We made laps around the Amphitheatre's parking lot for a while before seeking out non-gravel surfaces. The lot was a great place to practice, much better than the parking lot at work. No cars, and more importantly, no curious eyes wondering why's that car lurching forward and then not moving?
I'm not ready to trade in my automatic for a stick just yet but I'm confident that I wouldn't be stranded if all I had was a manual transmission. Next lesson: driving on actual pavement.