294. Learning to Drive

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One of the greatest moments in a young person's life is the day when he or she starts learning to drive. Learning to drive is a rite of passage. It is one of the steps young people take to develop into adulthood. This is a wondrous time full of excitement and expectations. One of the most attractive things about learning to drive is the freedom that comes from operating a vehicle.

Once people are able to drive a vehicle, they can go anywhere in the city and beyond. In Southern California, the region was planned and built in a spread-out fashion with miles and miles of freeway access. A new driver no longer needs to rely on others to go somewhere. He or she is now free to go out on their own.

When Michael Allen first learned to drive, he was so excited. He was 16 years old, which in California means he can get a driver's permit. After six months with a permit, he could have a license to drive. Michael had been pestering his father to teach him how to drive for months and now came the big day. His father Edward was a big strong man, who insisted on teaching Michael on a standard transmission car. That meant Michael had to learn how to operate a clutch and gear shifter, which is not easy.

The two began their lessons. Edward was a difficult task-master, and Michael was having great difficulty at first. "Let the clutch out slowly," Edward began yelling every time Michael didn't do it correctly. "Ease it through. You can do it," said Edward to his son. "I'm trying, dad. I'm trying," said Michael. It was not pleasant at first, but soon Michael was driving up and down the block. He was very pleased, and so was his dad. Michael was now a driver.

Vocabulary   Comprehension   Cloze   Dictation

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