[DWJ] Minnow's mention

Kyla Mackay-Smith kyla at sccs.swarthmore.edu
Wed Mar 28 22:29:06 EDT 2007

On Thu, 29 Mar 2007, Juliette Curtis wrote:

> I also think it's better to learn to drive in a manual so that one will
> be competent in both automatics and manuals.

I respectfully disagree. While I believe it is a good idea to be competent
in both automatics and manuals, I still remember learning to drive,
period, about 11 years ago, and learning to drive a manual two and a half
years ago. After many years of successful driving, I was still terrified
of driving the manual, of stalling, breaking the car somehow--and I was
confident that I could, you know, not hit things. Learning to drive at all
involves getting a sense of how big the car is, learning to look for all
the signs, other cars, pedestrians, branches on the road, figuring out how
fast you can go on curves, etc., and if I'd had to add figuring out when
to shift, how not to stall, how not to get stuck rolling backwards on
hills, I probably would have hit things.

But I do like driving a manual, and now I even know how to shift down from
fifth gear to fourth without mistakenly getting into second. While going
40 mph. Oops. (Also, the car I did this on was a Honda Civic hybrid--which
also meant that it was really, really hard to tell when I'd stalled,
because the engine was so quiet anyway.)

> So take heart, all you manual student drivers, you'll get the hang of it
> soon. The trick is to listen to the engine because its sound will tell
> you when to change gears.

The first bit's true, anyway, and I cheat on the second--I shift up when
the tachometer is at about 2.5 thousand rpm. :^)

Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise;
When he closes his lips, he is counted prudent.
       --Proverbs 17:28

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