pull out into the street and *then* start to turn, which is inefficient bordering on dangerous. Intellectually I believe him when he tells me to start turning, but it totally *feels* like if I start turning then I'm going to hit the parked car that's on the street I'm turning right onto.

I felt less stressed driving than I usually do, and I'm not exactly sure why that was. I think partly the roads felt wider -- like it felt less claustrophobic than driving on the side streets around FCS where not only are the roads narrower but the houses are so much closer together. I think it also felt more like suburban driving than city driving -- less traffic (and thus fewer instances of concern that I was going slower than the cars behind me -- though I definitely did have some of that), not having cross streets all the time, ... NO BICYCLISTS! (though there was one who had been riding on a sidewalk and crossed in front of me and hey, there's a hedge there so cars can't see you until they're practically in the intersection so maybe you wanna be more careful bicyclist dude), fewer intersections where you have to pull up into the intersection to see everything (probably related to houses etc. being more spread out, less piling all onto each other).

I think I'm getting better at keeping an eye on my side mirror.

We drove for ~45min and my dad was silent for most of it, which was basically fine, just different from driving with FCS-Ian. In part, I think this was because my dad was basically letting me just practice driving, whereas FCS-Ian (a) has a history of all the times I've driven previously and the bad tendencies I have and the things I need to work on, and (b) therefore has some agenda for what we're practicing that day.
hermionesviolin: image of a bicycle painted on pavement inside a forward-facing arrow (moar bike lanes pls)
We did the same side streets around the church (starting with pulling into College Ave. and then taking the immediate next right off) as we did last time -- extending out a bit further, but one can only go so far in any direction before hitting major-ish streets.

The plan for next time (this Thursday) is to intentionally go onto more trafficked streets -- practicing turning onto a street and staying in my own lane the whole time. Today I was mostly chill about going onto ~major streets, but multiple times turning onto streets (low-traffic ones) the car felt really unwieldy to me, so I am v. dubious about this exercise. Obviously this is a skill that people master, but yeah.

In general I think I am getting more comfortable, though. And I mostly displayed good judgement driving today -- and was marginally better at actually paying attention to behind me. I did edge close to the right a few times -- and there were various other times when FCS-Ian would point out/remind me of things (there is a lot to keep track of while driving!).

Parking the car at the end, I was like a foot and a half away from the curb. When I parked I felt like I was too far away, but since last time I'd crunched up onto the curb I didn't want to trust my judgement.
hermionesviolin: image of a bicycle painted on pavement inside a forward-facing arrow (moar bike lanes pls)
We were aiming to start closer to 5:30 (FCS-Ian needed to be home by 6:15), but he got stuck on the T so we started closer to 5:50.

Pulling out into College Ave. he wanted me to try to pull out actually into my lane rather than into the other lane and then compensate. I started to pull forward (I did reverse first, eyeing my rearview mirror and everything) and totally felt like I was going to hit the car in front of me, and then reversed further and tried again and ditto. He assured me I would not hit the car in front of me, based on the space between the vehicles and the position of my wheels &c. and I trust his spatial judgment even though I did not actually believe I would not hit the car -- and I successfully did not hit anything. I got a little bit flustered trying to straighten out the car and also take the next right &c., dealing with the traffic that was now all around me, and I definitely like hit the windshield wipers instead of the turn signal and stuff, but I turned onto the side street and didn't hit anything and no one honked at me.

I felt more comfortable driving than I did the other day, and FCS-Ian was not expressing anxiety that I was going to run into parked cars. He said he felt like I was overcompensating and staying further to the left than he would have, but I was staying within my lane.

I'm still inclined to stop longer at stops than he would.

Near the end, I turned onto College Ave. and off again without too much stress. And we ended with my pulling over and parking, and FCS-Ian asked me to get as close to the curb as I could, and unsurprisingly-to-me I overshot slightly and crunched up onto the curb -- he was expecting me to be a perfect 8 inches or an overshot 3 feet away from the curb or something. The street is not all that wide, so I was not expecting a redux of parking lot parking where I am way far out from the right.

He said he thinks it's a good idea for us to keep doing these shorter more-frequent lessons (instead of only doing lessons when we have the time for longer ones, which means we end up with a long time between lessons because scheduling) -- but not next week, since he'll be away on family vacation (which I knew).
hermionesviolin: image of a bicycle painted on pavement inside a forward-facing arrow (moar bike lanes pls)
We met outside the church after work and blessedly there was a pause in the rush hour traffic so I could pull out into College Ave. and then take the immediate next right onto the side streets where we spent the next half hour.

Yeah, usually we're out for about an hour, but FCS-Ian kept getting really nervous that I was gonna hit parked cars on our right (I said usually I leave too wide a berth between me and other stuff, but he said I overestimate on my left and underestimate on my right, which is probably true, esp. since I did go up on the curb once today) -- though he also pointed out that he did zero driving this time (usually some of our time is spent on main roads getting places; he said maybe highway driving not next time but the time after).

I tried getting in the habit of looking in my side mirror at least while on these slow side streets, though the one time I overshot a turn and stopped and had to reverse to get around the parked car I had stopped behind, it totally didn't occur to me to look behind me -- FCS-Ian was telling me what to do and I was just following the instructions. Oops.

Apparently I have a habit of slowing down at intersections even when there's not a stop sign (I was reminded that in early lessons, I was aware that the crosswalks pinged me to stop), and I also tend to pull over to the right at stop signs (I think because there cease to be parked cars there and so I feel like I "should" pull over to the right now that I'm able to).

Mostly I did well, though.

I learned that when you're turning you don't have the right of way -- and I learned how (in FCS-Ian's car at least) to flash your high beams to indicate to the person facing you that they can go.

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hermionesviolin: an image of Alyson Hannigan (who plays Willow Rosenberg) with animated text "you think you know / what you are / what's to come / you haven't even / BEGUN" (Default)Elizabeth (the delinquent, ecumenical)

July 2017

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