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Academic exchanges at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey (7)

author: Lin Lexuan Date: 2023-11-03 View:

It's a very fulfilling and rewarding time. Of the two weeks of the course, the most memorable sessions for me were the Normative Ethics and the Academic English Workshop Session Three.

Professor Trip McCrossin's course on normative ethics was very insightful, and the analysis of the tramway problem in the course gave me a lot of food for thought. Although I had already studied ethics and encountered the Trolley Problem in my domestic courses, I had not categorised and thought about the Trolley Problem in such detail. In the class, Professor McCrossin asked us to make our own choices and state our reasons. Under the guidance of the professor and in the communication with my classmates, I gradually discovered that there are more ethical issues and different ethical positions hidden in the tram problem, and that through the tram problem, we can link up different ethical claims such as deontological theory and consequentialist theory as well as a series of important ethical concepts. This way of learning made me more impressed with both the intellectual content and the method of thinking and arguing.

In the Academic English Workshop Session Three, Prof Rivera led the class to delve into American writer Elizabeth Acevedo's novel in verse, The Poet X, and intensively read four of its poems. These poems gave us a taste of Latino American life and culture. In one of the poems, Professor Rivera used the poem "Names" as a starting point to lead the students to think about and discuss the meanings of their own Chinese and English names in the context of their own experiences. We shared each other's Chinese and English names and their stories, and realised that everyone's name carries a unique meaning. The difference between Chinese and English names prompted us to think about culture and identity. It also prompted us to think about how we can communicate with other cultures and connect with others while maintaining our individuality in a diverse and culturally intertwined world. Meanwhile, in this English course, we also practiced our English speaking and reading skills, learnt how to appreciate English poetry, and savoured the symbols and metaphors in English literature.