How FLAME is Different from Quest
Bathrooms do not (only) use toilet paper, instead there is a spray nozzle that one uses after “natural calls” then one dries with toilet paper (if there is any). I’ve never felt so sanitary.
(sign in the city –see last line)
On a more serious note, there are quite a few differences on the FLAME campus compared to Quest.
- There is a gated area that surrounds FLAME. Students must return by 11pm. If they do not, their parents receive an automatic email. If they are away for the night, their parents must inform the school with permission.
- There is a biometrics system, which means our thumb prints allow us to have a tray at meal times, let us in and out of the library, and outside of the gated area that surrounds FLAME.
- Just about all textbooks that students need are provided for them for free either in the library or by the teacher.
- Students are given a print card that allows them more than 200 sheets of pages free.
- There are four “houses” that compete with each other to win points over the course of the year (compared to each floor at Quest competing).
- There are peer mentors instead of floor reps.
- Teachers are referred to by Ma’am or Sir.
- Events are spread primarily via. word of mouth and email. There are a lot less events, especially because schedules differ so greatly (some students have classes on both Saturday and Sunday -therefore 7 days a week) and clubs, which means that they become more concentrated.
- There are numerous cafes on campus that sell food outside of the cafeteria.
liquid-based (melted cheese in the crust) pizza at a cafe on campus
- All food on campus is vegetarian.
- There is no alcohol (or drugs) allowed. Rooms can be searched and students can be breathalyzed if suspected. If you come back from the city, you may also have to take the breathalyzer test. The legal drinking age (of hard alcohol) in India is actually 25, which makes a difference from BC’s age of 19.
- Students are not allowed in the rooms or dorms or buildings of the opposite genders.
- There is no discussion about safe sex. Abstinence is assumed.
- Curfew (in your rooms) is 12:30.
- Sports attendance is mandatory (some of the options include Zumba, horseback riding, swimming that takes place in a pool ON CAMPUS, and golf on a full golf course next to campus).
- There are many wild animals on campus ranging from snakes and frogs to dogs.
It’s not exactly like being on vacation at FLAME, but I do have an entirely different set of criteria to living here. At Quest I am a large part of the community and spend the majority of my time on roles outside of academics. At FLAME I am able to spend my free time playing sports, going to the city, hanging out with friends, doing homework, applying for summer positions/scholarships, or working on Quest things. I have 5 classes instead of 1 at a time, so scheduling becomes more complicated, but the majority of my time so far has just been spent getting accustomed to being here (and working out logistical issues).
I just went through my FB to stop the notifications from the groups I am a part of at Quest and was shocked to note how many there were. Everything from lending/borrowing, food share, lost & found, carpooling, research endeavours, Riverside residence, meditation, etc. It is an amazing reprieve to only pay attention to word of mouth information here.
Teaching is closer to Quest than most schools, definitely schools in India. There are lots of lectures, but also only about 25 students in each class and they ask more questions than I was expecting. The classes I opted for all involve much student discussion and/or questions. However, it is still very much a ‘the teacher has knowledge that you will learn about through listening to them lecture about it’ format, as I’ve found everywhere else besides Quest.
Students are so bright and taught critical thinking early on. In fact, one of my first classes the teacher reminded us not to automatically believe anything others say (including herself). A few classes are similarly interdisciplinary, for example one class I’m taking is called Aesthetics of the Imperfect and it is art theory, philosophy, and critical thinking based (and yesterday we talked about fractals, which brought me back to my foundation math class at Quest). We discuss what imperfection is, especially related to non-western ideas.
Students are slightly more openly grade-conscious here. At Quest students care greatly about their marks as well, but it is talked out of us more than it is at FLAME.
One of the larger problems on campus is students not showing up to class, which makes attendance-taking a part of all classes and sports.
There are quite a number of cliques on campus, many related to hometowns, but people are also so friendly and open to each other and many know their “batches” (incoming class) better than we do at Quest.
I’ve found that the standards of student responsibility and freedom is incredibly different from what I am used to. However, many luxuries are here that we do not have at Quest. For example, students bring their laundry to a location within the housing complex and have 40 of their clothes laundered and ironed as part of their housing costs (not to mention buffet food for four meals a day). It will be an entirely different experience returning home and returning to more independence, but also more responsibility.
Until next time,