Tuesday, January 17, 2006

shut up

College level algebra teaches you many things. Mathematics, being a cumulative type of subject, requires that you remember everything that you learned from kindergarten up until the last time you attempted to pass another math class. Algebra is the one thing that state educators believe will help you start a business or earn your degree. Something about it defines a person, and being able to say you passed algebra to get your degree in communication says a lot. None of your teachers however will ever tell you the truth about algebra: it's useless. useless until you procreate and are forced to do your teenagers homework late Sunday night.

So why am I forced to listen to captain-know-it-all ask question after inane question? Every class has one of these people. They ask so many questions to the point where it is useless for the teacher to even say anything. I can tell that my professor is getting aggravated about it. I think that the entire class despises the interruptions.

I'll just sit back and watch the show begin. . .

Tuesday, January 3, 2006

stop sign #2

The second you arrive at Traffic School, you know you're in for a long night. Most of the chairs or rows in the back are overflowing with people that have the look of disgust on their faces. Eye contact of any kind is not permitted. My best bet is a seat located near the exit for a clean get away once the lesson is over. Getting comfortable doesn't help much, because these classes are designed to either scare you or make you sick, so that you never go ten over the limit or forget to use your blinker ever again.

This is what happens: Officer so and so swaggers through the door and announces that the regular officer that usually teaches the class is out for the evening with what ever problem he can think of. And usually the officer opens the night with some questions if any. This is where the trouble begins. From the start of class it is evident that this situation has put too many people that cannot coexist with each other in the same room. For the convenience of someone who has never been to traffic school I'll break it down:

The Obnoxious I know everything I shouldn't be here type. These people are perfect drivers and should never have been pulled over in the first place, based soley on the fact that they try to answer ever question correctly. More than once they try to justify their moving infraction and try to get out of the two to three hour class. These people are usually cell phone gabbers and cutter offers on the freeway who feel that their rights have been violated.

The Quiet, let's get this over with type. The everyday person who was probably in a hurry to get somewhere, lost track of how fast they were going, or how many stop signs they've ignored. While in traffic school they show little if any effort in discussion because they just want to get it over with. Most normal people fall into this category including myself.

The Mad woman. This woman feels like she never did anything wrong in the first place and that every police officer is a liar and a betrayer to American society. This frazzled woman would probably rather spend the night screaming at her kids than take traffic school. Most often she is patiently asked to calm down or shut her mouth during the course of class.

This person should not be driving a motorized vehicle person. Usually an old grandmother, this person constantly answers questions wrong, and really wrong at that. For example, one time during class this old woman tried to explain to the rest of the class how a four way stop worked in her mind. Apparently each car was supposed to go one at a time in opposite order. I remeber looking around the class with the same puzzled expression as everyone else. The officer had to stop her from embarrassing herself any further. This person likes to smile at everyone in the room as if we are her adopted grandchildren, while unfortunately never paying attention to what is being taught.

The rest of the class is mad up of combinations of these elements. As class goes on it becomes apparent that the police officer teaching the class is either trying to scare you with gruesome statistics or grossing you out with slides of fatal traffic accidents. By the time you start to leave, you either want to throw up or never drive again. Since this last time was my third time in traffic school, none of this phased me and I was left to let my mind wander. My lack of concentration was cut short from the woman who had just sat down behind me. It started slowly, but grew. She was breathing so loud. It was as if someone had cut her nose off and sentenced her to breathe like a horse. I could no longer hear what the officer was saying through the wheezing and sniffing that I actually plugged my ears. The thought of sitting through another three hours of traffic school was nothing compared to the torture of heavy breathing lady.

Needless to say I will never. Ever. Speed again.