Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"Where the Rubber Meets the Road"

I have heard this phrase a lot.  Where the rubber meets the road.  I have thought about it a little but I have never actually tried to figure out what it meant.  I have even heard in said towards me often.  While I was working as an EFY Counselor (clap-clap-clap,clap,clap…etc… E-F-Y!!!), the session director and counselors over me would tell me all the time that I was where the rubber met the road.  And even now as a teacher, I work in the “rubber meeting the road” position.  I never actually really took the time to figure out what it meant other than cars’ have tires and the tires touch the road.  So this must mean that I am a tire.  Whatever.

Well, this phrase took on a whole new meaning today.  I was driving home from subbing.  It was early out day and I was so excited because I would get home early and be able to go jogging (still haven’t gone jogging as I am writing this—that is *for reals* next on my agenda!) and then work on other things because there would be extra time.  My extra time was spent sitting in a parking lot on the freeway.  But let’s rewind just a tiny bit.

The freeway is always under construction.  And now that winter is almost over and we are transitioning to the other season here—construction; it is a sure thing that even more construction is going to start popping up.

 I notice up ahead of me that the freeway has been merged into one lane (ugh!).  The speed limit is still 75 mph.  I see a police truck up where the freeway is merging into one lane and I get nervous wondering if I missed a lower speed limit sign.  I slow down to somewhere around 60 mph (fortunately—this probably saved my life and/or prevented an accident today!!) and then merge over.  Well, here is the problem, I am still concerned about the police truck with flashing lights and facing the wrong way.  And the merge to one lane was RIGHT on top of a hill.  This turned out to be a blind hill. 

Immediately after I merged, approaching the top of the hill, bam!  The traffic in front of me is COMPLETELY stopped.  The car in front of me swerved out of the now only lane and back into lane with cones on it.  I realized there was no way, I could stop that fast and not hit the car in front of me in the merged lane so I swerve out too and slam on the breaks.  This is why it was fortunate that I was going slower because if I had been going faster (even though 75 really was the still posted freeway speed), I doubt I would have been able to swerve out.  I likely would have plowed into the car in front of me and who knows where I would be right now—not here righting this, that is for sure! 

I see a part of my tire on the road as I merge back over (my first skid mark!) and smoke.  My rubber really met the road in this instance.  (Oh, and I don’t feel bad for swerving out.  There were countless cars behind me that swerved, slammed and smoked too.  It was really a blessing that I didn’t hit someone and wasn’t hit because there was no warning for the slow down!)  After I calmed down and realized I was ok and my car (hopefully the tires are fine!) was ok, I then had plenty of time to think about the rubber meeting the road.  Normally a 3 minute stretch of driving took well over 1/2 hour to pass.  Time galore to think.

Rubber meeting the road is the crises of life.  When rubber meets the road it is because you had to stop urgently because something was wrong.  While I was an EFY counselor, there were plenty of rubber moments when the girls would come to be with problems—wavering testimony, chastity, immodesty, anorexia, just to name a few of the things I dealt with.  Now as a teacher, (and especially when I was student teaching!  Subbing the kids don’t generally confide in/ talk to me very much) I have several rubber moments too—bad grades, problems at home, health problems, divorce, etc!  But you want to know what… I wouldn't change my “rubber meets the road” job for anything.  I love it because I love being able to help and serve others.  I love seeing the change that can come into my students’ lives.  I learned a lot from the skid mark today... maybe this will even influence my educational philosophy (which I have to write an essay on later tonight)—we’ll see.  
Where the Rubber Meets the Road is the MOST important point, a pivotal moment, a time for truth and I hope to support others (and my students) through their real life
—not just break testingmoments.
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