This would've been more effective if I had continuted posting messages for every lesson I had but ... I've been too pre-occupied! Just the effort of waking up in time every morning, in order to get my day together before arriving at the 'tute has been enough to keep my energy fully engaged. Most days the classes have been from 10 a.m. to 11 or 12 depending on whether they've been "practicals" (inside a car) or "theory" (inside a classroom). The simulator (what one friend unconsciously malapropped as "stimulator classes") sessions are for only half-hours at a go -- a great shame, coz they're certainly more fun than being out on the road!
Which is where I went today.
Between my last post and this one, I've had a total of seven practicals, five simulations and three theory classes. The instructors have ranged between good and very good -- thorough, patient and good-humoured. The seven "practicals" prior to the Real Life Session have taken place within the Institute's track, which isn't all that long (around 700 m, I was told) but does include such features as a steep rise and various dodgy curves and bends plus a choice of parking options.
Of course it's easy enough to putter about on a course where the only other moving vehicles are being driven by other students, with their instructors beside them. Theory classes are endearingly earnest -- yes, of course (we're told), 90% of other drivers won't understand your hand-signals but we've STILL gotta teach them to you! They emphasize defensive driving, try and inculcate safe-driving practises and have drilled us at length with the "MSM" and "PSL" methods -- Mirror/Signal/Manouevre and Position/Speed/Look for those of you who have haven't been to an institute.
So ... how was it out on the Open Road? Keeping in mind that I've already BTDT (been-there-done-that) with the Seven Star Acad., I'd say today's was an entirely more grown-up experience. To begin with, it was in the middle of the day, on the Ring Road, (going towards ISBT, then onto the road alongside Prag. Maidan -- the one that links up with Mathura Rd) and even though it was a Sunday, there were buses, trucks and other lumbering entities zooming around. Not to mention assorted three- and two- bugs meandering about heedless of learner drivers sweating behind their steering wheels.
The car seemed to be more under my control than the instructor's and we didn't pretend to drive while he(in today's case, she) held the steering wheel. What was VERY interesting was that it really did feel a lot like the simulator! Except that there were no irritating messages appearing in my field of vision every time I crossed lanes, to remind me to turn on my indicator. Of course this COULD be coz I did turn on my indicator every time and I didn't forget to signal when I wanted to u-turn and I didn't get flustered or even mildly depressed by the amount honking and parping that went on around me.
We got back to the Institute without mishap and I felt quite encouraged. It will be months before I'll want to be out there on my own of course ... but that is another story. One step at a time.
Two more practicals to go, then a final theory class and then two exams, one practical, one theory. But no license -- for that I'll need to go to the RTO again. For today, PHEW! And three rousing huzzahs for the IDTR.