My Home Away from Home

Life at Perkins School for the Blind

by Robert T. Branco

C 2013

Short summary:

From the ages of 12 to 19, the author attended a school for the blind. He tells about life in the "cottages," academics, sports, field trips, vocational
training, and more. He had good and bad teachers, followed wise rules and absurd ones, met good friends and bullies, and welcomed administrative changes.
Perkins educated him very well; this book will surely educate and entertain many others.


This book is about eight of the most important years of my life. Just like anyone else between the ages of 12 and 19, I had a lot to learn about growing
up. However, contrary to what most pre-teens and teens experience, I lived those eight years at Perkins School for the Blind, in Watertown, Massachusetts,
65 miles from my home.

In the book, I talk about our academic classes, our teachers and other adults at the school, the many kids who became my friends and others who made friendship
impossible, the several sports we pursued, all the rules we were supposed to follow and how radically they were sometimes broken, some of the fascinating
field trips we took and new technology that we explored, the ways in which the school tried to prepare us for independent living, and much more. As you
will read, there were plenty of both good and bad times.

It is also important to note that I was at Perkins during the entire directorship of the only visually impaired chief administrator Perkins ever had, Mr.
Ben Smith. My classmates and I watched in almost unanimous approval as he changed many of the school's long-lasting policies.

I decided to write this book because I continuously tell my friends about my adventures during those years, and I used to kid around that I could write
a book, because there was so much information for me to share. Finally, I took the plunge and decided to write my experiences down, so I could share them
with the world.

I hope that my story puts a unique perspective on what it's like for any teenager, blind or sighted, to live away from home for eight years. I certainly
hope that the sighted, as well as the blind, will enjoy and appreciate my story.

I would like to thank my editor, Leonore H. Dvorkin, for working closely with me. I am grateful to her for completely understanding both the nature and
the aim of this book. See the end of the book for more about the editing and publishing services that she and her husband offer.

I would also like to thank Ross Chartoff for his role in helping me to assemble and submit the required components of this book.

Bob Branco

New Bedford, Massachusetts

February 2013
Home 303.985.2327 (best number) / Cell 303.885.1728
My website:
(books, articles, language services, publishing help, and more)
David's website:

Presenter: Author, Robert BrancoDate: Tuesday April 15, 2014