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Shifting

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The car I bought when I was eighteen was cheap, used, and manual transmission. It was the only vehicle I could afford that would drive my ass to the San Francisco Bay Area to attend university. It was also a pale yellow and I had given it the endearing name of Banana-Mobile. I had no idea how to drive a stick. My Dad taught me how to drive this car and I spent countless hours with him seated in the passenger seat sputtering around an empty parking lot launching forward, killing the engine, and restarting again. It was so difficult to learn how to get the hang of the push-pull of using the gas pedal and the clutch simultaneously. I remember being infinitely frustrated because I still needed a car to get around so I often ended up borrowing the family car (an automatic transmission) before I left for college and practiced the "feeling" of using the clutch while driving by mimicking the movements, "pretending" to shift just so I could train myself.

It took me a while…