Friday, 16 October 2009

The great water fight of 1964.


Blind and visually-impaired children are just as mischievous as their sighted peers. I amply demonstrated this in my Deliverance From Jericho (Six Years in a Blind School) memoir. During my first term at the institution, I perpetually ran afoul of both supervisors and teachers. The following excerpt is just one of the many examples of my rebellion against the dictates imposed upon me.
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More trouble came my way when I foolishly followed the crowd. One night someone started a water fight. At first, I tried to ignore the rapidly growing chaos in the hallway. "We're having a water fight. You want to join us?" a boy invited. "No, I better not. I'll get in trouble." "Come on, you're missing out on the fun," he urged. The object of the game was to spit water at somebody and the other person was supposed to dodge it. I forgot who spat a mouthful at me but I retaliated. Soon the hall floor was drenched as many of us joined in the fun. "The night nurse is coming!" a boy warned. Everyone involved in the water fight scurried into bed and tried to act as if nothing had happened. Suddenly we heard a thud and a splash as the night nurse slipped in the hallway. "Who's responsible for this mess?" she demanded as she went to each bedroom. "Everybody out of bed!" The night nurse checked our pyjamas and wrote down the names of anybody who was wet. Then she told us to change into dry pyjamas and go to sleep.

All those involved were rounded up after school the next day for questioning by Miss Boyce. "I want to listen to Peter's record player," I whined as our supervisor dragged me out of the bedroom, down the hall, and into the Quiet Room. Along with our supervisor, Superintendent Principal MacDonald, a stern grey-haired man, joined the inquisition that afternoon. The questioning appeared to continue interminably. I remember that the ringleader was spanked but I cannot recall his name.
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Having been raised in a home where discipline was somewhat lax, it was inevitable that I would get into trouble repeatedly that autumn. During the writing of my memoir, I recorded as many of these incidents as I could remember to demonstrate the humanity of us blind students. To learn more about this 196-page paperback memoir, please see the Inscribe page.