My driving instructor for the first few weeks, starting with today's disaster of a driving lesson, is a crotchety old man who's said to be one of the best instructors at the school. My classmates and I were all under the impression that our first day of field training would be spent inspecting the truck and otherwise tooling around. Instead, we did a short inspection and took turns driving the rig around the yard, hooking it up to trailers and learning to back up. "Ladies first," the instructor said, and handed me the key.
"Demoralizing" is a good way to describe the experience, or "humbling." It would have helped if I had EVER IN MY LIFE driven stick shift before. But I haven't, and the instructor had assumed we all had, so after another student and I stalled out a few times he backtracked and went back to basics - but not before yelling at me, "Why didn't you hit the clutch?" when I tried to brake and stalled out; "Because I didn't know I was supposed to," I replied, and stumbled out of the truck on shaky legs. Thankfully we're not leaving the truck yard until the end of the week. By then I hope to have a better grasp on this stuff.
But other than my first-day failure actually driving the thing, it was an incredible feeling to be up there in that tank of a vehicle, encased in thousands of pounds of steel, all high and seemingly invincible.