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The Generational Curriculum paper I received was written by Sharon Lee. The title was "Influence On The Driving Performances And Behavior Factors That Affected Me As A Driver". Sharon, like many other students didn't have any idea what Dr. James' Traffic Psy class entailed. Prior to enrollment of the course she just believed that people "just drive the way they do" because they form habits, enjoy risks, or just experience moody days. After few weeks into the course she realized there was alot more to Trafiic Psy than she thought! (And more work!!!!!) After getting blasted by Dr. James' assignments, Sharon began to dream "driving her car". Thinking about the kinds of faults other people commit while driving such as tailgating
(Please check my glossary
file for more examples!) she began to see faults of her own more clearly. She realized that when she first got her license she was a very cautious driver, but as the years passsed, she began to slcak off. She occasionally caught herself not wearing her seat belt, and not stopping completely at stop signs. During the course, Sharon more and more realized that she would have to make some changes in her driving, for the safety of herself and others. Sharon see's herself now being a better driver, because of age (maturity) and having the experience of Traffic Psy under her belt.
Sharon also stated that she once ran into a parking meter bending it 45 degrees. She blamed it on letting her anger control her driving, and inexperience in handling the car. The accident had a conditional effect on her. She began exercising "good" driving acts. She was patient, letting more cars than she normally would cut in front of her, signaling way ahead of time before changing lanes, not letting the hundreds of people who also have blinkers and don't use them bother her, and thanking others. These little driving precatuions Sharon took, only had temporary effect on her driving. Within a few weeks she once againg caught herself slacking off, and going back to her bad habits. The accident did have a huge impact on her, but it takes more than an unfortunate event to make changes. A person has to want to change, before any results are seen. Becoming a reformed driver doesn't happen overnight, it does take time. Don't wait for something tragic to happen before you realize that we all do commit those "mini, illegal, invisiable to cops" traffic violations. Don't be in denial, you have to admit that you have this uncontrollable "need for speed"
first, before you can be helped.
Like many students who took Dr. James' class, Sharon, eventually come to the conclusion that she was not as good of a driver then she thought. Your own opinion is always the worst. There is always room for improvement, and it will only be to the benfit of yourself. She said that she realized that how she drove wasn't always influenced by traffic or other drivers, but actually it was her inability to cope with situations on the road she encountered ina rational and safe way. She said that the driving conditions she encountered produced a behavior only she had the power and choice to create at that specific momnent. She would get frequent migrain headaches, that she said was created by letting the environment and others get to her. Opening her eyes she said that her migrains and frustrations could of been avoided by proper self amanagement and self control. She would of also been 50-100 dollars richer too, because if you were able to successfully cope with the driving conditions everyday, you wouldn't have to buy a whole shelf of aspirins.
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Angel or Devil?!
Sharon also admitted that she sometimes felt like an "angel" driver, and sometimes a "devil" driver. She said that she experiences cycles. She takes many precautions, obey traffic laws, and be extra courteous to fellow drivers. But don't let that fool you, its just a phase she goes through becuase the very next day she could be the leader of the pack, speed demon, tailgater, or lifetime convoy member. In Sharon's paper there was a quote from the book "The Emotional Assasins", and it said that people say things while driving they would not usually do or say around others. She justifies the aggressive driving acts of many drivers with that quote becuase it is very stressful to keep all your thoughts, feeling, reactions, frustrations, irritation, and stress inside. So if you verbally let it all out, one would feel at least a little bit better. "Getting it off therir chest". But we usually swear and yell when driving to avoid any unnecessary violent and dnagerous encounters with any fellow drivers. Being inside a car does provide a sense of security. Sharon refers to being in your car to putting on a mask. You tend to take more risks, drive a little bit more wild, and do thing you normally would not because you might not be able to get away with it, doing it outside of your car. But many drivers think that they are invincible and invisible. You do have to license plates that I>D you. People tend to forget that your car is trackable. But we must remeber, that driving and being in your own car, may be a means of escape for some persons, but we should alawys practice safe driving habits, becuase one little careless decisions could jeopardize your whole life, as well as other. So, because it will be years and years before we get a more convenient form of transportaion, we will have to deal with the frustrating traffic of Oahu. If anyone has any suggestions please, let me know!
Lastly Sharon stated that w have to learn not to let outside or environmental factors affect our driving, for example feeling sick, weather, traffic. We need to find ways to make driving a peaceful activity, perhaps listening to Kenny G, no wait you don't want ot fall asleep, so Mariah Carey or Boyz 2 Men, and no tlet ourselves forget that driving is a group activity, the actions of each individual affect others. Why take the risks? You have better things to do with your money than pay for higher insurance or body work on your car.
A last note on stereotypes of women drivers. Many people tend to stereotype drivers, especially young kids you just got their license, and those elderly who should b get theirs taken away. We often forget that we were all young once, and experiences that thrill of getting your license and being able to drive by yourself, and eventually in time we will get to that point where we refuse to give it up. It is wrong to stereotype people, because their age or gender has nothinng to do with their driving capability. There was an article that stated that "women are better and safer drivers than men because women have lower physical strenght and lack of mechanical knowledge, it encourages them to have a better emotional outlook when driving.
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