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Resolved to Responsibility

The Rational Component

Gillian Seaman

Issue date: 1/21/11 Section: Opinion
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I have always considered myself somewhat challenged in regards to my ability to trust certain transportation technologies. The average person can look at things like roller blades, bikes, and cars and see them as normal transportation devices. Whereas it is clear from my experience that these things are veritable death traps waiting to carry you into the flaming fires of Hell.

Needless to say, the whole getting my license thing when I turned 16 did not happen. I was the kid who only learned to ride a bike at age eight because I was promised candy. Being "rewarded" with the gift of a car was not going to compel me to get a laminated card with an ugly photo on it. My parents did make me learn the basics of driving due to the misguided idea that this would somehow convince me that cars were actually safe and inspire me to get my license.

Four years later I sit here both without a license and alive. So really, I think I made the right decision.

Really, my parents should have realized that competition is the best motivator. My younger brother and sister have their licenses and every time I go home for a break a little piece of my soul dies when I have to ask those punks for a ride. So my new year's resolution is to learn how to drive.

In order to actually follow through with this, I have enlisted my responsibilibuddy Mike. (If I am banned from making up words in my history papers, I am certainly going to take advantage of my ability to do so here.)

As responsibilibuddies, Mike and I basically I ensure that we both do what we are supposed to do. I make sure he arrives to classes on time and he in turn will make sure that I am not a menace to society when I get behind the wheel. Hence, we are buddies that try hard to keep each other responsible.

Unfortunately for Mike, his duties as a responsibilibuddy may be more difficult than mine. Whenever we've gone driving, he has been randomly quizzing me about various driving-related things. However, I clearly have not paid the slightest bit of attention in the 20 years I have been chauffeured around as indicated by a recent exchange when I became thoroughly confused about how to make a left turn.

"Mike, how do you aim the car?" I asked.

"What do you mean how do you aim?"

"…To turn?"

The resulting combination of terror and disdain splashed across his face is probably why I should never, ever be permitted to get my license.

While I clearly need my responsibilibuddy Mike to achieve at the age of 20 what my younger siblings accomplished at 16, I believe that having a responsibilibuddy should be the norm for college students.

In college, particularly during second semester when we all start believing we might actually be competent, maintaining a relationship with one's responsibilibuddy is necessary. During second semester, it is easy to fall back into old, bad habits.

Having a responsibilibuddy there to yell at you about sitting down and writing your paper while you yell at him to study for his calculus test is a good thing.

We all need friends that will call us out on our fundamental inability to understand the basic physics of reversing a car in a straight line and other things necessary to being a fully functional college student.

Gillian Seaman is a third-year history major. She was raised by a village that failed to do its job.
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