Every year, at the beginning of the school year, I teach my students about their “schema.” The websters definition is “a mental codification of experience that includes a particular organized way of perceiving cognitively and responding to a complex situation or set of stimuli.” That clear it up for ya? 😉 Let me put that in kindergarten terms for ya…schema is what you know and how you store it. <I could get into why it’s helpful for students to know what schema is and how we reference it on a regular basis, but that’s not really what this post is about. Inquiring minds can leave me a comment for more info!>
Anyhoo. As we explore what “schema” means, I compare our brains to a file cabinet full of files. Each file contains all the information you know about a particular subject. I show the kids several pre-made “schema folders” to demonstrate how I know a lot about some things, a little about others, and everywhere in between. Usually my teaching and crafting folders are stuffed full of knowledge. This year my dog file was growing day by day. And always, without fail, my car file is practically empty.
I can sum up what I know about cars in 3 words: color, gas, oil…beyond that, it’s just best not to ask me any questions!
So today, in the least technical car terms possible, I’m going to share with you the *love* stories of my two cars…because let me tell ya, I drive hot cars. 😉
When I turned 15 it was time for my parents & I to decide how we were going to handle drivers ed. That was around the time that parent-taught “classes” were becoming more popular, so we decided to go with that. <Could we go back, I think it’s fair to say we might all make a different decision there…*wink*> Teaching me to drive was stressful for my parents; and learning to park the big ol’ 4-door truck we had at that time was darn near impossible for me. Everyone survived and was no worse for the wear, but it was a full year before my parents would let me drive alone outside of our little one stop-light town.
That majorly cramped my style. 😛
When I turned sixteen I had my heart set on driving a Ford Mustang, but getting a car wasn’t in the cards for me quite yet. Because I was super involved in extracurricular activities, I didn’t have any money of my own…and my parents weren’t ready to buy me anything just quite yet. As a teenager I wasn’t a big fan of the no-car plan, but looking back I can see that it didn’t hurt me, helped me value the car I did eventually get, and gave my family more time together than we probably would have had otherwise.
There’s no telling that to a teenager though, so when I was a senior still calling my parents to pick me up from practice after school <while the freshman illegally drove away in their cars> I was starting to feel pretty desperate for a car of my own. Around my 18th birthday, my Dad decided it was time to start looking. <More on car shopping with Dad later…>
The first car he took me to look at was a used Ford Focus…green I think. I hated that car from the start <sorry if you drive a Focus…I still gag everytime I see one> but in my desperation for wheels of my own I asked my Dad to get it for me.
Luckily for me, he had wisdom and patience that I was lacking. <Yes Dad, I said it. You were smarter than me.> He turned the deal down, and I thought I was destined to be an old maid with no car. <Insert a dramatic teenage sigh here.>
Literally the next day they called back, this time with a black Ford Mustang…hello dream come true! The rest is history…we test drove it, my parents bought it for me, and I drove away a happy girl. *Loved*loved* that car.
I had the Mustang through college and a couple of years as a working woman. It was a good, reliable car…but it was starting to wear out. <Remember, it was already used when I got it.> Thanks to my Dads wisdom and prompting, I managed to save about $4000 as a down payment for a new car. I was sad to think about parting with the Mustang, but that sure didn’t stop me from looking…and it wasn’t long before I laid eyes on my newest dream car. A candy-apple red Dodge Charger.
Just revs your engine doesn’t it?
I found a practically new used Charger at a local lot and went over to test drive it. Dad’s instructions had been for me to ‘not act like I’m interested’…yeah. That totally didn’t happen…they practically had to wipe my drool off of the steering wheel after I test drove it. 😛
I wasn’t ready to make a big grown-up move like buying a car by myself just quite yet, so I called in the parentals for negotiating support. Dad made it very awkward for everyone involved…long, long periods of sitting in silence, making us leave the lot to go “look around,” trying out all the stalling techniques he could think of. Once it appeared we had reached a stalemate, Dad gave me the nod and I told the salesman to draw up the papers. I think we got him down to around $14k, I had a $4k down payment, and it was paid off a couple of months ago…in just about 2 years!
Hopefully we’ve still got a lot of miles together! <Knock on wood! *wink*>
KEEP CALM & DRIVE A HOT CAR!
Well…not a hot car. As in stolen. I just mean drive a car that is really good looking. You knew what I meant…right?! 😉