"OK, class, take your seats. My name is Mrs. Cartwright, and this
is Drivers Education. Anyone who has a waiver signed by your
parents should bring it up now, and for the next ten weeks you
will report to the cafeteria this period for Study Hall rather
than coming here."
"Right. OK, now that all those whose parents don't want them to
hear about driving at school have left, let's get to it, shall
"Driving is one of the most sublime pleasures that a person can
have. Getting your license and getting behind the wheel of your
own car is a sign of adulthood and inclusion in the greater
society. The first time behind the wheel is a pleasure so
intense, so profound, that it will be a dividing point in your
life, between the slow, dull, stationary world of childhood and
the fast, vibrant, high-velocity world of the grown-up. But we
will not be discussing that here.
As most of you probably know, in order to continuing getting
Federal education money, the School Board has mandated that we
use the Pedestrian Only course material, as modified by recent
Supreme Court decisions that allow for the discussion of mass
"For the first nine weeks we will discuss walking. We will talk
about why it is more fun and safer to walk than it is to drive
before you are ready. We will study and master the reasons why
you should never, ever, drive a car until you are old enough and
experienced enough to know what you are doing. We will conclude
the walking portion of the class with an in-depth examination of
how you should never, ever drive a car until you have bought and
paid for it. And note that that means really paid; none of the
"promissory note" nonsense. In week ten, if we have time, we will
talk about riding the bus. Are there any questions? Yes, Trudy."
"Mrs. Cartwright, will there be anything about safe driving and
accident avoidance and what to do in emergencies when in a car?"
"Uhm, someone went through my textbook and used magic marker to
black out all the pictures of cars. I know there were cars,
'cause my brother had this same book two years ago, and I looked
at all the cars."
"Yes, I'm sure you did. Settle down, class. It was decided by the
School Board that since you were not going to be learning about
cars in this class it would be inappropriate to show you pictures
of them. Unfortunately, these books are only 14 years old, and it
will be another 6 before we can afford to buy new ones, so the
Walk with the Light Committee went through all the books coloring
out the cars."
"Mrs. Cartwright? Will we be learning about motorcycles?"
"Cindy, wait until you're called on. But no, we will not talk
about motorcycles. Even before Ped Only we didn't talk about
motorcycles, other than how they weren't really like cars, and
make car drivers nervous, and probably shouldn't be allowed on
the road. So no, we will not be discussing motorcycles."
"But my cousin in California is taking Driver's Ed, and they talk
about motorcycles. She said there is even a motorcycle club at
"Yes. Well; California. I am afraid that you will find that we
don't do things the way they do in California. We do things the
way they do in Texas."
"Will be talk about sidecars?"
"James, if we are not going to talk about motorcycles, what makes
you think we will talk about those things? A teacher up North
lost her teaching certificate for mentioning those, so we will
not have that kind of talk again. Now, if there are no further…"
"Mrs. Cartwright, what about NASCAR?"
"Susan, that is an interesting and tricky question. Most
churches, especially ones like the Southern Baptists, agree that
there is nothing wrong with registered and licensed drivers
watching a little NASCAR. Indeed, there have been times when I
haven't felt like going for a drive, and I've encouraged Mr.
Cartwright to go watch some NASCAR by himself. I feel it has
strengthened our marriage. But unlicensed drivers should not
watch NASCAR, as it might give them the wrong idea about
"Well, that's about it for this period. For next period, read
chapters one through four, and spend at least two hours ignoring
all the cars around you, and pretending the world is different
than it obviously is. Class dismissed."
"Hey, Cindy; wait up!"
"What is it, James?"
"Wanta come over to my house after school and play some Grand
"Sure. Why not?"