personal reflection essay


Personal Reflection Essay Assignment

Prepared by: Howard He


Instructor: Julie Nolin

Date: 2012-8-15

KMS is a very useful tool when travelling around the world. Culture different and language are the two biggest challenges, it takes time to adjust myself melting in the society. As an international student, I have experienced the culture different for ten years. After learning the KMS, I have better idea how to “change” myself to fit in different countries. Hofstede’s five culture dimensions give me clear indication because it tells me which type of the country is; what kind of people I am going to deal with; what custom I should be aware of; and so on. The following I will discuss about the difference and similarities among Canada, Ukraine, and China.

Canada is a low context country, lower power distance, low uncertainty avoidance, individualism and low long term orientation country. When I came to Canada, it gives me a very good impression: people are open-minded, and they are easy to make friends. It takes short time to build up a friendship. They would like to share their stories about jobs, family, friends, and movie. There is no discrimination against the international student, and it makes me feel warm in a strange place. They have their own distance management-individualism. When having a conversation, personal space is required. They don't like sticking each other. In class, instructors are very close to student. They are like friends, and there is no power distance between them. Student can have food or drink in the class, and they can interrupt the instructor anytime they come up the questions. People are very self-discipline, and they will not bother other student. Students are free to bring anything, so they can play cell phone or any devices in the class.

You can not imagine that happen in China. China is high context country, so it has higher power distance between. The higher position people have, the more respect should get.

Therefore, all the students in school have to stand up and say hi to teachers before the class begin; also they have to give thank by bowing after class. In the class, everyone is quiet and the teacher can keep talking for forty five minutes. You have to raise your hand and get permit from teacher before asking/ answering questions. No cell phone or any electronic devices are allowed in the class; also, no talking/chatting is permitted in the class. If the student breaks the rule seriously, the teachers have right to ask the student leave the school forever. When the tests hand back, the teacher will speak out the marks from high to low. If someone do well as they expect, they praise the student right in front of the class; if someone does not do a good job on the test, they just ignore them, and try to pay more attention on top student. Therefore, students in class are dividing in two extreme. Bad students never make friends with good students. It leads to a bad circle: the better become better; the worse become worse.

When I first study in Canadian class, I feel uncomfortable. Students are free to do anything in the class. However, I just sit up straight and listen to instructor carefully. I feel that I am not belonged the group. Everyone knows what they are you doing, but I don't. I get used to the “quiet mode” while I am listening to the teacher in China. Their interruptions distract me to listen what teacher says in the class. Also, the teaching style is different from Chinese teacher. In China, instructor tells us what to do step by step; they tell us what is going on the test; where should pay more attention; they give us lots of practice question for us; therefore, Chinese student are very good writing the test. It is totally different in Canada. The best thing teacher can do is tell us where to buy the textbook, and we learn the material by reading the material. I am so confused and frustrated in the beginning. I lost my direction because teacher is not with me all the time. We spend more time on the textbook not the teacher. The teaching

style is hard for me to adapt Canadian education system. I feel so lost during the first semester; I don't know the material, and I don't know how to change this embarrassing situation either. At that moment, I feel shame with myself. I lost my confident to ask questions because of the language barrier. I am a top student in China, but I feel that I am a loser in Canada. With poor English, I can not speak out what I think. I am afraid of the colored judgment by others, so I become a quiet person. I have so many ideas, but I am just scare to express in the public.

My marks are struggling passing line; I try so hard to adapt the teaching style. I have to change my old “study mode”, or I will fail the course. As mentioned in the beginning, Canadian is easy to approach, and they like to help us if they can. My first move is to ask instructor questions in their office. I find that it is very relax to talk to instructor. There is almost no power distance between us. With broken English, instructor listens to me patiently. My inferiority feeling seems to disappear when I try to speak to instructor. Although I make lots of grammar mistakes during the speaking, the instructor never interrupt me. They always let me finish the speech, and tell me what to do step by step. They understand what I am suffering, and they give me as many chances and encourage as they can. This interaction is very helpful to build the relationship between teacher and student. Chinese teachers need to improve it because they always sit on top of student. There is no equality between teacher and students. Teacher is always right, so students have to show respect to teachers. After I talk to my instructor, I feel better. I start building up my confident and friendship with my instructor. Under their help, my English improve a lot. However, I still feel uncomfortable when I talk to stranger. With my level of English, I am still not confident enough to talk to native people. The first day I get to Germany, we are all new to each other, so I keep quiet. They are all

native, and I am the only one speak broken English. My interiority feeling comes back again, and I am scare to speak to them in the beginning. It is out of my expectation that they are friendly to me, they try to raise a topic to me. However, I am not familiar the topic, we stuck in the silent. All the classmates are nice to me, and they try to talk to me. Nonetheless, the conversation is not last long enough. My impression to them is quiet or even silent. As I learn the KMS, I realize that culture different and language are the biggest challenges.

第二篇:Personal Reflection 15900字

Sophia Jex-Blake

By Alexandra Webb

Personal Reflection

In researching Sophia Jex-Blake for this biography project, I learned several things. I was not aware ofthe extent of the restrictions on women's education in Europe during the 19th century. Most of the

women's history courses I have taken have focused on American women and their struggles, and it wasinteresting to see how the plight of European women paralleled what I already knew of women in my owncountry. I was also interested to find a concrete example of the staunch social traditions of the middleclasses in European society. By expressing his discontent with his daughter's desire to hold a job andearn a wage, Sophia's father provided further evidence of the ideologies regarding gender spheres duringthis time.


Every year, thousands of women across the world are admitted to medical school and begin thearduous process of becoming doctors. Today, as more and more women enter the medical field, theprofession continues to diversify. But these women are lucky; they live in an era in which women canbreak out of the domestic sphere and embrace all the same privileges and opportunities open to men.They are ready to be at the forefront of the professional world and step into the future of medicine withouthesitation or resistance. This transition was not always as simple, however, and in order to understandwhere they are going, one must acknowledge where they came from. This journey begins with a pioneerin the medical field, a champion of women’s rights for equality in education: Sophia Jex-Blake.

Sophia was born in Hastings, England in 1840 to very traditional Anglican parents. Her parentswere staunchly religious and very strict with Sophia and her sisters, and from n early age, Sophia was1rebellious, often labeled “fresh, willful, and naughty” Her father, Thomas Jex-Blake, was a former

barrister, and while he was incredibly educated himself, he was not entirely supportive of Sophia’s desirefor higher education. However, Sophia was a very persistent and determined young woman, and in 1858her father allowed her to attend Queen’s College. As a student, she excelled in all of her lessons, andwas eventually asked to teach mathematics, which her parents only consented to under the stipulationthat Sophia was not to earn a salary. Sophia was a rather progressive thinker, and naturally disagreedwith her parents on her position at the college. There is little mention of Sophia’s mother with regard toher opinions about her daughter’s education and employment; while it is likely she sided with her husbandbecause she agreed with him, it is also possible that she simply did not feel it was her place to disagreewith his decisions as head of the household. Thomas, specifically, had very traditional views on the placeof middle class women in society and did not approve of Sophia joining the workforce as a wage earner.He acknowledged his objections in an 1859 letter: “I agree to all you say in favor of working; it is veryhonorable, very right and worthy of all praise but what I object to is your taking money for it…If you2married tomorrow, to my liking, I should give you a good fortune.” In response to her father’s narrowviews, Sophia responded defiantly, saying that “as a man, [you] did your work and received your

payment, and no one thought it any degradation, but a fair exchange. Why should the difference of my3sex alter the laws of right and honor?”

The idea of domesticity was very popular in the 19 century; the home was a very important andsacred institution. A middle class woman had numerous roles in the home- she was responsible for all ofthe servants, making sure they were performing their specific duties and overseeing the cooking,

cleaning, and general care of the home itself. She contributed to the education of any children, oversawtheir lessons, and provided emotional and spiritual support for her wage earning husband. Without manythof the modern conveniences we enjoy today, running a 19 century home was a considerable amount ofth1

2 Edythe Lutzker, Women Gain a Place in Medicine. (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1969), 41. Margaret Todd, The Life of Sophia Jex-Blake. (London: Macmillan & Company, 1918), 70.3 Lutzker, 42.

work, with or without the help of servants. This was the established and expected role of middle classwomen in England and much of Europe during this time.

Although she did not share her father’s opinion, Sophia consented to teach at Queen’s Collegewithout a salary. She worked there quite happily for a period of about three years, until 1862, when shewas offered a teaching position at the Grand Ducal Institute in Germany. During this time, many schoolsfor girls were being opened throughout England at the request of Queen’s College, and Sophia was4asked to help establish a school in Manchester. In order to better prepare herself for such a task, shedecided to visit the United States in 1865 to take a tour of colleges for girls. She enjoyed this ventureimmensely: “I cannot speak in too high terms of the cordial kindness show to me and my friend in almost5every place of education that we visited…” In 1867, she published A Visit to Some American Schoolsand Colleges, a comprehensive review of her tour of the United States, in which she gave praise to thework being done across the country to improve the educational opportunities for girls and women. It wasin Boston that Sophia first began to take an interest in the field of medicine. During her time there, shestayed with Dr. Lucy Sewell and had the chance to meet a large group of female doctors working at the6New England Hospital for Women and Children. Sophia was touched by the work these women weredoing, and soon began volunteering at the hospital, eventually making the switch from the teachingprofession to the medical field.

Along with friend Susan Dimock, Sophia applied to the medical school at Harvard University, butwas unfortunately, although not unexpectedly, denied admission on the grounds that women were notallowed to train as doctors. Sophia found this both unfair and unacceptable, and began a “personal7campaign…to break this barrier.” While she was not allowed to matriculate at Harvard, it was possible forwomen to train and qualify as doctors in the United States, and in the fall of 1868, Sophia found a homeat the newly opened Women’s Medical College of the New York Infirmary for Women and Children. Sadly,Sophia’s father fell ill and died during this time, and Sophia had to return to England, leaving her medical8training behind her.

The opportunities for women in the medical field were slightly less promising in England than theyhad been in the United States. English universities did not even allow women to enter as regular

students; in order to attend medical school, they needed a degree from a university first. Many womensought education abroad; however with the passage of the English Medical Act in 1858, admission tomedical school was restricted to holders of British university degrees. The passage of this act wouldsignal the beginning of a long and difficult struggle for women in England to gain equality in education.There was a great deal of anti-woman sentiment with regard to the medical profession. A poem printed inan 1875 edition of The Englishwoman’s Review perfectly captures the frustration felt by aspiring femaledoctors around the country:

“Tis a beautiful thing, a woman's sphere!

She may nurse a sick bed through the small hours drear,

Brave ghastly infection untouched by fear,

But she mustn’t receive a doctor's fee,

And she mustn't (oh shocking!) be called an MD,

For if woman were suffered to take a degree,9She'd be lifted quite out of her sphere!”


5 Esther Pohl Lovejoy, Women Doctors of the World. (New York: Macmillan & Company, 1957), 145. Sophia Jex-Blake, A Visit to Some American Schools and Colleges. (London: Macmillan & Company,1867), x.6 Ibid, 145.7 Mary Roth Walsh, “Doctors Wanted: No Women Need Apply” Sexual Barriers in the Medical Profession,1835-1975. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977), 101.8 Lovejoy, 148.9 Excerpt from The Englishwoman’s Review, September, 1875.

While there is a definite sarcastic and mocking tone to this poem, the views expressed in it weresimilar to the objections from the medical field at the time. Medicine was not a proper practice for women;they were more suited to life in the domestic sphere. To counter this judgment, in her book, MedicalWomen, Sophia quoted a Mrs. J.S. Mill: “We deny the right of any portion of the species to decide foranother portion…what is and what is not their ‘proper sphere.’ The proper sphere for all human beings isthe largest and highest which they are able to attain to. What this is cannot be ascertained without10complete liberty of choice.”

Sophia herself was at the forefront of this struggle. As she was leaving America in 1868, her

friend and colleague, Dr. Lucy Sewell encouraged her to fight, not only for herself, but for women

everywhere. “You will open the medical profession to women in England” were the last words Lucy said to11Sophia before they parted, and she was determined to fulfill this prophecy. After a series of letter

writing, and with the support of numerous doctors, teachers, and politicians, Sophia was able to convincethe University of Edinburgh in Scotland to admit her, as well as several other female students, and in1869, they began attending lectures as full time medical students.

Although they were taking the same courses, the female students were required to attend

separate classes from the male students, which involved extra expenses. They were also met with a gooddeal of resistance from many of the male students and several members of the faculty. In one instance,Edith Pechey, a friend and classmate of Sophia’s, earned the top marks on a Chemistry examination;however, because she was a woman, the professor awarded her prize, the Hope Scholarship fornd12Chemistry, to the male student with the 2 highest exam score. Across the board, members of themedical field were making it very clear that, while women had been allowed into their world, they did nottruly belong there. One by one, their professors refused to teach them in protest, until their lessons wereeffectively suspended entirely. In 1873, Sophia and the other female students sued the University ofEdinburgh to be allowed to finish their studies and sit for their qualifying examinations. The women wontheir case, but the following year it was appealed and overturned; every school in England was now13closed to women.

Sophia, however, was not discouraged by this experience; in 1874, after a four year battle in

Edinburgh, she and her friends opened the London School of Medicine for Women. They assembled anintimidating board of governors for their school, including Charles Darwin, and the author of the 1858Medical Act, W. Cowper-Temple. He managed to pass a bill through Parliament in 1876 that amendedthe Medical Act; the new bill allowed women with medical degrees from British schools to qualify asdoctors in England, as well as women with medical degrees from Paris, Zurich, and Berlin, Bern, andLeipzig. In 1877, Sophia Jex-Blake graduated from medical school in Bern, passed the certificationexams in Ireland, and, along with four other women, was finally allowed to practice medicine in GreatBritain. The University of London soon opened its doors to female students, and the tide of resistanceslowly began to turn in favor of equality.

Sophia Jex-Blake was a pioneer in the medical field. She broke barriers and approached everyproblem she faced with a take-no-prisoners attitude. She challenged an entire profession, and paved theway for the future of women in medicine. Her battle was fought mostly uphill, but her refusal to succumbto defeat, combined with her tenacity and determination helped her to revolutionize her field andthfundamentally alter traditional ideologies about the “proper sphere” for women in the 19 century. It hasbeen said that one can never fully and truly understand where they are going unless they acknowledgeand appreciate where they have come from. For female physicians throughout England, and the worldover, it is vital to recognize and value the plight of one very determined and passionate woman.10

11 Sophia Jex-Blake, Medical Women. (Edinburgh: Oliphant, Anderson & Ferrier, 1886), 2. Lovejoy, 148.12 Ibid, 149.13 Ibid, 149


Bonner, Thomas Neville. To the Ends of the Earth Women's Search for Education in Medicine

Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1992. This book gave a lot of information about Sophia's strugglesin Edinburgh and the events after she left Scotland.

Jex-Blake, Sophia. Medical Women A Thesis and a History. Edinburgh: Oliphant, Anderson & Ferrier,1886. This is a great primary source as it is Sophia's detailed and personal account of her time inEdinburgh.

Jex-Blake, Sophia. A Visit to Some American Schools and Colleges London: Macmillan & Company,1867. This is another good primary source for cross referencing information about English colleges withones in the United States.

Lovejoy, Esther Pohi. Women Doctors of the World New York: Macmillan & Company, 1957. This book iswhere I obtained a lot of my biographical information about Sophia's life- there is an entire chapter entitled'The Quest of Sophia Jex-Blake.

Lutzker, Edythe. Women Gain a Place in Medicine New York: McGraw-Hill, 1969. This book contains agreat deal of biographical information about Sophia' s childhood and her time in the States, with a largeamount of material on her legal battle with the University of Edinburgh.

Todd, Margaret. The Life of Sophia Jex-Blake London: Macmillan & Company, 1918. This book literallyhas everything-it is a comprehensive account of Sophia's entire life and I used it to fill in any gaps in myresearch.

Walsh, Mary Roth. "Doctors Wanted No Women Need Apply" Sexual Barriers in the Medical Profession1835-1975 New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977. This is where I obtained the information aboutSophia's application to Harvard, and it does an excellent job of contextualizing the split betweentraditional and "liberal" views on women in medicine.

Time Line

1840- Sophia Jex-Blake is born

1848-1849- Queen's and Bedford Colleges founded in England (University of London)

1850- Hamburg College for Women founded in Germany

1858- Sophia attends Queen's College

1858- Medical Act passed in Great Britain, restricting admission to medical school to holders of Britishuniversity degrees; medical school closed to women

1861- First woman allowed to take the baccalaureat exam in France

1865- Sophia travels to the United States, tours colleges for women, decides to attend medical school,and is rejected from medical school at Harvard University

1869- Girton College founded for women at Cambridge University

1869- Sophia, along with 6 other female students, is admitted to University of Edinburgh; lessonseventually suspended

1873- Sophia sues the University of Edinburgh to be allowed to resume classes and graduate, wins case;case is appealed and overturned a year later

1874- Sophia and friends open the London School of Medicine for Women

1876- Medical Act amended in England- women with British university degrees allowed to attend medicalschool, as well as holders of degrees from Paris, Zurich, Berlin, Bern, and Leipzig

1877- Sophia graduates from medical school in Bern, Switzerland, passes qualifying exams in Ireland,and is allowed to practice medicine in Great Britain

1881- Ecole Normale opened in France to train female teachers

1890- 1t woman graduates from French university

1900- Women gain access to German universities

1912- Sophia dies at the age of 62

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