Friday, May 19, 2017

Paman Gober and Why I Didn't Participate

Paman Gober, stands for Penanaman dan Gowes Bersama (frankly, I'm not too sure about whether 'Penanaman' part is right or wrong), is an annual sport and go-green event hosted by OSIS. Basically, students and staffs cycle together to a certain location via a certain route. When they reach that certain location, they plant tress which are already prepared. I wish I can talk about this event more, but that is all I know because I didn't participate in the last Paman Gober. I remember that that day was about a week far from KPA's concert day, and I was dead tired by practicing the night before.

Beside using the concert as my excuse, I should also tell you this. I don't cycle. As in, I can't ride a bike well. My father taught me when I was little, but other than that I've never really picked up a bike and cycle. School is impossible to reach with bike so my father usually escort. When someone in my family need something from Indomaret or the nearest photocopy shop, my brother will ride his motorcycle and I will just tag along. In short, there's no occasion that requires me to ride a bike, which sums to me not being able to properly ride a bike.

Not being able to properly ride a bike, because in fact I can ride a bike. It's the road and traffic I'm scared with. I mean, there is other human being riding his car or motorcycle or bike or just walking, and what if I lose control of my bike and hit them? What if I can't understand the traffic signs and make a traffic jam? What if I can't cycle quickly because I'm too scared by the sounds of beep! beep! coming from a car behind me? What if I fall in front of some boy I like and terribly embarrass myself?

There was this accident happened to me when I was 12. That year, I just learned how to cycle and was really happy to cycle every Sunday mornings. That one morning, I was bored by only cycling leisurely so I decided to pick the speed up a little bit. Unfortunately, my feet don't understand the concept of 'a little bit', so they end up paddling too fast until I lose control. The paddles rotated like crazy and the bike swerved left and right. The bike didn't show any sign to stop when a car (white Avanza car, I still remember) was about to pass. I almost hit the car but luckily missed it by an inch or two. The car passed, but my bike still didn't want to stop. Scared to face another vehicle and the probability to hit it, I throw myself on the sidewalk.

I was glad that this accident happen on a small road where people rarely pass, so I didn't get ooh-ed and ahh-ed and 'are you okay?'-ed by others because I would surely cry if someone asked me that. I didn't cry, thankfully, but my bike got broken and I got bruises here and there (the severe one was beside my mouth, causing me to hate eating for several months). I dragged my bike the rest way home. That bike was never used again after that.

So if you can provide me a pillow-like road on which I can fall cozily anytime and with no other vehicle or people passing, I will, with no doubts, cycle.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Dewa Athena & Evaluation Day

Dewa Athena is an annual sport festival and I, as a tenth grader in this school, should have participated in it. The sad fact is that I didn’t participate in any single game. The first day of the event was on Saturday, and Saturday is the day KPA (Keluarga Paduan Angklung, a team of angklung players in SMAN 3 Bandung, yay!) spends the most to practice. Of course it’s natural to miss one or two practice in case of this kind of event, but that Saturday is the fourth Evaluation Day. Before you waste your breath to ask ‘what is Evaluation Day and why can’t you get a permission to miss it?’, I will gladly explain.
Evaluation Day comes every beginning of the month ant it checks how much we improve from the prior month. We play every song we’ve practiced and see if the outcome is good enough for the upcoming concert. If it’s good enough to satisfy our coach, good! If it gains frown from our coach, it’s disaster because the concert is only less than a month away, and we sure aren’t going to entertain the audiences that way! Evaluation Day is really important and it needs every single person it can have. You see, if one person is missing from the team, it means that a certain angklung is not being played, which means there would be flaws in songs we play.
I truly regret that I didn’t participate in my first Dewa Athena event, but I did participate as a committee on the eleventh grade tournament. I was an LO for XI Science 5, and I was lucky enough to get this class because I was already familiar with Teh Nurul, my senior who happens to be in this class. Basically, my job was to inform the class I handle what tournament would they play, where to go after certain tournament, check the student attendance, etc. Frankly, it was a tiring and boring job because I just got to see them play without myself playing, plus the ones playing were eleventh grader and not tenth grader who I’m more friendly with. But anyway, I was left very satisfied when I finish this job and I didn’t regret that I applied to be a committee.
Since I’m done with telling you my Dewa Athena experience, now is the time to tell you about the Evaluation Day! Evaluation Day is always scary for me because alumna deliberately come to watch us play and it’d be disappointing to both of us if we turned out playing badly. I don’t know if I can tell you this (because it’ll affect the ticket sales for the concert) but we didn’t play our best last Evaluation Day. Personally, I keep forgot the notes I should be playing. I panicked, like ‘Should I play now? Gosh, what part are we in now?’ and my panic didn’t help at all because all it did is making me jittery and sweaty. Not to mention the angklungs I carried. Forgive my exaggeration, but it did feel like I was carrying an overweight three years old baby with only one hand for three hours straight. I felt like screaming and dropping the angklungs especially after we play the last song. And the high heels! In order to familiarize us girls, we play while using our 7 centimeters high heels. Because I wasn’t used to use high heels (at all!), my feet were sore to the bones. Yep, after the last song, I quickly take them off and walk back with my lovely bare feet.

Although I keep going on and on about how hard it was to play angklung, please don’t get me wrong. I reeeaaally love playing it. When we play a song together, it feels like I was inside a magic work and I just feel so grateful to be part of the team. We work hard to improve for this concert, and that’s why I would like for you to watch us play later on 29th April 2017 (yep, this is a shameless promotion). For more information, you can search through KPA’s official account on Line. See you! 

Monday, February 27, 2017

Crossword Puzzle

1.  Differing from the usual or normal way; odd
2. Timeless tale circulated orally among people.
4. Assigned character.
5. Period of life when one is young.
7. Electronic network that connects computers.
8. A person who navigates
10. Thought, concept, or object formed by imagination.
11. Sailboat for cruising.
12. Not cooked.
13. Portion of surface (plural)
14. Something that has to be identified.
15. Having limited amount of light; dark.
15.  To inhale sharply through the mouth because of shock.
16. The act of moving a hand back and forth on the surface of something.

2. In a state of danger;at risk.
4. A violent uproar by a crowd.
6. A vehicle that transports passengers in return for payment.
9. A tiny beetle that has a long snout.
13. A Japanese Buddhist movement that emphasizes the value of meditation as a way to achieve enlightenment.
16. A scent or smell.
17. A bitter dispute; conflict.
20. A spontaneous and spasmodic muscle movement.
21. The star around which the earth orbits.

22. A sexual orientation in which attraction occurs within the same sex.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Mother Nature: The Mother We Don’t Know

Living in a country where more than half of it is still untouched by human hands may be great reason for me to write this essay. People may expect something big. And it is disappointing to say that I won’t write anything big. My whole life, I’ve been surrounded by jumble of wires packed into steel. They call it technology. I call it obstacle and challenge at the same time. My parents complain that my childhood was not as harsh as theirs are because I didn’t spend mine planting rice plant in filthy mud or climbing trees with friends. Every time they tell me that, I want to scream ‘Why can’t I have the same experience you had? Don’t you ever think that I want that, too? Why was I surrounded by camera lenses instead of sunrays? Where was nature for me?’ I live in the city, one of the biggest in our country. Wild forests and sea are far from here. My social studies teacher said that half the land of Indonesia is forest. And so I keep wondering, where are those trees?

Kids my ages are all fools. We don’t see nature, we only see our parents’ camera lenses. We don’t know what rice grain looks like, we only know the sight of a bowl of porridge our maid made. We don’t see the beauty in a tree, we only memorize the latin name of it in social studies class. And yet adults are throwing their rage at us. We don’t appreciate nature anymore, they say. We ungrateful kids only know how to turn on our parents’ phone and play games, they say. Little did they know that we miss nature. Isn’t it magical, to miss something you don’t quite know?

I’ve been staying unacquainted with nature too long, and this is my wish.  Ten years from now, I don’t picture myself being a doctor or a pilot. Instead, I will live near both forest and sea. I will live in a cabin made from woods. I don’t want telephone wires to block the sunlight from my face. I want to ride my bike to the beach when the sun sets. I want to be woken by chirps of birds instead of alarm’s roar. I want to have a pet, a cat with thick fur if the heaven allow. I want to write on piece of paper and draw on the other side of it. I want to get rid of my mobile phone, even if it means cutting contact with my old classmates. I want to make fire and camp in the forest one night, with a nice book to keep me company. I want to play outside all day, and come home in the evening to my warm cabin where I will cook dinner. This is my utopia. But it won’t be my reality.

When I grow up, I want to prevent the new generation from feeling the way I did. I want them to be familiar with nature, so when they see caterpillar they won’t scream but gently set it on a tree instead. I don’t want to make them memorizing the name of the biggest forest in the country, I want them to feel love for it so they can protect it from harm. I want them to feel that nature is everywhere, and artificial world is not in power yet. Nature is our mother, and it’s only natural for us to know her.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Favorite Song of Lifetime

"Growing Up (Sloane's Song)"

(with Ryan Lewis)
(feat. Ed Sheeran)

They say boys don't cry
But your dad has shed a lot of tears
They say I should be a strong man
But baby, I'm still filled with fear
Sometimes I don't know who I am
Sometimes I question why I'm here
I just wanna be a good dad
Will I be? I have no idea

They say girls shouldn't be tough
And moms should raise their kids at home
But baby, I know that that isn't true
'Cause your mama's the toughest person I know
I wanna raise you to be like her
And watch you show the world how to do it on your own
I'm still tryna figure out who I am
I don't wanna mess this up or do this wrong

I'm gonna be there for your first breath
I don't know if I'll be there for your first step
I can promise you that I'll try to work less
But the tour's routed, and I got this album
Put in so many hours, and I just want the outcome
To be something that I can look back and I can be proud of
Don't wanna be a dad that's living in FaceTime
But I've got a world to sing to and you at the same time

I won't spoil you, you can trust that
For your sweet sixteen, you get a bus pass
Had your heart broken? Been there, done that
I love you and I can't give you enough of that
Get back to community that raised you up
Read Langston Hughes, I suggest "A Raisin in the Sun"
Listen to Sam Cooke, a change gon' come
You put the work in, don't worry about the praise, my love
Don't try to change the world, find something that you love
And do it every day
Do that for the rest of your life
And eventually, the world will change

[Ed Sheeran:]
I'll be patient, one more month
You'll wrap your fingers 'round my thumb
Times are changing, I know, but who am I if
I'm the person you become
If I'm still growing up, up, up, up
I'm still growing up, up, up, up
I'm still growing up

I recommend that you read "The Alchemist"
Listen to your teachers, but cheat in calculus
Tell the truth, regardless of the consequence
And every day, give your mama a compliment
Take your girl to the prom
But don't get too drunk hanging out the limo
Slow dance with your woman in your arms
Sneak her in after, but boy, you better tiptoe
Don't wake your mom up, do yoga, learn 'bout karma
Find God, but leave the dogma

The quickest way to happiness?
Learning to be selfless
Ask more questions, talk about yourself less
Study David Bowie, James Baldwin and 2Pac
Watch the sun set with best friends from a rooftop
Wear a helmet - don't be stupid!
Jaywalk, but look before you do it
If it snows, go outside, build a jump, get some help
Get a sled, thrash the hill with your friends, 'til it melts
Go to festivals, camp, fall in love and dance

You're only young once, my loved one, this is your chance
Take risks, 'cause life moves so fast
You're only young once, my loved one, this is your chance

[Ed Sheeran:]
I'll be patient, one more month
You'll wrap your fingers 'round my thumb
Times are changing, I know, but who am I if
I'm the person you become
If I'm still growing up, up, up, up
I'm still growing up, up, up, up

[Ed Sheeran:]
I'll be patient, one more month
You'll wrap your fingers 'round my thumb
Times are changing, I know, but who am I if
I'm the person you become
If I'm still growing up, still growing up, still growing up
If I'm still growing up, still growing up, still growing up

[Ed Sheeran:]
I'm still growing up
I'm still growing up, ooh
I'm still growing up
I'm still growing up

My opinion and how this song affects me:
Macklemore wrote this song for his newly born daughter, Sloane, and this is why he gave it the additional title ‘Sloane’s Song’. What I grasped from the song is that he wasn’t quite ready yet to be a dad. Just like what he writes himself;  I just wanna be a good dad. Will I be? I have no idea. He was still in a journey to find himself, but the world gives him a daughter. I personally adore him like this, the way he told the world openly that he is a grown-up who doesn’t fully grown yet. He told us through the lyrics that he still makes mistakes and even hasn’t found his purpose of life yet.

He put all his heart into this song because he wrote it for his daughter. He told her what to do and what not to do while growing up, and you can directly see that Macklemore only wants his daughter (or son, judging by the lyrics) to be kind and nothing more. As if he wanted to say that being smart, rich, or pretty is not as important as being kind.  

The reason why this song appeals the most to me than any other songs is because I love my father. I listen to the song remembering him. I always think of my father as someone strong because he helps me all the time and never once complain while doing it. To be honest, sometimes I forget that he is also a normal human-being. I forget that he also has his up-and-downs, that he can’t help me every time I have my trouble, and that he can feel sad and even cry. Through this song I learned so much about the struggle of being a father, and this makes me respect my father a lot more.

This song also taught me that people grow up. You may think that adults around you have their problems all figured out, but in fact they don’t. Maybe they still feel confused about themselves, like Macklemore, because they are also growing up like you and me. This song taught me to not be afraid of making mistakes as long as we learn and grow from them.

The letter Macklemore wrote, in addition to his song:

I wish that I could say that I was in a “better place” when I found out the news. It would make for a far more polished and respectable story. But I think back to that night: praying on the floor at 2am as Tricia went to the bathroom to take the pregnancy test I’d just purchased from Walgreens. I was scared. Scared to start working on new music. Scared of trying again and failing. Scared of the process of staring at myself through a page and seeing someone that I wasn’t proud of. Someone that I didn’t like. Someone that wasn’t ready to be a dad.

I’ve always had some make-believe image in my head of who I would be as a father. I held on to clear expectations of where I wanted be in my career, my age, my level of self-care, and my maturity. I basically assumed that I'd have it all together. But in actuality the hypothetical “dad" version of me looked completely different than the man whose heart was beating out of his chest on the carpet, praying to a god or spirit I hadn’t talked to in months. When Tricia walked out of the bathroom, I knew. And I knew I had to change.

5 months later we were recording in a remote cabin away from the density that is Seattle. I was finally having fun in the studio for the first time in years. Songs were getting made, finally. I was going back to the city once a week to attend a birthing class with Tricia. When I got back to the cabin the next day, Ryan had made a new beat that would eventually become the song you’re listening to. Half of it is advice about growing up. The other half is trying to figure out how to grow up myself.

When you try to escape yourself, life has an interesting way of creating situations that force you to come back. To look at who you are. This is why “Growing up” felt like the right song to re-emerge with. It’s where I’ve been the last year, through all the ups and downs. We didn’t want to do a big campaign or anything over the top with this. We just wanted to put out good music, directly to the people that have been here since the beginning. Thank you for your patience. Hope you enjoy.

And if you’re wondering…

Our daughter, Sloane Ava Simone Haggerty was born 2 months ago on May 29th. There is nothing like the joy and happiness that comes from bringing a baby into this universe. She has filled my heart in ways that I never knew were possible. She is the love of my life. This song is for her.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Holiday 2016

Last holiday, which happened until two days ago, felt like a long break after around six months of studying. To be honest it's really hard to write this because I didn't exactly go anywhere for vacation. The two weeks holiday I use mainly for letting some steam off, which means: doze off for half the day, eat junk foods, read novels, watch movies, all repeated. It was an unproductive holiday but it was really nice to finally do nothing in a day.

Logically speaking, of course I didn't spend every single day of my holiday doing nothing. I actually went to some places and did some things.

1. In the first morning of 2017, my family and I went to Rancabuaya Beach in Garut. We didn't expect anything because the holiday season always make tourist places packed up. You know the saying about if someone expect the worst, the good will come to him? Well, that didn't match with our situation. The way to the beach was a long one and not easy to pass. We went past the mountains, and although the scenery was beautiful, I got very nauseous and chose to fall in deep sleep instead.

Arrived at the beach, Dad had trouble finding a spot to park. So, we circle the beach a few times and I know what was in everyone else's mind although they didn't say it. One, the beach was dirty. Seriously, everywhere you see, you'll see empty crushed Coke cans. Two, it was packed of throng. Three, this beach might not be worth the long way we just passed. But anyway, we played around by the beach for sometime (ps, only four of us got into the water because my brother and sister decided to be a wimp and just sat guarding our belongings, which was okay actually). 

After tidying up, we went back into the car. According to our itinerary, we would go to Santolo beach before going home for good. Unfortunately, here came another unfortunate thing. The road was jammed. We stayed in one spot for almost an hour! It was really depressing that we decided to forget the plan to Santolo beach and just go home. But (this was another unfortunate thing) Dad didn't seem to be in good condition to drive home straight away. His legs were weary and his head was dizzy. So, totally out of the blue, we checked in a hotel in Garut. I didn't bring more change with me, so I wear the exact same outfit until the next day when we got home.

2. My twin cousins stayed in our home for a week. They were three years old, a boy and a girl, and they are cute. I always say that I want little sibling, and now I finally got two. There isn't much to tell, because in that week we only played around with each other. I just wanted to write this because they are really cute, and good kids on top of that.

3. I read many new books. I sell some old books of mine to an online shop and got some money in return. I used that money to buy new ones to read for the holiday. Aside from reading books, I also watched many movies. Horror movies, mainly. I watched them with my two sisters at night almost every night of the holiday. Fun fact: one of my sister, Mbak Ra, is easily scared but she was the one who persuaded us to watch the movies. Throughout the scary scene, her body would shake really hard which totally irritated me and got me out of the mood. When the ghosts appeared (you know, that one slight second when the camera closed up at the ghost's face and the sound effect turned up really loud), she would banged her hands everywhere. Some of her punch landed on me, who is unfortunate enough to sit beside her for the whole movie.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Biography: Stephen Hawking

1.      Stephen Hawking was born in Oxford, England on January 8, 1942. He grew up in a highly educated family. Both of his parents had attended Oxford University and his father, Frank, was a medical researcher. The Hawkings, as one close family friend described them, were an "eccentric" bunch. Dinner was often eaten in silence, each of the Hawkings intently reading a book.

Early in his academic life, Hawking, while recognized as bright, was not an exceptional student. During his first year at St. Albans School, he was third from the bottom of his class. By his own account, Hawking didn't put much time into his studies. He would later calculate that he averaged about an hour a day focusing on school. And yet he didn't really have to do much more than that.

He wanted to study math at university but Oxford didn't have a math degree at the time so he chose physics and chemistry instead. Stephen found college coursework to be very easy. After graduation, he went to Cambridge to study for his PhD.

2.      While Hawking was working on his PhD at Cambridge University, he began to have health issues. His speech became slurred and he became very clumsy, often dropping items or falling for no reason. After going through a series of tests, doctors discovered that Hawking had a disease called ALS (also called Lou Gehrig's disease). At the time, the doctors said he only had a few years to live.

Although Hawking was initially depressed over his diagnosis, he decided that there were things he wanted to accomplish with his life. He began to study and work harder than ever before. He wanted to earn his PhD before he died.
But the most significant change in his life was the fact that he was in love. He met and fell in love with a girl named Jane Wilde. Between his work and Jane, Hawking had a reason to live.

Despite the initial grim diagnosis from his doctors, Hawking has lived a full and productive life with the help of science and modern medicine. Although he is confined to a wheelchair and cannot talk, he can communicate using a touch pad computer and a voice synthesizer.

3.      Stephen spent much of his academic work researching black holes and space-time theories. He wrote many important papers on the subject and became a noted expert on relativity and black holes. The radiation from black holes has become known as Hawking Radiation.

Stephen also enjoyed writing books. In 1988 he published A Brief History in Time. This book covered modern subjects on cosmology such as the big bang and black holes in terms that could be understood by the average reader. The book became very popular selling millions of copies and remaining on the London Sunday Times best-seller list for four years.