I've known the theorem and mechanics of driving since I was like eight or nine, so my focal point is on filling the experience gap. Ma has been driving the same '93 F.O.R.D. for almost as many years as its been off the assembly line, and knows its handling inside and out; I don't. Unlike my mother however, I can trivially calculate the distance between the car and what's around it, stuff like that is a skill I've developed over the years, I can both feel it and fill the missing picture in, based on what my mind has already seen. Thus getting to close to the curbing means either I miscalculated the difference between the steering wheel, and the actual wheels current vectors, or it took to long for my foot to shift between pedals: not that I can't see where I'm going 8=). Towards the beginning, I had to threaten my mother to shut up and stop grabbing at my arm, or I would retaliate either by (intentionally) taking the car over the curb, or make her stand outside and watch. I don't give a fuck if there's more racket going on then in a warzone, jabber all you like, but don't interfere! Geeze I'm not an idiot, I know better to go over the curb; and that stopped as soon as she stopped jacking the wheel towards the curbing, whenever the car got too close. See, don't bother me, and things get done properly -.-
My mother is insanely short, and to narrow minded to assume others have the same visual problems that induces. What can I say, when I first sat down in the drivers seat I nearly knocked my glasses off, and had my head angled funny, just to avoid cracking it on the ceiling... and I'm vertically challenged myself. Just getting the seat and steering wheel adjusted was a feat, involving suspending myself over the cleaning supplies in back, in order to clear to crap out of the way so the seat would have somewhere to slide back to, and then trying to extricate myself, without castration, broken legs, or a sliced open belly. It felt like hanging myself from the cars interior roof, and applying a spiders agility lol.
The area I had for practice, is just two sets of parking spaces several car lengths long, joined by very tight turns on either end. Small enough to require paying close attention, yet empty enough to only have to worry about one parked car, hehe. Did several dozen laps around the yard over an hours time, including a K-turn to go about the other way. Started out going at the engines idle speed, before studying how she handles under different patterns of acceleration and breaking; I doubt if a claustrophobic amount of practice space in is a good thing for a noob, but I never the less, take it scientifically. For me, it is very important to learn how the vehicle handles, because I'm not going to be responsible for taking it on the road, unless I know it well enough to keep the damn thing under control. I'm crazy, but I'm not suicidal :-P.
Three things that I noticed about the family Ford: the old accelerator has a hair thin trigger, it's got a fat arse when it comes to rate of angle change in reverse, and exactly like in dreams that I've had about driving, the car will move forward even with foot off the accelerator. After 16-17 years of reading the dashboard sticker that says, "To shift from park, depress break pedal" in English and French, I of course remembered to do that without hesitation. I could probably understand the thing in spoken French by now \o/.
Unlike my brother many moons ago, I opted to keep things under tight control while practising. Heh, I can still remember when Reese got his learners, and ended up zipping around a large Sports Authority parking lot like a bat out of hell. At least, I was seat belted into the rear drivers side seat, and spent most of his learning sessions being plastered against the rear passenger side window, lol.
Now the big question, is how many months will it take before I get more time to practice \o/.