Thursday, August 26, 2010

Apparently I Don't Handle Failure and Rejection Well...Or Something Like That

Took my road test today. Yup. Failed. Why you might ask?

I was doing splendidly, as a matter of fact. But then I made a right turn, and pulled up behind a UPS truck that was parked to make deliveries. With cars parked on the side of the street, I couldn't really do anything. So I sat there for a few minutes and waited, trying to remember what the laws say about passing cars, as the street was divided by a double yellow solid line. I knew it was technically illegal, so I waited for a couple minutes more. A car was approaching in the opposite direction, and pulled over into the parked cars to allow me to pass. I figured that this was a sign that it was acceptable to go. So I signaled out of the lane, went around the UPS truck, and signaled back in. I even gave the other car a little "thank you" wave. The examiner said nothing, so I figured it was the right move. We continue with the test.

We pull into the driveway of the DMV, and the examiner goes over my infractions, which were few and inconsequential. I would have passed, but since I technically broke the law by crossing the double solid yellow lines, I was immediately failed for it. I asked him what I should have done. The examiner said I should have waited until the truck moved, or asked his permission to break the law. This doesn't seem right, and seems like the result of a guy having a bad day, but it didn't seem right to argue then and there. So I accepted it.

Yes, I was bummed, and slightly dismayed, but in no debilitating or distressed way. I was by all accounts fine.

Until I got about 20 feet from the DMV's doors and started to feel dizzy and light headed. I've passed out once before while fencing (it was hot and I was dehydrated), and know what it's like. I started to go down as the "oh shit" moment flashed.

The thing about fainting is that you don't feel the impact. It must be some coping mechanism the body figured out. So when I came to, I was on the ground on my back. For a brief moment I thought "Oh, maybe no body saw me fall". So I jumped up and tried to make it to the DMV Office.

I don't remember actually going through the doors, as I found myself sitting in the DMV waiting room, dripping sweat, surrounded by people, being handed things that had fallen out of my pockets. The examiner was on the phone calling for an ambulance. I told them I was fine (which I apparently was not), and got up with the help of my sister and ambled my way back to the car outside.

I apparently fainted a third time in the parking lot, as my sister did her best to catch my dead weight and gently lower me to the ground (I am significantly larger than her). I eventually made my way back to the car. I didn't void or soil anything, which is always a silver lining. I did however, find my fly down, but I don't know what to make of it, and rather not dwell on it.

By the insistence of my dad, I went to the emergency room. It's technically a Women's and Children's Hospital, but I guess the emergency room works differently. It also explained why Hannah Montana was playing on all the TVs. I also never got a wheelchair. The short end of it is that they don't know what happened. It might have been emotional and mental distress, but I honestly wasn't that bummed out about failing. I've honestly failed much harder in a much more final and definite way, and was perfectly fine. I hadn't really eaten or drank much that day, so it might have been that (some beef jerky and a red velvet cupcake is the official story). They also said I have a high white blood cell count, which points towards some sort of infection or stress (I'd say stress, since fainting this much isn't normal). Don't really know what happened. They wanted to keep me overnight, but I need to go to Connecticut tomorrow morning, so that wasn't going to happen. Other than some unsightly bruising (my head is apparently the heaviest part of my body, as that's what hit the ground first), I think I'm more or less fine.

I think this is an oddly fitting end to my summer, as I head back to school in the morning. It would have been rather boring to simply fail my test for a bogus reason, but to fail my road test and faint 3 times, makes it a story. Hooray! And imagine how much excitement I brought to the lives of the Dillingham Department of Motor Vehicles. That's me, Bringer of Excitement. They will forever tell the story of the Asian guy who was so distressed over failing his road test (like those ones that commit suicide because they can't get into college), that he fainted three times...or something like that.

Until next summer...


  1. Wow, so in Hawaii, for your driver's test, they actually take you out onto the streets to drive? In NJ, they just make you drive around this small course on DMV property. You just have to parallel park, stop at a stop sign, do a K turn, and that's about it.

    Hmm, I totally thought it was legal to pass cars by crossing a double solid yellow line. I saw it frequently in Yosemite, where there's just a two-lane road, one lane for each direction, and people will sometimes pass people by going into the other lane.

    Yikes, is your head okay? My friend fainted at Yale and bumped her head, and I think she suffered some internal brain bleeding or something. She's okay now though.

    See you tonight! (BTW, I forgot that when I called you two days ago, you were still in Hawaii, so your time was minus six hours from mine, so I probably woke you up with my call around 7:30 AM your time. Sorry about that, but thanks for helping me find my room :)

  2. I have taught science to all ages and identified with many of your blog entries.

    I am now the editor of a magazine for high school chemistry teachers. I plan to write a little piece about your blog -- I love your erlenmeyer flask hat and plan to put it in.

    You can contact me at our website and we will send you a hardcopy of the issue.

  3. "Hmm, I totally thought it was legal to pass cars by crossing a double solid yellow line."

    Then you should not be allowed to drive. This is one of the most pervasive and well-known rules-of-road that even 10-year-olds know. The original poster had a good excuse for his action but there is no excuse for such ignorance. Now that I think about it, I remember knowing that around age 5-6...

    And honestly, it's not much better if you don't know that on some parts of a road that has a double-solid-yellow line there will occasionally be dashed lines on either side indicating that you are allowed to pass FROM that side.

    Please, go fix your ignorance. Go!