Tuesday, 15 November 2011

SEE FOOTBALL THROUGH MY EYES.

Imagine if you went to a football game but you couldn't see the field or hear a play-by-play announcer describing the action. Would you patiently sit there for a few hours or demand your money back?

This scenario isn't as far-fetched as you might think. My blind schoolmates and I endured hours of boredom at various sports events. We had no choice in the matter either. Supervisors and administrators decided we needed to attend games and that was that.

In my Deliverance from Jericho (Six Years in a Blind School) memoir, I wrote about one occasion when everybody at the game became unable to see the field. For a while, they experienced the same tedium we did at those outings.

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It was a rare occasion when the sighted public found themselves in the same situation as us visually impaired students. Our supervisors periodically took us to various UBC football and hockey games on weekday evenings and weekends. On one particular sunlit Saturday afternoon, Mr. Moiarty ordered everybody into the school bus. I sat in the bleachers and fumed as the game began. Football appeared to be a waste of a beautiful day. Since our supervisor seated us fairly high up, all I could see were tiny coloured blurs moving around the turf.

As I waited for the game to end, I noticed fog begin to obscure the field. It soon became so dense that play was stopped. I burst out laughing. For once, the sighted spectators and I were in the same position. Everyone needed to wait for the fog bank to roll through before play could resume.

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Deliverance from Jericho is filled with 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. Read more about Deliverance from Jericho here. Please feel free to contact me directly as well.