Volume 3, Issue 8, page 8

in a basketball game, seeking to prevent a
score. He "gua.rds the person named by bellying up against him or her, and waves his
arms to keep the'person from looking past him
at the board, from doing as being bidden by
the teacher. He takes every instruction by the
teacher, to anyone in the class, as some sort
of a challenge to himself.
"Don't pay any attention to her," his movements seem to say. "You don't want to read
anything! Pay attention only to me."
Others rise and try to push Bertie back into his chair. He struggles. The teacher must
always be on the out owe. Children of this
category.can so easily hurt one another. She
separates them, holds hertie before her by the
elbows, or the forearms. She has to be strong,
for when he is opposed Bertie is unusually

Bertie stamps a foot, jerks his head so
that his head nods like a cracker at the end
of a whip, and slaps his left wrist.
"Bertie, sit down!" says the teacher.
Bertie slaps himself again.
"Mkiy don't you ever slap the other wrist?"
asks the teacher, almost desperately. But you
feel that her "desperation" is like the "unknowingness" of the pupils, largely synthetic.
You feel that way until you see her eyes; then
you know she isn't pretending, just as you
know when you've been around the severely retarded awhile, they aren't pretending either.

But isn't there a prisoner inside every
shell called by a name in the House on Martha
Avenue? Isn't that prisoner- trying, in every
way possible, to get out? Isn't he trying to
explain to the teacher, with every means at
his command, without avail? Won't there be a
time, tomorrow possibly, when a teacher will
look at the "prison", study it, and know how
to free the "prisoner"? Clearly that is the
hope of every teacher of the boys and girls
who have proved themselves ineligible for admission to the schools of the state.

Ciana, for instance, with no I.Q. at all,
reads names like Chedorlaomer.
"Mkuy don't you ever slap the other wrist?"
asks the teacher. She doesn't wish Bertie to
slap either wrist. She is merely trying to
reach him, to find out if he doesn't understand something.

Bertie, in answer, slaps his left wrist
with his right palm. Bertie is very difficult,
but every child in the House on Martha Avenue
is very difficult. It would seem that the intelligent, the teacher with a degree, the
teacher with the higher-than-average I.Q.,
should be able to circumvent whatever ails the
slower-than-slow pupil, and bring forth the
"prisoner", but it hasn't proved that easy.
The teachers keep trying. They keep watching.
Anything may produce a clue. It may be produced when a teacher's back is turned, so she
tries to see with the back of her head, and to
sense, to feel, what she can't see.

Bertram sits down, finally, but apparently
in his own good time. He studies the teacher.
He leers and jeers at the other pupils as they
go to the board. He looks down at his hands,
turns them backs up.

He is unaware, or seems to be, that the
teacher, though her side is turned broadly to
him, is watching him. If he thinks, what does
he think as he looks at his hands,
then backs up? Something must be going g through
his mind. Has the teacher's comment reached
him, in any way, through the fog that during
more than a year at the Child Development Center hasn't lifted from the brain of Bertram?
The other boys and girls, the "young ladies" and "young gentlemen" as the teacher
calls them, seem unaware that Bertram is considering something as he hasn't before.
u Tha' AF
Bertram slaps his lhft wrist with his right

He slaps it again, less heavily this time.
He leeks at the teacher, who is looking elsewhere. Sometimes the teachers wish to be
caught watching, sometimes not. One can never
tell how a child will take anything. The least
deviation from what he has become accustomed
to accepting as the norm may send him away
into the fog where such boys and girls become
sullen, and pout, and stay silent for hours.

Bertram slaps his wrist again, even more

Then, for a minute, he stares at his right
hand, his left. Does he know he has two hands?
Has he any conception-of "two"? Does he notice
that one hand is somewhat, somehow different
from the other? Are his hands one unit? Or
does he even understand faintly that he has
more than one hand? He has never said anything. His sole vocalization isa kind of jeer.

Bertram starts to slap his left wrist
again, but pulls the blow just before he makes
contact. He looks at his left wrist, at his
right palm, at his left palm, at his right

Tentatively, Bertram elevates the left palm
over the right wrist, brings it down. Then he
seems to feel he is being watched, gazes slyly
at the teacher, doesn't slap himself with his
left palm. The teacher is all innocence. She
isn't watching, not this time, when there is
too much at stake to allow for a single mistake. Does Bertram sense this? Is he playing
tricks on the teacher?
Bertram slaps his right wrist with his left
palm, and laughs.

This is a major victory. Something, after
more than a year, has penetrated Bertram's
mind. He doesn't know right from left, but he
has done something diferent, and there is
cause for rejoicing, for the teacher gave him
the idea, told him, planted it in his mind. If
she can do this much, says her newly-determined mien, she can do more. Bertram is not
hopeless. Bertram, moreover, is in some fashion pleased with himself. But whether he's
pleased with himself because his teacher is
pleased, surprised, or awed, there is no way
of knowing. For Bertram still has no words,
though he has at last responded to the words
of others.
(To be continued in the January-February issue)
rnIr1RUra FaRr prof 3 i
help protect it, he poured wax into the opening, and set it away on a high shelf so that
no one could get to it. He'd sit for hours admiring the vase