Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Going into perfection

Spirit manusia itu terkontaminasi dengan "kotoran" begitu dia dilahirkan di dunia ini. Orang beragama menyebutnya "dosa" - yang diturunkan turun-temurun dan gak pernah habis. Jadi sejak manusia lahir, walaupun physically keliatan bersih, tapi spirit-nya udah terkontaminasi. That's explain kenapa anak kecil cenderung self-centered, bisa bohong walopun nggak pernah ada yang ngajarin. Simply karena spiritnya terkontaminasi dari orang tuanya yang imperfect.

Spirit ini memengaruhi pikiran, dan pikiran memengaruhi tindakan. Tindakan yang dilakukan, juga akan memengaruhi spirit. Jadi seperti mata rantai, spirit yang kotor - memengaruhi pikiran untuk menghasilkan ide2 yang busuk - dan ketika ide busuk itu dilakukan, maka spirit akan semakin terkontaminasi, lalu kembali memengaruhi pikiran, kemudian dilakukan... begitu seterusnya... (Lalu muncullah istilah "ikatan dosa"... Tapi never mind tentang "ikatan dosa")

I came to conclusion that nobody's perfect, kecuali dia dilahirkan dari Perfect-seed (Perfect-spirit) dan dia mampu maintain his-clean-spirit.

So, here we are... Living in an imperfect world and interact with imperfect people... Hasilnya? Konflik, permusuhan, perselisihan, prasangka buruk, negative judgement... Semua karena satu alasan, we're imperfect people. Kalo ada konflik, lalu di-trace back apa penyebabnya, pasti ketemunya karena ekspektasi seseorang terhadap orang lain nggak sebanding. Yang satu expect "A", yang lain melakukan "B".

I have to admit:
  • As a friend, I'm an imperfect friend... (saya bisa cuek dengan teman saya, saya bisa nggak ramah ke teman saya ketika mood saya jelek, i can't maintain my smile all the time, saya bisa egois, saya bisa jengkel, walaupun saya mati2an menahan diri untuk nggak ngomong jelek, saya bisa keceplosan ngomong jelek tentang orang lain).
  • As a husband-gonna-be, I'm also imperfect... (saya bisa nggak care, perkataan saya bisa menyakitkan hati, i can't maintain romantic situation all the time)
  • As a lecturer, I'm reallllyy... realllly imperfect lecturer... (saya bisa dan berpotensi berbuat tidak adil dalam memperlakukan mahasiswa saya, tindakan dan kata2 saya bisa membuat jengkel mahasiswa saya, apa yang saya ajarkan juga bisa banyak kekurangannya karena kebodohan dan ketidak-tahuan saya, cara mengajar saya bisa membuat mahasiswa terkantuk-kantuk karena bosan setengah mati - atau muak, dan saya juga bisa nggak suka dengan mahasiswa yang melakukan tindakan2 tertentu - lalu secara jelas menunjukkan hal itu kepada mahasiswa tersebut)
  • As a part of an (imperfect) organization, I'm imperfect staff... (saya bisa datang terlambat dari jam seharusnya, saya bisa membuat sakit hati rekan saya, saya kesulitan maintain good relationship with all-my-colleagues all the time, saya bisa menyalahi prosedur yang ditetapkan).
Tapi imperfection ini nggak bisa jadi alasan untuk kita melakukan hal2 yang nggak bener. Dunia akan rusak jika kita menggunakan alasan ketidaksempurnaan untuk melakukan hal2 negatif. All we have to do is going into perfection... Sedikit demi sedikit (atau langsung banyak) mengurangi kontaminasi spirit of imperfection... That's human being is all about... Selalu belajar untuk menjadi semakin baik.

Closing part
Sebagai apapun, saya manusia yang tidak sempurna - dan nggak akan pernah sempurna (karena spirit yang terkontaminasi tadi). Jika kata maaf dapat mewakili untuk menebus ketidaksempurnaan saya, saya akan katakan dengan tulus: maaf kepada teman-teman saya, maaf kepada my wife-gonna-be, maaf kepada mahasiswa saya, maaf kepada rekan2 kerja saya, maaf kepada orang tua saya.



Friday, December 18, 2009

Fulbright vs. Dikti

Last week, I was interviewed for my Ph. D scholarship application by Dikti (Indonesian Ministry for Higher Education). I knew the interview schedule last minute before the D-Day - Friday evening, one of my colleague texted me - and Saturday morning, 8.30am, I was in Surabaya for an interview.

I'd love to compare - head to head - about my first experience interviewed by Fulbright (that conducted by AMINEF/American Indonesian Exchange Foundation) and my second experience interviewed by Dikti. For those who pursue scholarship, you're gonna love it!
  1. Fulbright dengan sopan mengirim surat undangan resmi kepada para kandidatnya, baik melalui email maupun mengirim langsung surat undangan ke alamat kandidatnya. They also phoned me, asking for confirmation either the I could attend the interview or not. Pengiriman surat dilakukan 1 bulan sebelum hari-H interview, lengkap dengan alamat dan jadwal interview. Meanwhile, Dikti memberikan pengumuman melalui website resminya H-4 dalam format Ms-Excel. Tidak ada surat undangan baik melalui email, surat langsung ataupun telepon. Jika kolega saya tidak meng-SMS saya, most probably I'll miss the interview.
  2. I noticed only 5 candidates interviewed by the Fulbright comittee at that time, while Dikti got 46 candidates attend the interview (out of 67 candidates), baik dari S2 maupun S3 khusus dosen.
  3. Fulbright memberikan jadwal interview Pk. 10.30 - 11.00 dan tepat Pk 10.30, I'm called to go into the interview room and the interview starts. Exactly at 11.00, interview ends. Dikti scheduled the interview at 8.30am, and I go into the interview room at 3.30pm. Cuma selisih 7 jam - dan trust me... mereka (para dosen) yang menunggu giliran interview, "ngentang", doing nothing but chit-chat with others... Padahal ini orang2 pintar yang kalau waktu menunggunya dibuat untuk research atau publikasi, pasti udah menghasilkan karya-karya yang bisa dibanggakan Indonesia. Saya juga terjebak ngentang di sana selama 7 jam (beruntung saya bawa buku untuk bisa saya baca).
  4. Interviewer Fulbright adalah 2 orang bule dan 1 orang Indonesia. Mereka bertanya tentang topik research dan rencana ke depan setelah saya menyelesaikan studi. Interviewer Dikti ada 2 orang Indonesia yang lebih cenderung menanyakan seberapa siap (both mentally and intellectually) saya berangkat. They're very nice people, not so intimidating... I think I'm just lucky, because in the other tables, the interviewer quite intimidating.
  5. Interviewer Fulbright said nothing about my chance to get the scholarship, while Dikti's interviewers said, "in this table, you're the best among the others" in the end.
  6. After interview, Fulbright gave some money to cover the transportation cost, while Dikti provided some snacks to make sure we're not faint during the long-waiting-time.
  7. Fulbright program tidak mensyaratkan ikatan kerja, sementara untuk aplikasi beasiswa Dikti, ada syarat ikatan kerja di Universitas asal selama 2N+1 (N adalah lama studi). Jadi jika berhasil menyelesaikan studi 3.5 tahun, maka ikatan kerja di Universitas asal adalah 8 tahun. Saya siap melepaskan beasiswanya jika ikatan 2N+1 diberlakukan secara ketat untuk bekerja Senin-Jumat, 08.00-17.00 (mending beasiswa dilepas dan jadi dosen LB).
Jadi, begitulah... My Doctorate Journey still going to take looooonggg time.




Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fulbright

My Fulbright application failed. Hiks...

I won't give up...
Ph. D before 35.
Professor before 40.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Chronological and Physiological Age

We, as human beings, have both chronological and physiological age. Chronological age is determined by the year you are born. Since I was born in 1978, this year, 2009, my chronological age is 31. Thanks God for that.

In the other side, physiological age means mechanical, physical, and biochemical functions of your body. People could have same chronological age and yet have totally different physiological age. For instance, I know people in their chronological age of 20, but his body functions, works and looks like people in the age of 30. His physiological age is older than his chronological age.

And I more than thanks to God for my physiological age. People often deceived by my outward appearance. They often think that I am 20 something - even better, they think that I'm a college or high school student. Cool!

Jadi ada dualisme dalam hidup saya. Ketika saya berbicara dengan orang lain, menyampaikan pendapat, atau mengajar di depan publik, orang akan melihat usia kronologis saya yang sebenarnya... Bahwa kata-kata yang saya gunakan, bukanlah kata-kata college ato high school student - tapi kata-kata orang dewasa yang berusia 30 something.

Dan somehow, usia fisiologi saya, yang sekitar 20 something, membuat saya untuk punya kemampuan fisik seperti halnya mereka yang punya usia kronologis 20 (college or high school student).

Nah, yang menentukan manusia meninggal ato hidup, bukan umur kronologis, tapi umur fisiologis. That's why ada yang orang tetap sehat di usia (kronologis) 70an atau kelihatan lemah fisiknya di usia (kronologis) 50an. The good news is while chronological age CAN'T BE reversed, the physiological age CAN BE reversed. Iya, umur fisiologis dapat dikembalikan - atau setidaknya diperlambat agar tidak berbanding lurus dengan umur kronologis. Dengan demikian, kita bisa punya umur kronologis yang panjang namun keadaan fisiologis yang baik - ini yang diinginkan semua orang. Buat apa umur kronologis yang panjang tapi keadaan fisiologi kacau balau, sakit-sakitan, organ-organ tertentu sudah tidak berfungsi... Hidup jadi sia-sia.

Jadi, bagaimana supaya jalannya umur fisiologis ini diperlambat? Agar sementara our chronological age bertambah terus, tapi our mechanical, physical, and biochemical functions of our body keep stable in doing their task? Caranya sederhana, yaitu melalui gaya hidup - both physical and spiritual.

In physical realm, memperhatikan siklus tidur dan memperhatikan pola makan itu penting. I rarely eat all kind of meat (chicken, beef or pork). Kalo misalnya di suatu resepsi pernikahan ada sajian berbagai makanan, lalu tersedia makanan daging dan sayur, yang saya pilih pasti sayur. Kalau ada pilihan minuman softdrink (bersoda) dengan air putih, saya akan langsung ambil air putih. Kalau di meja ada buah segar, saya akan pastikan -seberapa pun kenyangnya- untuk makan buah segar tersebut. Siklus tidur 6-8jam hari juga sangat penting. Yang dimulai pada pk. 10-12 malam, nggak lebih.

Spiritual realm is more important than physical realm. Because the spiritual realm can directly influencing and shaping the physical realm. Relationship with the most HIGH GOD, That Perfect Entity must be done DAILY trough prayer and meditating His Words. This is how our spirit gets refresh and renew every day, yang somehow akan memperbaiki mechanical and chemical funtions in our body (I've experienced it by myself). You have to do this in fully consciousness - dalam kesadaran penuh - bahwa kita berdoa, be-relasi with the most high GOD.

Also, di dimensi spirit ini, membenci, dendam, marah, bersifat egois, menindas orang lain dan menang sendiri definitely merupakan cara-cara terbaik untuk mempercepat menambah umur fisiologis - membuat organ-organ tubuh lebih cepat tua dari seharusnya. Tapi dengan memberi, murah hati, memaafkan, berkorban, rendah hati, tersenyum dengan tulus, dan bersyukur merupakan cara tepat untuk memperlambat (atau bahkan membalik) usia fisiologis menjadi tetap muda.

Pilihan ada di tangan kita. Usia kronologis nggak bisa distop (setidaknya untuk saat ini), tapi kita bisa mengontrol usia fisiologis kita.

Mau?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Menantangnya GRE - Verbal Section

Tengah malam dan saya masih belum mengantuk.

Belajar GRE (Graduate Records Examinations) itu benar-benar sebuah tantangan, khususnya bagi mereka yang menyukai bidang verbal (a.k.a: bahasa; bahasa pemrograman juga boleh dimasukkan). Nggak tau gimana ceritanya kok GRE ini sampe dijadikan test masuk standard untuk yang pingin ngelanjutkan ke S2 ato S3 di Amrik... Di Indonesia, namanya berubah jadi TPA ato Tes Potensi Akademik - yang wajib diikuti sebagai syarat masuk S2, S3 ato ngelamar pegawai negeri, tentu ya dalam bahasa Indonesia.

Ada 3 section dalam bentuk multiple choice yang diujikan, dan yang paling menantang adalah verbal section.

Perintah di verbal section ini sederhana kok... Ada bagian yang diminta untuk melengkapi titik-titik dengan kata(-kata) yang tepat, lalu mencari padanan kata serta mencari lawan kata. Gampang to? Lha wong lawan kata itu kan sudah dipelajari sejak kelas 2SD... panjang: pendek, murah: mahal, padat: cair... Lalu kok ya tega-teganya itu dijadikan sebagai standard masuk S2 dan S3? Nggak kegampangen ta Mas/Mbak pembuat soal? Hehe2... kalo lawan kata yang ecek-ecek ya nggak seru... Gimana kalo mencari lawan kata dari: Quandary, Divest, Recant, Banality, Eschew, Belie, Impudent, Profuse, Inchoate, Gaucheness, Coda, Macerate, Impugn, Capricious, Tortous, Tout, Irascible dan teman-temannya? Mantap gan...! (Jadi ya nggak pernah muncul itu lawan kata dari: short, fast, liquid, fire dan sejenisnya).

Ngelengkapi titik-titiknya juga bener-bener menantang, misalnya:
"The proponents of of recombinant DNA research have decided to ... federal regulation of their work; they hope that by making this compromise they can forestall proposed state and local controls that might be even stiffer."
a. protest
b. institute
c. deny
d. encourage
e. disregard

Kalo kepepet bisa dijawab pake dadu yang punya 5 sisi (ada ya?).

Jadi ya gitu... Belajar GRE terutama di verbal section, harus menggali sampe akar katanya (yang kebanyakan dari bahasa latin). Misalnya Quandary, yang asal katanya Quando... Lalu jadi inget lagunya Michael Buble, "Quando Quando Quando" yang artinya "Kapan Kapan Kapan", di liriknya ada kalimat "Tell me when will you be mine. Tell me quando quando quando...", yang artinya keseluruhan lagunya adalah "Kapan ya kamu bisa jadi milikku..." Jadi kalo nyari lawan kata dari Quandary mesti fokus pada kata yang menyatakan suatu waktu yang pasti (certain). Ato mencari lawan kata dari Irascible. "Ira" adalah bahasa Latin dari "marah", lalu dari sini muncul kata yang bisa lebih diingat, yaitu "Irritate" (iritasi - suatu respon aktif dengan konotasi negatif, misalnya iritasi mata). Jadi lawan katanya adalah seputar "sifat yang tenang dan tidak meledak-ledak". Lalu kebanyakan prefiks "A" menunjukkan "without", misalnya "amoral", "atheist", "anonymous", "apathy", "anomaly", "agnostic" dan sebagainya.

Nah, belajar GRE Verbal section dengan cara menggali akar kata itu yang seru dan menantang - khususnya bagi seorang penulis yang pengen nilai GRE-nya setinggi mungkin agar bisa diterima di Universitas Amrik, tepatnya Purdue University yang punya Lab Biomedical terlengkap dan tercanggih di dunia...!

Butuh perjuangan... Itu sebabnya, sudah tengah malam dan saya masih belum mengantuk... a small step of my doctorate journey.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Friday, 11:42a

It was Friday, 11:42a.

It was a clear afternoon and also end of the month. A day that probably, most of employee will love it (what could have been more fun for an employee than having the salary transfered into his account in the weekend? Perfect day for shopping). But, never mind about the shopping-day...

As you might probably notice, I am waiting for the result of my scholarship application. I presume that nobody loves waiting, including me. Especially what I am waiting is something that uncertain. I don't know how and when it's going to be.

So, ya, it was Friday, 11:42a.

The weather is perfect. The wind blew softly trough my private room's window. I was alone, sitting in front of my computer, checking mail and doing some stuffs simultaneously. I felt a bit excited because it's weekend. I've planned to write some articles tonight and thinking to write one or two postings for my blog. For me, perfect weekend means a weekend without any disturbance... and I can sense that this weekend is going to be a perfect weekend. But, I was wrong.

And exactly on Friday, 11:42a, something unexpected came to change my "going-to-be-perfect-weekend".

An email notification pop-up in the system tray... In a glance I saw the subject contain the word "Fulbright", a word that probably has been a-most-focusing-word for me for the last 2 months (beside "dikti-scholarship"). I quickly opened the mail and... it took 3 seconds only to realize that it was an invitation letter for an interview, the mail I've been waiting for the last 2 months! They considering me for an interview regarding my scholarship application...!

Yes, it was Friday, 11:42a, when I received that invitation letter. A few seconds later, I read it more carefully.

"Dear Mr. Swastika:

I am pleased to inform you that the Fulbright scholarship selection committee has finished their review...
"

--------

30 Minutes earlier...

There were 9 of them, 7 lecturers and 2 headships of the University. They were debating about choosing the best head of Information System (IS) Study Program, that going to lead IS Study Program in Universitas M* C** for the next 2 years. It's a prestigious position, thou, especially in this new-and-promising-university, UMC.

There were only two candidates left. Both of them felt that they're not capable enough to be the head of IS Study Program. Both of them had strong reasons why they're not suppose to be the head of IS Study Program. It stuck, seemed no way out. The headship tried to challenge them to have the courage to step and lead, for the sake of the students... Yet, they both remain silent before finally one of them, decide to discuss with the other privately, outside the meeting room. Couple minutes have passed. Nobody knew what the conversation all about... And when they both entered the meeting room, everybody in the room guessed that the decision have been made. Everybody thought that they both agree who's going to be the head of IS.

But their decision is quite suprising... "We decided... " He paused for a while, "Let the headship decide... We both will support whatever the decision."

The headship a bit shocked with the decision, it's unexpected decision. She thinks for a moment before finally she says... "Both of you are qualified leader. But for Pak...", she mentioned a reason that one of them, is actually going to continue his study overseas, which will make him difficult to be the head of IS Program Study... She continues, "...and if you giving back the decision, I will choose...". And the next 3 minutes, the meeting is over. Universitas M* C** already has the new head of IS Program Study.

30 Minutes later, after the meeting, the new Elected-Head of IS Study Program was in his room, preparing for Friday praying, while the unelected one (which the room is located right beside him) was sitting in front of his computer. A bit excited about the weekend and his planning for this weekend. And... exactly at 11:42a, he's reading an email that change his going-to-be-perfect-weekend.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Failed!

It's July and no news from Monbukagakusho scholarship. I think I can say that it's unsuccessful...

Third strike... And I won't give up.

Ph. D before 35. Professor before 40.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Lecturer of the Year

I wrote this short posting last year and it was never published. But now, after it's over, I boldly publish it.
———————
July 2008:
I was awarded as Lecturer of the year 2008. I, then remember a quote from a famous movie long time ago…
Uncle Ben: “Remember, with great power. comes great responsibility“. [Spiderman, 2002]
Awarded as LOTY 2008 doesn’t mean having great power, but I sense that the same level of responsibility comes like having great power. It’s not easy, thou.
——————
This year, 2009, the award for Lecturer of The Year 2009 goes to my other colleagues. They deserve it… I’m happy for them. I’m also happy that everything is perfect… All the awards go to whoever it supposes to be awarded.
Congratulation for everybody at UMC who win the award. You are the man…!
(dan saya sungguh menikmati bahwa akhirnya semua berakhir dengan indah dan seperti sebagaimana mestinya…)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Posisi

Saya nggak pernah bisa cocok dengan dunia kerja yang penuh politik. Saya nggak bisa tahan di sebuah organisasi di mana persetongkolan dan intrik terjadi demi keamanan dan keselamatan posisi masing-masing.
  1. Ada yang berani menjegal teman sendiri agar dia bisa dipromosikan. Kalo emang perlu difitnah ya go ahead... Dia ngatur strategi dengan manis agar dianya looks good dan temennya looks bad di depan bos. (semoga saya nggak ketemu dengan orang jenis ini atopun kalo sampe ketemu, semoga saya nggak nyadar bahwa dia sedang ngelakukan itu, daripada saya ilfeel seumur hidup dengan dia). Mari kita sebut orang ini dengan sebutan Jenis Licik.
  2. Ada yang mau enaknya sendiri. Karena ngerasa sudah punya pangkat dan posisi, jadi nggak mau repot... " Lah buat apa juga repot, lah wong yang bawah bisa disuruh-suruh. Kalo nggak mau disuruh-suruh ya jangan jadi bawahan..." Kira-kira gitu prinsipnya. Mari kita sebut dia sebagai Jenis MohRepot.
  3. Ada yang merangkak dari bawah. Mulainya dari 0, lalu kerja keras sampe dia akhirnya punya posisi yang enak. Setelah posisinya enak, ya emang enak... Tapi terus lupa kalo dulu mulai dari 0. Emang gue pikirin ya? Yang penting kan sekarang gua udah enak... Loe mau jungkir balik kerja ekstra keras, ya urusan loe sama bapak loe! Yang satu ini mari kita juluki Jenis YangPentingEnak.
  4. Ada juga yang udah punya posisi. Terus kalo sampe ada yang nggak bisa support dia, ya dia akan keluarkan jurus "hajar bleh!"... Jangan sampe posisi gua ilang (ato gua keliatan jelek di mata pimpinan) gara-gara loe. (Ya iyalah, masak nama gua tercemar gara-gara orang yang nggak isa kerja, yang bener aja... Nama gua harus sempurna di depan Bos, ngerti!!?). Mari kita sebut dia dengan Jenis YangPentingNama.
  5. Ada juga yang kalo ngeliat orang kerja ekstra keras, dalam hatinya senyum2 sambil mencibir "hihihi... keesian deh loee... kerja abis2an pagi-siang-malem tp posisi cmn segitu2 aja... Pinter dikit dong kayak gua...". Yang satu ini mari kita juluki Jenis HowPathetic.
Yah, emang pada sebuah organisasi akhirnya orang akan mengejar posisi dan/atau uang. Nggak bisa disalahkan, ada latar belakang yang men-drive mereka untuk berbuat seperti itu, misalnya keluarga, ambisi pribadinya, kebutuhan sehari-hari, mengikuti gaya hidup atau mengejar status sosial yang lebih baik.
(Dan, please... jangan mengira saya sedang membicarakan lingkungan kerja saya ya... di lingkungan kerja saya itu baik-baik)
Yang saya tanyakan ke diri saya, seandainya di tahun-tahun ke depan saya dapat posisi tertentu apa bakal jadi salah satu dari jenis itu? Mungkin juga, siapa yang tahu...? Saya kan juga manusia yang nggak kebal godaan (itu sebabnya kalo di doa Bapa Kami ada, "... dan janganlah masukkan kami ke dalam pencobaan...")

But I seriously pray to my God to give me neither position nor high salary if it will only take the name of my God in vain. Kalo posisi tertentu bakal membuat saya mencemarkan nama Tuhan, ya lebih baik saya gak punya posisi itu.

Jauhkanlah dari padaku kecurangan dan kebohongan. Jangan berikan kepadaku kemiskinan atau kekayaan. Biarkanlah aku menikmati makanan yang menjadi bagianku.
Supaya, kalau aku kenyang, aku tidak menyangkal-Mu dan berkata: Siapa TUHAN itu? Atau, kalau aku miskin, aku mencuri, dan mencemarkan nama Allahku.
Ams 30:8-9

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Compassionate, Loving and Caring

For years, I've doubted if there's someone that has those 3 characters naturally. I, myself, must struggle very hard to guard my heart, control myself when tempted to gossiping or saying something bad about other people, I must discipline myself to sincerely help other people even if they gives no benefit for me. Why? Ya, simply because those characters are not my nature. That's why I must discipline myself.

For most of us, loving someone is easy when s/he gives benefit for us. Caring for other people looks fun when those people are our (future) client (that most probably give future benefit for us). Or when we care about other people, if we really ask our heart, may be we'll find that actually we seek praise for ourself. We easily love and care to other people if we think that what we do for them is worth and we know that we will have greater benefit from it. I called it: "unsincerity".

I almost believe that only angel that can love and help sincerely... unfortunately angels are not real, I mean, they help and they go, out of reach... there's no way I can make any continous contact... Until I meet her.

This girl is incredibly loving and caring girl. She might not know about the theory of love, philosophy of love, 5 love language by Dr. Gary Chapman or graduate from seminary, theology or Bible School. But the way she loves and cares to other people are truly, I mean, TRULY sincere.

She knows when to help other people. Despite her relatively-low-salary, she gives her money away just to give to the needy-people... She does not care whether she will get the benefit or no, she just does it anyway. Sincere, from her heart.

She might not know about literature, flowery poetry, love words, but she easily shows deep emphaty and say nice-comforting-words in the right time. Sincere, from her heart... not artificial... and she does all that without even think, she does it naturally. She loves and cares naturally. She seems born as a compassionate, loving and caring girl. And the good news, last time I saw her, she was human being, can be easily contacted by phone or sms and the most important, she stays in small-peaceful-city, called Malang (later on I don't really care if she were angel-in-disguise).

So, I met this angel, eh this girl, 2 years ago... And I can't stop myself not to admire her... She's beautifully-inside-out, naturally. For the last 6 months, I have had a privelege to get closer with her. Her sincerity simply melt my heart and... I'm proudly introduce her in this blog as An-Angel-That-Melt-My-Heart (AATMMH).

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

How it feels to be a genius?

Saya tidak dapat menahan diri saya untuk bertanya dalam hati bagaimana rasanya menjadi jenius? Bagaimana rasanya menjadi seseorang yang multi-talenta?

Bagaimana rasanya punya otak yang kecepatan berhitung dan analisanya di atas normal sekaligus mampu mengkoordinasi jari-jari tangan untuk bermain piano, biola atau gitar dan menghasilkan nada yang indah? Bagaimana jika dalam otak sama itu juga mampu merangkai kata-kata menjadi sebuah tulisan yang sangat memikat? Lalu bagaimana jika melalui otak yang sama, mampu dihasilkan karya seni seperti lukisan, fotografi, dan masakan yang lezat (ya, "dan", bukan "atau")? Otak yang sama tersebut, juga mampu mengkoordinasi gerakan tubuh dengan sempurna sehingga gerakan-gerakan tubuh seperti lari, senam, ataupun berenang yang dilakukan adalah gerakan-gerakan yang nyaris sempurna tanpa cacat.

I know few of them. Saya pernah menanyakan ke yang bersangkutan, bagaimana rasanya menjadi jenius seperti itu. Tapi saya tidak mendapatkan jawaban yang memuaskan, karena dia pikir dia juga sama dengan yang lain. Ya, whatever the answer, for me, they are special!

Tetap saja saya struggling dengan pertanyaan: how it feels to have a head with such brain inside? Bagaimana rasanya punya kepala dengan otak semacam itu di dalamnya? I mean, s/he can do almost all things that human beings have learned for the last centuries, sports, math, music, art, drawing, computer... (saya nyaris berpikir bahwa mereka adalah spesies yang lahir beberapa puluh tahun lebih awal)

Saat melihat (membaca, mendengar atau menikmati) karya-karyanya, saya benar-benar nyaris tidak bisa memercayai bahwa itu semua berasal dari 1 otak yang sama - 1 pribadi yang sama - 1 identitas yang sama. Wow!

Dan pada akhirnya, sayapun tidak bisa menahan untuk semakin kagum dengan penciptaNya - what a great privelege if we can serve and do something for HIS Kingdom?

(This posting is dedicated to a few genius friends I've ever knew, to a few students I've ever have, and... to a 14-years-old-bright-and-talented-little-girl I teach now, OsL).

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Yes, I am waiting

It's been a while since I posted my last posting. Yes, I am waiting for something.

Sending 3 scholarship applications makes my daily life a bit out-of-normal-pace. It goes up and down. Sometimes I am quite sure that one of them will put my name as one of the grantee - it's just a matter of time. But another time, I'm afraid that I failed, then must start everything from scratch... many times I feel so desperately waiting for the result (I'm curious, why do they need months to do the preliminary selection).

The result will shape the future... and I am waiting.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Nggak Selalu Mulus

They announced the scholarship nominees... And my name was not there. It was my 2nd strike after failed in ADS Application.

Iya, getting scholarship for doctorate is not as easy as flipping hand. I failed in Depkominfo scholarship Application (but, still thanks to mBak Lily who gave the Depkominfo Scholarship information in the first place - kalo ada info lagi, bagi2 ya Mbak). In the next 6 weeks, I will try to apply the Dikti and Fulbright scholarship.

Nggak selalu mulus emang... Tapi I'll keep PUSH-ing -- (P)ray (U)ntil (S)omething (H)appen...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Just Beat It, beibeh...!

Menunggu itu nggak enak. Saya dua minggu ini nunggui hasil test iBT TOEFL saya. Setiap kali buka personal page saya, selalu deg2an. Soalnya pas test itu saya ngerasa nggak well perform. Ada banyak missed bukan karena nggak bisa, tapi karena nervous ato nggak konsen - trust me, the situation when you're taking the test is totally different with your daily study. Especially the pressure! The energy to overcome the pressure makes you can't concentrate well (terutama kalo inget udah bayar $150).

Selama 2 minggu, saya rajin buka personal page saya... Tapi score-nya masih not avalaible.

Padahal, buka halamannya itu sambil merem2... Ngeri liatnya... Ngeri kalo nggak bisa sampe syarat minimum buat ngajukan beasiswa. Buat bisa ngajukan aplikasi beasiswa Ph. D-nya Fulbright, syarat pertama TOEFL-nya 575 (Paper Based TOEFL). Uni di Aussie juga sama, syarat jadi Ph. D students-nya adalah dapet skor International TOEFL 575. Mereka nggak mau nerima yang TOEFL2-an. Mereka hanya mau terima yang TOEFL asliiiii ato IELTS.

Itu buat saya bener2 syarat yang sadis...! Saya dulu waktu ambil Institusional TOEFL (ato TOEFL2an yang agak2 resmi), score-nya cuman 560. Padahal itu paper based, yang cuman nguji 2 skill, reading dan listening. Apalagi iBT TOEFL yang nguji 4 skill, listening, reading, speaking dan writing. Makanya saya rada deg2an setiap kali mo ngeliat scorenya.

Dua minggu nggak ada kabar, sampe hari Jumat sore, tanggal 28 Maret - setelah 2 minggu tepat sejak mengikuti test itu...

Loh, kok sudah Available...??? NOOO.... I'm not ready! Saya nggak kepingin buka... Ini pertaruhan waktu dan $150, kalo nggak bisa tembus 575, there's no way I can apply Fulbright scholarship this year. No time to take another test because the due date right on May 31st. It means, saya harus mengulang semua proses yang melelahkan taon depan...

Ternyata... skor-nya 90. Which mean equivalent to 577! Nggak ada skor yang less than 22 (karena beberapa Uni mensyaratkan nggak bole ada komponen yang kurang dari 22) . Writingnya di luar dugaan, mungkin apa yang saya sebut bagus itu nggak bagus secara academic menurut para reviewer-nya. Ya, whatever.

Saya bener2 ngerasa berjalan dalam AMAZING GRACE - kasih karunia. I did the best, God does the rest. Thanks God, I passed TOEFL score requirement. Next step will be dealing with the application form.

----------

Couple months ago... one day, a conversation between a-damn-english-expert-lecturer, Dr. Patris Dj (PD) and a desperate TOEFL test taker student (WS).

WS: [Desperate voice, setelah test institusional TOEFL dan ternyata cuman dapet 560] Waduh, Pak, TOEFL itu susah ya... Saya udah blajar, tapi ya cuman dapet 560...

PD: Harus banyak baca, dengar, ngomong, dan nulis. Itu nanti kan jadi integrated skill. Semakin keempat skill itu diasah lama2 ya pasti bisa. [His calm voice calm down that desperate student]

WS: Bener juga ya Pak...

PD: You have good potential...

WS: Tapi score TOEFLnya masih jelek Pak... Gimana ya caranya beat toefl score?

PD: Ya... just beat it. [Smile]

----

I beat it, Pak! I just beat iBT TOEFL... :)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Pengalaman test iBT TOEFL

I believe this posting will be useful for those who want to take iBT TOEFL... And since you want to take iBT TOEFL, I assume that you already overloaded, loathe/sick with all the iBT TOEFL English materials. So, I'm not going to make vomit in front of computer. I will make it easier by writing it in Bahasa.

Pertama, kenapa orang repot-repot ambil iBT TOEFL dan rela ngeluarin duit $150 (mana dolar naek terus lagi) lalu sampe di ruang test, mereka di-plokoto, mesti melototin monitor dengan headset terpasang lalu disiksa ngerjakan soal2 yang jelas2 bukan bahasanya sendiri selama 3.5 jam non-stop dengan resiko kencing batu karena nahan pipis?

Motivasi orang beda2. Ada yang rencana mau sekolah di luar, dan sekolanya mensyaratkan nilai TOEFL-nya sekian ratus. Tapi sekolah itu nggak mau TOEFL yang TOEFL-TOEFLan, maunya TOEFL yang asli, yang namanya iBT ato internet Based TOEFL. Jadi dia terpaksa mau disiksa di ruang test iBT TOEFL. Kalo saya, laen lagi. Demi mengajukan aplikasi beasiswa AMINEF Fulbright, maka saya nekat ngambil iBT TOEFL yang harganya $150 ini. Ya... kalo saya dapet beasiswa Fulbright nantinya, total uang yang saya dapetkan kira2 $30.000 (nggak cash ya, dalem bentuk biaya studi, biaya hidup, uang saku, dll). Demi $30.000, apalah artinya $150. Masuk akal kan?

Kedua, gimana sistem score iBT TOEFL?

Skor maksimal adalah 120, yang dibagi jadi 4 bagian, yaitu reading (30), listening (30), speaking (30) dan writing (30)... universitas di Australia biasanya mensyaratkan minimal 79, sementara universitas2 di Amrik mensyaratkan minimal 100 (buset!).

Ketiga, ujiannya kayak apa?

Ujiannya 4 macem, pertama reading. Ada 6 bacaan dengan topik beda2. Bisa dari bidang sosial, kesehatan, teknik, seni, geografi, atau bidang studi apapunyang yang dipelajari manusia. Dari bacaan itu, kita disuruh jawab kira2 35 pertanyaan multiple choice.

Kedua adalah listening. Ada beberapa sesi, ada yang baca teks dulu, lalu dengerin lecturing baru jawab soal2, ada yang dengerin percakapan 2 pelajar tentang topik tertentu, ada yang murni dengerkan lecturing baru jawab pertanyaan. Listening ini yang menurut saya paling gampang dilatih. Medianya ada di mana2. Mulai dari film, musik, dengerin orang bule ngomong ato nonton berita di TV. Pengalaman saya, dengar 1 jam conversation setiap hari selama 2 bulan bakalan bikin peka di listening. It won't be hard, but needs practice.

Ketiga ini yang bikin amsiong. Speaking! Disuruh ngomong dengan topik yang nggak diduga (suara kita direkam). Waktu berpikirnya cuman 15-30 detik. Contoh: "Describe the place you want to visit in your hometown, and explain why!", coba kalian siapkan jawaban selama 15 detik, terus ngomong selama 45 detik (nggak lebih). Ato dengerin lecturing selama 2-3 menit, terus harus men-summary tentang apa lecturing-nya dalam waktu 60 detik doang, (kemaren saya dapet topik lecturing tentang kelelawar, keren to?... Saya nyaris mau summary film Batman terbaru, The Dark Night, tapi mengingat pertaruhan $150, saya batalkan).

Keempat... adalah writing. Nulis tentang 2 topik, satu adalah personal opinion dan satu lagi ada bacaan dan lecturing, lalu suruh nyari hubungan antara bacaan dan lecturing-nya, terus di-summary-kan.

Kira2 begitu. Jujur, saya ngerasa rada2 nggak pede bisa dapetin score 100. Reading-nya agak gelap, di sesi speaking-nya saya ngerasa lebih banyak ngeluarin energi buat ngatasi nervousnya ketimbang ngomong apa yang dimaui. Listening-nya agak terang, walopun ada beberapa yang missed. Yang paling terang benderang adalah writing, moga2 bisa full score di sini. Kalo ada kesempatan ngulang iBT TOEFL ini, pasti i can handle the nervous much better, and achieve higher score.

Oke anyone, sapa mau sponsori saya ngambil iBT TOEFL lagi...? (Kalo saya bisa tembus score 90 dan dapet beasiswa, ntar saya kembalikan 2x lipat - cash in US$, seriously loo... I'll do my best both in the test and scholarship application).

Thursday, February 26, 2009

[My Doctorate Journey] One Step Closer To Japan

Today, Feb 25th will be one of the most important dates in my journey of pursuing Ph. D. Today, I officially have a professor that willing to supervise my research topic. Yippi...!

Here is the acceptance letter:

Yes, it's in Chiba University, Japan. Ok, you might misunderstand about the letter... It does not mean I get the scholarship already and going to Japan next month. No! But having a professor for my research is a giant leap on my doctorate journey. This letter will be used to register at Chiba University as a post-graduate student.

I put a lot efforts to have this-only-one-page-letter alone. It's not just dropped from heaven to my mailbox, it's not just one or two days correspondence with someone-somewhere in the internet, it's not just browsing at google and all of sudden got this letter. No!

It takes months. I read lot journals, books, and dissertations before finally I came out with only-three-pages-resesarch-proposal to be sent.

Next step will be finding out about Chiba University registration procedure to have Letter of Acceptance as post-graduate student, then apply for dikti scholarship on March or April 2009.

It's a long journey. Let's see what happen next.

[Meanwhile, I'll keep going on preparation for iBT TOEFL on March 14th... Wah, life IS very exciting when you do have hope!]

Monday, February 16, 2009

Measuring Success

How do you measure your success?

For many years, I almost believed that success is always about the amount of money I earn or about good career I have. But, recently my mind gradually changes. I met many right people on the right time that shows me what success is. Through these people, I feel like God giving me piece-by-piece of puzzle to be solved rather than gives a whole picture. I called this Puzzle: "what-is-success" puzzle.

After arranging the puzzle piece-by-piece, I come to the conclusion, that success is not merely about money or career. For me, success is about how big your impact to other people, how big your contribution to the society. If through your lifestyle, your action, your thinking, your teaching, your writing, your invention or whatever you can think of, many people are touch and became a better people, then you are simply a success people.

I realize that living in this world is not about ourself after all, it's not about earning money and enjoy it for ourself alone. I do believe, we all are here in this world, breathing the same air, walking under the same sun, living under the same moon is NOT meant to live for our own. We're here because someone NEEDS us, because the society needs us, otherwise God won't create us.

This revelation convinces me more to pursue my doctorate and to be a researcher in IT-biomedic area. IT and biomedic area opens the posibility to make better quality of life for all people. I just finished writing two research proposals, one about early detection of osteoporosis. If I could have finished this research, thousand of people around the world will get the benefit. In their early age, they would have known either they have osteoporosis risk or no. If they have one, they will do precaution act to prevent osteoporosis in their old age. Finally, they will work more productive and enjoying better quality of life. But, they wouldn't enjoyed their life if their bone fractures because osteoporosis. I can clearly imagine how world would be different by the result of this research alone.

The other research proposal is about estimation of respiratory organ motion for cancer radioteraphy treatment. I don't know how to explain because there will many technical and medical terms. Basically, it will help lung cancer patient to have better treatment.

I really HOPE, I can give something for the society - to make this world a better world. The amount of money will not determine my success, but my success is determined by the amount of people that is helped by what I've done, the amount of students that have learned from what I've taught, and the amount of readers that have better thinking by the book or posting I've written. (And through what I've done, I believe that money will automatically flow in). That what success is.

Life is not about ourself after all. It's about what we give. It's about what we contribute to make this world is better world.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

[Economic for dummies] Kasus Singkong

Saya suka makan keripik singkong (yang nggorengnya dengan terlebih dulu ditenggelamkan ke dalam bumbu garam, bawang dan kunyit). Dua puluh tahun yang lalu, pas saya masih SD, harga singkong Rp. 100 per kilo. Kata mami-nya Nina (yang baru beli singkong tadi pagi pasar), sekarang harga singkong udah Rp. 1000 per kilo, ato naek 10x lipat. Dalam 20 taon, harga singkong udah naek 1000%.

Lalu dengan otak ekonomi yang pas2an, saya coba analisa. Kalo misalnya 20 taon yang lalu saya punya uang Rp. 100, terus saya depositokan di bank, apa sekarang, 20 taon kemudian, uangnya masih bisa buat beli singkong 1 kilo? Logikanya sih ya bisa. Kan di bank dapet bunga... Tapi dengan asumsi suku bunga deposito 8% per tahun, ternyata uang Rp. 100 saya jadi... Rp. 466 dalam 20 tahun. Kalo dengan asumsi suku bunga 10%, dalam 20 taon uang saya "cuman" jadi Rp. 672. Cuman cukup beli daon-nya doang.

Jadi, kalo uang kita taroh di Bank, nilainya semakin lama akan semakin susut. Kok bisa ya? Kalo kata orang ekonomi, uang kita "dimakan" sama inflasi. Contohnya tingkat inflasi singkong adalah 1.000% dalam 20 taon, ato rata2 per taon adalah 50%, lah kalo suku bunga di bank cuman 10% ya jelas di taon pertama aja kita udah tekor kalo nunda2 beli singkong. Rp. 100 di taon pertama kalo didepositokan jadi Rp. 110, sedangkan singkongnya, dari Rp. 100 jadi Rp. 150. Nangkep ya?

Nah, sekarang inti masalahnya. Kalo kita adalah seorang pegawai, yang mana kenaikan gaji per-taon-nya kurang dari 30%, maka semakin lama, kita jadi nggak bisa beli banyak singkong (khususnya bagi penggemar singkong). Misalnya sekarang gaji seorang pegawai Rp. 2jt per bulan, yang kalo dibelikan singkong dapet 2 ton (asumsi harga singkong Rp. 1000/kg). Setaon kemudian, harga singkong jadi Rp. 1.500. Lalu dengan asumsi kenaikan gaji 30% (which is merupakan kenaikan yang signifikan), gaji jadi Rp. 2.6jt, yang kalo dibelikan singkong cuman dapet 1,7 ton. Lah, kemana yang 0.3 ton? Itu yang namanya "dimakan" inflasi... (ternyata inflasi jg doyan singkong, kayak saya). Yang ngeri, kalo diitung2, lama kelamaan gaji pegawai bisa2 cuman dapet sekilo singkong , bayangkan skenarionya...

Istri: "Papa! Baru gajian ya pa?" (sambil senyum-senyum mupeng)

Suami: "Iya, ma..."

Istri: "Mana uangnya, pa?" (mendadak matanya jadi hijau)

Suami: "Ini..." (sambil mengangkat seikat singkong di depan wajah istrinya)

Istri: "..." (mendadak bermata coklat melihat singkong yang hanya sekilo)

(hiks, jadi miris karena saya termasuk pegawai).

Masalahnya tentu bukan di singkong-nya, karena ada tertulis bahwa manusia hidup bukan dari singkong saja... Tapi, kasus di atas, so true buat semua pegawai. Gaji naik itu kamuflase. Kalo hanya 5 ato 10% per taon, itu cmn sekedar akal2an biar kitanya betah... Lah wong inflasinya singkong aja 50% per tahun.

Lalu, kalo kita hanya ngandalkan nabung, nilai pasti susut, karena suku bunganya nggak sebanding dengan inflasi... Kualitas hidup tentu jg nggak akan jadi tambah baik (kalo dulunya bisa beli singkong, lama2 kelamaan cmn bisa beli daon singkong). Sayangnya banyak pegawai yang bahkan nggak punya tabungan karena selalu abis. Lha wong yg nabung aja nilainya bakalan susut, apalagi kl nggak nabung... So, jadi pegawai harus kreatif agar gajinya nggak dimakan sama inflasi... Tapi kreatif yang kayak gimana?

To all employee all around the world, what do you think? [TO BE continue, bagaimana makan singkong dengan tenang tanpa bingung dengan inflasi]

NB. Kayaknya kl pake firefox bakalan nggak bisa ngasi comment karena template-nya nggak kompatibel dengan firefox (verification code-nya ke-blok). IE will solve the problem. :)

Monday, January 19, 2009

[Quantum Leap] The Interpreter

Knowing how to speak English is one thing, but interpreting English is completely different thing.

So, there he goes. Leaping into a character called an "Interpreter". Last time I saw him, he was a lecturer with tons of office tasks during new coming semester. Preparing research proposal, preparing scholarship applications since he's so eager to take Ph. D this year, preparing subjects to be taught for next semester, involving in some campus activities to make sure that he can hit Key Performance Indicators (KPI) target as a lecturer.

But then, last Saturday, the news came like brick hits his head. He was elected to interprete Pst. Steven Davis from Australia for the sunday service at Bethany Church, Malang. Why did they choose this-so-unexperienced-interpreter to interpret? The church has more experience-and-annointed-interpreters, but somehow they could not do the interpretation. One is sick and must be hospitalized, this-mom-would-be is pregnant for 5 months, and this-best-interpreter-ever couldn't do because must taking care her of baby boy (Geee... this-best-interpreter-ever is amazingly-incridibly-accurate, though she never formally studies English!).

So, he was the chosen one, leaping into a character called "interpreter". Must accomplish the mission, interpreting Pst. Steven Davis' preaching in two services. The challenge was thathe's never done the interpretation for a service with one thousand people. The other challange was, he knew exactly that he's not yet a good interpreter - he neither having rich vocabulary nor knowing lot "christian-terms". I saw him, he was scared to death! He prefers to do 100 TOEFL tests or translating 1000 pages rather than interpreting an Australian preacher in front of thousand people.

So, what happen then? I believe your guess is same like mine. In the first service, he totally messed up the sermon and the service as well. Lot of words missed, lot of sentences not delivered clearly, many times he used inproper term. He ruined the whole service. I really felt sory for him...

After the service then I saw him humbly himself... Spoke to the deputy-pastor if should he be replaced. The deputy-pastor simply smiled at him, and said to carry on for the next service. He's not losing hope on him and believe that he'll do better for the next evening service.

He went back with discouragement and uncertain feeling... Fear and doubt came. Wondering if he'll keep doing the same mistake for next service.

At the second service, I saw God's grace was upon him. He was able to interprete much much better than the first one. Very few words were missed, and overall he delivered the interpretation quite well. Despite of the difficulty-level, he considered that as his best interpretation. It was not by his power nor his mighty, but it was truly by the Spirit of God and God's grace...

So, he learned something by leaping into this "interpreter character". He knows that God's grace always sufficient for him, he experienced personally what God's grace is - not from what people said or what he've learned from Christian books, but experience PERSONALLY... Suddenly, he returned back into his body... The body of a man who loves teaching and writing, plus a valuable personal experience about God's grace and how good God is. Then, that man started to share his quantum leap experience through this posting.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

My Black Shoes

Saya punya sepasang sepatu hitam yang saya beli 8 tahun yang lalu (ya, it's been 8 years!). Harganya murah waktu saya beli... cuman 5 digit (which means less than 100K). Saya inget, waktu itu saya hampir lulus kuliah S1 dan nggak punya banyak duit untuk beli fancy ato branded shoes yang harganya 6 digit. Jadi ya... saya beli yang murah tapi bisa dipake untuk kerja resmi...
Lalu jadilah sepatu hitam itu satu-satunya sepatu resmi saya - till... NOW! Iya, sampe sekarang saya masih pake sepatu hitam itu. Sepatu ini udah nggak sekeren 8 taon lalu ketika saya beli pertama kali. Lima tahun lalu, solnya harus diganti karena ada bagian yang robek hingga kaki saya bisa kemasukan kerikil ato air kalau saya jalan di jalan yang becek. Warna hitamnya sudah pudah di beberapa bagian. Tali sepatunya juga udah pernah putus.
Yet, somehow sepatu itu tetap saya pake, dan saya nggak pengin beli ato ganti sepatu lain (beli sepatu kets iya, tapi nggak pernah ngganti sepatu resmi ini). Saya udah terlanjur nyaman dengan sepatu ini, pas di kaki saya... Lagian sepatu ini jadi saksi ribuan peristiwa penting dalam 8 tahun terakhir hidup saya...
Dia udah menghadiri 50 acara kondangan, karena dialah satu2nya sepatu resmi yang saya punya - secara untuk menghadiri kondangan nggak mungkin pake sandal jepit.
  • Dia yang menemani saya ketika saya menginjakkan kaki di Univ B* untuk memulai kuliah S2, lalu menemani sepanjang 4 semester kuliah saya dalam setiap perkuliahan yang saya ikuti, termasuk saat konsultasi tesis, sampai waktu saya ujian tesis dan mendapatkan nilai akhir A, sepatu hitam ini yang menemani.
  • Saya juga pakai sepatu ini ketika saya di-interview di "sini", termasuk menerima penghargaan as "you-know-what".
  • He was there when I'm teaching. Jadi saya masuk dan mengajar di puluhan kelas dengan sepatu yang sama, hitam dan nggak keren lagi.
  • Saat saya harus naik panggung untuk jadi pembicara ato whatever, there it is, the black "old" shoe.
Sekarang sepatu itu udah rusak berat di bagian bawahnya. Beberapa bulan lalu, kedua sol bawahnya sobek horisonal dari ujung kiri sampai ujung kanan. Waktu saya ke Singapore, saya nggak berani bawa (jadi saya bawa sepatu kets). Saya mencoba me-lem agar menyatu, tapi beberapa minggu kemudian sudah rusak lagi solnya. Jadi saya biarkan dan tetap dipakai dalam keadaan seperti itu. Bahkan dalam keadaan yang seperti itu, sepatu itu masih nyaman dipakai. Lalu, kemarin kehujanan lebat, yang mengakibatkan beberapa jahitan lepas dan warna hitam di beberapa bagian tambah pudar. Jika dihitung dengan nilai depresiasi menurut akuntansi, nilai sepatu ini sudah menjadi susut Rp. 1.
Trust me, sepatu itu sampai sekarang masih nyaman dipakai. Saya berencana tetap memakainya... Saya sudah menjadwalnya untuk dipakai dalam acara wisuda S2 bulan ini. Saya juga ingin ketika saya wisuda doktoral, sepatu inilah yang ada di foto menemani saya dengan jubah toga... I hope he'll survive...
... and remember, don't you dare mock my black shoes no matter how ugly it is, or I'll throw you with my shoes...!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

It all started with...

Yay, first posting in 2009 will be grouped in a new category called "My Doctorate Journey"... (Geee... I'm sooo eager to have additional "Ph. D" after my name, so it'll be "Windra Swastika, Ph. D"... Cool, ah? After finishing "My Doctorate Journey", next category will be "The New Adventure of Chasing Professorship", haha2...)

So, it all started with a dream (remember...? we all are ordinary people, and will stay ordinary until we encounter extraordinary dreams and the moment we step forward to achieve that dream, we're becoming extraordinary). I'm dreaming... of a white Christmas..., oh, sorry, it's over... I'm dreaming, that someday my mom and my future soulmate (whoever she is and probably with my children) attend my doctorate graduation ceremony (somewhere in Australia, USA or Japan), and when the dean calls my name to come forward to stage, my mom shouts "THAT'S MY BABY BOY...!!!" (Please deh, mom...)

But, like the wise says, the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Definitely, doctorate journey is not one or two miles away. It's a long... long journey. It takes many steps to make that dream come to past.

My first step was initialized by Ivonne Sabrina (a friend that lives and works in USA... we've even never met, yet she's willing to help me sincerely - ya, sincere people DOES exists). She introduces me with her former lecturer that already got Ph. D degree from State and gives me some valueable information. Thanks a lot, Von!

Yesterday was my second step. I attended "How to get scholarship for Universities in Japan" workshop. Another valuable information. The speaker gave us a very detail step, start from how to write the research proposal, search for professor, contact professor, fill in the scholarship application from, interview tricks, etc. He made me believe that as long as we step in the right track (of scholarship), then we'll have the same result (get the scholarship).

Ok, what next? The next two weeks will be a time for writing research proposal and contact professors (notice: PLURAL!) to find a supervisor for my research. Meanwhile, enhancing my English is a MUST!

I'll keep updating the news...