Jack Wilson, a driving instructor, is famous for his stories, badges, and his mustache. He makes fun of people who get red faces easily and he looks joyfully at the idiocy of people on the road, in his class, and in life, all with a Santa laugh and an only semi-serious exterior.
When asked what they liked the most about Wilson, all three interviewees said the same thing: his mustache.
“I couldn’t take him seriously,” sophomore Charlie Power said. “I kept thinking of the Lorax whenever I saw him!”
Sophomore Adrienne Ora had cartoon characters in her mind when she saw Wilson’s facial hair as well.
“I thought he looked like the one guy from Tarzan,” Ora said. “Like the dad. When he, like, wore shorts, he looked like him.”
All interviewees agreed in the opinion that he is a good teacher. “He’s really good, he explains everything a lot,” Freshman Paige Gilstad said. “And he includes stories that are really funny, so it’s not as boring.”
Power has a slightly different point of view. “He didn’t mind me doodling in class, as long as I paid attention,” Power said.
However, despite this, he can make people nervous. “He kind of scared me in the car,” Power said. “He kept grabbing the steering wheel. Other than that, he was fine.”
Wilson’s stories are the highlight of many driving classes. Among his favorites is about a bad driver. “We almost rolled the car on the expressway,” Wilson said. “The girl, we were getting on the expressway, and she jerked the wheel two lanes, and I swear, the car was up on two wheels. We probably weren’t, but that’s what it felt like.”
His students have favorite stories, too.
“They had this designated drunk that would like, when they were all drinking, they would go out and get pulled over by the cops so that all the other drunk people could go the other way,” said Gilstad.
Power has another story in mind. “I like the one where the guy doesn’t use the brake right and goes straight through his garage,” she says. “Instead of the brakes, nowadays, where you like, slow down, but the wheels still keep turning…[in the past], you would slam on the brakes and the wheels would stop and you would skid…this guy, his friend didn’t realize it, and went straight through the garage. He didn’t brake soon enough.”
Ora’s favorite story, however, isn’t exactly a story, but instead a series of events in different times. “I like when he’s talking about all the stuff he sees people doing while they drive,” she says before recalling one instance. “Like some guy brushing his teeth or something. How do you get to a point on your life where you’re like ‘you know what I need to do while I’m driving? Brush my teeth.’ Take the two minutes!”
Wilson is also famous for his teasing, especially people who blush easily. However, people who get red-faced are not his only targets.
“He calls me ‘Blondie’,” Gilstad said. “And I fell backwards in my chair. I’m sure he’ll bring that up a lot. Let’s hope that was a one-time thing.” She also points out another student Jack makes fun of. “Holly. He calls her ‘Lobster-fest’ cause she got sunburned.”
When asked about favorites, Jack doesn’t try to cover up that he has them. “The people that I pick on the most are usually my favorites,” he said.
Jack’s badges are also quite famous. Among his favorites is the Jesus Take the Wheel badge, which is the highest badge a student can get. He has only given out about three of these.
One student is very memorable to Jack, the same girl in his favorite story.
“The one girl that failed this class didn’t know, after class, what side of the road to drive on,” he said. “Every time she drove, she would drive on the wrong side.” The girl, who will remain unnamed, received a Jesus Take the Wheel badge. Wilson also makes sure to point out how she wasn’t disabled, she was just stupid.
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By: Madeleine J Jones