My Family Tree
My Life’s Achievement “Lu Bing,” my name boomed out from the microphone. My stomach gave a slight ﬂip-‐ﬂop as I anxiously took a deep breath and stood up from the front row. Waves of emotions and thoughts crossed my mind. What if I trip when I walk up the stairs? What if I’m not even supposed to be here? My stomach felt more and more heavy like thousands of ﬂuttering butterﬂies swarming everywhere. No, no, no! I am supposed to be in the Great Hall of People, in Beijing, and receive the Florence Nightingale Medal from the Chairman of China! Everything will be perfect... I thought conﬁdently, sashaying upstage with my head poised high and shoulders back. With each step I took, the beaming chairman seemed to come closer. From barely a meter away, his gelled inky black hair seemed to be turning vaguely silver-‐gray at the edges. His warm chocolate-‐colored eyes behind those thick black glasses seemed to bore into mine. Taking a swift glance out at the crowd of audience, I recognized several major oﬃcials gawking up at me with their curious eyes, and distinguish their barely audible murmuring. Inhaling the intoxicating fragrance of my Chanel 5 perfume, my knees felt like jelly. The blinding spotlights gleaming onto me didn’t make me feel any better. My mouth tasted dry and my lips were chapped. I knew I should’ve applied my cherry-‐ﬂavored good lucky Chapstick! My eyes automatically squeezed shut; I wiped my sweaty palms onto my knee-‐length skirt, and took one ﬁnal deep breath. Here I go. My heart skipped a beat as the reassuringly cool metal surface touched the tip of my ﬁngers and soon placed itself onto my clammy hand. Thunderous applauding, roars of the crowd, and camera ﬂashlights snapping. Chairman Jiang Zhe Ming congratulated me, and extended his hand. Without hesitating, I gratefully slipped my hand in his and shook. Our eyes interlocked for just a few seconds, but I could tell that he appeared to be proud of me. The butterﬂies in my stomach instantly ﬂew away, a thrilled smile immediately stretched across my face. Pride, that’s all I could think of. All those years of hard work ﬁnally paid oﬀ today. Tears of pure happiness stung the back of my eyes. My whole life devotion to my nursing career could not be described in words. !
Interview Q and A Questions for Grandma: • • • • • • • • • • •
How did this impact your life? Do you regret any decisions you have made? Were anyone else watching or supporting you? Did your actions aﬀect anyone else? Like ME or your family? What caused this event to happen? What is your strongest memory of this event? What kind of feelings did you have when the medal was placed into your hands? Was there always a role model that you looked up to OR did you just do what you felt like was right? Did you gain or loose anything? If so what? What happened after the event? What did medal giver say to you?
Answers from Grandma: •
Getting the Nightingale Medal didn’t impact my life too much because I was already a superintendent/ chief director of the nursing department in Shanghai Number 6 Hospital. But it still makes me feel good to be recognized and an example for all the young health care workers. I don’t regret any decisions I made throughout this experience and am very proud of myself because this Nightingale Medal is the highest recognition a nurse can get. This medal is only given out every two years to ﬁfty nurses all around the world, it has brought honor to me, China, and our nursing community. People who were watching and supporting me were Jiang Zhe Ming-‐ president of China, my whole family, Shanghai Nursing Association, doctors around the world, and other Chinese citizens since the ceremony was played on TV later. I think achieving this medal has made my family more proud of me, and devote themselves more to health care. I think getting this medal happened because I served and saved many patients in Shanghai and mountain areas in Guizhou with care and knowledge.
• • •
The most memorable moment was when Jiang Zhe Ming handed the medal into my hands. I had a wave of strong emotions. I felt like after all those years, I deserved this medal. When I was in nursing school, the American teachers taught us to look up to Florence Nightingale. So for my whole life, I treated all my patients well just like Florence. Sometimes when I was going through diﬃculties, I thought about what Florence would do, and tried to do the right thing. The ﬁrst day I went to nursing school, they taught us about nurse ethics. The American teachers told us all about Florence Nightingale, and told us to look up to her, so from then on, my whole life I did what I thought Florence would do. I earned more honor and respect than ever, and became a teacher in nursing school. But what I lost was the time for my family, because I was so busy taking care of my patients, educating the young nurses. I devoted more of my time to my career that’s why I had limited time for my family. After the event, all the major chinese newspapers interviewed me, and the ceremony was played on CCTV 1 and other important news channels. Everyone was talking about this event. Jiang Zhe Ming-‐ president of China congratulated me ﬁrst, and told me that I had set an example for all chinese people.
5 General Questions: • • • • • •
How old were you when you got the medal? Did you say anything when you got the medal? Who shook your hand and gave you the medal? What kind of outﬁt were you wearing then? Were any important people at the ceremony? What was the exact date and time you got the medal?
5 General Answers: • • • • • •
65 No one could talk when we got the medal Jiang Zhe Ming-‐ president of China A navy blue blouse and a navy blue skirt President of China, and all the oﬃcials 1997 September 2nd, around 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon
5 Speciﬁc Questions: • • • • •
What was the ﬁrst thought that popped into your head? How did the audience react when you got the medal? (applause?) Where did the ceremony take place/ what were your surroundings like? Who was in the audience? Were your family and friends there? Did any of your other colleagues get the medal too? Any strangers?
5 Speciﬁc Questions: • • • • •
The ﬁrst thing that popped into my head was ‘There’s nothing to regret in my life’ The audience applauded really loud and cheered for me This event took place at Great Hall of the People, Beijing, China The Red Cross Shanghai branch and many more chinese oﬃcials were in the audience. None of my family or friends went, but they watched me on TV. There were four other nurses from diﬀerent provinces that also received the medal
Research Notes Medal is for excellence in nursing For female nurses only, until 1912, they gave it out to both gender Voluntary nurses for the red cross institution Honor nurses in time of war or diﬃculties Helped exceptional devotion to the wounded, sick, or disabled A civilian victims of a conﬂict or disaster Given out every two years to nurses all around the world International Committee of the Red Cross Highest international distinction that can be awarded to a nurse Occasion of International Nurses Day is on Florence Nightingale’s Birthday (May 12) to honor her • ICRC medal looks back at 100 years of nursing excellence from all around the world • • • • • • • • • •
Epilogue This story was based on my Grandma, Lu Bing’s, personal experience. I wrote this story for a Humanities project, but I think it’s worth it because now my Grandma’s own story can be told again. It was September 2nd 1997, around two o’clock in the afternoon, when she received the Florence Nightingale Medal in The Great Hall of People, Beijing, China. The Florence Nightingale Medal is a medal given out by the International Red Cross Institution every two years to ﬁfty nurses around the world for excellence in nursing. Even after all these years later, my Grandma still clearly remembers the moment when she received the medal. Right now, she’s living in Shanghai, China.
Bibliography "Florence Nightingale Medal." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 17 Oct. 2012. Web. 06 Nov. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Florence_Nightingale_Medal>. "International Committee of the Red Cross." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 11 May 2012. Web. 06 Nov. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ International_Committee_of_the_Red_Cross>. "Medals and Badges." British Red Cross. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Nov. 2012. <http:// www.redcross.org.uk/About-‐us/Who-‐we-‐are/Museum-‐and-‐archives/ Collections/Medals-‐and-‐badges>. "Florence Nightingale Medal." Florence Nightingale Medal. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Nov. 2012. <http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/misc/ 5qmkdb.htm>. "Florence Nightingale Medal: 2009 Recipients." Florence Nightingale Medal: 2009 Recipients. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Nov. 2012. <http://www.icrc.org/eng/ resources/documents/misc/ﬂorence-‐nightingale-‐medal-‐ nominations-‐120509.htm>. "Florence Nightingale Medal: 2009 Recipients." Florence Nightingale Medal: 2009 Recipients. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Nov. 2012. <http://www.icrc.org/eng/ resources/documents/misc/ﬂorence-‐nightingale-‐medal-‐ nominations-‐120509.htm>. "Florence Nightingale Medal: A Century of Nursing Excellence." Florence Nightingale Medal: A Century of Nursing Excellence. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Nov. 2012. <http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/photo-‐gallery/2012/ nightingale-‐award-‐centennial-‐photo-‐gallery-‐2012-‐05-‐12.htm>.
Reflection Working on this project, I found out most of my family member’s names, birthdays, place of birth, where they live now, and a historical event they went through. The most interesting experience I found was my Grandma receiving the Nightingale Medal. Looking at all those signiﬁcant events my family members experienced, I feel really proud. I thought doing this project was really important because now we know more about our family and can tell their stories to our kids. I enjoyed the project overall, but what stood out to me the most was writing the actual historical narrative because it was a fun experience playing around with new sentences. At ﬁrst, I was unable to interview my Grandma because she was so busy all the time, but I overcame it by booking a time for her to come over for a face-‐to-‐face interview. Just a few days ago, I read my personal narrative from September, and found many careless grammar mistakes. I think I improved a lot as a writing after getting suggestions from Ms. Bui, my family, and friends. To future students, I would advice you to listen to your teacher and follow each step they tell you, this might not seem like much but it’s a lot!