31 Desember 2012

Salju dalam Kamera


Beberapa hari yang lalu, saya protes dalam hati, "Kenapa Cambridge hujan terus, padahal ini sudah masuk musim dingin?" 

24 Desember 2012

Seperdelapan

Pernah membayangkan seperti apa rasanya kalau kamu tiba-tiba dibebaskan? Hal yang biasa mengikatmu, kini tidak mengikatmu lagi. Walaupun udara sangat dingin di luar (dan anginnya kencang sekali), kamu bisa melihat sisi lainnya dan bersyukur.

Entah, mungkin saya sedang berada dalam fase itu.

Saya ingat, GRT (Graduate Resident Tutor) saya bilang suatu hari, ketika saya memutuskan untuk pergi ke One Young World Summit 2012, "Jangan biarkan sekolahmu menginterupsi edukasimu."


03 Desember 2012

Kebahagiaan? Sederhana!

Aneh sekali rasanya sampai di penghujung tahun 2012 ini. Ingin bertanya, "Apa yang saya lakukan setahun kemarin?" tapi pada siapa? Tak akan ada yang berubah.

Bulan Desember biasa diasosiasikan dengan Tahun Baru, dan Natal; holiday season, orang-orang siap-siap membuang uang mereka untuk merasa 'lebih bahagia'.

Membuang-buang uang untuk menjadi lebih bahagia? Banyak orang di dunia yang bahagia walaupun tak mempunyai uang. Apakah mereka membuang-buang uang sambil berharap suatu hari uang mereka habis dan mereka menjadi lebih bahagia?


05 November 2012

Question(S) -Including OYW

Welcome to Pittsburgh!

I had two most amazing weeks in my freshman year so far not at MIT, but in Pittsburgh. I suddenly got a notification that I got a sponsorship from Siemens to attend One Young World Summit 2012 in Pittsburgh, PA, USA, on October 18-21, 2012. I almost decided not to go, because I had a busy week at that time. However, after I carefully thought about it, this summit is a once in a lifetime experience!


30 Oktober 2012

Surat Untuk Masa Lalu

Bandung, 28 Oktober 2031.

Teruntuk masa laluku. Kabarku baik, tapi seharusnya bisa jadi lebih baik ini. Berita yang muncul di Koran tak pernah berubah; malah makin memburuk, kalau boleh kubilang.

Semakin banyak anak yang tak punya bangku untuk belajar di sekolah. Semakin banyak pula anak yang tak bisa mendapatkan perawatan kesehatan yang layak karena pemerintah yang korupsi menjadi tidak akomodatif.

Lucunya, kebanyakan orang-orang berkuasa saat ini adalah teman-teman SMA dan kuliahku dulu. Usaha keras mampu membawaku ke dalam jaringan orang-orang seperti mereka. Sayang, aku hanya bisa diam ketika mereka melakukan hal yang tak seharusnya dilakukan.


18 Oktober 2012

Klasik: Dimulai dari Buku

Perasaan bahagia datang ketika aku mengingat masa kecilku dulu.

Aku senang membanding-bandingkan nilai rapor SD-ku dengan milik kakakku, karena nilaiku selalu lebih bagus darinya. Celetukan macam, "Ih, Putri, masa' kamu matematika cuma dapet 7.5 doang sih?" sudah biasa terdengar. Masih jelas juga seberapa senangnya aku ketika di caturwulan 1 kelas 1 SD aku berhasil mendapatkan ranking 4. Setelah mendapatkan rapor itu, aku berlari memeluk ibuku, menyodorkan raporku, dan dengan bangga menyampaikan, "Bu, akhirnya anak ibu bisa ranking 4. Si Putri 'kan nggak pernah dapat ranking di kelasnya."

Halo, Putri, aku memang adik tengil yang mengumbar fakta bahwa sampai kelas 5 SD kamu tak pernah dapat ranking 10 besar.


09 Oktober 2012

Kunjungan Wakil Menteri Pendidikan Indonesia ke Greater Boston Area, MA

Sebuah surel masuk ke dalam kotak masukku siang itu; seorang 'tetua' di komunitas orang Indonesia di MIT yang mengejar gelar PhD memberitahukan dengan singkat sesuatu yang menarik.
Halo Temans,
Hari Senin (17 September 2012) kita di Boston rencananya akan kedatangan rombongan Wakil Menteri Dikbud (Pak Musliar Kasim).  Wamendik ingin mendapat masukan dari mahasiswa2 Indonesia yg belajar di AS, jadi ada usulan untuk pertemuan santai untuk bincang2 dengan mahasiswa atau masyarakat Indonesia di daerah Boston. Rencana pertemuannya diadakanpada tanggal 17 Sep 2012 (sore/malam, harus di-finalize... kemungkinan besar setelah jam 5pm atau 6pm).
Pikiranku langsung melayang jauh: bertemu Wamendik langsung berarti bisa berbicara empat mata mengenai masalah pendidikan di Indonesia! Karena itu, jangan ditanya seberapa semangatnya aku untuk datang ke pertemuan hari itu, dan seperti biasa, rasanya bangga sekali, karena tidak semua orang punya kesempatan seperti itu.


01 Oktober 2012

Recap September: UWC 30/50, Harvard-MIT, Southeast Asian Cultural Night

50 years of home, video by UWC Red Cross Nordic.

So, September was a blast (yes, I need to type that in bold). I had my own way of celebrating 50 years of UWC and 30 years of UWC-USA, by having a long video call with my Kili hallway friends: Andrea and Simona. Lucien was not there because she's in the Netherlands, and we have different timezone; it was already late night in US, so it probably was early morning in Lucien's place.

16 September 2012

Dulu: Belajar, Sekarang: Kuliah

Lebih dari 350 orang memasuki lecture hall kimia hari itu, lecture pertamaku. Aku hanya bisa bengong melihat betapa banyak orang di kelas tersebut. 350 orang lebih, total siswa di UWC dulu saja sekitar 200 orang...

Kalau kau masih penasaran seperti apa kuliah di MIT rasanya, coba cek OpenCourseWare MIT, di mana kamu bisa melihat, merasakan, dan 'ikut kuliah' di sini. Varian kelasnya pun beragam, dan ketika melihat semua itu, perasaanmu sama dengan perasaanku dulu: bingung menentukan kelas apa yang harus kuambil.

05 September 2012

'We're in College'

"Oh, hello, busy college girl," that was how we used to make fun of Andrea (Mexico '12), who started her college experience firstly among us.

Sopheaktra (Cambodia '12) told me last weekend, "I'm gonna have my midterm next week."

Simona and Abuu, started classes today. Me? I'm going to start classes tomorrow.

Yesterday, when I went back to Kendall Square in the red-line subway, rushing to be at McCormick Dining Hall before 8:00 PM so that I could get my dinner (I missed my brunch to be with those guys earlier on that day), a long sequence of my memory at UWC came back again.


29 Agustus 2012

Selamat Datang di MIT!

Sudah satu setengah minggu aku berada di sini, di tempat belajar (yang katanya) terbaik untuk para teknisi dunia, MIT. Twitter dan Facebook-ku dirubung pertanyaan dari teman-temanku, "Bagaimana kabarmu di sana, Titan?"


04 Agustus 2012

Kepribadian? Because It's Me

"You can read a person's personality from his/ her piece of writing, like reading a book, word by word."

Saya selalu percaya bahwa seseorang bisa dengan mudah membaca kepribadian seseorang lainnya lewat tulisan.

Tetapi, apa memang semudah membaca tulisan? 


26 Juni 2012

'Babi Ngepet' dan Indonesia

Kamu percaya akan adanya babi ngepet?

Jawab pertanyaan yang aku ajukan di atas, kawan. Adakah babi ngepet? Jikalau kau belum tahu, mari aku jelaskan dengan cepat. Babi ngepet adalah sebuah metode yang digunakan orang-orang untuk mendapatkan uang lebih dengan cara... tak kasat mata. Mencuri dengan tak kasat mata, begitu singkatnya.


13 Juni 2012

Adios, UWC-USA!

I still remember clearly how I applied to the best local high school in Bandung, SMA Negeri 3 Bandung, in 2008. I was lucky enough to get into the international class there. Moreover, I also got the best teachers there, until an opportunity came: I got a scholarship to go to an international school called United World College in Montezuma, New Mexico, USA. Things were never the same anymore after I decided to leave my high school in Indonesia and studied in that school.

Beautiful weather witnessed how Tom Oden called my name in a really strange accent and how I walked on the stage, hugged Lisa Darling, and shook Tom Dickerson's hand. During that few seconds, everyone in the soccer field saw how I finally graduated from high school. A quick applause and cheering made me smile widely. I left the stage, and I finally became a third year at that time...

How hard was it, Titan?

My emotional breakdown didn't start until two 2:00 a.m. buses left and brought half of the students to the airport. My roommate also left with that bus, which made half of my room empty. It was hard at that time, of course, but sleeping helped me.

Just like last year, I left with the last bus provided by the school. Some firsties and second years were still there, though. They either left later or stayed on campus during the whole summer. I was glad that I left them smiling, although I didn't know if I would meet them again.

For now, even though it is still hard to see or talk with my friends on Skype/ e-mail/ Facebook, it is a lot better than before. I realized that I held my tears during the last few days, because I still cried on the plane from Hong Kong to Jakarta, which was not good. Hong Kong sky helped me feel so much better last year, but not this year. There won't be another year like this anymore, but who knows human's feeling? Maybe when I leave college, I'll encounter the same feeling again... At least I know what I'll do: let it be, cry when you want to cry, laugh when you want to laugh, and smile when you want to smile.

What are you doing for this summer?

I have started to prepare my transition to college. I was really overwhelmed in the beginning by the amount of things to do for this transition. Being too anxious, I get stressed out. However, thanks to my family and my hometown, I can calm myself down. Even though there are still so many things to do, I know it will be fine, just like how my two years at UWC were.

I am planning to do annual social activity with other Indonesian UWCers. It will be so much fun to meet other people who are connected to UWC again, so I am looking forward to joining it. Kevin (MUWCI '12) and I are planning to convince other Indonesian UWCers who mostly live in the capital to come to our hometown, which is only two hours away. Let's wait and see if this plan is going to work.

Getting reconnected with my friends here is another thing that I am focused on for now. Most of my friends here are going to be a second year in college next semester, one year faster than me. I didn't know how powerful one year change can be. So many friends are already having clear pathways to their future, while I can say that I'm not. I am planning to go back to Indonesia after I finish studying in States, so I know that I will need them in the future. Connection and network, are two out of few things that you need to survive. At least, that's what I believe.

Besides that, I had many plans with my siblings that I need to finally do this summer, from trying new foods (believe me, there are countless dishes come up every year in this country), to watching Korean dramas together. After all, I deserve a long rest after IB, right?

How does it feel to be a third year?

I don't know yet. Zero years are still zero years, they haven't come to UWC. I would prefer calling myself as a second year, actually. Hmm, it feels so strange, honestly. I could never imagine that two years could pass by this fast, while leave me with so many important lessons mostly about life.

I cannot stop criticizing my own country with its people's behavior. I cannot stop associating a news that I read on newspaper with specific person in that country. I cannot stop thinking, "Oh, when I was at UWC, I would do bla, bla, bla." I cannot stop reminiscing about UWC...

Maybe, that's why it's more convenient to call myself as a third year, instead of alumni, because I still feel that I'm a part of UWC in general. Maybe, that's why they called it as a lifetime commitment. Maybe, that's the reason why people want to come in 10 years after they graduate.

Maybe, I will not see ABQ Sunport/ Albuquerque International Airport anymore in 10 years.

6:00 p.m., May 24th 2012, ABQ Sunport.

Until then, let me say farewell to you. Adios, UWC-USA!

02 Mei 2012

Quod Erat Demonstrandum? –Decision Made

"MIT Imagination" Full screen, por favor!

If you think that I have nothing to do these days just because I do not write a decent, interesting, blogpost, then you are totally wrong. One phrase that can describe what I am doing right now: “Finishing Up.”

As you can see from at least three blogposts before, I have been trying to conclude what I have done for the past two years in this amazing place, United World College-USA. This post is going to be one of them, although it will more about reflection of my past, present, and future, rather than my specific experience at this school.

Now, if you ask where I am going for college, I have decided.

Yes, this is so funny. I remember the first time I read a comic called Quod Erat Demonstrandum, as you can see in this post. Someone even commented last year, “It’s already 2011. Are you still dreaming?”

I think so. I am still dreaming. So Toma seems unreal.

Yes, my life consists of my 100-things-to-do list, a lot of dreams; whether it comes true or not, I do not care. Roller coaster: maybe I just like my life to be like that. Complaining much, and being over-happy more.

No, this is not the end of the proof that I would like to tell you. So many questions are still not answered yet. Am I going to survive the next four years, or at least, the next semester? Am I going to be able to graduate in four years? Am I going to be able to maintain what I have achieved now? Am I going to shine as how I am right now?

God knows. I do not know. He might change my future according to what I do. Quod Erat Demonstrandum? Not yet. 

Until then, let me introduce myself again. Noor Titan Hartono, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Class of 2016.

***

By the way, I found the video above in MIT Admissions Blog today. Smart people, I can say. Why? Today is the notification day deadline for students to decide which college they will be enrolled in almost all colleges in United States. Different than the system that Indonesia has, as I said in many posts before, you can apply to as many colleges as you want in United States (as long as you have the capability to pay the fees!). If you get admitted, that doesn't mean that you get enrolled automatically. That's why you need to notify if you are going to a particular college. Back to the video: if you are wondering about the tube that the girl receives in the beginning of the video, I can happily explain it to you. Every admitted (undergraduate?) students in MIT will get this tube that consists of MIT balloons (?), bracelet (?), and acceptance letter (of course!). The tube is pretty big, and you can do something with it –to either impress your classmates or show off what you can do before you actually meet your classmates in the fall. Definitely check this blog to see random things!

Me? I do not hack my own tube. My sister wants to see the whole tube when I go back to Indonesia, sorry (trying to find an excuse) :P

The acceptance letter.

Yeah. I am going home in like... 3 weeks. Last weekend was a really busy one for me. Classes ended on Thursday, and followed by Appreciations show to appreciate us, second years, on Friday. I was crying (blush) when I read the letters from my first years. I know that they will just be fine without us next year, although they don't know it yet. On Saturday, we had second year (formal) dinner to appreciate what second years have contributed and the departing faculty has done. My achievement was not really significant, but I was really proud to be called as one of twelve people with zero unexcused absence and part of Learn To Swim (aka Beginning Swimmer) CAS! On Sunday, there was a dance concert, "First Steps" which is the sign that IB Dance program that is just started in my school is going well. I was really surprised to see how many talented people that this school actually has. 

I also had Math Retreat since yesterday. This retreat is basically a camp where you can only eat and study mathematics for your IB Math HL. It is pretty fun, though, with all my friends there. At least, I can say it confidently now: I am ready to do my last obligation as a high school student: do my IB Exam. Kick-off just in two days for me! Bismillahirrahmanirrahim, I hope everything will turn out really well.

Being a  part of United World College has been amazing. I will always be part of this place, although I will spend my next four years in Cambridge, MA.

Let's see what I can do for Indonesia from there.

03 April 2012

"Campur Aduk"


"Spring", photo by Brian Hang-Kin Chan (Hong Kong '13)

As a normal person who always wants to achieve something, the past three weeks have been a roller coaster for me. In one day, I can go up and down several times, and believe me, you don't want to experience this feeling.

All college decisions are already out for me, and I have good choices, indeed (with good financial aid, yippee!). Physics ended my trials week on Saturday; it was not too bad (read: I was done 30 minutes before the time finished, not because I finished the paper, but because I was blank -I had no more idea to write on that paper).

Mike's e-mail yesterday had "Last Chem IA" as its subject. Judy cancelled our class this morning because she had to go somewhere, and what she said was, "We don't have enough time, please do your homework that I already put in the castle mailbox for Wednesday. Math Retreat will be on Sunday-Monday, April 29-30."

The fact that the end is near struck me suddenly. I am going to graduate in less than two months!


My friends and family back home are really joyful by the fact that I am going home soon. Every time I see their messages on Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail, they always end it with, "I miss you, and I am so glad that you are going to be home. I promise you, we will eat, play, and smile."

Uh-oh, so now I understand how it feels to be a second year who is going to graduate soon. Nothing much left, I am almost done with my IB requirements; it only leaves one-month IB Exam in May, that's it (wait, I still have my last Chem IA!). CAS (extracurricular activities) will end in 4 weeks, and classes will finish in 4 weeks. Second years have voted for Bluemoon Cafe leaders, which will lead the final show to finish the year in the night before graduation. First years are paying full attention to second years' behavior for making fun of second years and taking revenge in Appreciation. Oh, and I forget to mention how Louis (United Kingdom '12) has started his own dinner table to take flag order. I have ordered 10 flags, and I will give about 15 flags to my close friends. My friends and I already took pictures for our yearbook page, in the river, in one sunny day, few weeks ago.

What else? It's spring. I have picnic and hike more often with my friends. Although the weather forecast says that it's going to snow tomorrow, we always find a chance to go somewhere.

If you asked what the most important thing that I have learned so far is, I would say it is personal challenge. I have never encountered so many random problems (from friendship to academic) before, and I can say confidently that I am more mature now.

I remember, in the beginning of the year, I thought that I would not have any friends, because I am just like that. Apparently, my bad assumption is proven to be wrong (hey, I need to spend 45 bucks to buy 15 flags for my friends!), so many people accept who I really am, a human who has both strength and weakness.

Instead of fulfilling my wilderness requirement by going to a spring expedition, I went to a winter expedition. I experienced the first time I could not feel my toes and palms anymore, and ate with frozen Nutella.

I spent so many hours in Room 415 to practice for my international culture show in Agua Prieta, Mexico. I only had dance skits in MAAD Show. I started to learn guitar, and finally can play my favorite piece, "Romance d' Amour". I used to believe that I am not good at dancing, or playing instrument.


Anne Farrell, my English teacher as well as my Extended Essay advisor, have been marking my English essay with her red pen, saying, "Wonderful! Perfect! I like how you write the introduction!" (excuse me if the fact is that I am still bad at blogging in English, haha) I thought that I could not write anything in English well, that is why I always insisted, "I can only write in Indonesian!"


Two of my friends are planning to visit Indonesia, as soon as they collect the money. They apparently have chosen not to stay in United States, but they will go home for studying. The fact that some people really think that you are really valuable and want to meet you in the future by crossing half of the world is amazing. I did not know that I could be loved like this.


My close friends, really close ones, can say if something is not going well in me. They always say, "Are you alright?" at the correct time. I am sorry, but maybe because we basically live with each other 24/7, they can understand me better than some friends back home.

The warmest hug that I have ever had comes from them, besides my family. Maybe because it's not my culture to hug my close friends back home.

Spring has come. At least, when I break down during graduation, I have learnt so much that I can't even regret a single thing being here. I hope.

16 Maret 2012

Kolase Hidup Ronde Kedua

Kiri bawah: post-it note biru, "Aku bangga karena aku berhasil melewatinya."

Semester lalu, aku benar-benar dikejar-kejar hantu bernama SAT. Sebuah tes, yang seperti tes lainnya, tak mampu mengukur kemampuan sebenar-benarnya seseorang karena keterbatasan sistem tes itu sendiri. Post-it note itu masih ada di mejaku, tertempel cantik. Aku melihatnya ketika membutuhkannya, saat rasanya dunia meruntuk mengejar tempatku berdiri saat ini.

Mengapa kubilang khalifah itu pemenang? Karena kamu tak bisa menjadi pemimpin buat orang lain jika kamu belum berhasil memenangkan dirimu sendiri.

Kanan bawah: logo MaxTea Tarikk.

Tanya aku, berapa kotak teh tarik instan yang kubawa dari Indonesia. Jawabannya sederhana, empat. Lebih dari cukup untuk menyambung hidup dan perasaan setahun. Hangatnya melumerkan kebekuan otak saat musim dingin dan badai salju di luar.

Hampir habis stoknya, sayangnya. Teman-temanku yang berasal dari luar negeri mengaku bahwa teh ini unik dan memiliki rasa yang berbeda. Seperti yang bisa ditebak, mereka selalu bertanya kalau aku punya ekstra. Sebagai warga negara yang baik, tentu saja aku bagi-bagi, walau kadang hati tak sepenuhnya rela.

Kanan bawah: zebra pen, "made in Indonesia".

Stok pulpen di laci belajarku menipis. Selusin pulpen yang kubawa dari Indonesia saat musim panas kemarin hanya menyisakan dua batang seminggu lalu. Apa tahun ini aku banyak menulis, ya? Semoga bukan karena menulis yang tidak-tidak atau menggambar doodle di kelas fisika dan matematika karena toleransiku dalam menerima ilmu mendekati nol.

Teriak giranglah aku ketika menemukan pulpen made in Indonesia ini di Walmart. Bangga karena jika aku membelinya berarti aku menyumbang sedikit dari neraca ekspor impor negeriku. Luar biasanya lagi, buatku yang hobi men-doodle dan nulis sembarang tempat, pulpen ini rasanya pas di tanganku, dengan besar tip-nya 0.7mm. Susah menemukan 0.7mm ini, karena ukurannya Amerika Serikat ya, pasti besar-besar.

Tengah kanan: kartu pos dari Singapura.

Mungkin sudah keluar di blog ini sebelumnya, bahwa temanku, Fitri Fatimah, sekarang belajar di National University of Singapore. Tukar-tukaran kartu pos dari dua negara yang berbeda jadi hobiku selama ini. Asyiknya, tukar kabar pun jadi salah satu hal yang paling ditunggu. Facebook? E-mail? Twitter? Lewat.

Tengah kiri: surat dari Jepang.

Pen-pal-ku yang lain adalah Nanako Harata, teman dari Kyoko Sakai (Jepang '12). Tulisannya amboi nian, dan selalu ada kejutan dari tiap suratnya. Terakhir kali, dia mengirimkan buklet kecil untuk belajar kesenian unik dari negerinya, origami. Bahasa Inggrisnya luar biasa, jika dibandingkan dengan aku yang buta menulis surat sebelum datang ke sekolah ini.

Benar-benar deh, belajar itu harus dipraktikkan. Atau hilang tak berbekas.

Tengah kiri: kartu efooddepot.com.

Situs favoritku untuk belanja belanji makanan dari ibu pertiwi. Mahal? Ya. Tapi aku selalu butuh sesuatu untuk menyambung lidah, dan tentu hati ini. Seperti obat bahan bakar yang mampu membuatku berpikir, "Titan, kalau di tes berikutnya kamu bisa dapat 7, kamu bisa makan Indomie Goreng Sate untuk malam ini."

Sungguh efektif!

Atas kanan: kartu pos dari Indonesia bergambar becak.

Kakakku mengirimkannya dari Indonesia. Setelah Lebaran, buat mengobati rasa rindu. Mungkin sebuah pertanyaan muncul di pikiranmu, "Titan, apa segitu susahnya bertahan dari rasa homesick?" Panggil aku cengeng, jika kamu sudah pernah tinggal selama 1,5 tahun di negara lain sendiri, dan jauh dari mana-mana. Jika belum, coba dulu, baru panggil aku cengeng.

Tinggal di negara lain hanya memupuk perasaan cinta akan negeriku lebih dalam setiap harinya; memberikan bahan bakar minyak untuk membuat Indonesia lebih baik.

Tengah: post-it note kuning dari teman sekamarku.

Seperti yang telah kuceritakan sebelumnya, teman sekamarku dari Polandia, Urszula Snigurska, adalah teman yang luar biasa. Tingkat kematangan pribadinya membuatku tercengang, sering kali menyentilku malah, karena komitmennya yang luar biasa pada sesuatu.

Selalu ada hal yang bisa dipelajari dari orang-orang di sekitarmu.

Tengah kanan: kartu tanda pengenal, "Titan Hartono-Indonesia."

Kartu tanda pengenal ini digunakan ketika national committee, dan orang-orang dari UWC IO dan sekolah UWC lainnya datang untuk brainstorming tentang misi UWC ke depannya. Luar biasa, sebenarnya, karena aku mendapat kesempatan untuk mendengar cerita-cerita dari keluarga besar UWC dan seberapa berpengaruhnya pengalaman mereka ini buat hidup mereka.

Buka mata, hati, telinga, untuk melihat, mendengar, dan menerima pelajaran baru. Aktifkan dan sesuaikan frekuensinya sehingga kamu bisa berada dalam keadaan tersensitifmu untuk belajar dengan efektif.

Kanan bawah: lokasi SMPN 1 Cimahi, SMAN 3 Bandung, dan nama untuk seragamku.

Dua dari empat sekolah yang telah berkontribusi dalam memberikan ilmu dan pengajarannya padaku. Juga rasa kangen akan seragam. Tahun lalu, aku membawa seragamku ke sini, tetapi sayangnya aku terlalu bodoh untuk tidak membawanya tahun ini. Rasa "berangkat ke sekolah" telah hilang, karena aku tinggal di sekolahku, hanya 5 menit waktu yang dibutuhkan untuk pergi dari kamarku ke kelasku.

Menikmati hal kecil yang mungkin tak bisa kamu miliki di masa depan adalah salah satu hal yang akan lebih kuperhatikan, sehingga sesal tak akan menggerogotiku di masa depan.

Tengah bawah: origami hantu.

Origami ini dibuat tahun lalu, saat hampir Halloween, di sebuah sekolah dasar di Las Vegas. Tiap minggunya selama semester kemarin aku mengajarkan matematika dalam bentuk permainan pada mereka. Minori Itabashi (Jepang '13), membuat origami ini untuk membuat mereka duduk diam dan memperhatikan permainan yang kami bawa hari itu.

Mereka menyenanginya. Aku juga menyenanginya. Maka dari itu, satu origami hantu itu kusimpan untuk diriku sendiri.

Atas kiri: foto dengan topi Sinterklas.

Seperti foto sebelumnya yang diambil Tom Lamberth, foto ini pun sama. Beliau selalu punya 'meja'-nya sendiri selama makan siang. Sebelum winter break kemarin, untuk merayakan holiday season, terutama hari Natal yang mendekat (yang dirayakan oleh semua orang di sini, meskipun mereka adalah non-Kristen), dia mendekorasi meja makan. Kameranya pun siap untuk mengambil foto anak-anak yang iseng-iseng mampir ke mejanya.

Dalam foto ini, aku bersama dua orang di sekolah ini yang mana aku sangat dekat dengan mereka, Jing Xia (kiri: Cina '13), dan Kripa Dongol (tengah: Nepal '12).

Aku akan merindukan mereka ketika aku lulus nanti. Sungguh.

26 Februari 2012

Kolase Hidup Ronde Pertama

Setelah MAAD yang penuh dengan maadness-nya, aku seyogyannya punya lebih banyak waktu untuk kongkow-kongkow dengan teman atau belajar mengejar IB Exam. Setelah ide toples bintang sebelumnya berjalan dengan lancar, aku memutuskan untuk melakukan hal lainnya.

Ide membingkai potongan-potongan hidup menjadi satu pun muncul. Bersegeralah aku mencari potongan-potongan itu. Inilah hasilnya, kurang rapi tapi setidaknya bermakna buatku sendiri.

Atas kiri: fotoku sendiri.

Tom Lamberth mengambilnya dan menyelipkan foto tersebut di amplop, di castle mailbox-ku. Foto itu diambil ketika aku sedang iseng-iseng datang ke persiapan project week tahun ini di Agua Prieta (aku pergi ke project week itu tahun lalu). Niatnya sih membantu teman-teman tahun pertamaku untuk belajar tari-tarian dan pengumpulan dana. Tetapi, ujung-ujungnya aku bermain-main, dan malah memecah konsentrasi mereka. Haha, terkadang di sela-sela keseriusan itu, dibutuhkan tawa untuk membuatnya lebih bermakna.

Atas kanan: kartu pos sekolahku, kastil. Diambil bertahun-tahun yang lalu.

Kartu pos yang sama kukirimkan untuk adik-adik kelasku di SMPN 1 Cimahi, terutama anak-anak Scout One. Mengapa? Karena aku ingin membuat mereka percaya bahwa segala sesuatunya bisa dicapai kalau ada usaha. Beberapa dari mereka mendekatiku via Facebook dan Twitter, termotivasi untuk melanglang buana juga. Rasanya bangga sekali melihat keinginan dan usaha mereka yang luar biasa. Kadang-kadang tiap aku mengendorkan usahaku, aku lihat saja seberapa inginnya mereka mengeksplorasi dunia. Pecut dari mereka nyatanya luar biasa juga untuk membuatku bertahan satu jam lebih dari biasanya, karena aku selalu percaya, "Yang membuatmu jadi pemenang adalah usaha yang lebih sedikit dari usaha rata-rata orang lain."

Di tengah kartu pos: one dime dollar US (10 cents), 1 peso Meksiko, 5 peso Meksiko.

Dua negara berbeda selain Indonesia di mana aku telah menginjakkan kakiku. Sebenarnya, aku lebih senang dengan peso Meksiko, karena bentuk koinnya lebih unik, haha. Satu hal yang menarik dari one dime dollar adalah betapa anehnya sistem koin di Amerika Serikat. One dime yang bernilai 10 cents ini, bentuknya jauh lebih kecil dibandingkan koin 5 cents. Dibandingkan dengan koin di mata uang lain yang semakin besar nilainya semakin besar koinnya, koin di Amerika Serikat ini susah dibedakan kalau belum terbiasa. Ujung-ujungnya, dengan mata myopiaku ini, aku harus memicingkan dan membaca labelnya.

Tengah: boarding pass American Airlines Los Angeles-Albuquerque.

Entahlah, mungkin di masa depan aku tak akan memiliki boarding pass seperti ini. Lulus tahun ini, pikiranku cukup terberatkan. Rasa enggan meninggalkan tempat ini selalu memenuhi pikiran. Pengalaman ini terlalu unik untuk kutinggalkan.

Aku masih ingat bagaimana kesalnya hati ini untuk mendapatkan boarding pass satu itu. Bandara Los Angeles, buatku, besarnya luar biasa. Imigrasinya pun panjang mengular ke mana-mana. Tiba di sana dari Hong Kong bersama ratusan orang lainnya yang mendarat dari Jepang, Korea, Cina, dan London, bukan perkara gampang. Tiga jam sudah aku menunggu dan waktu tersisa bagiku untuk mengejar penerbangan berikutnya ke Albuquerque amatlah mepet. Boarding pass penerbangan ke Albuquerque pun belum di tangan. Walhasil, setelah lolos dari imigrasi, aku menyeret dua koper besarku ke terminal domestik. 

30 menit sebelum pesawat ke Albuquerque take off

Antrian panjang untuk mendapatkan boarding pass dan check-in dua koperku membuatku kesal sendiri. Ternyata aku antri di tempat yang salah. 

25 menit sebelum pesawat ke Albuquerque take off. 

Ternyata antrian yang benar itu jauh lebih pendek. Petugas di konter menanyakan sesuatu, tetapi telingaku masih belum terbiasa dengan bahasa Inggris beraksenkan Amerika setelah tiga bulan lamanya menghabiskan musim panas di Indonesia. Aku cuma bisa membulatkan mataku, dan bertanya, "Pardon?"

20 menit sebelum pesawat ke Albuquerque take off.

Kubuka sepatuku. Kutaruh di keranjang kecil bersama tas tangan dan backpack-ku. Kurelakan keranjang itu masuk X-Ray scanner. Kurelakan juga diriku masuk ke mesin canggih pendeteksi logam itu. Tidak berbunyi. Petugas TSA itu hanya manggut-manggut dan membiarkanku lewat ke terminal di mana pesawatku berada.

10 menit sebelum pesawat ke Albuquerque take off.

Kutahan nafasku, setelah berlari-lari mencari terminal pesawatku, dan melompat ke shuttle bus yang pintunya hampir menutup, melintasi bandara, menuju ke terminal di mana pesawatku benar-benar berada. Sara Sebti (Canada '12) dan Atsunobu Kotani (Japan '12) adalah dua orang UWC-er pertama yang kutemui setelah musim panas. Peluk erat, dan kupasrahkan tubuhku dibawa burung besi itu ke New Mexico, Land of Enchantment.

Tengah: kartu pos New Mexico.

Aku senang mengirim kartu pos untuk teman-temanku. Berbagi rasanya hidup di negeri orang. Kartu pos ini tak semurah kartu pos yang bisa kudapatkan di Indonesia, harga kartu pos ini sekitar 30 cents. Lumayan, tetapi coba hitung sendiri kalau 40 temanmu minta dikirimi kartu pos, dengan perangko internasional yang harganya 98 cents. Lumayang menguras dompet.

Tengah: flash card, catatan kimiaku.

Kebiasaan baru buatku. Mungkin tidak bagimu. Menulis catatan pelajaran kecil-kecil di kartu dan membawanya ke mana-mana untuk dibaca pada waktu senggang. Aku melakukan hal yang sama untuk pelajaran Ekonomi, karena lumayan banyak yang harus dihapal sebagai pengetahuan dasar dalam menganalisis masalah Ekonomi. Tanya aku, apa efek dari international trade dari sisi ekonomi dan non-ekonomi, maka akan kuberitahukan 10 poin jawabannya.

Bawah kiri: struk belanja di Walmart.

Bukan satu-satunya tempat belanja, tetapi aku selalu pergi ke sana dengan alasan kepraktisan. Tiap kali aku ke sana, satu hal benang merahnya: belanjaannya juga sama. Biskuit, keripik kentang, cookies, sereal, susu kedelai, adalah sedikit dari makanan yang harus aku beli. Entahlah, musim dingin seperti ini rasanya selalu lapar melulu, sementara rentang waktu makan pagi-siang-malam tak berubah. Maafkan aku orangtuaku, jika kiriman uang dari rumah kuhabiskan untuk mengganjal perut yang tak tahu malu ini.

Bawah kanan: surat dari Simbah.

Simbah Putri, nenekku di Jogja, selalu mengirimkan surat untukku dengan rutinnya, dengan enam perangko 2500 rupiah-an. Dititipkan ke Pak Pos yang mampir ke rumah Mbah sekali dalam sekian minggu. Melintasi benua, meringankan luka kerinduan.

Aku kangen kota itu, sungguh. Keramahan orang-orangnya, kelezatan makanannya, dan kasih sayang keluarga besarku di sana. Membuatku kadang berpikir, kapan aku bisa merayakan Idul Fitri di sana lagi. Keliling-keliling ke rumah saudara-saudaraku, mengharapkan percikan angpao sedikit. Melepas diri ke pantai yang jauhnya hanya setengah jam, membiarkan kelelahan hati dan keberatan pikiran terobati meski sedikit. Menikmati tradisi, menuai cinta, dan tersenyum lega.

Aku kangen rumah, aku kangen Indonesia.

25 Februari 2012

Middle Eastern, Asian, and Australian Day 2012 (3)++

Sorry for the late post. I was waiting if the UWC-USA website would upload the video of the whole MAAD Show, but apparently not (sad face).

Thanks to everyone for making it happened, one of my best experiences at UWC, especially people who took these amazing pictures: Hannah Freedman (USA '12), Nico Grubert (Germany '12), Jeanice Vacarizas (Bahrain/ The Philippines '12), Brian Chan (Hong Kong '13), and my roommate, Urszula Snigurska (Poland '13).

Bagian Pertama: Makan Malam (Dinner)


A great dinner atmosphere was developed really well. In the lobby, the guests were welcomed by Turkish tea, and the dining hall itself was decorated in East Asian way -mostly red nuance. Of course, we force those Americans, Latin Americans, Europeans, and Africans to use chopstick!

Decorated dining hall!

The preparation of the food was started since Thursday, two days before MAAD Dinner and Show. I stayed in the kitchen on Friday after class, and the whole Saturday. The food was really good though, I really like Inari Sushi (one of the main dish for vegetarian). Moreover, we also had dim sum cart (with shrimp filling!), which I really liked. The mint lemonade, gave a perfect balance with all the foods served.

I was chopping A LOT OF onions. Chop-chop-chop, until I cried!  

For the dinner, I performed Tari Merak (Peacock Dance). Unfortunately, no one recorded or took any picture of me, so... (sad face) However, my friends (Sopheaktra- Cambodia '12, Rigsar- Bhutan '12, and Andrew- Hong Kong '12) also performed Korean dance during dinner, which made all the people startled like this...


Thanks to Max John Heng Pin (Singapore '12) for taking this video! 


Bagian Kedua: Pertunjukan (The Show)

After spending almost one month practicing and rehearsing every day, a thought popped out in my mind, “This is the time, Titan. Do it wholeheartedly and enjoy every time you have on stage.”

Honestly, MAAD Show was a big accomplishment for me, since I always believed, “Titan, you do not have any talent in art, theater, or music. Just study and get better in Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry.”

Last year, when I went to Agua Prieta, Mexico, half of this belief was disputable. However, after that, half of my mind questioned, “Was what happened in Agua Prieta a dream?”

Bringing that spirit, I worked hard to pursue two things in MAAD: getting Indonesian culture represented (which was done by Saman Dance with 17 other people, including my countrymate, a first year from Tangerang-Jakarta, Indonesia, Nadya Setyoyudo), and knowing my limit. I was in four dance skits, which was surprising even for me since I am not a good dancer.

Another half of my belief was disputable. I actually COULD do whatever I wanted to do, as long as I put my effort into it.

Try to find where I am! 

Now, you probably understand how hard it is to put on a cultural show, dinner, and activities. Although I was not anyone (I was not a leader in anything), I was proud of myself that I could reach and sense where my limit was.

It was amazing.

To sum up, if I could choose one out of many UWC Values (since I will graduate soon, in three months), I would choose "Personal Challenge" as one that fits me the best. I have tried to try everything. For my last three months here, I would like to see more, explore more, hear more, and speak more, so I can leave this place without any regret (which will be hard somehow).

Two videos which are my favorites, were shown during intermission between first and second act. I hope you enjoy these videos. Thanks to Inga Lam (Hong Kong '12) for the Korean drama parody video, and Fiachra MacFadden (Singapore/ Ireland '13) for the Study Hard Anthem. Good job, guys!

A Winter Tale's from the Heart - Inga Lam

Study Hard Anthem - Fiachra MacFadden

Bagian Ketiga: Di Belakang Layar (Behind the Scene)

The most amazing times actually happened behind the scene. I had a great time with my regionmate, got to know them better, and gave them a chance to get to know me better (which I think they did, wink).

I send my respect to Jomar Pecson (The Philippines '12) who worked so hard for the amazing backdrop in order to represent our rich cultures. I also tried to help, a little bit. Thanks to Nadya, my countrymate, that batik was represented on the backdrop!



I will miss these times for sure, but the only thing that I can do is treasuring it (deep) in my heart. Talking about treasuring memories, for the last few weeks, I have been working on what I called, "Saving Memories". I write interesting things happening in my life on a paper, fold it to make stars, and put it in a big jar.

Sweet!

As other cultural days, MAAD also had its own party. However, I did not really go to the party (I chose not to) because I was exhausted physically and emotionally. Thanks to Lucien (The Netherlands '12) for giving me the flower after the show. It accompanied me for the whole night! 


Everything was amazing. After MAAD, I cannot feel relaxed even for a little bit, since I need to study for IB Exam which will come in less than two months. Wish me luck, everyone. 

The last but not the least is a video that South-East Asians made in my sister school, Atlantic College, Wales, UK. Epic epicness. My co-year, Nadya Pramudita (Indonesia '12) is also there. Enjoy!

08 Februari 2012

Middle Eastern, Asian, and Australian Day 2012 (2)

video
MAAD Assembly Video, thanks to Inga Lam (Hong Kong '12) for the awesome video!

So, the MAAD week is finally here! Everyone gets pumped up, and of course, we rehearse crazily. I mean, crazily. Sometimes, I think that the Asian stereotypes are true: you put 120% effort for everything that is important for you, you rehearse in "crazy" place and time (come on, who rehearse at 8 a.m. on Sunday, or after midnight for cultural show?)

We also had awesome walk-in yesterday, during dinner, in the dining hall. A sequence of dances that presented all of our regions were performed, from Henna Night, Candle Dance, Haka, Chant, Bollywood, to K-Pop. Tonight, there is a hot sauce competition (if in Asia you usually compete to finish a certain amount of food in a tight time, but this one: you need to finish the chili/hot sauce/ whatever it is).

In addition, there will be eight second years who will come this weekend! I really miss them (especially you, Vu Thanh Chau!). Their presences also make me push myself even harder to give my best for the show.

Get ready, people. MAAD is coming to United World College-USA!

31 Januari 2012

Middle Eastern, Asian, and Australian Day 2012 (1)

Thank you so much, Brian Chan (Hong Kong '12) for your amazing pictures! Other amazing pictures: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.285237768205482.71920.260270987368827&type=1. Don't forget to like the page! :)
Picture 1: All Middle Eastern, Asian, and Australian Day members.

If you ask me, "What's up, Titan?" I will sincerely say, "Too many things going on at the same time."

MAAD 2012, or Middle Eastern, Asian, and Australian Day 2012 is approaching faster than I have expected. This will be my last cultural day at UWC-USA and my first cultural show where I will perform (of course, I'm not like some of my friends who are 20% Asian, 20% European, 20% African, 20% North American, and 20% South American). 

Although my sleep pattern is messed up and my fourth semester in UWC doesn't feel like fourth semester (it's more like the extension of third semester), I'm really happy to see every Asian, Australian, and Middle Eastern get together, rehearse for an amazing show, plan an amazing MAAD week, and try to find the best cuisine from each region for the dinner. 

If you ask me, "Are you stressed out?"

I will sincerely say, "Yes." However, I am enjoying the process, including the fact that I'm stressed out. It will be my last cultural day here, and I really want to show my culture and who I am in this one special day. Even though my friends sometimes worry about me ("Hey Titan! Did you get enough sleep last night? You look tired!"), and sometimes I am upset just because some little things do not go really well, my prediction of my big smile on that day really gives me strength.

As my favorite quote says, "Everything will be fine in the end; if it's not fine, then it's not the end."

I really give my best in every rehearsals (especially rehearsals for Saman Dance!), and we will see. I will post the link for other pictures and the video of the show (it's usually up on UWC-USA website one week after the show, at the latest).

11 February. I will see how much I have grown up for the last one month.

02 Januari 2012

Happy New Year 2012!

From the highest place in Zacatecas, Mexico: Happy New Year 2012!

Doomsday? No, that was not the first thing that came to my mind when the date in the corner of my laptop screen changed into 1/1/2012. It is going to be an interesting year: I will finally graduate from high school in May -the moment that I have been waiting for, do IB Exam, get into college, spend my second 'summer holiday' in Indonesia, and more things to do. Another life transition from high school to college, obviously. I am wondering if it will go smoothly. I hope.

In my personal (read: password protected) blog, I have written twenty nine resolution for this year. It will still increase, since I always encounter new things and experience every day. I hope those dreams will come true this year.

In less than 24 hours, I will leave Mexico and go back to The Land of Enchantment, New Mexico, United States. As you can expect, I already feel like home here, in Mexico, so it is sort of hard to just leave like that. What makes my feeling worse is the fact that next semester is going to be my last semester in UWC, the school that has changed my perception about the world.

One of my resolution for my last semester is, "Enjoying every second I have, socializing with my friends, and reflecting about my target more."

Rooftop of Zacatecas, in the afternoon.

Nicol, my Costa Rican friend who shares the same room with me during this winter break, was really homesick. New Year's Eve is a great deal in Latin America, but here, we celebrated it simply. Barbecue and fireworks, of course, are the two main actors in this event. However, due the fact that I am a vegetarian, I did not eat that much.

The best thing was when my best middle school friends got together in Jakarta to celebrate New Year. We spent the countdown together (Indonesian time, absolutely), which was kind of weird because it was still midday in my place (13 hours difference!).

OK, I have some more pictures from the Rooftop of Zacatecas. First, there are three cowboy sculptures whose horses that have different poses. The first horse has both front feet on the ground, the second horse has one foot up, and the third horse has both feet up. They represent the horses that die because of oldness/sickness but not war, war, and sickness after war.

The second horse.

The second horse from the hill.

La Bufa, the hill.


View from the hill.

Mausoleo de Los Hombres Ilustres de Zacatecas. What is it?

This is it. How does it look like?

This is how it looks like.

I do not know where my feet will bring me this year. However, wherever I am going, as long as it gives me new experience and air to be breathed, I will be happy. I welcome myself to another adventurous year, 2012.