Pre-practical questions at the Raffles Museum (then ZRC), 1998

This is the practical where I was finally forced to adopt stations, as enrolment went up in the life sciences in NUS, even as the biodiversity group battled for survival.

The only way to cope on the crammed space was to create stations, and this would come in useful with NSS Guide training and the Chek Jawa public education walks in 2001.

I asked TAs to contribute questions (Station 4 is missing) based on their delivery and edited a compilation for a student handout before the practical which was conducted in the collection area, such a luxury.

We each repeated ourselves at our stations more than 10times. I was at Station 1 (only one with a clear grasp of the history) and it was tiring but mostly enjoyable. I recall a famous group which sucked the life out of me, though. They had some deadly group chemistry and the TAs shared notes later – everyone suffered.

We had not learnt of dementors as yet, nor of patronus’.

Pre-practical questions have to be revived, for sure.
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Bukit Timah foothill map for 1998 practical

D H Murphy provided this sketch for his BL1101 practical at Rifle Range – Bukit Timah on 8th Ictober 1998 (earlier post).

Afterwards, Alvin Wong and I walked to MacRitchie Reservoir with a handful of students which included Zeehan Jaafar, who told us about pangolin roadkills she had seen, with the advent of the BKE.

14 years later, an ecolink is being built to reconnect Bukit Timah with the Central Catchment.

I think we had dinner at Longhouse.

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Called the 1998 practical “the great cattle drive”

This was a Murphy-driven practical for which I created a written guide in recognition of a changing student awareness of biodiversity. This was just before leaving for a decade at the Raffles Museum.

Two pages peppered with scientific names. I use Kent Ridge for first years now and a reduced flora of just ten names. We can probably insist that students remember those ten.

Glad these schedules survived my many moves and decluttering. Food for thought.

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