Ms. Vera

This past weekend my school was honored at the regional meeting of ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International) where accreditation was officially bestowed upon our band of thirty some educators.  School was closed on Friday as the teachers and staff traveled up to Lancaster PA to receive the award.  On this occasion one of my colleagues was kind enough to drive me, sparing me an otherwise lonely commute and offering a safer ride through snow-covered hills in a beastly Hummer truck.

Before leaving the park-n-ride, she punched in the coordinates to our destination and entrusted her journey to Vera, the oh so seductive British voice filtering through a GPS device.  I acted as co-pilot with my own directions, conveniently printed from mapquest.com.  Armed with directional guides, this hour trip was failproof.

That is, until Mapquest confused the numbers on two interweaving roads.  I ditched the paper in disappointment and scanned the road signs.  About ten minutes later – no, Vera says it was 7 minutes 30 seconds  and 5.9 miles later – we came to an intersection with no option but to turn.  Vera said to turn left.  I checked the road signs and questioned the British woman’s logic.  Turning left would mean traveling South, yet geography taught me that Lancaster was North.  I overruled the machine and our Hummer turned right (from the left turn lane, no less)!  Vera’s pride was wounded as she felt the power button’s cruel effect.  And within about an hour’s time, we arrived in Lancaster.

Following the ceremony, me and my friend shopped around for a coveted Pittsburgh Steelers jersey, a gift for her daughter if we could ever find one.  Both outlet centers in Lancaster fell short.  Target had no licensed merchandise.  Our best lead, offered by a store clerk who didn’t know if we should take the road West or East, was a shopping mall.  Thus, driving without Vera and without a Pennsylvania map, I appealed to my Boy Scout instinct in hopes that we might find the mall.

Indeed, we reached our destination.  As soon as the truck set in park, I pumped my fist into the air, cheered, and leaped out of the vehicle in triumph.  We made it!  (and found the only Steelers jersey for sale within a 20-mile radius)

Even if we had entrusted Vera to steer us toward our destination, accomplishing the feat would never have inspired such a reaction in me.  GPS devices do the most good for people when stored in their boxes, sitting on a shelf.  As for me, I’m willing to sacrifice the convenience or security that Vera promises.  I’d much sooner trust an old-fashioned map and some rusted road signs.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Josiah Momose
    Feb 09, 2011 @ 08:33:16

    Good work, Benjamin. Boo Vera.

    Reply

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