Friday, 13 May 2011


In past posts, I've written about how the administrators at Jericho Hill School made our lives miserable with their arbitrary rules and callous attitude toward us. Though I suffered injustice along with the rest of the boys and girls, I deserved my punishment at times.

In my Deliverance From Jericho (Six Years in a Blind School) memoir, I wrote about the time I vandalized a storage shed and coaxed some other boys to help me. We were justly punished for our rebellion in that instance.


One sunlit evening, I became obsessed with the idea that those windows in the shed next to the pool were begging to be broken. I figured that, since some panes were already shattered, no one would notice a few more.

I outlined my idea to a few boys standing next to the pop machine, urging them to join me. "We'll never have a chance like this again," I urged. "Someone already broke a few windows in that shed so what would a few more matter? Come on, guys, let's smash a few more. It's an old building anyway."

My audience appeared strangely reluctant, but they eventually gave in to my urging. We gathered handfuls of pebbles and started hurling. The windows shattered delightfully. We were happily breaking them when Jimmy ran toward us. "I'm telling on you guys," he threatened. We implored him not to but he refused to listen, turned, and sprinted toward the dorm. Since we were already in trouble, we threw one last volley of rocks.

Mrs. Parker strode out of the dorm full of wrath. "You boys are going to bed right after supper for six weeks," she announced. "You'll get no candy either." Our hearts crashed to the ground. Six weeks seemed such a long time and to be with out candy was pure torture. The penalty impacted me so thoroughly that I felt intense dread whenever I walked passed that shed on the way to and from the Dining Hall.


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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