Charlie Gordon: Redefining the Mind

By: CJ Nkenchor

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Charlie Gordon

In the Beggining

Since March 3rd, Charlie Gordon had been writing "progress reports" for his doctor (Dr. Strauss). When I interviewed him, he showed me and told me about his first progress report, and it said he was instructed to write the reports on anything he remembered.

Charlie Gordon, 32, a man who was intellectually disabled until he was given a miracle. He worked at Donners' Bakery and was given lessons 3 times a week on reading/writing at the Beekman College center for retarded adults.

The surgery was a blessing, changing science and the future of intelligence. Slowly but surely Charlie is becoming an intellectual prodigy, being used as a lab rat to benefit the study of the human brain.

As our interview progressed, I asked how he was treated before his surgery was complete. "It was a rigorous experience inquiring much thought of my simple mind back then," Charlie said.

Charlie was illiterate before his surgery. He wasn't able to speak other languages, not to speak of English, his then difficult task to master. He couldn't remember things well or his feelings. It was very hard for him, Gordon continued to convey throughout our meeting.

Gordon went through Rorschach tests and other mind joggling things to try an force himself past his intellectual barriers. Yet through all this learning, Gordon also experienced many encounters with people at the bakery.

His "buddies" at the bakery made a joke of him using his disability for their own enjoyment. "They are sick people looking to make fun of such a hard-working guy," Gordon emphasized. He only recognized his self-appearance after the surgery.

Well you would now ask: How did the surgery go? How did he feel after? After showing me many progress reports. I came to a conclusion that the experiment was an overall successful and seemingly painless to Mr. Gordon.

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The operating room of Charlie Gordon


During the stages prior to the final experiment. The opinions of others influenced Charlie. At the college, he was schooled by Miss Kinnian. In her words of the experiment, she exuberantly told me how she believed this experiment was his gateway to new opportunity, and it would be where all his hard work flourished into great things.

The doctors were all for the experiment, encouraging Charlie to be the first man tested on with the surgery. He would be potentially a great scientific figure if the surgery was a success. Although they prolonged their ranting of experiments' benefits, I trust they are in it for their fame.

Nurses working around the doctors distributed their beliefs of the whole experiment to me. One nurse, Hilda, stated,"The doctors are in it for their fame, and they got no right to be tampering with such a pure guy's head! God made Charlie who he was supposed to be."

Continuing my interview with Charlie, as he handed reports to me, one name caught my I, Algernon. He is an albino lab rat, last to be tested on by the doctors to approve the participation of humans in the project. The rat was put in a maze where he could see nothing but walls. His ultimate goal, to find the cheese.

This mouse was highly skilled and supported Charlie's initial idea to take part in the surgery, he told me. Mr. Gordon's progress reports contained everything, from love to hate, to "war" and peace.

Charlie made it clear to me his actions before his intelligence came were irrational and childish. He continued on indicating," I was different back then, and I'm different now. Alot smarter too."

The real questions now are how did those same people change towards Charlie after the surgery?”— How did the surgery redefine how his mind worked?

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Algernon in his maze


After the surgery, Charlie explained how he felt lonely because nobody at Donners' Bakery would talk to him or kid around with him like they did before. In one word he described their unusual behavior as frightening. As if they were scared of him!

Mr. Gordon progressed telling me how one worker, Gimpy, had used his intellectual disability for his own dirty work and got him fired. He got all the workers to back him up to fire Charlie. "I only was trying to be loyal to Mr. Donner. Gimpy was stealing from him!," Charlie exclaimed.

He felt more lonely then he did before the surgery. Even his dearest teacher Miss Kinnian started to act up. From his perspective, she became more aware and eyeing of how he acted emotionally.

Miss Kinnian was said to be very judgmental and hurtful to Charlie. He still needed her in his life, yet it felt as if he was carrying an emotional burden that he didn't want to let go.

The surgery also altered how Charlie thought. He is able to be open minded and still clarify things in his head. He had new emotional experiences with women, but he said he didn't want to get into them. "I feel like I have a mind of a man stuck in my old childish body," he went on an on.

Gordon's newly gained intellect allowed him to redefine how the human mind works. He is now able to essentially see things before they happen. He can understand things so complex that his gift of intelligence is so significant

Gordon summarized his feelings by announcing,"I feel proud of my intelligence, yet it seems to be causing me more troubles then I accounted for. Sometimes it just doesn't feel like the real me."

Despite Mr. Gordon's doubts about accepting the surgery, we cannot defy the power that his surgery contains. It can alter the way the whole world functions. Changing the evolution of man by day and the world forever.