Friday, 18 February 2011


Have you ever wished your school would burn down or close so you would never have to go there again? I certainly did. Unlike most children, I endured many lonely months at a boarding school, five hundred miles from home. Here's what I wrote in Deliverance From Jericho (Six Years in a Blind School) when I saw one building at that much-hated institution being knocked down.


Joshua never did knock down the walls of our Jericho, but we witnessed one structure being demolished. Behind the main Administration Building, stood a smaller house. It was connected to the larger structure by an open-air walkway.

As I walked toward the dorm after lunch, I noticed a bulldozer smashing through the house's front door. "What are you doing there?," I called up to the man operating the machine.

"I'm demolishing this house."

"Why are you doing that," I shouted.

"Never mind! Get out of here! It's dangerous!"

I resisted the urge to watch and walked back to the dorm, all the while wondering why a perfectly good building was being knocked down. I had been in enough trouble that month and I feared receiving more condemnation.

Mrs. Parker ordered us into the Play Room when the last boy returned from lunch. "Nobody is to leave the building," she ordered. "You stay here in the Play Room until the men are finished demolishing that house. It's starting to rain anyway so you're better off in here."

Those of us with sight crowded next to the windows to watch the demolition. Unfortunately, it was too far away to see clearly.

"I wish we could get closer," I complained.

"Yeah, I don't think it's all that dangerous," Mike agreed.

While we watched, we could faintly hear the splintering and crashing of the wooden structure over the bulldozer's engine.

"I wish they would do that to the whole school," I mused. "Then we could go home." All the boys around me agreed.

I learned later that the building was once the residence of the superintendent and his wife. As no one lived on the premises, the administrators decided to have it pulled down. The land where the house once stood became a staff parking lot.


Deliverance from Jericho contains many more vignettes of what life was like in that government-run institution. These range from poignant experiences of homesickness to hilarious incidents of mischief. Click here to read more about this book and to order it. You may also e-mail me directly if the comment form doesn't work.

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