Went to Galveston beach for Summer 2009 and Driver’s Ed

Well there really isn’t much to say about our beach trip this year. It was rather dull. We packed up on a Sunday, stopped by a Walmart for chips, KFC because Mom wanted some fried chicken, and Burger King because I wanted a burger, and we went.

It took about 40-50 minutes to get there I guess. We kept searching for the beach we usually go to, Pocket Beach (3) because they offer a nice clubhouse-sort of place with a big deck with tables and umbrellas for shade, and a restroom and changing/shower facilities so we don’t have to track sand into the car. Unfortunately, we passed by it and it looked like it was in disrepair, probably due to Hurricane Ike. That’s really too bad. I hope they fix it up someday.

We ended up stopping at a state park beach (that’s what I thought it was) and got out. The shoreline wasn’t that far from the parking lot, but far enough. So basically I just play, swam in the water, hunted for pretty shells, fed the seagulls Cheerios that we didn’t like, I walked further down the beach, got a sunburn around my chest/neck region, and that’s all I can remember. then we went home. Not much exciting, so I didn’t take any photos this time.

I started Driver’s Ed at Sears Driving School several weeks ago. It’s upstairs at the Willowbrook location, and you’d never know it was there, in a hidden corridor where the restrooms and employee lounge are. It’s not as bad as I thought it would be. Most days we worked from a workbooks, watched many videos (notably ones with accidents that never should have happened – like Red Asphalt), and my instructor, Clyde, just told us a bunch of stuff we should always remember. There was one girl I knew that went to JV named Rebecca Ortiz, but I didn’t know her personally. She seemed nice. I think there was another JV person, but I don’t know who. I met a tall quiet guy named Tyler Hunter, some guys from Tomball (Edwin, Joseph, Alicia), and I usually sat next to this girl named Rosa or whose last name was Sosa or something. Clyde is a really funny guy. He’s black, and well he’s fat. He even admits he’s fat. Not just a plump belly, but big fat. We joked about what people have called him before, like ‘big’ or ‘massive’ or even hilariously ‘fluffy’. Lol. He told us several funny stories he had driving with some of his students like:

  • A boy driving on the night hours (you’re driven home directly after the session) didn’t even know where he lived. Even after passing the street several times and when they had to call his dad who walked up to the sidewalk not far from where they were.
  • A guy who did not want to miss his driving appointment (a $20 fee if you do) and broke out of a hospital with his IV bag with him. When Clyde was going to say no, the boy suggested putting the IV bag on the coat hanger to make this work, and it was just funny.
  • A boy on the night shift, when heading towards his home kept Clyde going around in circles farther and farther away then Clyde wanted to drive the Sears car. Eventually they went in the opposite direction to get to his home.
  • A girl who ran over a squirrel, and kept crying and crying. She couldn’t stop. Clyde secretly thought the squirrel made it however. When Clyde had her for another drive time, she ran over a bunny this time and as she started to cry, Clyde told her it was ok. It was just a bunny. Then she got all psycho-analytical telling him the meaning of life and it’s value and such, and it sounded funny.
  • The boy who thought there was a miracle with the car. Clyde has a special brake on his passenger side of the car, and he used it as he knew the boy was going to turn into the lane exactly when a truck was coming up. The boy wondered why he couldn’t go, and when Clyde pointed at the truck zooming past, the boy was in awe and thought it was a miracle. He even asked if he could get one of these cars somewhere that ‘automatically’ does the brakes like that.

Those stories among other humorous stories. Class got by well when he told stories like that. Anyway, I did have an issue with my permit. I had to send in my birth certificate, social security card, VOE form (verification of enrollment from the high school), and $5 to get my permit from the state. Unfortunately, I got all that paperwork back and no permit because my name on my VOE, which I commonly go by, did not match with my legal documents. Even though all the parts in my ‘common name’ were on the birth certificate, it wasn’t the first, first name. I talked to my cousin about this, and she had the same issue too. Apparently, this happens a lot with Asian parents. Sigh. You can’t even initialize the first names of your name. It really sucks.

So I got another VOE at Cy-Ridge. JVHS was closed down for the summer for construction, so the offices were at Cy-Ridge. I met Yesenia there. I’ve been seeing Yesenia EVERYWHERE this summer. Usually, I rarely see her at school. We sometimes rode the late bus together during 11th grade after our after-school activities, and I’ve already seen Yesenia once at the library, at a video store, and I think somewhere else, all in one summer! It’s so weird. Anyway, instead of waiting at the long line, she went up and asked where they were, and the lady said it was on another side of the building. Yesenia went with her friends to her car, and my dad and I tagged along. It wasn’t really far from where we started to be honest. Anyway, I went inside, and there were several tables for incoming freshmen to sign in at. One table was set up for parking permits. Yesenia approached her, she went back to her car to take a snapshot of her license plate, and then she finished up. I also saw Zach Moran there, and not long after Austin Sarabia. I felt kinda embarrassed, because like sometime during the fall of 11th grade, before Physics class started, I remember Austin talking about something related to driving with Alicia Nelson, and when he showed his driver’s license, I think I commented on it, and Austin wanted to see mine. I wouldn’t confirm if I had one or not, and Alicia, Austin and even Jacqui Bontke were interested to see it. Of course, I didn’t have a license, but I didn’t want to admit that. I’m hoping they thought I just didn’t like my pic or something. Anyway, at the table, the bubble was to burst.

Austin was waiting behind me, and when I tried to be discrete and asked the lady about my VOE, she remarked she already signed this before school ended and it was valid, but I explained to her about the whole birth certificate thing, and she understood. Anyway, it was loud enough and Austin heard it. Oh well. I don’t want to make a big deal out of this, but I just feel so below when many of my friends are off driving already at 16, and I’m still waiting. So I had to go back to where I started before, and go into the actual main office this time, where a JV girl or assistant was there and she signed me out a VOE. I explained my situation when I told her about the names thing, and she said it must really suck in sympathy. So I got it, but when I gave it to Sears this time, with my dad along, it was rejected again. Dad got into an argument that the name was perfectly acceptable, but the people at the office said “No, it isn’t” and insisted that the state would only accept the name stated on the birth certificate word for word. Every time they said, “Okay. Wait. Listen!” but my dad wouldn’t listen, and Clyde got kinda upset and left. I tried explaining it better to him, and eventually he got it. He finally said he’ll go to DPS to see about this, and he took all my paperwork with him. We left, and there was no time to go to the DPS to see if we could straighten this out. The Sears people said that it would take hours to wait at the office, and they’d probably say the same thing, but Dad didn’t think so. Later, I called my sister about changing her name, because my mom mentioned that she got her name changed when she married Alex, but it wasn’t the same thing. She couldn’t change her first name without a different process and she didn’t want to bother that. She suggest I research it online and get back to her with that so maybe we could both get our first names changed.

So I was really fed up. I was already fed up at the office when I told Dad I didn’t really care anymore about what my name was. It was a big mess already, and I just wanted to get the stupid permit and I’ve had enough embarrassment over this. Even my class knew there was some issue with my name the first or 2nd day. Somehow my first name was “David” on the roll sheet, and when I asked him why he didn’t call my name, he asked if I was David, and he asked me for my birthday which was the same as “David’s”. So like every time he greets me, it’s like “William Michael Henry Nguyen” or something just as funny. I just smile, because it is kinda funny when you think about it. It got even exacerbated when the whole legal name issue popped up.

My dad thought I was doing that to make him mad, because I did say it kinda in a pouting like way. I was just tired. Angry, but tired. Anyway, I needed to get another VOE at Cy-Ridge again with the official name all the way, and I gave it to Sears. I also had my final exam for the classroom portion of the school (which I got a 110!), and it wasn’t that bad. I think mostly everyone in the class passed with a very good grade. Many with 100+ points (thanks to the bonus). So I paid my $5 today, and now hopefully my permit will come in soon.



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