Skip to main content

Dent In The Ego

Failed the old person's driving test. I really didn't,  but that's what the examiner said. Actually, I passed easily - but was marked down because of a difference of opinion involving the interpretation of the test by the driving examiner.

Because I am old (79) and have minor short term memory loss,  a slight cognitive impairment, and a hint that I may have the beginnings of Parkinson's Disease,  my doctor recommended that I take this special test to affirm to the DMV that I am capable of driving a car.  All of this is true and I welcomed the opportunity to take any driving test required to confirm that none of these age or health factors interfere with my driving skills.

The fact is that I drive carefully, know the laws (passed the last regular written test with only one error),  and drive exceptionally well. In  my  reasonable judgement I drive better than my wife, daughters, grand daughters, and almost all of my "over 65" friend's.

Also in my favor (but not considered) I've not received one driving violation ticket in approximately 40 years, and the one accident I was involved with about 10 years ago was caused by another car running into my car which was stopped at a stoplight. The other car was completely at fault.

At this point let me make clear that the Costa Mesa DMV and the driving instructor handled my application and test courteously and efficiently. I have no complaint regarding either.

My complaint involves only the written drivers test and how it is interpreted.

  • The examiner and I  turned right as we exited the DMV driveway. The examiner told me to "turn left at the next intersection". I said "nineteenth street" and the examiner said "no, the next intersection".  I did so without a problem and we went forward with the test. For what it's worth, the next "intersection" was  "nineteenth street".but he marked me down by one point because he had to "cue" me.  Now, that's just not true.
  • I was directed to "pull up to a curb and stop, then back up a couple of car lengths and stay about the same distance from the curb".   As I have always done, I looked over my right fender at the curb as I retreated. Unfortunately I drove a little closer to the curb. I stopped going backwards and said to the examiner that "I was getting too close and would go forward a few feet and then resume my backward motion."   The examiner told me to "use my right side view mirror to watch the curb as I backed up".  My car (SUV) is relatively high and I told the examiner that "from my position the right side mirror I can't see the curb at all" He directed me to "adjust the mirror so that it pointed down and I could see the curb".  I did so and completed backing up maneuver. Because I stopped to move forward a few feet and adjust my travel backward, and because I found it difficult to back up a specific distance from the curb using my side mirror (which I have never done), the examiner marked me down five points. That was not  a fair test. He never said that once started backwards I could not stop and adjust my path. He also would not let me use the method of looking over the hood and watching the curb recede or looking out the rear window and watching the curb as I backed up.  I thought the requirement to use only the right side mirror was not what the test intended. In fact, is a right side mirror required in California at all? The examiner marked me down 5 points.
There were other questionable 'mark downs' but as I review them, they were all simply a matter of interpreting the words on the test - and not worth discussing further.



Popular posts from this blog

Intellectual / Incompetent / Liberal

We all know that there are serious problems with ou American political system. The federal government and national media have been telling us that we continue to lead the world in just about everything. Unfortunately, we do not. Measuring our status against other nations is difficult as it entails comparison of different attributes and characteristics. Comparisons are, at best, crude.  Surely, if we look, it's clear that America is no longer dominant among the world's communities. 

For decades following the 1929 economic depression, America has enriched foreign industries at the expense of our own. We have subsidized foreign military powers while allowing the depletion of our own. We've defended other nations borders while, at the same time, not defended our own. We've spent trillions of dollars to subsidize unworthy governments, and let our own infrastructure to fall into disrepair. 

The use of our economic power as a diplomatic tool may have been the correct thing to d…

Cruel and Thoughtless . . .

A disheartening situation has hit our family. A cousin, one that we don't know very well, has reached 93 years of age. Most of the Chapman family made it to the mid 80's, but Mary Lou Chapman has managed a few years more. And, she's not gone yet. Mary was unmarried her entire life. She grew up in a good home, was well educated, has always hd a good job, and has enjoyed pretty good health - until just a few years ago. While she is still very much alive, I sometimes speak in the past tense as if she had already died. Mary is either confused or in her own little world now. She began losing some of her sparkle a few years ago. At first it was mild memory loss, and then mild hearing loss, and then drifting in her speech as she lost track of what she wanted to say. Her Doctor said it was a mild dementia coming on with old age, and nothing to worry about yet. A few month's passed by before she began to have problems driving herself to the market and appointments and so forth,…

The Reluctant Liberal

I've a grandson that has been exposed to political liberalism all his life. In it's modern version the words "left wing" means the liberal side of politics, and "right wing" describes the more conservative side. In our two party system each term may be used to describe a member of either party. Believe it or not, there are a few conservative Democrats.
Today, the Democratic Party has become  overwhelmingly "liberal" and the Republican Party more conservative.  At times it has been difficult to find enough reasonable cooperation between parties and that is, unfortunately, how it is today. With President Trump now in the saddle, the Democratic Party has refused any level of cooperation -  and our government has slowed to a walk.

The simple explanation is probably the correct one. The hard left wing, usually members of the Democratic Party, allows no other point of view. They each consider moderate and conservative opposing ideas to have no merit. This…