This afternoon I agreed to pick up my boyfriend’s siblings from their schools because he and his parents were unable to.
School traffic is a mess and I’m not very good with kids in terms of understanding what they want or need and I don’t really know how to ask, and I’m also uncomfortable with asserting myself as being “in charge” (luckily they’re well behaved with me) but I like being as helpful as I can to people who are good to me.
I also have trouble relating to children because most of the ones I encounter are talkative or enjoy being outdoors and having fun with friends and family, a list of things I didn’t enjoy as a child.
I liked being outdoors, but I liked being outdoors by myself or with one other person and away from other people.
Anyway, none of that is relevant. As I was driving to their schools, I got behind a 2014 Chrysler.
I glanced at the license plate and squinted trying to see the driver, but there was no need. I knew it was my friend. How did I know?
- She can’t stay at a consistent speed. She’s flooring the pedal then slamming on the breaks, flooring the pedal, then slamming on the breaks; then she tailgates the green breadbox in front of her.
- While we make a gentle turn down a very gentle, two lane, curved road, she’s . . . Keep in mind here, this is not a sharp turn. I drew this sharper than the curve actually is. She was halfway in the other lane just speeding up and slamming on her breaks and speeding up and . . . you get my drift.
- When she turns into someone’s driveway, she makes it a quick right turn without turning her blinker on.
- She didn’t send me an excited text saying “I saw you”, nor did she honk at me, which means she didn’t once glance in her rear view mirrors, which is a bad habit of hers. I’m very easy to spot, as is my car. It’s customized. Last time we came across each other on the road it was 10:00pm and I slammed my pedal to the floor and drag raced her down the street. Just so she knows my sporty little 99′ is up for any 2014 challenge.
I therefore came to the conclusion that this 2014 Chrysler was hers. I would ask her what her license plate number is just to make sure, but she doesn’t have it memorized and she’s too lazy to step outside and look at it. I’ll look at it next time I see her in her car and then I’ll know. My brain has the tendency to memorize things like that.
It’s interesting really. I have a horrible short term memory–I forget where I put my keys, my wallet, my phone (even when all three are in my hand). When I put things away I forget where I put them and therefore I have a small organization problem.
A huge one. My room is constantly thrashed. I try and clean it every couple months or so just to appease my parents who grumble about it every time they pass the hall, but it never lasts any longer than three days.
But when it comes to my long term memory, particularly with patterned things like license plates and cars, I remember them.
Whenever I drive with people, whether I’m behind the wheel or they are, I notice every little detail we pass. When we arrive at our destination and stay for a few hours or whatever, and we happen to pass the same car we passed on our way to a destination, I’ll blurt it out and they have no idea what I’m talking about.
I’ll recognize the license plate if I saw it. If not, I’ll recognize the driver or the unique things on their dashboard. I’ll certainly remember the car.
Weird thing is, I don’t actually remember all of the numbers of the plate. I just recognize the pattern the numbers are in. So I do remember the numbers . . .but I don’t at the same time.
I do this a lot. It’s how I made it through school.
It only takes one semi-decent glance. In high school I took a slew of so-called “Advanced Placement” classes and one of them was U.S history (APUSH). They give you a college text and we read forty pages twice a week, sometimes more. The pages had no pictures, only compressed words, and it was roughly this size:
So about 1200 pages or more.
We skipped a few sections of certain chapters, so the days we only had 30 pages to read was a day we all breathed a sigh of relief.
Anyway, while everyone was scrambling to study for it, I just read and listened to the class play jeopardy. The week before the test I went through two flashcards of the 200 APUSH flashcard set I bought with my mother.
That was my form of studying.
I breezed through those multiple choice questions like there was no tomorrow. I am the reason I think they need to get rid of multiple choice questions. I didn’t know half of what they were talking about, but the information I’d read–just the words, not the context of them– were hiding out in the back of my head, where I store them.
They purposefully write the questions so that it’s not based entirely on memory–you do have to know the context behind the words. But every multiple choice has key words, even the most difficult ones, and those words have patterns and that’s what I connect in my head.
I do this in large quantities for subjects I’m not interested in.
But I’m not memorizing the words.
This is probably confusing people.
Words have patterns to them in my head. I’m not talking about how the sentence is structured, so don’t get it confused with structure or syntax or diction or anything. It’s literally the pattern of the words. How they’re spelled . . . kind of.
Ironically, this important detail about how I process words I can’t explain in words. It’s one of the few things I can’t.
The easiest way to say this, is if you gave me the AP test from 2013 for history, I’d probably recognize the majority of the answers even though I don’t remember shit from that class.
You could probably deduce the answers through process of elimination too, but like I said, you do need to understand the context. They aren’t your average multiple choice questions.
If that friend of mine would just give me her license plate number, I’d be able to know it was her.
She has the brain of a fucking coconut.
Don’t text and drive kids.
She once wanted me to get on the freeway with her. I said you better pull over and drop my ass off and I’ll walk home because unfortunately for you, I’m not suicidal today.
Should I stop texting just because she’s driving? That’s not my responsibility.
I value personal responsibility. You do your homework and go to college because you want to, not because the professor tells you to. You don’t text and drive because you’re in control of your phone and your impulse control. It doesn’t matter if the person texts you a million times–who gives a fuck? Stop looking at your phone.
There are a number of ways to handle the situation. It’s not my fault if she crashes while I’m texting her.