Fall Semester at Yale-NUS College finished!

With the end of the Fall semester, I now finally have a bit of time to add some postings for the media platform! Suffice it to say, it has been a busy and very interesting semester – and so busy in fact that I have fallen a bit behind in my postings! ¬†Unlike many of these “media platforms” my goal is to not necessarily document the moment by moment happenings of the semester and work life but instead use the platform as a vehicle for reflection. The educational research has shown how valuable structured reflection can be for learning, and this site is my way of reflecting on experience – and sharing some of the amazing adventures in Singapore with a wider audience.

One aspect of the end of the semester different this year than last is that the end – really was not an end. In other years, I would hand off my grades, and then be off for several weeks – completely unbothered by anyone and free to pursue research, attend a conference or even go on long bike rides. This semester since I have responsibilities coordinating our large Foundations of Science class (with 170 students and 8 professors), directing a Teaching and Learning Center, planning a group of visitors to Yale-NUS next semester, and organizing a conference on innovative undergraduate education at Yale University in June 2016, and a few other projects. This has meant that instead of coming to a complete end, the semester just sort of slowed down a bit as I could then catch up on my many projects. Such is the life of being an administrator I suppose!

Things however have slowed down enough so that I could catch up with my unused painting lessons. This enabled me to finish one piece which in the spirit of “reflection” is shown below. The painting is of a very important site for our family, called Long Lake, near Mammoth Lakes in the California high Sierra. I think having a bit of time for painting too is part of being a fully productive scientist – the way in which I can use other parts of my brain, think about color, and feel some of the lighting and feeling of painting is really a great way to regenerate. I will fill in with some other postings about the events during Fall Semester – this includes the Yale-NUS Campus opening, a number of very interesting meetings on Teaching and Learning with amazing people at NTU, NUS, and SUTD, a week 7 trip to China with a group of Yale-NUS students, and some exciting developments in our Foundations of Science course. More on that later – in the meantime, enjoy the painting!


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