I don't like driving. I know I've mentioned it before, and I'm sure it'll come up again. There is just something about being in control of a giant, metal... thing that I don't feel comfortable with. Especially when the said "metal thing" could potentially kill people if I mess up.
The instructor slid into the passenger side, a cup of coffee in one hand, and a clipboard in the other. My score-card was securely clipped to the clipboard, and so were all the notes my previous instructors had given me, all of which telling me to get more practice and to get more confident behind the wheel. I must admit, I probably didn't get as much practice as they probably wished...
I turned the key, the engine roared with life. I slowly backed out of the parking space, taking a deep breath.
As I pulled out of the parking lot, the instructor turned to me. "So where do you go to school?" He asked.
"I'm actually homeschooled," I replied.
"Oh really? Do you like being homeschooled?"
Many people have asked me this question, and I've always found it strange. "Yeah... I guess so."
"Are you taking any foreign language?"
"Yes, I'm doing French."
"Why did you choose French?"
I didn't answer right away. I didn't know how to explain to him that French was my passion, how I dreamed of fluency and of moving to France someday, of being a translator and interpreter. So I just said: "I don't know... I just like it..."
"Je suis un professeur de français."
It took me awhile to process what exactly he had said. Concentrating on driving makes it difficult to understand French.
"I am a French teacher."
"Really?" I asked, trying not to sound too excited.
"Yes, I am. It's a beautiful language, isn't it?"
"Yes." I sighed.
We talked French the whole hour long drive, only stopping so that he could give me instructions on how to parallel park. He told me how he had lived a whole year in France, and how his wife was French and was a private French tutor.
He quizzed me on my French skills, asking me to answer questions in French. It was difficult while I was driving, but it was fun. and when we would come up to a turn he would tell me which way to turn in French. "Tournez à droite."
I didn't do any better on that drive than I had on any other, but somehow I felt more confident while I was speaking the language that I loved. Whenever I think back on this experience, I can't help but think it was a little kiss on my cheek from God. He knew how nervous I was, how I was terrified I was of messing up. He also knew that French would calm me down.
I don't think I'll ever forget that drive.