Thursday, August 3, 2017

The DMV, The Happiest Place on Earth

Write about how you started driving (or why you don't).
It was only two months ago that I passed the written driving exam and obtained my learner's permit. Considering I turned sixteen in November of 2016, I discovered that I'm able to not only put off school assignments, but other things as well, namely driving. For whatever reason, I insisted that I wasn't prepared to drive, and thus deliberately provided any excuse I could to delay the attainment of my learner's permit. As one of my friends pulled up to school one day in a rusty, unhinged car, I figured that I could still wait to get my license. That is, until a few weeks later when another one of my friends pulled up to school behind the wheel. Then another. And another. Finally, as I engaged in lively banter with my circle of friends during breaks, I was surprised to find that I was the only one to not have a patterned lanyard dangling gleefully from my pocket, concealing a ring of keys at the bottom. As I stood there, envying my friends and their sleek licenses, I finally took the initiative to complete the online driver's training program that I had started months prior. 

Although I had finished the online program quite quickly after that point, I was unable to take the written exam because the local DMV was only open during school hours and closed during the weekends, leaving me with the options of either skipping school or waiting a few extra weeks. Of course, I waited the few extra weeks, dreading the fact that after studying for academic finals, I would have to study for another final of sorts: the driving written exam. However, because I was so motivated to start practicing actual driving prior to the start of the new school year, I studied incessantly, refusing to stop reviewing and covering any and all material related to driving. As I scheduled an appointment at the DMV, I was astonished to find that I only had to wait a few days, not months, for an appointment. 

Image result for excited gif
Now, it probably would have been more appropriate if I hadn't burst into the DMV, smiling and waving, but I couldn't help it. I was delighted to start driving, but from the looks of everyone waiting around in rigid chairs, I got the impression that I was the only person in the building happy to be there. 

I can tell you with great confidence that I had over-prepared for the written driver's exam. I was ready to write free response answers on parallel parking or entering the freeway, but in the end, it was all simple multiple choice. I can also say with great confidence that the textbook knowledge I gained of driving from such intense studying continues to benefit me as I drive behind the wheel. 

Sure, I've been honked at already, and yes, I've run over curbs as well, but I haven't had any issues with when to stop or go or identifying signs and their corresponding meaning. However, it is especially important that I learn to better control the vehicle because I have three younger siblings, which really means I have three younger people I'll have to start driving to practices and picking up from school. I must say that I don't drive for leisure or pleasure, I certainly don't find it "fun" or "enjoyable", but it is an essential skill, and hopefully one that I improve throughout the next few months. Because if not, I'll find myself being chauffeured everywhere by my mother. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Garlic-and-Onion Gum

Write a thank-you note to someone who gave you garlic-and-onion flavored gum.

As I sit here writing this letter, meticulously forming my letters, deliberately formulating my thoughts, I can’t help but be disgusted at my reeking breath, and even more so disgusted at you. I don’t know how you figured it out. I haven’t told anyone, not even my parents. Yet there you were, striding up to me on some random day to offer me a piece of gum. Excuse me, a piece of garlic-and-onion flavored chewing gum. And you know what? You’re right. I do have a fear of bad breath, and if it weren’t for you, that’d still be a secret. I can envision it now. After I had eaten my lunch, I slipped away from the cafeteria and ran to the nearest bathroom just a few minutes before we were dismissed. Positive that no one else was lurking around, I gingerly took out my toothbrush and toothpaste. After one more cautious glance, I squirted my toothpaste onto my toothbrush and vigorously brushed every corner and crevice of my mouth. After minutes of brushing, I swished, blew, and spit out the toothpaste and topped it all off with a shot of mouthwash. I felt refreshed. At least that is, until you showed up. I was leaving the bathroom, flashing my gums when you came up to me and smiling, cupped a piece of gum in my hand, saying “This way your freshness will last all day.” With a grin, I popped the gum in my mouth and you ran off. It was only after I had returned to the classroom that I noticed. Noticed the fermenting flavors in my previously immaculate, pristine mouth. Bottles of mouthwash later, a burgeoning hint of mint is finally developing, but I’ll probably have to brush for the next thirty minutes to completely rid my mouth of that vile substance. So for now, I’ll try my very best to avoid you and especially your gum at all costs. As for you, don’t be surprised if I’ve replaced your water with mouthwash. Thanks again, but next time, don’t bother.

Samuel Orla