December 31, 2013
Before I tell you why I got an A in your class, I’d like to reminisce the first day of class. It’s always good to see where you began to appreciate how you got to where you are now.
I came to the first day of class, expecting what would be a typical ethics course. Supposedly it should add value to my personal conduct as an engineer and make me a responsible future engineer who is in tune with societal issues and one who designs for sustainability. I’ve had other ethics courses before, but memorizing a list from a textbook wasn’t really all that memorable.
However, your mouse trap fetish on the first day did make an indelible impression on me, and as I had hoped, you didn’t let my expectations down for the whole term in terms of serving up new perspectives and interesting lessons. My experience in your class was indeed a memorable one, if not, a personally life changing one. It certainly made me think about a lot more issues that didn’t occur to me to think about. It was interesting to see how these diverse issues finally tie in together like puzzle pieces at the end of the day to what makes up the society today. It was amazing to see how small things you’d shrug off or took for granted add up. This had made me perhaps a little bit more mindful of my actions and more appreciative of the people and the resources around me. I don’t dare say that I now know how the world works after this course, but it did help me understand it a little more from different perspectives, which was refreshing and a much needed change.
I didn’t only get an A in your class because I did all your assignments and handed them in on time, nor because I attended all your classes. I got an A in your class because I made an effort to internalize the lessons. I made an effort to make every moment I spent in the class to be meaningful, although I had initially said that my expectations of the class was “I’d wanted a break from engineering once a week”. This class surely had to make a meaningful impact on me, before I could make a meaningful impact to the rest of the society. Thank you, Joel, for giving me the opportunity to be part of a wonderful unconventional classroom experience.