Monday, September 10, 2012

Life at SIM

Block A Atrium
Today my third week of teaching at SIM begins. SIM, called "S-I-M" by Singaporeans and "Sim" by us UB folk, is a management school with a full series of Bachelor of Arts programs created and awarded by UB offered among its other academic tracks. I was hired to teach COM101, the introductory communication course.

These koi clearly know a food
source when they see one.
The campus itself is beautiful, with two huge atriums. One is enclosed and features a massive, glass roof and the other is open to the air and contains, to my glee, a series of koi ponds. When my friend Morgan and I went to explore the campus the Sunday before we started teaching, we were amused that although prolific signs advised people not to feed the koi, the fish actually swam in groups toward us and opened their mouths - literally opened their mouths - above the surface of the water. Don't believe me? Check out the picture.

"Hello Panda"
chocolate cookies
The classrooms are well equipped with technology, wifi internet and speakers, so I can play music as I do when I teach in the States.  My classes range in size from just about 30 to just over 75. The students are wonderful, actively engaged, funny, observant and kind. One of my students brought me these yummy chocolate-filled cookies. It may have ranked among my best days ever.

Amanda, Mary, Mark, Morgan,
Kris, Jes, Chris, Daniel, Dinesh
The campus is alive with activities, both social and academic. One day after lunch, one of my colleagues mentioned that the Management school was having a contest for ice cream marketing campaigns. Naturally, we were all game to go check it out. The students' marketing ideas - ranging from a ball throwing contest whereby hitting a target meant the marketer himself would be doused with water, to a free cotton candy with every ice cream purchase - were inventive and entertaining. We all enjoyed it tremendously - AND there was ice cream!

View from the open-air balcony
outside one of my classrooms
An interesting fact that I did not really take in until I was here is that SIM is more or less plopped right in the middle of jungle terrain.  Birds and crickets fill the air with sound, and the morning bus ride goes past huge trees, vines, palms and other beautiful flora.  This map shows the proximity of SIM to a nature reserve and several large reservoirs. It gives this place a unique environment all of its own.

I am thrilled to have a beautiful office space located on a polytechnic campus right across the road from SIM.  As time goes on, I plan to post about other things I enjoy about day-to-day life at SIM. For now, I'll close this post, as I'm about to leave the office to teach my next session of COM101!


Sandie Lohiser said...

SIM looks like a beautiful campus! You seem like you are enjoying the people there as well! Thanks for a great update!

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