Archive for the ‘School of Tale’ Category

On the day of my graduation, one of the speaker had speech that it is extremely important to have community. It means to join good professional association(s). I remember it very well, although until now I still haven’t found the right association yet. There are a few associations on social research or development or similar to those. However, they were overseas. Many interesting associations are even not only based on interest but also restricted in specified geographic areas.

I would not be mind to join one or two of those. But, I am currently seeking for more “local” ones. Either in the regional or the country. It is because I would like to extend my network! To learn from others’ experiences, to hear and share, to associate one another. I still highly value the real discussion although I am grateful with the online ones. I like to put a face on a name! (more…)

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Today is the Indonesian Mothers’ Day. As always, many people in networking sites have proudly updated this as their statuses. It creates the hype of reminder and spirit of its importance. Indeed it is important. Being a mother means you have a profession without time to rest, a lifetime commitment. Unfortunately, regardless its huge responsibilities, there is no such training or certificate on how to be a good mother!

As many people say, “You are ready when you are (being mothers)”


Mother: Untiring hard-work and perseverance profession (Frank & Ernest - April 27, 1996)

Around a year ago, I have started to realize the reasons behind this Mothers’ Day. My prior university has published a book on it, titled as “The First Indonesian Women’s Congress of 1928“. It is the manuscripts of the conference in old version of Bahasa and English, which apparently I could not find in my home country.

Yes, that congress is the reason behind!

That back to 1928 -82 yeas ago- there was the congress by and for Indonesian Women. By Indonesian Women I am not talking only Javanesse Women. Can you imagine how great it was? Back to 1928, when the women empowerment has not being as famous as now. Indonesia even has not declared their independence from the colonialization. When traditional values and beliefs were strongly impact daily lives, as information were very limited.

Great, isn’t it?!!


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It has been twelve years ago, yet the pictures are still clear on my mind. If there is a high-tech projector which could directly projects those pictures from my brain, I believe it would be shown such a documentary film. I remember how my headmaster with no detail explanations directed us to go home early. It created quite a chaos. As she said that would be better to go home together with friends. Go home as soon as possible, as safe as possible. Ah ya, important to be noted, I went to a all-female-school and mobile phones were so luxurious.

At that time, I was used the shared-transportation with friends. Was confused, should I wait or go with ‘available’ transportations?! I chose the available transportation, friends who had been picked-up. I chose the one that would drop a friend in Pondok Indah, the nearest location to my house – compared to other choices. I forgot what really happened on our way, I remember how we got so terrified though we couldn’t understand what are happening. We thought that it was related with the killed university students two days earlier and the demonstration at the legislative area. That it was related with the politics. But we couldn’t really understand why.

I sensed that my identity as a Chinese-Indonesian woman might put me on risk. Since I was a girl, I have been realized that there are differences to be ‘coincidentally’ born as a Chinese in Indonesia. Was too naïve to understood the history and the politics. Yet, I hate whenever some people called me ‘amoy’ [which after sometimes I understand that it is a way to call a Chinese girl] or ‘Cina’ [Indonesian translation of China or Chinese people with highly consists of prejudice]. Couldn’t understood yet I never asked. Well, my friends, who actually come from different ethnics, never had problems related with my ethnic. It might because of the well-education parents [well-educated people do not associate with high education level], together with how naïve children are. Do not care about politics of power.

It hurts to remember, yet it ought not be forgotten

Back to May the 14th.

So I went off at Pondok Indah, it is around 20 minutes – without traffic way – to my home. Together with a Moslem friend, we headed to her aunt’s house. Yet as the house is only nearby Pondok Indah, we walked through a small street behind the residential complex. We could reach the house through the big street yet we’d suggested to not to. ABut we didn’t have other choices when the small street is ended, we should walk passed the big streets. I remember that we heard the scream and like-riots-related-sound. We went back to another way to hide. (more…)

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Literacy is being an important thing amongst humankind for decades. It is being an indication of human civilization. You might still remember how the civilizations be divided into their artifacts including scripts and literatures. It is not only being a way to communicate with others but also to inherit the knowledge and wisdom to the descendants.

Currently, we do not need to carve the stones or to draw the images. We still can do those things, but we have other options. We have papers instead of stones or leaves. We have international [Latin] words which makes it possible to communicate across cultures. We even have computers to “transfer” the information to others electronically. I wouldn’t be surprised if one day we could do the telepathy.

Literacy consists of writing and reading. OEDC [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development] even puts mathematical and scientific as additions to reading literacy on their PISA assessment. PISA is an assessment to “monitor the outcomes of education systems…within a common international framework” [OECD, 2006]. The full reports can be obtained if you click this PISA 2003 or the Education at a glance 2008. Or else, just browse the whole OECD’s website as you can find the datasets and analyze it further if you like.

Now, let’s talk about the reading literacy. Reading is one of some of my hobbies, my favorite one. Yet, after years, I realized that I did not give many efforts for it. I did not commit to read a little but everyday which at the end pushed me to keep on buying books without finished all that I’ve bought. I heard from a friend that a lecturer committed to himself to read at least 30 minutes a day. He puts it as a relaxing activity after unbelievable demanding responsibilities.

I also realized that I do not have endurance to read [too] thick books. I envy those who can read many history or philosophy books that usually have minimum line spacing and tiny font sizes. I adore people who can understand completely the poem books, as I don’t. My books are about daily life including psychological books as some were my text books. I love some philosophic books but not pure philosophy as it would be hard for me to understand. I love books with what I called intelligent criticisms as they will “open my eyes”. But, I love to read!


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Lately, I’ve got information about my mother-tongue language: Bahasa Indonesia. Several weeks ago, I attended a free lunch that arranged by language exchange program in my university. In that occasion, I met Paul Thomas, a linguist. This semester he teaches some units about Bahasa Indonesia including the contemporary movies. He speaks many languages and as always, I envy him for this. Yes, I always envy people who can speak many languages fluently, including local languages. At least, I know that he speaks Italian and French, except English and Bahasa. And he is currently learning Dutch as he has a linguistic research about Australian language and a lot of the sources were written in Dutch.

He argued that Indonesian do not have sense of urgency to learn their own cultures, including Bahasa [notes: don’t you ever dare to think that he discriminates Indonesian]. He said that Chinese students in this university have high willingness to enroll in the units of Chinese language or culture as elective. But not for Indonesian students. There were a lot of Indonesian in this university as Indonesia was the third biggest source countries, after Malaysian and Chinese in this university. I argued that it might because of the socio-economic status of Indonesian people. I said that, language and culture studies were not considered as prospectus subjects. A lot of parents might not support their children whenever theirs want to pursue these areas. Even for social studies. There are people who still consider social studies as nonsense. That science is much more important and can give guarantee of prosperity. I talked about this in [social vs science].

Then, he argued further. It was not about financial condition or career plan. Chinese students did not take language and cultural studies as their majors. They took these units as electives. So, it means that they might share similar situation with what you argued. But, they took the electives. They know the language, they can speak and write in that language, they were native people. But they still took those units.

Indonesians get used to think that their language is easy. At this point, I smiled, as I am including the person who thinks this way. (more…)

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For almost a year, I keep on thinking about what am I doing.

Being an international postgraduate student is one of my dreams. I dream it for years. I tried quite many times, failed again and again. So, I do thankful with my status now. Not because of the “international” matter, but it is more about a fulfilled dream. Especially in the financial issue.

But then…
Life is not a fairy tale. Once you reached your dreams, you have to keep on struggling. There always be something after anything.

Like now…
On my first semester…
I had quite lot anxiousness. I am neither a great English speaker nor writer.
The subject that I am doing is not a popular one, means that it would be harder to find information about how to succeeded in this subject, to learn from the seniors.
And, all of my colleagues are English native speakers.
As an addition, I have different academic background than the basic of this subject, not too far but it is still different.



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The new semester that has just begun urge me to read quite lot philosophical background of the specified subject. I still can’t enjoy it. I do like philosophical things. What I couldn’t enjoy is the chronological plot that has been used by the writers. They explain one thing then describe it a little and compared directly with other approaches. Yes, somehow this way is more practical but it makes me confused. They get used to jump here and there. And what make it harder, they use a lot of references for one thing, though I do understand that they do that in order to avoid plagiarism …

One of something that I learn is about the truth. Whether the truth is really true?!! This is an important issue, especially in the social sciences. And since daily life is full of social issues, this is also an important thing for life.

The truth, at certain points, consists of judgments. The judgment itself can be divided into two parts, what happens and what ought to. It means that the things that we see are sometimes not the way they are.

To make it simpler, everyday, we see a lot of things. Things did happen. We (ought to) experience a lot! Unfortunately, it seems that we don’t have enough time to do that. We are busy with those obligations. We wake up, take a bath and other personal things, eat three times a day (might be more or less), work, sleep. And so on. We keep on doing almost the same thing. Sometimes, I feel afraid that the future might be something like what some movies had showed. The last one, Wall-e.

We forget to see things closer. We think, the most important thing is to do ours. Keep on walking fast, sleep while on our ways, and eat with reading newspaper/magazine, and so on. We always think that we are busy people. Busy and busy… The life is becoming harder and harder. Find a lot of excuses to work overtime, to make houses to be like bed & breakfast motels.
Though time does fly!!!


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