Jason: "If you were going to California, could you take 70 west?"
[assuming he meant from our current location in Colorado]
Me: "Well, it would depend on where you were going in California. California's a pretty big state."
Jason: "You could take 70 east?"
Me: "It's not that big."
[realizing the sarcasm would probably be lost on Jason, I decided to elaborate.]
Me: "California is west of here, so the only way to go to California would be to head west. 70 doesn't actually go to California. It ends in Utah. From there, you could plan a variety of routes, depending on where you were going in California."
[after about 30 minutes of silence, I'm guessing after chewing on this new piece of information for a while, he re-opened the conversation]
Jason: "So, if you were going to California from Indianapolis, you would take 70 west to Utah then get off on another road?"
Me: "It would depend on where I was going in California, where I would leave 70. California is a very LONG state. 800 miles long from one end to the other."
Location: somwhere in central Kansas (3/2, 2:00pm)
Today has been a rather uneventful day, professionally speaking. The difference between Jason's shifting ability yesterday and today is remarkable. I'm learning that, with Jason, he is incapable or processing multiple things rapidly. They take time to soak-in. He requires time to reflect on things. He told me he "thought about" the process of shifting last night. Today, as we stopped in Salina, KS for a break, he executed his first flawless downshift during the exit process. I told him that was awesome.
I think Jason has an ability to concentrate on a singular thing that is admirable, but he can't do it in the heat of the moment. I've wondered how he has survived this long as an adult and it's becoming apparent. When there is a task at hand to be learned, whether it be a life-lesson or a professional duty, he works and thinks about it until he has it conquered. Once learned and maintained on a regular basis, he is as capable as anyone. It is the more complex things which require abstract thinking, understanding of complex disciplines, or critical thinking in which Jason is incapable. While driving is a set of composite skills, it is nothing more than that, a set of skills. It hardly requires critical thinking, knowledge of techincal information, or abstract thinking.
It, however, does require judgement; good, sound judgement. So far, Jason's epic blunders appear to be nothing more than inexperience, underexposure, and ignorance - things I can combat with application and education. There is nothing in Jason's nature or character which suggests he is incapable of good judgement, merely insufficiently prepared. I think (and hope) now that he is conquering his ability to shift, he will be able to devote his concentration to other things in the near future. In short, Jason may not be bright, but he compensates with effort. I think I can make a trucker out of him after all. I'll see if I still feel that way after we navigate the urban highways of Kansas City tonight. lacyunderall and justamy: this is a red alert ;-).
Some other things you may not know about Jason, just to give you an idea of the type of person he is. He is highly organized, probably an over-compensation for his lack of intelligence. He is also meticulously neat, like, gay neat to offer a classic stereotype and to fuel the ever-burning imagination of hockeyfag.
Location: Topeka, KS (3/2, 6:00pm)
Socially, my day will be eventful. I am to meet up with justamy for dinner in KC as I'm wont to do when I have the time. She, of course, made it clear the night before in an IM that she was dying to meet Jason, since I've made him a bit of a "star" in my journal. I've tried calling lacyunderall but she's probably in some Pop-Tart induced coma.
It's something I frequently do with trainees, but not something I have done with Jason yet: buy them sporadic meals. I guess after this great day of not making me fear for my life or the safety of others it is warranted. So, I have invited Jason to join us for Mongolian.
Jason: "Is that Chinese food?"
Me: "It's Mongolian."
Jason: "Isn't Mongolia in China?"
[this actually impressed me that he was nearly correct]
Me: "Mongolia is north of China."
And I went-on to explain the particulars of the restaurant and cuisine in which we would dine this evening. Maybe he won't be totally shell-shocked by the experience, then again, perhaps for the entertainment value of Amy's benefit, I should've let it be a total surprise. Regardless, unless Jason decides to be incredibly shy in the presence of our dinner companion, I'm sure she'll get her fair share of first-hand JasonismsTM.
Tonight, we will stop in Concordia, MO for showers, fuel, and preventive maintenance work that has been scheduled for the truck. I will probably have to do some driving later tonight and get us to other side of St. Louis if we are to make it to Pedergrass, GA by 11:00pm tomorrow. I imagine it will require an extreme bit of concentration on my part as Jason drives us through Nashville.
Location: Concordia, MO (3/3 1:00am)
Dinner with justamy was delightful as usual. She got to witness, full force, the power of JasonismTM. I think Amy learned really fast that, there's no fighting Teh Jason. You realize it would be entirely too much work to try and correct 28 years of monumental, chronic ignorance in casual conversation. All you can do is observe and enjoy the entertainment.
Jason: "I have pictures of relatives from the 1830s."
[as I recall the camera was a relatively new invention during the time of the Civil War in the 1860s, but ok... but he continues...]
Jason: "I had two relatives that were 7 foot 7 tall. There's a brain tumor that makes you tall like that, but I don't think they had it."
[talking about the new guy she's dating]
Me: "What does he do?"
Amy: "He's an aeronautical engineer."
Jason: "Did he go to ITT tech?"
[I had already explained to Jason that Amy was a school teacher, prior to our get-together. I don't remember the exact context in which she said it, but she made some mention of "teaching" in the conversation, to which Jason asked increduously]
Jason: "You mean you're a trainer, too?"
The amount of JasonismsTM I deal with on a regular basis makes it hard for me to always remember them all. Hopefully, Amy will remember more than I did and preserve them in her own journal (hint hint), for Jason was certainly in fine form tonight.