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!