2016: Sarah

Are you Classic or Romantic?

The students of English 11-12 have put together an experiment as part of the study of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. The experiment questions people’s views on “Quality” in reference of the book, before and after reading ZMM. Each student has stated which category they fall under, classic or romantic, and a sentence to explain why they have this view.


For your reference, here follows an outline of two types of personalities that the book identifies:

  1. People who are predominantly Romantic (John and Julia Sutherland) are focused on being “In the moment”, and do not necessarily rely on rational analysis, or
  2. People who have a Classic point of view (the narrator)  strive to know the details, try to understand “the inner workings”, master the mechanics, and focus on rational analysis (with regard to motorcycle maintenance, for example). Phoedrus appreciates both philosophies and, as the narrator progresses on his chautauqua, he reconciles himself with Phoedrus.


Before reading ZMM


Classic: Romantic:
-Patrick -Aiden
-Mark -Anna
-Mr. De Beer -Charlie
-Sarah -Michaela


Aiden H.-  I see things for what they are in front of me, and how they make me feel.

Anna M.-  I think through feelings rather than facts (almost fully romantic)

Ben A.- I tend to act without thinking, but retain the ability to be analytical and introspective at the same time. [73% Romantic]

Charlie B.-  I see and feel things the way they are to me and use my imagination to make sense of it. (80% Romantic)\

Kyle L.- If I know something is the way it is, I just keep it that way. If not, I ask questions and delve into it. (90 romantic, 10 classical)

Mark R.-  I like to know why things are the way they are. (Fully Classical)

For me; it is necessary to understand the reasoning, or background behind an event, decision, or object.

Michaela C.- I find that I don’t need to know why things are what they are, they are just things and knowing what they are is not going to change the way I think or feel about them. (mostly romantic)

Patrick K.- Fact is incapable of lying, whilst appearance is deceiving. Furthermore, reality is bendable based on perspective, therefore appearance is incapable of being truthful. The world is a place of untruths and interpretation more than is encompassed by a romantic perspective. Firmly Classical.

Sarah J.- In the middle. Seeing with my emotions but knowing and understanding the logic meaning like when someone is lucid dreaming. (55% Romantic/ 45% Classic)

Mr. De Beer- As far as I am concerned, no doubt,  I am Classical.


After reading ZMM

Classic: Romantic:
-Patrick -Aiden
-Mark -Anna
-Mr. De Beer -Charlie

Aiden H.- Nothing has changed.

Anna M.- Same

Ben A.- Same

Charlie B.- I have not changed

Kyle L.- Nothing changed

Mark R.- Classic

Michaela C.- Nothing changed

Patrick K.- After reading “ZMM” I realised that a solely classical view is restrictive. Thus, I have changed my perspective and shifted to a medium between classic and romantic. Half way between classic and romantic.

Sarah J.- Over all I still believe I am more equal, however I am tilting further to the romantic side.

Mr. De Beer-  am Classical.

For our class, our view were not dramatically changed. Maybe it’s different for you.

A study on “Quality” part 2: Classical View


Scientific Method:

Question: Why isn’t the Motorcycle working?

Background info: There is no battery, everything else seems to be in order..

Hypothesis: If there was a battery then the motorcycle would run.


Items included in experiment:

  • 2 VersaPak batteries of the same brand, different models
  • A VersaPak battery charger
  • The motorcycle

Process of experiment:

  1. Try battery 1 (the gold model)
  2. Turn on motorcycle.
  3. Try battery 2 (the silver model)
  4. Turn on motorcycle.


– Battery 1 (gold model) powers the motorcycle.

– Battery 2 (silver model) does not power the cycle.

Conclusion: The cycle works when battery 1 is plugged in.


Question: Why is only one battery working?

Background info:

Hypothesis: The battery is not charged.


Items included in experiment:

  • VersaPak Battery
  • A VersaPak battery charger
  • The motorcycle

Process of experiment:

  1. Charge the battery for 5 minutes.
  2. Try the battery in the motor.
  3. Turn on the cycle.


– After charging the battery for 5 minutes and testing it in the motorcycle, it still doesn’t work.

Conclusion: The cycle doesn’t work with this battery after 5 minutes of being charged.


  • The battery was not charged long enough
  • The battery is not the right model for this machine. The connection between the battery and the motorcycle is faulty.
  • The battery is not rechargeable.
  • The battery is faulty.


  • The cycle, the charger and the batteries are all made by the same brand, the battery is designed for the cycle.


Hypothesis: The battery needs to be charged longer.

Hypothesis: The battery is not charged and not rechargeable.

Hypothesis: the battery is faulty.

A study on “Quality” part 1: Romantic View

Gaging Usefulness.103

   What usefulness does a mass of metal on wheels have? The book “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” touches on the statement, “Quality is the goal of art” which this writer will be focused on. Viewing life and values from a “romantic” point, this essay will talk about the quality and usefulness of the motorcycle.

   Putting aside all mechanics and science of a cycle, the motorcycle is a beautiful machine. There are two ways in which to view values and quality, “romantic” and “classic”. Classic values are mainly concerned with the underlying form and laws and reason, while Romantic values are concerned with esthetic conscience and feeling over fact.

   To decide if an item is useful, there has to be a defined outline of the word “useful”. The word useful is an individual opinion, however we all use a sort of test to determine if the object is useful or not. If an item where to aid you in anyway, physically, mentally, or emotionally, then the item is useful in some way. Something that would be physically useful, would be an item that makes a job easier, for example a set of tools when you are tuning your cycle. A mentally useful item can help with gumption traps, lack of inspiration or understanding, for example a stop sign is mentally useful, because it helps you to understand something, that you must stop. An item that aids you emotionally is something that encourages and nurtures feelings and emotions, for example music of a piece of art, induces a range of emotions, such as from inspired to accepting, or from delight to depression. To put this into perspective a motorcycle is a mode of transport, which is useful, however the quality of the transportation is a different matter. In addition to aiding you in transport, the cycle provides you with an experience that produces quality. The sound of the engine humming, the newly shined metal, that crisp coat of paint, the openness to the environment, are all examples of how the motorcycle is “useful”. 

   Talking specifically “the motorcycle” provided in class, this writer would argue that it is an item of great use, it just takes the right attitude to see it. This motorcycle holds symbolic use, among other uses. The symbol it holds is unarguable different to each viewer, however the ability to induce so many different meanings increases its usefulness. A mental aid.

Movie Review

“Whisper of the heart” is another one of Studio Ghibli’s outstanding movies, it is not their most recognized film but incredible nevertheless. “Whisper of the Heart” is a romance that deals with affairs of the heart of a young girls as her love interest leaves the country. It is a hand drawn movie, like all of the Studio Ghibli movies and has fantastic scenery in the setting of Tokyo.  Whisper of the heart may be a romance however it has many other themes relating to the girls disbeliefs in her talents and determination of her goal. I love this movie because of the very relatable characters and problems they encounter. This movie is very enjoyable and relatable on many levels, because, it is not just another love story, it deals with the human struggles of determination and self acceptance. If not for the romans “Whisper of the Heart” is worth watching for the incredible character development and the connections they make with the viewers.


Sunday Blues

    It came in flashes, a blast of lightning, reminding me. My stomach was then lifted and flung to the floor. Every muscle in my body froze, a shiver ran down my spin. The sky was gleefully sunny despite what was to come. I let out a low whine, it filled the room and echoed back to me. I glared at my heart on the floor, it had abandoned me. I was on my toes, being lifted up, just waiting to be dropped. With my head in my hands I let out a sigh. I’m not ready to be taken away. To be handcuffed to a desk. To release my freedom. Overwhelmed with the thought, I was paralyzed and stayed that way for quite a length of time. A call came down the hall. I had to go and face it with dignity. I tred up the stairs. Another Monday.

Translink Plebiscite

The Transit plebiscite introduces a 0.5% sales tax to the general public that will fund the growth of the Translink system. There are many way to go about paying for these subsidies. However, Translink has chosen the easiest, not necessarily the best path. This is just one of the many views on the plebiscite.

The Translink system is certainly not at its best, but going against what has been said by Jordan Bateman and the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF), who thinks Translink is “one of the country’s most wasteful government agencies”, I disagree. Translink provides millions of people transportation, reducing fuel consumption and car pollution. I recognize that a subsidy is necessary and that an amount of money should be payed by the users and the public in general, but the way that Translink is going about paying for these subsidies and other overhead funds is unreasonable and as far as I’m concerned. Alternatively, if the subsidy was paid for by raising the price of parking or fuel, it would in turn would encourage people to use the Translink system more frequently instead of personal vehicles. Having said that, the cost of parking and fuel is already inflated.

A significant problem with the tax is that it is not targeted to users. The tax charges everyone whether they use public transport or not, and whether they can access public transport or not. As well as it being an open ended tax, rather than taxing the public for a period of time to invest and fund in their cause; this tax, if approved, will be ongoing. The majority of the Vancouver population’s opposition to the tax are concerned that the money will not be spent wisely and, as some of Translink’s other projects have failed, this endeavor may well follow suit. This particular analysis on the matter addresses the tax, however, it doesn’t refute the fact Translink could do with some better management. Before Translink is granted any amount of money, I would suggest investing in an assessment of their current system and address the many issues riddling the Vancouver Translink system.


Viewer discretion is advised


With needle in hand, the first incision was made. The flesh tugged a little before releasing and welcoming the needle with a small stream of blood that stained the floor. The second stitch, the second leg. Surrounded by my childhood friends, I sat on the floor sewing my legs together … sure it was painful, but it was about time I joined them. They were all so beautiful, with their silky, shimmering, scales on their tails, it was my time. I bit down hard, the suffering was little compared to the reward. The needle saw its way through to the other side of my leg. Just like in a fish bowl, now I was swimming in my own blood. I watched as it grew, creeping it’s way deeper in the carpet, swallowing any white surface.


What great friends they were, I looked at them and they looked at me, smiles all around. They encouraged me to keep going, chanting my name, “Ana! Ana! Ana!” I watched them splash in the the pool out back when we were kids, listening to the high pitch laughter of the water as it was ripped and stretched. Their fins cut through the water and their gentle tails pulled and pushed that water sided to side, propelling themselves forward. I had found the best friends in the world. They were always there for me, life was like a constant sleepover, day in and out. They never left my side.


As a kid, I remember sitting, watching my friends play tag in the pool, I couldn’t swim – and still can’t – but my mum and dad were in the pool with them playing along. We all had so much fun back then, mum, dad, my friends and me, as I grew older however, so did they and mum and dad started to seem unenthusiastic and disoriented, as if they were going blind. At the age of 11, they stopped playing altogether, they had enough with me yelling orders at them, telling them where to go. They always said I was too old for this, but I could never figure what they meant; they were the ones growing old, their eyesight was slipping down a hill. They told me that I was the only one who could seem them, I agreed.


After that day, every Tuesday and Thursday I found myself in a white room with my friends, and a man in a lab coat that asked me questions. The man always did the same thing, his job was to interrogate me, only leaving the room for intervals of time between questioning. The room was initially pure white, but my friends and I drew pictures on the walls and the floor grew redder and redder with each visit. It’s only possession was a bed in the middle of the room, that was laced with straps by the arms and legs, but equipment was brought in and out regularly. Often I was required to describe my friends; so, I told them each of their names, then their personality and then the physical things, describing their long flowing hair and their glowing skin, to their fins and tails. They loved to be flattered, so I described them as goddesses … what are best friends for anyway?
There was not a moment I hadn’t envied them.

Under the bed

Flat on the floor, our breathing heavy, we tried to be silent. She turned to me, her face as intense as mine. “Are you sure you heard something?” she whispered to me. “Yes” I responded, struggling to slow my breathing. Our heads turned suddenly when we heard something coming from outside the door. I was certain now, there was someone in the house. I could see the fear strike her face, we both began to breath louder, our heart rate increasing. “Shh, Keep quiet and don’t move” she commanded me. I could hear footsteps.

Under the bed, we lay, silent. The footsteps came closer to the door, slowing as they approached. Laying next to me on the floor, under the bed, she signaled for me to be quiet. With not a second to spare, the door swung open with a creek, filling the room with a chill. The air thickened and silence became loud. They stepped in the room. My Body froze, as if my arms and legs were being held down, I was paralyzed by the helpless feeling of fear. I couldn’t see who it was but judging by the black suit pants, and sleek leather shoes that squeaked as the person walked, it was a man. He moved with confidence. He didn’t know we were here, and hopefully he never would. I felt the vibrations of his every step. Moving up beside the bed, he open the draw. He was flipping through papers, I could hear the sound of it against his fingers.

Suddenly a sound caused my heart to jump, his phone rang. We looked at each other in confusion, but relief. The screamingly loud silence was broken. He answered, his voice low and serious. “Hey. No, I can’t find it, and I don’t think it’s here.” With a tone of skepticism in his voice, he began  to sound angry at the person on the phone, “I am looking by the bed!” His foot was now a hands length away from me, so close I could see the brand. My breathing became thicker. Focused on only my breathing, I tried to quiet down, but it only seemed to get louder. “Fine. I’m leaving. hn….. Bye!” He said, with rage in his voice. He seemed to get frustrated with whom ever he was talking to, and hung up angrily, dropping his phone right in front of me. My heart stopped. “Dammit” he growled, kneeling down to search for his phone. A centimeter away from my face, his phone lay. I did nothing at first, what could I do? He reached under the bed, waving his arm around, right by my face, feeling for his phone. I positioned it towards him and slid it forward to his hand. My hand shot back as soon as he found it, and thankfully he didn’t search any farther. A feeling of relief came over me, but I had to hold my tongue, it wasn’t over yet. His sleek, black shoe squeaked as he stood up, and he left. Wasting no time he went straight for the door and his footsteps grew quieter. The sound of the back door closed and I heard him drive away.

It was over. I gasped for air, releasing the breaths I was holding back. “Are you sure he’s gone?” I asked. “Yeah, that was the back door” she replied. Still in shock, I crawled out from under the bed. Turning to look at my friend, she hit me in the arm, “That is the last  time I let you pick the house, you have to do better research!” she quietly yelled at me. “Look, he didn’t catch us, so don’t worry about it.” I said with confidence in my words. “That was too close.” She said calming down. “Uh please, what was bigfoot going to do, he could barely find his phone?” She sighed at my cockiness. “Look, we could have taken him!” I said. “Just shut up and get to work, I’ll get the jewelry, you start with the gadgets.” she said as she shoved a bag onto my arms. I sighed and turned. “Let’s get to work.”

Link to video:


Royal Jelly

I am Roald Dahl, you may have heard of my work, I create links between dreams, mysteries and reality. I make it hard for you to comprehend what is real and what is not. For my story The Royal Jelly, I got the idea when I was at the park. I saw a woman, a baby and a dog, a happy family. Then it just hit me, like a bee sting. I went home immediately, I couldn’t waste such an brilliant concept. The reason for my story was the woman and her child, the woman was trying to feed her baby with a black liquid, as she pulled out the bottle the dog was spooked by something,  sending him into a bush where he was stung by a bee.

Fern Dahl: How Life comes Back to Bite You

In both stories, The Way up to Heaven and Parson’s Pleasure you learn that you get what you pay for. Roald Dahl has a wonderful way of creating suspense, by never really telling you upfront and never releasing the suspense so you’re always on the edge of your seat till the end of the story where he cuts you off and lets you wonder what just happened. I feel like Roald Dahl  likes to laugh at the readers by writing a fantastic story filled with suspense, drama, comedy, and always horror and then he cuts the line and leaves you hanging to wonder about the story he was really telling. If you’re a fast reader, good; but unless you’re sharp, you will always have to spend at least 5 minutes clueless of the secrets he reveled in between the lines.

The Way up to Heaven is about a lady that hates to be late and has a nervous panic attack if she is late, and her husband that knows her problem and likes to take advantage of it.  He cruelly torments her by moving very slowly and making her late. Her husband just loves to make her wait until the last second and then take his sweet time getting ready, while watching her scramble and worry. On this particular day, the woman finally gives up on him and just drives away without him, to the airport. However, she is already late and we have to wonder will she make is it on time or will she miss the flight. This is how the suspense is created. The story ends with a twist, where the theme, you get what you pay for, comes into play when she knows that she left her husband to die in an elevator.

Roald Dahl’s short story Parson’s Pleasure is about deception. The man in this story deceives his customers to get what he wants at a dirt cheap cost, however throughout the story it is shown that you get what you pay for. The man goes house to house looking for valuable items to pawn, when he finds something he likes he will con people out of their money. This story uses situational and dramatic irony to create the suspense which sets the mood of the story. You then find out that the farmers are destroying the highly valuable item that the man cheated them out of and the irony just hits you hard, like a brick wall. Roald Dahl then proceeds to end the story while you’re on the edge of your seat with suspense to what his reaction will be to his priceless find as fire wood on the floor.

These two stories, The Way up to Heaven and Parson’s Pleasure have the same basic theme of “you get what you pay for” and are similar in ways that “what goes around comes around” and “if you don’t treat what you have with respect, you will lose it”.  As with the other short stories I have read, Roald Dahl creates the expectation throughout, only unraveling at the end. This helps to emphasize the themes very effectively.


Stiff but Alive, Roald Dahl

The story The Landlady is about a crazy lady that is not who she seems. The lady has a darker side to her that wasn’t shown in the story but implied with in the way she acts and the words used in the story.The young boy that happens upon her home knew from the start that she was off. However discarding his instincts and decided she was harmless, that mistake would be his downfall. Within this story you can read between the lines to reveal a whole other story. Had he trusted his instincts because they tend always to be right, he would have a longer life. The suspense in this story was created by all the words that were said but not spoken, the way she implied that she was going to murder him.

William and Mary is about a woman who, after her husband died from cancer, revealed how she hated her husband all the years they were married and slowly went insane with rage. Williams brain being kept alive to think and observed his surroundings, is left to suffer a horrible life after death being tortured by his wife that has despised him from the very start. Once he had died from cancer, his brain and one eye were preserved in a fluid and kept alive with an artificial heart. She saw the chance to get back at him for treating her so coldly all his life. Left helpless, William is tormented by his wife. Had he treated her fairly, then he would not have to go through this. The suspense in this story was created by the idea of having him stay alive forever with his wife and our mind is left to wonder what will happen.

These two stories are similar in the way that they both have insane women, also in both stories they have preserved things after they have died. In The Landlady they preserved and stuffed humans and animals while in William and Mary they preserved Williams brain.