Driving a motor vehicle on public highways in Maine is a privilege and a serious responsibility. The ability to drive a car, truck or motorcycle widens horizons. It helps you do your job, visit friends and relatives, and enjoy your leisure time. It is the most important card in your wallet and a legally accepted form of identification.
For Mat Poland, getting his driver’s license was something he dreamed of along with his friends while in High School. He has recently achieved that dream and spoke with Mobius DSP Alan Hills about his efforts.
“I was nervous about trying to drive. I went to the Strive program in Portland after high school. For those two years, I used Portland’s excellent public transportation. So, I didn’t need a car to get around,” said Poland, “then I moved back home and realized I really needed to do this.”
The toughest part of the process for Poland was obtaining his driver’s permit. He had to take the test on a computer and not with pencil and paper and he found it confusing.
“I knew the material,” he said,” but it was just tough to figure out what the test was asking.”
He chose to go back and take the driver’s ed course again. “Passing driver’s ed lead directly to me getting my driver’s permit,” Poland said. He took the process very seriously and did way more practice driving than the minimum hours required.
Still, Poland did not pass the road test on his first attempt. He once again refused to be discouraged and took the suggestions from the motor vehicle tester to heart. He got his license on the second try.
Poland has advice for anyone trying to accomplish this important goal. “I would say, don’t give up. Just keep going until you pass. Then enjoy all the advantages that come with having your driver’s license.”
He is very thankful to his parents for their support and for the secondhand car they gave him, “It is so awesome to not have to depend on anyone for rides to work or to the grocery store. I can also visit my friends, from Portland to Brunswick to my neighboring towns. Go out to eat with them, see movies, etc. To all my peers out there, I say, go for it! It will change your life. It has mine. But remember, like Peter Parker’s (aka Spider-Man’s) Uncle Ben stated, ‘With great power comes great responsibility!’ I am a very careful driver. I hope all of you will be too.”
Poland volunteers at Todd Wildlife Sanctuary with Hills and is a valued team member there. Having his license means he can participate in many activities there on weekends and in the evening.
“I may have some things in my life that can make stuff harder,” Poland said, smiling. “But I have the freedom to be a part of everything in life now. This is freedom.”
(“The Mobius Strip” represents our inner gifts and our outer selves working seamlessly together, creating a whole being. Mobius Inc. is based at 319 Main St. in Damariscotta. For more information, go to mobiusinc.org.)