I loved school. 

Even today when I walk into my alma mater, I can hear the chatter of friends, the pep band, cheerleaders and dismissal bell clearly in my head.

But I must admit memories of a few of my teachers give me a feeling in the pit of stomach like I didn’t study for a test. In fact, even at my age, I sometimes will have a nightmare about not being ready for a test.

In my head, some teachers are still grading me.

Teacher: “I read your column, Shelley. You’re punctuation is off and you’re dangling participles again. I’m calling your mother!”

Whew! I’m glad those school days are behind me.

Actually, I had a really good relationship with most of my teachers ... — except my driver’s education teacher. 

Faithful readers will remember a time when we took driver’s education in school. It was a half-year course where the teacher would show us gory movies about student drivers who either tried to beat a train or drank alcohol and then got behind the wheel. 

Once we saw a fair share of movies and we memorized road signs, we got to “drive” in the driving simulator — a trailer with about a dozen steering wheels, brakes and clutches facing a big screen so we could practice “driving.” 

Always looking for a joke to tell, I called it the “stimulator.”

After we got a passing grade on the simulator, the teacher, Mr. Proctor, would schedule driving time after school. 

Frankly, he scared me to death! 

Proctor perched in the passenger seat with an additional brake on his side of the car. He would stop if we did something wrong. I remember braking too hard and too fast and he slammed on his brake and hollered, “The only jerk in the car is the driver!”

It was brutal.

I got a migraine after every driving session.  

Even on the days when I did everything right, my hands were all sweaty by the end of class. Even more so, after parallel parking!

But, I will give credit where credit is due — when I went to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to get my license, I passed my driving test with flying colors. 

Thank you, Mr. Proctor. 


Faithful readers may recall staff writer Shelley Terry recently taught Delightful Granddaughter to drive. Yes, she did say, “The only jerk in the car is the driver!” 

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