Section B Short Answer Questions (20 points, 2.5 points each)
Directions: In this section, there are four short answer questions following each passage. Answer each question in no more than 50 words in the space provided on the answer sheet.
Graduates from under-privileged background are to challenge the elitism of the barristers’ profession, under plans outlined today. Reforms aimed at challenging the dominance of the rich and privileged classes which are disproportionately represented among the membership of the Bar will tackle the decline in students from poorer backgrounds joining the profession. They include financial assistance as well as measures to end the “intimidating environment” of the barristers chambers which young lawyers must join if they want to train as advocates.
The increasing cost of the Bar and a perception that it is run by a social elite has halted progress in the greater inclusion of barristers from different backgrounds. A number of high-profile barristers，including the prime minister’s wife, Cherie Booth QC, have warned that without changes, the Bar will continue to be dominated by white, middle-class male lawyers.
In a speech to the Social Mobility Foundation think tank in London this afternoon, Geoffrey Vos QC, Bar Council chairman, will say: “The Bar is a professional elite，by which I mean that the Bar’s membership includes the best-quality lawyers practicing advocacy and offering specialist legal advice in many specialist areas. That kind of elitism is meritocratic, and hence desirable.”
“Unfortunately, however, the elitism which fosters the high-quality services that the Bar stands for has also encouraged another form of elitism. That is elitism in the sense of exclusivity, exclusion, and in the creation of a profession which is barely accessible to equally talented people from less privileged backgrounds.”
Last month, Mr. Vos warned that the future of the barristers’ profession was threatened by an overemphasis on posh accents and public school education Mr. Vos said then that people from ordinary backgrounds were often overlooked in favor of those who were from a “snobby” background. People from a privileged background were sometimes recruited even though they were not up to the job intellectually, he added. In his speech today, Mr. Vos will outline the “barriers to entry”, to a career at the Bar and some of the ways in which these may be overcome.
The Bar Council has asked the law lord, Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, to examine how these barriers can be overcome, and he will publish his interim report and consultation paper before Easter. He is expected to propose a placement program to enable gifted children from state schools to learn about the Bar, the courts and barristers at first hand.
The Bar Council is also working towards putting together a new package of bank loans on favorable terms to allow young，aspiring barristers from poorer backgrounds to finance the Bar vocational course year and then have the financial ability to establish themselves in practice before they need to repay.
These loans would be available alongside the Inns of Court’s scholarship and awards programs. Mr. Vos will say today: passionately believe that the professions in general, and the Bar in particular, must be accessible to the most able candidates from any background, whatever their race, gender, or socioeconomic group. The Bar has done well in attracting good proportions of women and racial minorities and we must be as positive in attracting people from all socioeconomic backgrounds. ”
41.What is the “elitism of the barristers’ profession” in the United Kingdom?
42.What are the barriers for graduates from under-privileged families to become barristers?
43.Give a brief summary of Bar Council chairman Geoffrey Vos’s view on elitism of the barrister's profession.
44. What are the measures of reform to help poorer graduates become barristers?
Frustrated by excessive demands at work? Resentful of being passed over for a promotion? Afraid of losing your job? Never fear. A “toxic handler” may be near. Two University of British Columbia researchers poking around at the underside of corporate life have identified this new kind of hero.
“Toxic handlers,” Peter Frost and Sandra Robinson write in the current Harvard Business Review，are employees skilled in removing the “mental toxins” of the modern workplace. The toxic handler—typically a senior manager but not the top boss —listens to troubled colleagues, invents creative solutions, and helps translate “mission impossible” into “mission accomplished”.
And far from being too focused on feelings to get the job done, toxic handlers make a real contribution to the corporate bottom line —if only by helping keep good people from leaving. One example the researchers cite is a computer executive in Europe who was asked to guide a 120- member team, already shell-shocked from downsizing into using as “open concept” office layout. It was a radical idea since the employees were used to private offices.
The executive's approach was simply to listen to his colleagues：“He called himself ‘Big Ears，’”，says Mr. Frost. The transition went smoothly. “The only complaints were that there weren’t enough trash cans,” he says. By combining interpersonal skills with technical competence, toxic handlers such as Mr. “Big Ears” help “manage organizational pain,” Frost adds.
The article is full of metaphors of pain and poison. But it also identifies opportunities for leadership that can be practiced by employees at any level of an organization Frost ticks off four key points that came from his research: “The whole notion that there are people who step in and manage pain; the fact that there’s a lot of pain out there to manage，largely as a result of corporate downsizing; the fact that the people I dealt with (in this research) were not 'bleeding hearts' or human-resources specialists; and that a lot of them got pretty sick.”
It is critical that toxic handlers avoid taking on the pain themselves, say Frost and Robinson. Health-care professionals are typically trained to defend themselves against putting their own health at risk by getting too caught up in their patients’ problems, Frost notes. But toxic handlers in the corporate setting run the same risk of exposure without adequate defense. “Managers get sent in with pop guns and little tin shields” says Frost, when they should be protected “as if they were handling radioactivity. ”
Some toxic handlers might be described simply as office peacemakers. Consider Alexandra, a vice president at a financial institution in New York. She spent half her time as peacemaker among colleagues. The new MBAs coming to work there always came in acting like they owned the world,” she told researchers. “They tended to be pretty arrogant and heavy-handed with the secretaries and clerical workers. They offended them so much that they couldn’t concentrate on their work. So first I had to explain to the staff that these young professionals were... just seriously lacking in interpersonal skills. Then I had to pull the new MBAs into my office and help them understand that being a boss didn’t mean bossing people around.”
Frost’s work on the concept of toxic handlers began when he noticed that he felt particularly run down and burnt out at the end of managing a stint in 1994. Since then, he and Robinson have studied what he calls a “rolling sample” of about 70 toxic handlers in Canada, the United States, Europe, and Australia. By definition, their data are anecdotal, and they have no means of cross-checking their subjects’ stories. But Frost is confident. “We’re onto something with authenticity.” Frost and Robinson insist that toxic handlers are not “enablers” who make it possible for their bosses to get away with bad behavior. But Frost sees the next phase of their research focusing on “the role of the toxic handlers in educating toxic bosses in order to improve the situation.
45.What is a toxic handler? Who can work as a toxic handler?
46.What is the significance of the promotion of the concept “toxic handler”？ Who first started the study on this concept?
47.Explain briefly the four key points raised by Mr. Frost from his research.
48. Tell the meaning of the following metaphors used in the passage.
(a)“He called himself ‘Big Ears’. ’’（para. 4)
(b)“…the people I dealt with.… were not ‘ bleeding hearts’ or…” (para. 5)
(c)“Managers get sent in with popguns and little tin shields…”（para. 6)
(d)“…as if they were handling radioactivity…”（para. 6)
Part III Writing (30 points)
“A formal education is nothing more than the relentless revelation of one’s own ignorance.”
Discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim made above. In developing your position, address some reasons or examples that might be used to challenge your point of view. Around 400 words long.