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kme : academics   5

What facts about the United States do foreigners not believe until they come to America? - Quora
Strong ethics — everyone has a lot of integrity. If someone cannot submit their completed assignment in time, they will turn in the assignment incomplete rather than asking for answers at the last minute. People take pride in their hard work and usually do not cheat. This is different from students from India and China as well as back home in India, where many students collaborate to the extent that it can be categorized as cheating.

In the academic context, the lesser obsession with grades and more emphasis on learning what has been taught. Most courses in the university level are oriented around this theme and the professors actually take an interest in teaching and take pains to make sure the students have grasped the concepts.

It is also very surprising that how aloof and sheltered most americans are from the harsh realities prevailing over most countries in the world. One of my friend who was a TA for a Biology course told me that most students in his class had never heard of a disease named Malaria!

I lived in Seattle for five years and people in Ballard (where I lived) really don't have any opinions one way or another about people who live on Queen Anne hill. The wealthy, even in the extreme are largely not despised. People in Seattle don't compare themselves to people in Tacoma or Spokane. People from Washington don't compare themselves to people in Idaho or Oregon, and Americans as a whole don't compare themselves to other countries. It's charming in it's humility and acceptance, but it really kills a great deal of pub talk. What's an evening spent getting pissed good for if you can't unload on your neighbours?

Asian education emphasizes conformity and discipline, and people generally have a strong sense of duty and professionalism in the tasks that they are assigned whether they are the CEO or the janitor of a company. In Asia, I have rarely faced the frustration I have felt when dealing with service people in the US.

On the other hand, US education generally values individuality and free-thinking. People are less judgmental and are not scared of being different, and those that are motivated will grow up daring to dream and may even go on to achieving great things.
america  perspective  academics  academia  education  culture 
april 2017 by kme
gender - Should I write that a student is a feminist in my recommendation letter? - Academia Stack Exchange
Is this advancement one of the activities that students in the program will be participating in? Or, beyond interest, does the candidate have a record of activities and/or accomplishments in advancing women and other minorities in the STEM field? If the answer to either question is yes, I would suggest that you fill in further details accordingly: this is part of your argument that she is great fit for the program. If not, then: are students selected for the honors program because of their progressive views -- or, much more cynically put, because of the alignment of their political and social views with those of the administrators of the program? Probably not, right? In particular, because "She is fantastic and I assume that she will get admitted," then I don't think you need to help her out in this particular way. There is some risk that even a feminist could read "she is very interested in advancing women and other minorities in the STEM field" as a bit of a consolation prize. Again, write the strongest letter you can.

Answer to the question in the title:

"yes" if and only if feminism is a matter of the person's research activity.

("No" if it's not.)

Reason: you wish to say that this person is an excellent scientist. Period. The person reading your letter doesn't even need to be informed of the candidate's gender, let alone whether they hold feminist viewpoints.

You can know someone is a feminist without knowing whether they are a woman. – Patricia Shanahan
lettersofrecommendation  academics  feminism  triggerwords  forthecomments 
september 2016 by kme

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