Wednesday, 24 June 2015

FORTY-FIVE YEARS OUT OF JERICHO

Have you ever left some place and not realized you'd never return? It can be either a sad or happy memory, depending on how that place was for you. In my case, I wish I'd known I'd be leaving Jericho Hill School for the Deaf and Blind for the final time.

On this day in 1970, my classmates and I felt jubilant that we'd finally be going home. Many of the boys in my dorm lived hundreds of miles away from Vancouver, British Columbia and were anxious to leave that wretched place.

We packed our suitcases and lugged them to the parking lot when the school bus arrived. Apart from some of my things falling out of a shopping bag on the bus, the trip to the airport was uneventful.

For the next two years, I dreaded being sent back to Jericho because some bureaucrat thought I wasn't adjusting well to public school. Labouring under this apprehension, I worked hard to get good grades and prayed often to be spared being exiled to Vancouver again.

When the two years had passed, I suddenly realized that I couldn't be sent back to Jericho. I was registered in high school and was living on my own. Had somebody tried to send me back, I think I'd have refused. Anyway, when I realized the fact that I'd never be sent to Jericho again, I danced a jig in my room. What a relief that was!

I did well enough in high school, though I never went to university. I had been burdened with homework and people told me University was even harder. Tuition also intimidated me since I lacked the money.

My work experience hasn't been noteworthy but I managed to stay off welfare for most of my life. I'm on disability now but I worked hard for my pension. Furthermore, I've written three memoirs and many freelance articles. Read more about my paperbacks at the Bruce Atchison's books page as well as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Powell's Books.