Kyle’s Column: Making a difference, one driving lesson at a time


In the latest installment of Kyle’s Column, WSPN’s Opinions Editor Kyle Chen reflects upon the lessons that come with having a cold.

Kyle Chen

For high school students, the last bell on Dec. 22 is usually a joyous moment of celebration and of reveling in the freedom and liberty that Christmas break affords. But on the last day before break, I closed my notebook and shoved my computer into my bag with a heavy sigh, knowing that the following week, I would have five out of the nine precious days of freedom snatched from my clutches by Drivers’ Education.

Little did I know that what I thought would be a crappy week filled with boring lessons on how to turn a steering wheel and snooze-inducing lectures about being a defensive driver would turn out to be one of the most empowering, eye-opening experiences I’ve had.

The morning after Christmas Day, I walked into the classroom at CS Driving School in Waltham with nothing but a pencil, a notebook, and a growing sense of dread. The room was packed with around 40 other kids who looked like Drivers’ Ed was the last place they wanted to be. And let’s be honest–can you blame them for that? If the course had gone the way I, and probably most of the other kids in the classroom, had thought it would, we’d have wasted five days of our lives in a drowsy stupor while some guy lectured us from his seat at the front of the classroom, putting us all to sleep with a monotonous read-through of the designated curriculum.

Fortunately, our fears were utterly destroyed from the very moment the instructor opened her mouth to speak. She introduced herself briefly as Anna Sab, and quickly warmed up the classroom by getting all of us laughing at bad jokes about how she was 29 and had been driving for 44 years, or how we should always let old people go because they are “heavily medicated.”

Pretty soon, the whole class was engaged and involved. The kids in the back corner of the classroom, who genuinely looked like they were dying of boredom before the class began, would shout out answers to the questions Anna Sab threw us. My deskmate PJ, a kid from Weston High, erupted into fits of laughter when she began to explain the list of “Annasabisms” on a poster hanging from her desk. Aside from the various acronyms traditional driving school curriculums have, such as SIPDE and ABS (Search, Identify, Predict, Decide and Execute, and Anti-Lock Brake System, respectively), the poster was cluttered with self-invented acronyms that Anna Sab used to drill in important concepts. One such case was the three-letter shorthand she printed on the board when teaching us always to be defensive drivers: MPS. Why should we be defensive when we drive? MPS–most people suck.

And this was all before we even found out the reason Anna Sab had bothered to start a driving school in the first place–she is a life coach!

She told us the inspiring story of how CS Driving School came to be. After she had received her training to be a life coach, she set out to empower teens by teaching them how to deal with the hardships in their lives. She told us about how, when she got a grand total of zero clients, a chance meeting with a co-worker of hers led to her becoming a driving instructor and eventually starting a driving school of her own. This way, she explained, she could empower teens while also teaching them the important skill of driving.

Personally, I thought her story was one of the most inspiring I have ever heard. Here was a woman who was truly making the world a better place. Sure, she didn’t find a cure for cancer or anything, but in her own way, she is making a positive impact on her community in a very creative manner.

After all, she is able to make even a course as mundane as Drivers’ Ed interesting, and she can get a group of kids to pay attention and actually get excited about learning how to drive. That, in itself, is a feat that deserves respect.

Opinion articles written by staff members represent their personal views. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent WSPN as a publication.