Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Coolest Idea Ever (If I Were An Inventor)

I have always envied people that are truly intelligent across the board. I mean, obviously everyone has some things they're smarter at than others (my sister, a brilliant microbiologist, put "toona" on a shopping list made after she'd received her PhD), but there are some that are just true renaissance peeps.

Sadly, I'm not one of them. I had a stroke of genius on my drive home last night, though, that made me wish I was.

So it snowed again (I'm sure you're shocked to hear that), and I had my typical white-knuckled run down the back roads of very, very rural New Hampshire. After I picked Addie up from school, I spent the entire drive home trying to explain to her how to drive in snow, which is a little bit tricky because my car has all wheel drive and hers doesn't (plus it's very small and light), so most of what I was telling her doesn't even apply.

Anyway, I dropped her off at home then went to get Belle, and while I was driving I couldn't help thinking about how fortunate the kids in driver's ed right now are. Addie took driver's ed in the late summer and early fall, so she had no formal instruction (beyond the book, which is of course very theoretical) in the fine art of driving in snow.

There are pros and cons to having an ADHD mind, but one thing that's essentially a wash is the ability to connect things together that have absolutely no relation to a normal person, and to do it in a matter of seconds. My brain synapses are always at hyperspeed unless I'm reading or writing (most ADHD folk have an activity that allows them to "hyper-focus" ... sadly it's video games a lot of the time, but for me it has always been reading). The overactive brain synapses, by the way, are very helpful when writing and explain a great deal about why I write in fits and spurts much of the time ... namely, I picture what happens next in my mind, often at night when I can't sleep, but don't write it down right away.

And I'm way off-topic, which is of course the hard-core downside to the ADHD brain ...

Anyway, I explain that because, in a matter of seconds, I came up with the coolest idea ever. The thought process went something like this:

1. The driving really sucks.
2. There are a lot of inexperienced drivers on the road. Even though I'm crazy overprotective and won't let Addie drive in snow, there are a lot of kids driving today that really shouldn't be.
3. I'm going to have to teach Addie to drive in the snow one of these days. It's going to be horrible.
4. Why isn't "snow-driving" a required part of driver's ed?
5. The space shuttle Challenger exploded twenty-five years ago this week.
6. My fourth grade teacher cried ... I had never seen a teacher cry before.
7. I'm surprised they haven't made a movie of the Challenger disaster yet ... after all, they did for Apollo 13.
8. Apollo 13 was a really neat movie.
9. Gary Sinise always seems to get that "unsung hero" role, which he's very good at.
10. Gary Sinise, playing the role of Ken Mattingly, is what stands out the most to me about that movie because he was stuck in that space simulator trying to figure out how to save his colleagues.
11. I watched an iCarly episode with Belle where Carly and her peeps were in a space simulator.

And ... *ka-bam*

12. How cool would it be if there was a "driving-in-snow" simulator? That would allow driving students to have the experience of driving in snow without being an any true danger. There are a certain number of required hours for nighttime driving, highway driving, and so on ... why not "snow driving", at least in areas where snow is a concern?

I wish I had some idea of how to actually go about doing this, because I think it would be very helpful :-)