Friday, September 4, 2015

Sweet on Singaore

A city with stunning architecture
and green spaces
Singapore feels like a home away from home. We used to come for a month or more every second summer, traveling 20-24 hours. Now it's not far, less than a 2-hour flight from Bandung.

When I don't write daily, I forget the details. Here are the highlights:

  • W and I have great students. They come from all over Africa and Asia. Our typical schedule:
*8 - prep or chapel
*8:30 - class starts*10 - break. We grab breakfast in one of the fabulous stalls at a food court. Typically, W and I enjoy roti prata (fried pancake bread) with chicken curry sauce
10:30-ish - students wander back slowly after eating. We start when we have critical mass. I used to rush into lessons but the culture doesn't benefit from it or embrace strict time-keeping after meals.
*11-1:30 - with a break or two between, we plow through as much information as the students can bear. I augment lectures with work in small groups and individually, in the classroom or library for those who aren't online.
*2-ish - we've wrapped up the classroom and eat lunch nearby or go back to the flat.
As always, the food is amazing. Noodles and duck
Mutton murtabak: a lamb omlette
  • My class contains a mixed academic group: 3 masters, 7 bachelor, and 11 intern students. Everyone gets the same information but the assignments are ranked. Oh my, a lot of grading lies ahead - 21 students and nearly 100 assignments!!! This is the only way they have time to do the work (day by day) and the only way I can measure their progress.
  • Each night, I edit and review the presentation for the next day. (No shopping or relaxing time yet.) Kirsten and W go out together and leave me to work.
  • Teaching a subject for the first time requires a lot of prep. The students are wonderful, regardless of the course. But until I'm in class and see who's sitting there, I fight and wrestle with the information. 
  • With eager students, the information gels into tight organization. We're on our way.This course (Hermeneutics - or text interpretation) didn't grab me at the start. That happened with Research Methodology, a similar info/organizational slog the first time teaching it. 
  • Each time a course is repeated, the information itself is more fun. W's teaching courses he's taught for 10-20 years. However, what I've taught before is often not the subject students need at a particular site. That means tons of prep, but also great learning experiences as I explore and collate info in new ways. (And it means I have another course or two prepped to teach in the future.) 
  • Having colleagues all over the world helps a lot. They know their specialties and share the latest research and textbooks that help students most. This time, my biggest shout-out is to Augustine Pagolu! THANK YOU for sharing your expertise, research, and info.
  • We celebrate 38 years of marriage on Thursday. At morning break, one of W's students brings us 3 roses (meaning: "I ... love ... you"). Sweet. They bloom all week in our flat.
  • Rosalind, a lovely former student and outstanding volunteer, takes us and our daughter for a Singapore invention: chili crab. We sit outside, tropical breezes cooling the skin as we enjoy excellent food and great company. It's a meal to remember!
Thanks for making the day more special, Rosalind.
  • Kirsten is here with us. She finds the same Chinese doc in the same Chinatown office after 2 years. The doc brews Chinese herbal meds for K's arthritis. Those work in conjunction with traditional Western meds.
  • Friday, the staff celebrates Teachers Day by treating us to lunch: they buy pizza and say thank you. It's touching: we accept on behalf of the many lecturers who come from across the world to teach here.
The fine staff at ATC
  • I'm tired. W walks 6 miles through the city while K and I sit on the couch and watch a few episodes of a Korean drama. It's hardly a spiritual exercise ... except that it gives me time to rest and regroup my energy.
  • Saturday morning excitement is catch-up and laundry. The cleaning lady did not come this week and gradually we're working through the "stuff" in the flat. We plan to get to town for lunch.

Read more:
*May God continue to bless us; let all the ends of the earth revere him. Psalm 67:7 ESV

*Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey. Zechariah 9:9 NKJV

*Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12 NIV

*He, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave. Philippians 2:6–7 ESV

*Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you. 2 Timothy 1:13-14 ESV

*You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created. Revelation 4:11 ESV

Moravian Prayer: Creator and Sustainer of all, we are awed and blessed by all you have made. May the whole of creation, to the ends of the earth, praise you forever! 

Servant God, help us remember that you sent your Son to lead through humility, not might. Give us the desire to serve, not to be served. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment