Friday, 29 April 2011

ONE MISTAKE WAS ONE TOO MANY FOR ONE SUPERVISOR.

Have you ever been left alone in a car when you were young? It's one of the worst things a parent or guardian can do to children. Apart from the danger of paedophiles, confining them to the car without supervision is a form of psychological abuse.

In my Deliverance From Jericho (Six Years in a Blind School) memoir, I wrote of the times when adults, who ought to have known better, left me alone in a vehicle while they enjoyed themselves. In this excerpt, I was punished by a mean supervisor at Jericho Hill School for the Deaf and Blind because I put on the wrong kind of shoes.

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I upset Mrs. Parker often and this Easter was no exception. One rainy afternoon, she drove us to Stanley Park. As I stepped out of the car, she noticed I wore the wrong type of shoes. "I told you to put on your rubbers. Can't you do anything right?" I sat in the back seat, feeling wretched.

"Since you're so stupid and dense, you'll have to sit in this car and wait for the rest of us," Mrs. Parker ordered.

"Can I listen to the radio?" I timidly asked.

"No you can't. You sure have nerve asking that after you've inconvenienced all of us with your thoughtlessness. You sit there in the back seat. We'll be back in an hour."

It seemed much longer than sixty minutes as I waited while the rest of the dorm enjoyed their walk. I had nothing else to do but let my imagination entertain me. As Dad often left me in his Volkswagen while he went into the bar, this punishment was similar. I felt livid. Adults seemed incredibly selfish and mean-spirited. They possessed absolute power over us and yet some abused it for their own ends.

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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.