Friday, 17 June 2011

A TROPHY IS A TROPHY, NO MATTER HOW SMALL

Though I have always disliked competitive sports, mainly because I wasn't much good at any, I actually did well on rare occasions. My first and only sports-related trophy was puny but winning it was a huge victory for me.

From Deliverance From Jericho (Six Years in a Blind School), here are two examples of how I hated losing but enjoyed one moment of victory.

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School resumed and the days dragged painfully by. An event called Sports Day was held at Jericho each June. Classes were cancelled and we participated in a variety of races and games. As I had never experienced that sort of activity at public school, I assumed it might be fun. However, I hated Sports Day almost immediately because I invariably came last or far behind in races. Charlie loved it and generally won first, second, or third place. The only enjoyable aspect of that event for me was the refreshments. The hot dogs and Kool-Aid we received that day were never served in the Dining Hall.

The Braille Rally, organized by the University of British Columbia Car Club, was the only enjoyable sports-related activity that I participated in that month. Each navigator received instructions which were supposed to be read to the driver. As I could not read the braille copy and the print was far too small for me to see, I held the pages for my partner as he drove. I do not recall if we came in first but I did win a trophy which had a man holding up a large ring on it. As I had never won an award before, that trophy was special, even though it stood only four inches tall.

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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.