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Reflection on our final project: space and education on campus.

First of all, for tonight, I'd say that our final performances are really a "happy ending" for our esem class while it's also a good start point for all of us to carry on our discussion.

Words about our project:
The reason we choose this particular topic is that we noticed the disparity between "how we feel when we stay here" and "who are we." Bryn Mawr is such a special place that the designing of the campus and the way it has been used are so "classist." A space is somewhere need to be occupied while as a part of the "Bryn mawr" structure, we, as students, have to face the pre-occupied spaces (the connotations of upper class) on campus and balance it with our own identity. After some many years, education, space and students changes a lot; however, there is one thing that remains to be  true, people would have mixed feeling about themselves on campus when we first come here and find our own way to settle down in a comfortable way. For the time we staying here, all we want is to convert the place into home, a place we feel comfortable doing everything and grow.

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Guilt and Privilege

Please see the attachment!

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Paper #10, not so esay!

I've just finished my paper and I feel relieved now. Honestly, the assignment is not hard to write since I believe that everyone has a lot of things to say: on-campus workshop, parkway visit, those interviews and writing partners notes. I can feel a sense of responsibility throughout this assignment. I can feel I act as a part of the workshop and I am the active part of those interviews. I can feel that I am responsible to make everything connected and make things around me glittering. I hope that I conduct others opinions honestly and my voice can help making a better community. The change is really subtle and interesting. Previously, I am giving my response to others theories and ideas while those outcomes turn out to be less important when compare to this assignment.

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Space and Elitism.

 I talked about the relationship between space and elitism. The setting of the reading room inside Thomas Great Hall, reflects the intention of founders. The setting remained largely the “Quaker-lady Design” in which scholars can find a nice fireplace, digesting a fabulous book on a cold winter night. Through this photo, one can imagine the typical setting of rooms in Bryn Mawr College in 19th century. The education provided at that time tended to be more philosophical than pragmatic. The cloistered setting created a place to nurture leaders and liberal thinkers, fostering elitism exclusively in white without separating women’s culture. However, as time went by, the fact of having all white student bodies changed and Bryn Mawr took a move toward greater diversity. The space and designing did reflect the characteristics of elitism, a symbol of upper class; however, it just reflected the founders’ intended educational purpose while the spirits and direction of a college must be alterable to adapt the time change.

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Evaluation and Reflection So Far

The subject of the Esem class and the class itself provided me with a very interesting perspective to see the world and education. Students came into the classroom with certainty: education is important and that’s why everybody is here inside the classroom. At least I hold the belief that education is the essential part of one’s life so that every one should try his/her best in order to get in college! However, given a chance to insight into the education, we learn a lot from the process. We start with categories and explore the spectrum from educational autobiographies, which is a really engaging way to start a deep investigation. I started to notice the differences and to be conscious of those differences: social mobility, class matter, “common sense”, access to education etc. Surprisingly, I found that I started to be a “education-sensitive” person while I think about educational problems both unconsciously and intentionally on my way back dorm or even in the dinning hall. Meanwhile, I always found that the discussion in class and all the reading materials are so informative that there is always a lot of connections to make and fruitful thoughts to illustrate in the writing process. Writing partners and weekly conferences are definitely helpful because some feedback from others. It also good to try different genres of reading.

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My expectation of High School visiting

Education, access, poverty and resources… In previous weeks, we have read so many real-life stories and analytical articles about education. Meanwhile, we have concentrated on the limitations of public education recently. It would be very interesting to visit a high school since I’ve never got a chance to know high school life in the U.S. By comparing the public school in the U.S. and in China, I think it can help me to think more deeply. Our discussion on the topic of “In class/ Out class” is limited since we are literally “in class” previously on Tuesdays and Thursday. Visiting a high school could be a nice complementary experience as a part of our seminar. I am curious about students’ attitude about going to colleges as well as how their school performance affect their anticipation about going to colleges. Meanwhile, I am curious about to what extent can Friere’s or Noguera’s thoughts are applicable towards the real-life situations. It could be a nice chance to evaluate whether “Pragmatic Optimism” would function well in high schools. Finally, it would be good to keep an open mind and treat this trip as an experience of learning and teaching.

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Education levels "the playing field"?

I find it hard to answer the question because I am not quite sure about the term ”level the playing field.” I tend to split it into two parts so the question can be easier to answer. For individuals, education doesn’t level or limit the development of one person. Even though some students came from lower class or have limited access to some educational resources, they would succeed as long as they have the ambition and passion to achieve the goal. Even though in the worst public schools, a small part of students would study and have the chance to go to college. Therefore, from the perspective of individual, education is not able to literally level the playing field. However, for the majority, education levels the playing field because of its ability to label and categorize students to some extent. More students go to college in private schools when compared with those in some urban public schools. A school usually has a tradition or a trend, in which their students would act or behave in a stereotype or affected by the atmosphere in the school. After students graduate from high schools, they usually go to a corresponding destination, thus different kinds of colleges or becoming a college dropout.
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Reflection on Access and Education.

I tried to include every single thoughts and concerns in my three pages paper about education and then I realized that it is impossible. I hit the writing center and bothered my tutor, attacking her brain with my ideas on Thursday night; however, I found serendip is the right place to arrange my thoughts.


      In my paper, I argued that equal educational opportunity is essential for individual because education would change one’s thoughts internally and affects one’s behavior and action externally. Education is able to provide theories (even though its intended range includes the praxis part) so one will be able to learn by combining personal experience and positive cognition of objects. Based on this definition of education, theories need a solid base and experiences would be concrete supporting material for those theories; even though some abstract learning process, say studying math, personal evolvement is important: one should study in a critical and positive way instead of memorizing formulas passively.

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My Eduational Map

Hello everyone! I'm Jia.

My educational map is inside the attachment.

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Reflection on Educational Experience

For my educational background paper, I tried to talk about the different stages of my eduational experience and my feelings about it. Apparently, different stages have their different effects on me. I would like to say the whole process is interesting because it contains my thoughts and the reflection of the different ideas of my generation. Maybe I started my cliche about improving educational system at some point in the middle and I ended up with my feelings about my first 100 days experience in United States. I don't know why I talked about the different classes of my primary school but it seems to be a little redundent for me now. OR maybe I should have compare the components of my high school class mates. 

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