Square One: Buying a Frame in my Pajamas

The first step to building a bike is ALWAYS the same thing. Buy your frame. The frame is by far the most important component to any bike, it dictates every other part of your bike as well as the size and feel. If you buy a frame that doesn’t fit you properly, the bike will never feel right, so you basically just blew the majority of your budget on a part that you won’t like. So seriously, pay attention when you’re buying it.

When I started looking at my frame, I began browsing near the end of summer. This is generally the best time of year to start looking since everyone is selling their used bikes. Because there’s so many putting up offers, everything ends up being much cheaper than any other time of the year. Because of this, I had a mad rush of trying to get the right frame before anybody else could snag my favourite.

When comparing different frames, I already knew that I needed a size M, so that part wasn’t hard. The difficult part is finding a frame that you like the look of, and that you like mechanically. By mechanically I mean whether or not you like things like the length of the top tube, size of the head tube, and the angle of the frame. This is all a bit confusing to new bikers, so I’ll give you a breakdown.

The top tube length is the length of, well, the top tube (kind of a no-brainer what that is). This is an important piece to consider, since it dictates how stretched out your body will be. The top tube length is generally how long the bike will be from the seat to the handlebars, essentially meaning your butt to your hands. If the top tube is too long, you’ll feel like the Spanish Inquisition came and put you on a stretching rack. If it’s too short, it will feel like getting stuck in a trash compactor.

The next most important measurement on a downhill bike is the head angle. This is the angle, measured from the head tube at the front of the bike, of how far downwards the top tube is tilted. Generally speaking, the flatter angle is, the easier the bike will be for pedaling. However, for downhill riding, a lower angle is generally better. Somewhere from 64-68 degrees is a relatively standard angle for a downhill bike.

The other important measurements on a downhill frame include the length of the chain stay, which is the length of the back of the bike, and the size of the head tube and bottom bracket, which dictate how stiff the bike is side to side and up and down.

When I was looking at different frames, I started and ended off on a website called Pinkbike, which is where nearly everyone sells their bike parts. I was originally looking at a wide variety of frames, and decided that I was ok with the Specialized SX Trail. I liked the looks of it, and it’s one of the more popular downhill bikes. However, I wasn’t fully pleased with it. The last bike I had, which lasted for four years, was a Santa Cruz Bullit, and I came to fall in love with the Santa Cruz brand. The frame was reliable, and took a massive beating without complaining at all. This lead me to find the Santa Cruz Driver 8, an outdated frame that they stopped making in 2011, replacing it with the new V10. Although outdated, it had everything that I wanted. The sizing and measurements were perfect, it was aesthetically pleasing and unique, and the suspension system was a big step up from the Bullit.

One of the issues I had on the Bullit frame was the the rear suspension only had one pivot point. This made it insanely reliable, and allowed it to take more of a beating, however it had some disadvantages. The single pivot suspension makes the bike essentially fold in half when it compresses, meaning the bike can’t be preloaded (compressed so that the spring gives you extra pop when doing a jump) when setting up for jumps, and whenever I pulled the brakes, physics took control and made the suspension not work to it’s fullest extent. The Driver 8 on the other hand, has a four pivot system that solves those issues, making it an ideal frame. Another cool feature is the offset bushings, which allows me to change the frames angle by moving the rear shock.

Sadly, the only Driver 8 that I was able to find on Pinkbike was a 2011 model being sold by someone that lived in Oregon. Well that just sucks now doesn’t it? Nope! After contacting the person just in case, it turns out he was coming up that weekend for a trip to Whistler, meaning I could meet him half way and buy the frame anyway. This was even more lucky than it sounds, since the guy I bought it from had built the frame to be insanely good quality, so he left on a couple of the parts. This included a Chris King headset, which is quite literally THE top of the line headset for downhill bikes. It also came with a RockShox rear shock, which is better than anything I would have bought. The best part? The entire thing only cost one thousand dollars. If I bought that all new, it would have costed two thousand dollars or more.

Some challenges I’ve faced so far include trying to find the right color scheme for the bike, and just trying to find a frame I like. The transaction happened so fast that it was relatively easy, however if I had settled my mind on a different frame I would have had to spend much longer looking for a good price on one that I liked. I am also finding it challenging to find a mentor who is nearby. I am currently going to have one of my dad’s friends who works in Maple Ridge at Maple Ridge Cycles, however it is 45 minutes away from my house. Although he is far away, I will try to find ways to incorporate a trip to his shop when I go out for BMX racing.

Mostly what I’ve learned so far is how difficult is is to find the right pieces, and how it is even more difficult to find the right prices on those parts. I am on a relatively tight budget, since I don’t really want fourteen years worth of savings to go into one project. I do care about making the bike good, but I would still like to have something other than a few crumbs left in my wallet. I’ve learned strategies to conserve my money, and how to make what I have go a much longer ways. This can mean searching for the right prices, making sure the person I buy it from doesn’t rip me off, paying attention to sales, and how much I can barter with most people before they blow me off. I’ve also learned a lot more about how the rear suspension works, and how the pivots can affect so many different parts on the bike. For example, a single pivot will be directly affected by braking, whereas a three or four pivot system will not. I have also learned how to properly negotiate with someone over the internet. Bartering with a street vendor in Mexico is easy, since you know that they’re expecting it and you can watch their reaction. However, over the internet you must be much more careful, and offering a lowered price can often lose you the deal. I’ve learned that it’s extremely important to make yourself sound like an actual person, using proper grammar and what not, rather than a pickle who learned how to make emoticons. This can help me become a better builder as well as mentor for others, since general knowledge like this can go a long ways in the big world of online shopping. More mechanical knowledge is equally as important, since it doesn’t matter how good you are at buying parts if you’re still trying to put the round hole in the square peg (yes, intentional).

My mentor, Troy, originally started bike building and repairs as a hobby, before working at Norco for a few years. He then left Norco to open up his own bike shop, Maple Ridge Cycle. Since then, he’s been teaching himself his techniques through repairing different types of bikes and general mechanics, including all types of bikes, exercise bikes, and once even a golf cart. So far, he’s taught me how the suspension pivot system works, how the angles on a frame relate to each other, and how to properly size a frame. He also helped me pick out the right style and size of frame, as well as getting the right price on it.


measurements:                 small                         medium                       large

Headtube Angle: 65.5 ° 66.5 ° 66.5 °
Seattube Angle: 68.5 ° 68.5 ° 68.5 °
Headtube Length: 109.22 mm 119.38 mm 129.54 mm
Chainstay Length: 441.96 mm 441.96 mm 441.96 mm
BB Height: 370.84 mm 370.84 mm 370.84 mm

Link to bike picutres:


Building A Bike In My Pajamas

You may be asking yourself right now, “Why would I ever want to build a bike in my pajamas? Pajamas are for sleeping in, not building bikes.”  My reasoning behind this deranged idea is that building a bike is often viewed as a complicated, expensive, and overly time consuming project. Essentially, it would be easier to just spend that money on a 50” plasma instead, so you can sit back and watch videos of people riding bikes instead. However, I plan on making this concept as simple as possible, so that I can build a bike so easily that I wouldn’t even have to get out of my pajamas. I am dead serious when I say that I will quite literally be building the entire bike in the same two pairs of trusty PJ’s.

As you have probably figured out right now, my (Aidan) in depth project will be to build a complete bike, using my own funds and my own hands. When I say this, I don’t mean going to Walmart, buying a bike for $250 and then replacing one part to make it ‘Mine’. I will be building this bike from the ground up, starting with nothing but a frame, and then adding every little piece bit by bit as I aquire funds and more parts. I am going to estimate that this will cost anywhere from $2000-$3000 to build the entire bike, which may come as a surprise to some. Believe me though, that’s a low price for the quality of bike that I’m building. I’ll just clarify one thing right now, that three-hundred dollar Walmart special that parents buy for their 5th grader is NOT a good quality bike. A good quality is always going to cost you thousands, and because of this, Walmart bikes are the business end of a lot of jokes when you’re up on the mountain.

This project will be taking place over the course of the year, completely ending somewhere around June, but the bike will be rideable mid-February most likely. I say rideable, because that means I have enough parts to complete it, and I’ve put them together. However, I’m still going to be upgrading it until sometime around the beginning of summer.  To complete the bike, I’ll mainly be working on it at home and at a bike shop called Maple Ridge Cycle, where my dad is good friends with the owner. The owner of MRC will also be mentoring me throughout the project. As for how I’m going to build my bike, I will consult with my mentor on what the right parts to buy are, then I’ll search around for where I can get the best deal on them. If I’m buying expensive parts, I’ll look for used versions, and watch the prices so that I know when a good deal comes up. If you’re wondering why I’m building this bike, it’s simply because I outgrew my last one, and it seemed like a good idea to teach myself how to build my own for my next one. My obstacles and challenges are rather minimal, but they pose quite a large threat. The only obstacles and challenges I can think of are getting to my mentor’s shop since he’s far away, making sure I get good deals on all my parts, making sure my parts fit together, and the biggest of all, money. If I run out of money, I am quite frankly screwed. You can’t build a bike without money to buy the parts. Even though I have some challenges, I’m still looking forward to this project, as it gives me a chance to see all the inner workings of my own bikes, and mainly I’ll have a new bike at the end of it that I’ll be able to ride for quite some time.


Night of the Notables reflection

Commencing answering list questions:

As to how I fulfilled my goals, I don’t really think I did. My goal was to learn how to suppress my Tourette Syndrome, and mostly what I learned is that everyone has their own tactic, and not all of them will work for someone else. Essentially, I learned that I just have to figure it out for myself. To improve on future learning activities like this project, I think I would make more of an attempt to integrate my goal into the assignment. For example, one of the tabs on my learning center could have been “how to suppress Tourette Syndrome”

What I think I will remember the most about Night of the Notables is the old lady that came to my station. I swear that she was in the running for sweetest old lady of all time. It seems that she did NOTHING but compliment my every move, and it wasn’t forced, rather it was actually very sincere. I was half expecting some people to come to my learning center and attempt to undermine everything, or maybe nobody would come at all. But this nice old lady made the whole night easily twice as good as it was before.

The people I would like to thank for the Night of the Notables are Ms.Mulder (or course) for being so on top of everything and making sure that there was nothing left undone. I would also like to thank my interviewee (Ashley Menard) for being very open to my request for an interview, and being very accommodating in setting up a time.

Photos of learning center:


Annotated Biblography

I think the title speaks for itself on this one…


This one was a very short government resource that i just used to clarify a couple of brief facts. It was pretty useless, and I didn’t really need it. There was supposedly more to it, but I couldn’t access the rest of the article.

Like the last one, this article only briefly touched on some key facts. It did lead me in the right direction for what the key moments in his life were, but since this was only an abstract there wasn’t enough information to be properly used in my learning center or speech. Overall, it was a pretty useless article.

This was a very fact based document, and I used it’s information for any exact facts that I needed in my speech and learning center. For example, his cause of death, birth date, family and so on. This article was useful in my learning center/speech, but not necessary.


This article contained a lot of information, and was used in most aspects of my learning center and speech. It is one of the longer articles, and I felt that I could mostly trust it. However, I still doubled checked all the facts to see if they were in any other resources, just in case some of them were faulty. This was a very useful article.

This article was nearly identical to the two at the beginning, and i only briefly read it in case it had something interesting that other articles didn’t have. Overall, this article could have been eliminate from this list.

This article was practically the basis for my entire project. It was ridiculously long compared to the others, and was translated from what I  believe is German, so it was a bit choppy. However, it contained a lot of information that was not so fact based, but rather more about his life. I found this article extremely helpful, and I used it as my main resource.

This article was the one that I trusted the most, since it was written by the Tourette Foundation of Canada. I actually got an interview with the woman that wrote it. I used this article for a lot of my note taking, and for clarifying information. This was a very useful article.


I found this article to be very useful. It was originally in Spanish, so I had to translate which made it a bit odd to read. However, there was a lot of information, and I found it to be a very useful article.

This website I used for most of my information on the Rose Kamper event, as it was the most detailed depiction of this moment. Originally, I though why should I trust soething called “mind hacks”, however, I discovered it was a published book so I am going to assume it is at least semi-accurate. The information I found was clarified elsewhere, this was just the most detailed. I found this to be a very helpful resource.


This article I had originally used to find out how common tourette syndrome is, however I found out that the study they documented was out of date, and I later found on Tourette Foundation of Canada (http://www.tourette.ca/) said that it affects 1 in 100 people, whereas the article I used first said 1 in 1000. I found the children.webmd article to be useless after discovering it was false information, however http://www.tourette.ca/ was a very useful site, as I got my interview there as well.


From my interview, I got more social information on tourette syndrome. More can be found about this in my previous posts.

Foster Olive, M., Tourette Syndrome, New York: Chelsea House, 2010, Hardcover

This book offered a resource that i could use to clarify information when I was not sure. I did not use it too much, since I didn’t always have the option to carry it around with me. I rate this book as an ok resource.

Rogers, Sheila, Natural Treatments for Tics and tourette’s, Berkely California, North Atlantic Books, Paperback

I had picked up this book since I thought that it might be interesting to see what they offered as their natural treatments, however I did not use any of it’s information since it 1: would have taken days to read, and 2: The first thing I read when I opened it is that wheat and dairy free diets help with tourette syndrome. I personally think that wheat/dairy free diets are just a fad, since everybody seems to think it will solve their problems and a lot of the time it does nothing. Therefore, I didn’t really trust this book as facts, but rather speculations. I rate it an untrustworthy and generally useless resource.

Document of Learning

For my document of learning, I am going to do a simple overview of what I have accomplished so far, show everyone my object of focus for my learning centre, and talk about how my learning has related back to my goals and such.

The first thing I did for my eminent person project was to choose an eminent person (Oh really?). I had a few people running through my brain, and I was trying to decide which was the most interesting one that I could connect with. My main idea at the time was Joe Satriani, and I was considering doing him for the grade ten year when we got to dress up. Yet because I wanted to do him in grade ten, I needed somebody else to use. A had a few thoughts, but my mom eventually suggested the man that diagnosed tourettes syndrome, since it has had an impact on my life. So I did some research, and came up with Gilles de la Tourette. He seemed like the perfect person to do, and I later discovered how much he related to my Word, dedication, as he is one of the most dedicated people I have ever read about (kept working after being shot in the head…).

Now that my eminent person had been picked, I needed to find resources. I looked around on the internet, and found a bunch of websites about Gilles that I could use, so I made a list of their links.



these websites proved to all be excellent resources, and because they were all about the same subject I could read them all to clarify what information was accurate based on whether or not it was reoccurring.

The next step was obtaining an interview. I did this by searching the web for non-profit organizations on tourettes syndrome, and contacted each one of them asking about an interview. I obtained an interview, and synthesized my results to be put into my learning center. More information on the subject can be found in my previous post.

The next step was writing my actual speech, which I didn’t actually find all that difficult. It took me two days to write, and only a few hours since I already had an outline and all of my information ready. Quite conveniently, my speech was almost exactly seven minutes, so I did not have to try and take any pieces out or add anything in. My speech was told by Jean-Martin Charcot, the mentor of Gilles de la Tourette, after he had passed away.

Now to tell you about my object of focus. While browsing the Tourettes Foundation of Canada website, I happened across their blog. Upon further inspection, I noticed that in the resources sections they had a short entry about a tourettes simulating game. This intrigued me, since it would be a great way to attract people and give them a perspective of what tourettes syndrome can be like.I tested the game out, and quite enjoyed it. It is a legend of zelda original style game, where the goal is to proceed through doors to your final objective. All the while, you have a stress meter that builds up, and when it gets to high, you do some sort of a twitch that can interrupt the game and cause your death. I found this game very entertaining, and decided it would be perfect for an object of focus in my learning center. A link to the game is here:  http://www.files.fortressofdoors.com/flash/ts_quest.html

And now to talk about how my learning has related to my goals. I believe I mentioned this in an earlier post, but my eminent person study doesn’t really properly relate to my IEP goals. One could say it does, since a goal is to never hand in a late assignment, so I guess finishing things on time relates to my goal? As for my word, it has taken some ridiculous amounts of dedication to complete each part of this project, as I am very easily distracted by typing “youtube” into the URL bar. Because of this, I believe this assignment relates very well to my Word of choice. This assignment relates back to my goal stated in my introductory post (make an effort to suppress my tourettes syndrome) since as I learn more about Gilles de la tourette, I also learn more about the syndrome, and therefore I learn about ways that I can help myself suppress my tourettes syndrome.

Anyways, the end. I can’t exactly think of a good conclusion for this, so simply put,




Eminent inteview

TSFC_LogoTo get an interview with somebody for my eminent person (Gilles de la Tourette), I contacted three different places. To find these places, I simply looked up non-profit tourettes organizations online, and sent messages out to the ones that offered an e-mail address. I then typed up a one paragraph e-mail that I used in all my messages with slight modifications to make sure that I was always coming across as polite and professional, which was this:

“Hi, my name is Aidan MacDonald. In a gifted program at Gleneagle Secondary, we were assigned to research an eminent person who has had an effect on our lives. For my person, I chose Gilles de la Tourette. I made this choice since I have been growing up with a form of tourettes syndrome involving motor only twitches, no vocal ones, and I would like to know more about the person that first diagnosed the syndrome. It is required in the project to get an interview with an expert on the subject to further our understanding of our eminent person. I was wondering if it would be possible to set up an interview with someoneF, or if you could guide me to somewhere that I may get an interview. Any method of communication would work for me, depending on what the interviewee  finds most convenient, and it would be a simple matter of a few pre-prepared questions. Although it may be too much to ask, it would be much appreciated if you could assist me.

Thank you,
–Aidan MacDonald”

The first place I contacted was the Tourettes Foundation of Canada, and it took them a while to respond. While I was waiting for a response, I also contacted the Vancouver chapter of the Tourettes Foundation and the Kelty Mental Health Centre. The vancouver chapter and Kelty were rather fruitless, Kelty recommended me to the vancouver chapter and the vancouver chapter recommended I come to one of their support group meetings. Soon after getting these replies though, I got a message back from a worker named Ashley at the Tourettes Foundation of Canada, who gave me a phone number and times that I could call her as well as the hours in which she was free.

After receiving this message, I got to work formulating my questions for the interview. My thought process went like this:

Interview Questions


  1. Social Impacts


  • Common misconceptions
  • Contributing factors
  • Effects of tourettes on lifestyle


  1. Research
  • Does tourettes get enough attention?
  • Are there ways being developed to assist people with tourettes?
  • Should people with tourettes be classified as ‘handicapped’ or in need of extra care?


  1. The Man
  • Do you know anything about Gilles?
  • What impact do you think he had on tourettes, would somebody have stepped in instead of him and researched it?



  1. What do you know about Gilles de la Tourette? Do you think he is a name commonly known in modern neurology or a forgotten person?
  2. If Gilles hadn’t researched tourettes syndrome, do you think somebody would have stepped into his place?
  3. What impacts do you think Gilles research will have down the road? 50 years? 100 years?
  4. Do you think there are common misconceptions in society about tourettes? What do you think has caused them?
  5. What do you believe are the effects of tourettes syndrome on a person’s lifestyle?
  6. Do you think having tourettes can be a handicap to some and cause them to be less able than others?
  7. In what ways is tourettes currently being researched? Do you think it is getting the attention it deserves?

After creating these questions, I made a bit of a pre-prepared script so that I wouldn’t stumble on the phone and to help me maintain a professional appearance. The script read:

“Hi, my name is Aidan MacDonald, I sent you an e-mail earlier this week about a school research project on Gilles de la Tourette. Would now be a good time to talk, or should I call back another time?

Although I’m learning a lot about tourettes syndrome in this “Eminent Person” project, the main focus is on Gilles de la Tourette—specifically what importance he had or how he has made a contribution to the world. Do you know anything about him?”

A slightly modified version of this script was used in the actual phone call so that I wouldn’t sound so robotic. After introducing myself, we went through the questions. I found it rather difficult to type proper notes while I was holding the phone, but I modified them after the conversation to make them more readable.


  1. Common mistake is that people think Gilles de la Tourette had Tourettes, but he didn’t. it was named for him because he was first to identify it. He then Published an article called Malady des tiques. He is remembered because of name of the syndrome, not much else.
  2. Probably wasn’t only person. There would have been others around that could take his place.
  3. The impact that Gilles de la Tourette made was in identifying the condition and making it known, he started discussion about Tourette syndrome when nobody knew about it. Probably to this day people still read about him when learning about the condition.
  4. There’s the misconception that It’s controllable. Tics making noise/move can be complex so they look voluntary behaviour but people can’t tell. Things like swearing gets too much attention.
  5. Tourettes syndrome can be isolating. People can feel misunderstood. May feel there’s something wrong with them. People with Tourettes syndrome have been found to have faster reflexes and can be more compassionate with others who have disabilities or unfortunate events like tripping. Still depends on person and symptoms.
  6. Depends, doesn’t have to be but people may need accommodation. Example in a school setting somebody with Tourettes syndrome may need to write things on a computer instead of writing it by hand.
  7. Lot of research into treatments. Research into genetics of tourettes. Scientists trying to find out what causes it. It is one of the most misunderstood conditions,it needs more attention to what is instead of the negative aspects of it.

These answers were followed by a quick thank you and a goodbye, and my interview was complete. Following up on this, I sent her a thank you e-mail later in the day which read:

“Thank you a lot for the interview this morning, the information you gave me was things that I was not able to find online and this will be a big help.”

I found this interview to be quite easy after introducing myself, but absolutely terrifying when leading up to the call. I have no issue at all with public speaking, but phone conversations are a different story. Talking 1 on 1 with a total stranger that you can’t actually see is something I find to be very stress inducing, especially if I need to put any effort into sounding professional.

I think that in the end I received some valuable information, mostly on the society side of tourettes syndrome. I learned things like the impact of tourettes on people lives, and how it is currently being researched in modern society. Because Ashley works with many people who have tourettes syndrome instead of just one, she gets different perspectives on it which she could then give to me, therefore I got a society angle on the subject. I, on the other hand, am just one person with the opinions on tourettes of only one person, therefore I cannot know all the information that she could. Most of the information that she gave me was very new, and didn’t relate to what I had already found, since my research was more on the factual side and not a society point of view. However, the information she gave me on Gilles de la Tourette matched what I already had. After this, I don’t think I need to know any more information, as I have already done extensive research. I can now proceed into writing my speech right away. The information that she gave me will not be used in my speech very much, but it will be a large part to my learning center since one of my goals from before was to make people more aware of tourettes syndrome, and how it’s not necessarily a negative thing. Her answers were very valuable to my project, and I think that I contacted exactly the right person.


organization: 25

Information: 10

Overall: 15

Vancouver library trip

DSC_0107For our trip to the VPL, I decided that my theme would be to inspire myself. to do this, I took my camera with me and took picture of things that I found to be inspiring. Below is the link to my flickr where I uploaded the pictures.

My word from earlier, dedication, relates to this field trip since I must first be inspired to be dedicated to my project. On the trip, I didn’t learn a lot about my subject since I didn’t have time to read. What I did learn though is that tourettes syndrome isn’t very deeply studied. When searching through the library, I only found a handful of books about tourettes syndrome, and none about Gilles de la Tourette. Another thing I discovered was that pigeons make great photo subjects, due to their interesting colours and how they move quite frequently. Crows, on the other hand, are terrible photo subjects. They just look like a black blob and they never move. EVER. I spent the entire solo moment with my camera focused on ONE crow, and it NEVER took off.

This trip influenced my research on my eminent person by giving me the necessary resources on my subject. From the library, I was able to get a book all about tourettes syndrome, and another one that seemed to weigh eighty pounds that was all about natural remedies for tourettes. The natural remedies book can relate back to my goal from earlier, which is to suppress my tourettes syndrome over time. It has also influenced my research since after discovering that it is not a widely studied syndrome, I will now attempt to raise more awareness about the syndrome itself as well as my eminent person, instead of just focusing on my person. I will do this because many people have misconceptions about tourettes, influenced by the youtube phenomenon tourettes guy, who just gives people with tourettes a bad name. I will attempt to make people more aware that tourettes guy is either an actor, or a very uncommon case, rather than a reflection on all people with tourettes.


Eminent person, Gilles de Tourettes

As most of the afternoon class may know, I was diagnosed with tourettes syndrome a few years back. It hasn’t had many negative effects on me, but it’s still a massive pain in the a** at times. Because of this, I have chosen the neurologist that diagnosed tourettes syndrome, Gilles de Tourette.

Gilles was a frenchman, attending medical school in Poitiers, France, where he found his role model, Dr. Renaudot. After his schooling, he became an active physician,  and began to research motor disorders such as “lahta” and “jumpers. He believed these motor disorders were caused by chorea, which was another motor disorder involving one side of the body. This is when he diagnosed his first patient, the 50 year old Marquise de Dampierre, with what would be known as tourette syndrome. The Marquise was a noblewoman who experienced muscle twitches, very similar to mine, and since these were not well known at the time, she was outcasted and spent her life in solitude all the way to 85 years old.

Gilles gathered together many patients similar to the Marquise, and began studying them over time. He noticed that these muscle twitches persisted over time, once again much like mine, and were involuntary. Thus, he named the symptom “Maladie des tiques”, which translates to muscle sickness. Later after his death, this syndrome was renamed to Tourettes syndrome in his honour.

Although Gilles is well known for diagnosing this syndrome, his primary activity was to participate in court cases involving hypnosis. He would go to these cases where people said they were not guilty of a crime, because they were forced to do it via means of hypnotism. Gilles went to these cases and told the people they were not hypnotised, but rather quite simply insane. They were promptly thrown into a loony bin.

One of the women that Gilles sent to the insane asylum was eventually released, and she wasn’t very happy. She found Gilles, and accused him of hypnotising her from a distance. Gilles told her she was insane, and belonged back in the asylum. She told Gilles that he needed to pay her, sine she caused all of his issues. Gilles simply said no, you’re insane. The Woman then pulled a gun and calmly shot Gilles in the head as he walked away, followed by her sitting down and waiting for police to arrive. Lucky for the neurologist, the bullet only grazed his head, and he lived for a decade more.

Through all this, Gilles was a very dedicated man, just like my “Word”. He was shot in the head, around which time his wife and role model also died, yet he kept working in an attempt to increase knowledge about Tourettes syndrome, and to prave that hypnotism was for the insane. even after being shot, that very night he wrote a letter about it, rather than sitting there and being pitiful. his dedication can also be shown since he was going up against all odds, trying to prove that people who seemed insane actually just had muscle twitches, and that people who believed in hypnotism truly were insane. Both of those subjects were contrary to the belief of most, and made it a very hard subject to prove.

Studying Gilles relates to my personal goals, since one of my goals (which hasn’t been written down in my IEP or anything) for learning and personal things is to attempt to supress my tourettes syndrome, which quite often puts me in awkward situations. By studying Gilles, I can learn more about the syndrome, and learn how I could help myself.


For my word, I have chosen dedication. Although subconsciously, dedication has always been prominent in any tasks that I have undertaken. Without dedication, one cannot follow through with anything that they chose to partake in. Any project ever completed required a level of dedication, and I believe that it is therefore an extremely important trait, and one that I will always find in my life.

During any project that I have taken part in, I have always finished simply due to my dedication to it. When training for any sport, I am always required to be dedicated to getting better. Nobody can simply say “I’m going to do something”, and complete that “something” without being dedicated to the tasks.

Without having dedication, nothing would be possible. Any revolution, every Olympic medal, and every simple movement of the body has required  the person to be dedicated to completing that task, which is why I view dedication as one of the most important human traits.