Tuesday, July 28, 2015
SLICE OF LIFE
I spent it at the Drivers' License Bureau.
Maybe I should back up. My son moved back from Arizona about six months ago. While he was living in Arizona, he got a new driver's license. Except he really didn't. Somehow he managed to get an Arizona identification card. And then he came back to Colorado and went to trade in his Arizona identification card for a Colorado I.D. Because he didn't have an Arizona driver's license, they didn't give him a Colorado driver's license. They gave him an identification card. It looks exactly like a driver's license except it says on it, "This is not a driver's license." My son didn't notice that, so when he got a speeding ticket, he got another ticket for driving without a license. When he went to court, the judge asked if he wanted a continuance so he could get a driver's license.
So yesterday was driver's license day.
It actually started Sunday night, when I reminded my son that we were going to go bright and early, to avoid what is usually a long wait. I've been teaching a class all month and had student projects to grade. I wanted to get in and get out quickly.
I also reminded my to be sure to bring his glasses, so he could pass the vision test.
"I don't have my glasses," said my son.
"Where are they?" I asked.
"I don't know," snarled my son.
I was pretty sure he couldn't pass the eye exam without glasses.
Change of plans. Get up early. Locate year long insurance plan on glasses. Grade papers for several hours. Leave house at 9:30. Drive to the mall. Wait outside glasses place until it opens at ten.
Order new glasses. Which are not covered by insurance because they were lost, not broken. Sit by a coffee place with my computer for an hour, while son scowls at the top of my head.
Drive to the bank to get cash to pay for the new driver's license.
Drive to Drivers' License place. Send son inside to find out how much new license will cost. Five minutes later he is back.
"There's no one to ask," he says. "Just forget about it. I'll do it a different day."
I think about my next week. I am teaching eight sessions of ELA about English Language Learners at the New Teacher Institute. The week is full, full, full.
I park the car and Son reluctantly follows me in. I figure out the number dispensing machine and we wait for an hour. It is almost nap time and there are at least 20 crying children. I get out my computer and try to work.
Finally they call Son's number. He gets in line. The line inches forward. Forty-five minutes later he has finally got his test. It takes him 30 minutes, then he goes back to the window. 15 more minutes. Back to the computer station. 30 more minutes. He finally passes.
Then he comes to me. "Do you have a piece of mail with my name on it?"
"No. Do you need one?"
"Yes." More snarls.
I cannot imagine he needs another proof of address. He already has an identification card, issued by this agency. Why would he need another id?
But he does.
We drive home. 20 minutes. Find a bank statement. Drive back. 20 more minutes. He goes back inside and I wait in the car, still trying to grade my papers. I have gotten through about 5 of the 50 I need to do. Forty-three minutes later he comes back with his permit. He has to take the driving test next week.
And that is how I spent the last day of my summer vacation.