I'm writing this down in the basement, as we attempt to stay awake while watching a 90 minute series of driving modules with Nathan. We're in a "special planning district", so we have this special requirement, which cover pretty much everything already covered in the 30 hours of classroom (online) instruction Nathan has already done. This is basically a powerpoint presentation, with a t/f quiz before each module that splits hairs on questions like "When using a cell phone, your risk of an accident is doubled." FALSE! It's actually 4 times the risk! But not to fear--after you watch all the slides, then you take the same quiz again. Also, the slides are rife with mis-spellings ("licenensing" anyone?). I told Nathan he was lucky because he only had to watch this presentation once--Bob and I have to watch it 8 more times!
We are (finally) winding down all the requirements for Nathan to get his license. He has to have 45 hours of driving with us, of which 15 hours are at night. We only have a few more night time hours to get in, and we're hoping to knock that out this weekend. He has finished his 30 hours of online classroom training, after doing yeoman's work of watching a ton of extra videos to get up to the magical "30 hour" number the past few days. These are all the depressing "all teens drink and die in gory accidents" videos that I'm sure everyone remembers from their own driver's ed. Watching them all day is definitely a downer, LOL. Nathan did say he thought they actually had the wrong effect on him, making him think he is actually more invincible, since he's "not stupid". Well, we'll see. You do get a bit jaded and unsympathetic after watching so many tear-jerkers about careless drunk teen drivers drag-racing.
Here in VA, you can't take the in-car driving instruction part until you have finished all the 45 hours of driving with a parent, as well as all the classroom instruction. Hopefully Nathan can do the in-car stuff in the next few weeks to knock that out, and then he'll be done! It does lead one to wonder what exactly the point of the in-car instruction is, since you have already done 45 hours of scripted practice with your parents. I mean, they're not exactly teaching you how to drive! But the good thing is, here in VA if you do the in-car instruction with an actual driving school (instead of jumping through the hoops for a parent to be able to do the in-car instruction), then the instructor issues a 6 month temporary license, so you don't actually have to take the driving test at the DMV.
On the one hand, I am certainly looking forward to Nathan being able to drive himself to the games he referees, to his Civil Air Patrol activities, and to his sports activities. We just found out about a local high school rugby club that a friend plays on in the spring, and Nathan is really interested, especially since football is no longer an option. It would be lovely for him to drive himself there! But then again, Northern VA drivers are rude and constantly in a huge rush, the roads are all big ones, and there are just so many cars on the road. I don't even like driving a lot of the time! I'm not worried about Nathan drinking or drag-racing, but I do worry about him not being in the right lane to get off at the right exit and missing it, thus getting lost, or trying to get over, and no one letting him over, and him getting flustered, or whatever. It's just a busy place here, with so much traffic all the time. I know I'll be spending a lot of time in prayer!