PROGRESS REPORT 8

March 15

 

Im out of the hospitil but not back at werk yet. Nothing is happining. I had lots of tests and differint kinds of races with Algernon. I hate that mouse. He always beets me. Prof Nemur says I got to play those games and I got to take those tests over and over agen.

Those amazes are stoopid. And those picturs are stoopid to. I like to drawer the picturs of a man and woman but I wont make up lies about pepul.

And I cant do the puzzels good.

I get headakes from trying to think and remembir so much. Dr Strauss promised he was going to help me but he dont. He dont tell me what to think or when Ill get smart. He just makes me lay down on a couch and talk.

Miss Kinnian comes to see me at the collidge too. I tolld her nothing was happining. When am I going to get smart. She said you got to be pashent Charlie these things take time. It will happin so slowley you wont know its hap­pening. She said Burt tolld her I was comming along fine.

I still think those races and those tests are stoopid and I think riting these progress reports are stoopid to.

 

March 16

 

I ate lunch with Burt at the collidge resterant. They got all kinds of good food and I dont have to pay for it neither. I like to sit and wach the collidge boys and girls. They fool around somtimes but mostly they talk about all kinds of things just like the bakers do at Donners bakery. Burt says its about art and polatics and riligon. I dont know what those things are about but I know riligon is god. Mom use to tell me all about him and the things he done to make the werld. She said I shoud always love god and prey to him. I dont remembir how to prey to him but I think mom use to make me prey to him a lot when I was a kid that he shoud make me get better and not be sick. I dont rimember how I was sick. I think it was about me not being smart.

Anyway Burt says if the experimint werks Ill be able to understand all those things the studints are talking about and I said do you think Ill be smart like them and he laffed and said those kids arent so smart youll pass them as if their standing still.

He interduced me to alot of the studints and some of them look at me funny like I dont belong in a collidge. I almost forgot and started to tell them I was going to be very smart soon like them but Burt intiruppted and he tolld them I was cleaning the psych department lab. Later he explaned to me their mussent be any publisity. That meens its a seecrit.

I dont reely understand why I got to keep it a seecrit. Burt says its in case theirs a faleure Prof Nemur dont want everybody to laff espeshully the pepul from the Welberg foundashun who gave him the mony for the projekt. I said I dont care if pepul laff at me. Lots of pepul laff at me and their my frends and we have fun. Burt put his arm on my sholder and said its not you Nemurs worryd about. He dont want pepul to laff at him.

I dint think pepul would laff at Prof Nemur because hes a sientist in a collidge but Bert said no sientist is a grate man to his colleegs and his gradulate studints. Burt is a gradulate studint and he is a majer in psychology like the name on the door to the lab. I dint know they had majers in collidge. I thot it was onley in the army.

Anyway I hope I get smart soon because I want to lern everything there is in the werld like the collidge boys know. All about art and politiks and god.

 

March 17

 

When I waked up this morning rite away I thot I was gone to be smart but Im not. Evry morning I think Im gone to be smart but nothing happins. Mabye the experimint dint werk. Maby I wont get smart and Ill have to go live at the Warren home. I hate the tests and I hate the amazeds and I hate Algernon.

I never new before that I was dumber than a mouse. I dont feel like riting any more progress reports. I forget things and even when I rite them in my notbook some­times I cant reed my own riting and its very hard. Miss Kinnian says have pashents but I feel sick and tired. And I get headakes all the time. I want to go back to werk in the bakery and not rite ftega& progress reports any more.

 

March 20

 

Im going back to werk at the bakery. Dr Strauss told Prof Nemur it was better I shoud go back to werk but I still cant tell anyone what the operashun was for and I have to come to the lab for 2 hrs evry nite after werk for my tests and keep riting these dumb reports. They are going to pay me evry week like for a part time job because that was part of the arraingment when they got the mony from the Welberg foundashun. I still dont know what that Welberg thing is. Miss Kinnian explaned me but I still dont get it. So if I dint get smart why are they paying me to rite these dumb things. If their gonna pay me Ill do it. But its very hard to rite.

Im glad Im going back to werk because I miss my job at the bakery and all my frends and all the fun we have.

Dr. Strauss says I shoud keep a notbook in my pockit for things I remembir. And I dont have to do the progress reports every day just when I think of somthing or somthing speshul happins. I told him nothing speshul ever happins to me and it dont look like this speshul experimint is going to happin neither. He says dont get discouriged Charlie because it takes a long time and it happins slow and you cant notise it rite away. He explaned how it took a long time with Algernon before he got 3 times smarter then he was before.

Thats why Algernon beats me all the time in that amaze race because he had that operashun too. Hes a speshul mouse the 1st animil to stay smart so long after the operashun. I dint know he was a speshul mouse. That makes it diffrint. I coud probaly do that amazed fester then a reglar mouse. Maybe some day Ill beat Algernon. Boy woud that be somthing. Dr Strauss says that so far Algernon looks like he mite be smart permanint and he says thats a good sine becaus we both had the same kind of operashun.

 

March 21

 

We had a lot of fun at the bakery today. Joe Carp said hey look where Charlie had his operashun what did they do Charlie put some brains in. I was going to tell him about me getting smart but I remembered Prof Nemur said no. Then Frank Reilly said what did you do Charlie open a door the hard way. That made me laff. Their my frends and they really like me.

Their is a lot of werk to catch up. They dint have any­one to clean out the place because that was my job but they got a new boy Ernie to do the diliveries that I always done. Mr. Donner said he decided not to fire him for a while to give me a chanse to rest up and not werk so hard. I told him I was alright and I can make my diliveries and clean up like I always done but Mr. Donner says we will keep the boy.

I said so what am I gonna do. And Mr. Donner pat­ted me on the shoulder and says Charlie how old are you. I told him 32 years going on 33 my next brithday. And how long you been here he said. I told him I dint know. He said you came here seventeen years ago. Your Uncle Herman god rest his sole was my best frend. He brout you in here and he askd me to let you werk here and look after you as best I coud. And when he died 2 years later and your mother had you comited to the Warren home I got them to releese you on outside werk placmint. Seventeen years its been Charlie and I want you to know that the bakery bisness is not so good but like I always said you got a job here for the rest of your life. So dont worry about me bringing in somebody to take your place. Youll never have to go back to that Warren home.

I aint worryd only what does he need Ernie for to diliver and werk around here when I was always deliviring the packiges good. He says the boy needs the mony Char­lie so Im going to keep him on as an aprentise to lern him to be a baker. You can be his asistent and help him out on diliverys when he needs it.

I never was a asistent before. Ernie is very smart but the other pepul in the bakery dont like him so much. Their all my good frends and we have lots of jokes and laffs here.

Some times somebody will say hey lookit Frank, or Joe or even Gimpy. He really pulled a Charlie Gordon that time. I dont know why they say it but they always laff and I laff too. This morning Gimpy hes the head baker and he has a bad foot and he limps he used my name when he shouted at Ernie because Ernie losst a birthday cake. He said Ernie for godsake you trying to be a Charlie Gordon. I dont know why he said that. I never lost any packiges.

I askd Mr Donner if I coud lern to be an aprentise baker like Ernie. I told him I coud lern it if he gave me a chanse.

Mr Donner looked at me for a long time funny be­cause I gess I dont talk so much most of the time. And Frank herd me and he laffed and laffed until Mr Donner told him to shut up and go tend to his oven. Then Mr Donner said to me theirs lots of time for that Charlie. A bakers werk is very importint and very complikated and you shoudnt worry about things like that.

I wish I coud tell him and all the other people about my real operashun. I wish it woud reely work alredy so I coud get smart like evrybody else.

 

March 24

 

Prof Nemur and Dr Strauss came to my room tonight to see why I dont come in to the lab like I am sup­pose to. I told them I dont want to race with Algernon no more. Prof Nemur said I dont have to for a while but I shoud come in any way. He brout me a presint only it wasnt a presint but just for lend. He said its a teeching mashine that werks like TV. It talks and makes picturs and I got to tern it on just before I go to sleep. I said your kid­ding. Why shoud I tern on a TV before I go to sleep. But Prof Nemur said if I want to get smart I got to do what he says. So I told him I dint think I was goin to get smart anyway.

Then Dr. Strauss came over and put his hand on my sholder and said Charlie you dont know it yet but your getting smarter all the time. You wont notise it for a while like you dont notise how the hour hand on a clock moves. Thats the way it is with the changes in you. They are hap-pining so slow you cant tell. But we can follow it from the tests and the way you act and talk and your progress re­ports. He said Charlie youve got to have fayth in us and in yourself. We cant be sure it will be permanint but we are confidant that soon your going to be a very intellijent young man.

I said okay and Prof Nemur showed me how to werk the TV that reely wasnt a TV. I askd him what did it do. First he lookd sore again because I asked him to explane me and he said I shoud just do what he told me. But Dr Strauss said he shoud explane it to me because I was be­ginning to questien authorety. I dont no what that meens but Prof Nemur looked like he was going to bite his lip offi Then he explaned me very slow that the mashine did lots of things to my mind. Somethings it did just before I fall asleep like teach me things when Im very sleepy and a little while after I start to fall asleep I still hear the talk even if I dont see the picturs anymore. Other things is at nite its suppose to make me have dreams and remembir things that happened a long time ago when I was a very littel kid.

Its scary.

Oh yes I forgot. I asked Prof Nemur when I can go back to Miss Kinnians class at the adult center and he said soon Miss Kinnian will come to the collidge testing center to teach me speshul. I am glad about that. I dint see her so much since the operashun but she is nice.

 

March 25

 

That crazy TV kept me up all nite. How can I sleep with something yelling crazy things all night in my ears. And the nutty picturs. Wow. I dont know what it says

when Im up so how am I going to know when Im sleep­ing. I asked Burt about it and he says its ok. He says my branes are lerning just before I got to sleep and that will help me when Miss Kinnian starts my lessons at the testing center. The testing center isnt a hospitil for animils like I thougt before. Its a labortory for sience. I dont know what sience is exept Im helping it with this experimint.

Anyway I dont know about that TV. I think its crazy. If you can get smart when your going to sleep why do pepul go to school. I dont think that thing will werk. I use to watch the late show and the late late show on TV all the time before I went to sleep and it never made me smart. Maybe only certin movies make you smart. Maybe like quizz shows.

 

March 26

 

How am I gonna work in the daytime if that thing keeps waking me up at nite. In the middel of the nite I woke up and I coudnt go back to sleep because it kept saying remembir… remembir… remembir. .. So I think I remembird something. I dont remembir exackly but it was about Miss Kinnian and the school where I lerned about reading. And how I went their.

A long time ago once I asked Joe Carp how he lerned to read and if I coud lern to read to. He laffed like he al­ways done when I say something funny and he says to me Charlie why waste your time they cant put any branes in where there aint none. But Fanny Birden herd me and she askd her cusin who is a collidge studint at Beekman and she told me about the adult center for retarded pepul at the Beekman collidge.

She rote the name down on a paper and Frank laffed and said dont go getting so eddicated that you wont talk to your old frends. I said dont worry I will always keep my old frends even if I can read and rite. He was laffing and Joe Carp was laffing but Gimpy came in and told them to get back to making rolls. They are all good frends to me.

After werk I walked over six blocks to the school and I was scared. I was so happy I was going to lern to read that I bougt a newspaper to take home with me and read after I lerned.

When I got their it was a big long hall with lots of pepul. I got scared of saying somthing wrong to sombody so I startid to go home. But I dont know why I terned around and went inside agen.

I wated until most everbody went away exept some pepul going over by a big timeclock like the one we have at the bakery and I asked the lady if I coud lern to read and rite because I wanted to read all the things in the news­paper and I showed it to her. She was Miss Kinnian but I dint know it then. She said if you come back tomorow and rejister I will start to teach you how to read. But you got to understand it will take a long time maybe years to lern to read. I told her I dint know it took so long but I wantid to lern anyway because I made believe a lot of times. I meen I pretend to pepul I know how to read but it aint true and I wantid to lern.

She shaked my hand and said glad to meet you Mistre Gordon. I will be your teacher. My name is Miss Kinnian. So thats wear I went to lern and thats how I met Miss Kinnian.

Thinking and remembiring is hard and now I dont sleep so good any more. That TV is too loud.

 

March 27

 

Now that Im starting to have those dreams and remembiring Prof Nemur says I got to go to theripy se-sions with Dr Strauss. He says theripy sesions is like when you feel bad you talk to make it better. I tolld him I dont feel bad and I do plenty of talking all day so why do I have to go to theripy but he got sore and says I got to go anyway. What theripy is is that I got to lay down on a couch and Dr. Strauss sits in a chair near me and I talk about anything that comes into my head. For a long time I dint say nothing because I coudnt think of nothing to say. Then I told him about the bakery and the things they do there. But its silly for me to go to his office and lay down on the couch to talk because I rite it down in the progress reports anyway and he could read it. So today I brout the progress report with me and I told him maybe he could just read it and I could take a nap on the couch. I was very tired because that TV kept me up all nite but he said no it dont work that way. I got to talk. So I talked but then I fell asleep on the couch anyway—rite in the middle.

 

March 28

 

I got a headake. its not from that TV this time. Dr Strauss showed me how to keep the TV turned

low so now I can sleep. I dont hear a thing. And I still dont understand what it says. A few times I play it over in the morning to find out what I lerned before I fell asleep and while I was sleeping and I dont even know the words. Maybe its another langwidge or something. But most times it sounds american. But it talks too fast.

I askd Dr Strauss what good is it to get smart in my sleep if I want to be smart when Im awake. He says its the same thing and I have two minds. Theres the subcon­scious and the conscious (thats how you spell it) and one dont tell the other what its doing. They dont even talk to each other. Thats why I dream. And boy have I been hav­ing crazy dreams. Wow. Ever since that night TV. The late late late late late movie show.

I forgot to ask Dr Strauss if it was only me or if every­body has two minds like that.

(I just looked up the word in the dicshunery Dr Strauss gave me. subconscious, adj. Of the nature of mental opera­tions yet not present in consciousness; as, subconscious conflict of desires) Theres more but I still dont know what it meens. This isnt a very good dicshunery for dumb people like me.

Anyway the headake is from the party. Joe Carp and Frank Reilly invited me to go with them after work to Hal-lorans Bar for some drinks. I dont like to drink wiskey but they said we will have lots of fun. I had a good time. We played games with me doing a dance on the top of the bar with a lampshade on my head and everyone laffing.

Then Joe Carp said I shoud show the girls how I mop out the toilet in the bakery and he got me a mop. I showed

them and everyone laffed when I told them that Mr Don­ner said I was the best janiter and errand boy he ever had because I like my job and do it good and never come late or miss a day exept for my operashun.

I said Miss Kinnian always told me Charlie be proud of the work you do because you do your job good.

Everybody laffed and Frank said that Miss Kinnian must be some cracked up piece if she goes for Charlie and Joe said hey Charlie are you making out with her. I said I dint know what that meens. They gave me lots of drinks and Joe said Charlie is a card when hes potted. I think that means they like me. We have some good times but I cant wait to be smart like my best frends Joe Carp and Frank Reilly.

I dont remember how the party was over but they asked me to go around the corner to see if it was raining and when I came back there was no one their. Maybe they went to find me. I looked for them all over till it was late. But I got lost and I felt bad at myself for getting lost be­cause I bet Algernon coud go up and down those streets a hundrid times and not get lost like I did.

Then I dont remember so good but Mrs Flynn says a nice poleecman brought me back home.

That same nite I dreamed about my mother and fa­ther only I coudnt see her face it was all wite and she was blurry. I was crying because we were in a big departmint store and I was losst and I coudnt find them and I ran up and down the rows around all the big cownters in the store. Then a man came and took me in a big room with benches and gave me a lolypop and tolld me a big boy like me shoudnt cry because my mother and father woud come to find me.

Anyway thats the dream and I got a headake and a big lump on my head and black and blue marks all over. Joe Carp says mabye I got rolled or the cop let me have it. I dont think poleecmen do things like that. But anyway I dont think Ill drink wiskey anymore.

 

March 29

 

I beet Algernon. I dint even know I beet him until Burt Selden told me. Then the second time I lost be­cause I got so exited. But after that I beet him 8 more times. I must be getting smart to beat a smart mouse like Algernon. But I dont feel smarter.

I wanted to race some more but Burt said thats enough for one day. He let me hold Algernon for a minit. Algernon is a nice mouse. Soft like cotton. He blinks and when he opens his eyes their black and pink on the eges.

I asked can I feed him because I felt bad to beat him and I wanted to be nice and make frends. Burt said no Al­gernon is a very speshul mouse with an operashun like mine. He was the first of all the animals to stay smart so long and he said that Algernon is so smart he has to solve a problem with a lock that changes every time he goes in to eat so he has to lern something new to get his food. That made me sad because if he coudnt lern he woudnt be able to eat and he would be hungry.

I dont think its right to make you pass a test to eat. How woud Burt like to have to pass a test every time he wants to eat. I think Ill be frends with Algernon.

That reminds me. Dr Strauss says I shoud write down all my dreams and the things I think so when I come to his office I can tell them. I tolld him I dont know how to think yet but he says he means more things like what I wrote about my mom and dad and about when I started school at Miss Kinnians or anything that happened before the operation is thinking and I wrote them in my progress report.

I didnt know I was thinking and remembering. Maybe that means something is happining to me. I dont feel different but Im so exited I cant sleep.

Dr Strauss gave me some pink pills to make me sleep good. He says I got to get lots of sleep because thats when most of the changes happin in my brane. It must be true because Uncle Herman use to sleep in our house all the time when he was out of werk on the old sofa in the par-ler. He was fat and it was hard for him to get a job because he use to paint pepuls houses and he got very slow going up and down the ladder.

When I once tolld my mom I wantid to be a painter like Uncle Herman my sister Norma said yeah Charlies going to be the artist of the family. And dad slappd her face and tolld her not to be so goddam nasty to her brother. I dont no what a artist is but if Norma got slappd for saying it I gess its not a nice thing. I always feeled bad when Norma got slappd for being meen to me. When I get smart Ill go visit her.

 

March 30

 

Tonite after werk Miss Kinnian came to the teeching room near the labatory. She looked glad to see me but nervus. She looks yunger then I remembired her. I tolld her I was trying very hard to be smart. She said I have confidense in you Charlie the way you strugled so much to reed and rite better then all the others. I know you can do it. At werst you will have it all for a little wile and your doing somthing for other retarded pepul.

We startid to reed a very hard book. I never red such a hard book before. Its called Robinson Crusoe about a man who gets merooned on a dessert iland. Hes smart and figgers out all kinds of things so he can have a house and food and hes a good swimmer. Only I feel sorry for him because hes all alone and he has no frends. But I think their must be somebody else on the iland be­cause theres a picture of him with his funny umbrela looking at feetprints. I hope he gets a frend and not be so lonely.

 

March 31

 

Miss Kinnian teeches me how to spel better. She says look at a werd and close your eyes and say it over and over again until you remember. I have lots of truble with through that you say threw and enough and tough that you dont say enew and tew. You got to say enuff and tuff. Thats how I use to rite it before I started to get smart. Im mixd up but Miss Kinnian says dont worry spelling is not suppose to make sence.

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