Posted in 30 Days Writing Challenge #10 Nov-Dec 2017, english

With The Man


#English

#Imagination

This morning, while surfing the net to find more ideas to teach writing, I stumbled upon this cool English teaching site. One of the ideas for teaching suggested there, was to give some prompts for students. Students, then, compose a piece of writing accordingly.

One of the prompts the site suggested, though, was interesting:

If you could spend 24 hours locked in a room with any person throughout history, who would it be?

Of course, this is just a hypothetical question. I do not think anyone would be willing to be locked for 24 hours in a room with anyone. No matter how interesting the person would be. However, it is still thrilling to imagine that I can meet anyone, literally anyone, I want to meet.

So, here we go.

If I could spend 24 hours locked in a room with any person throughout history, I would be very excited to meet …

First person I had in my mind, well obviously, The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. But that would be very cliché. Not that I do not think of him, as the most important person in history of mankind, but because my thought of him and my plan to meet him, would be too personal and would be my spiritual experience, if any.

So, second of all. Hmm … I would probably meet The Fuhrer himself. I wanted to meet Adolf Hitler. Having 24 hours time with him would be thrilling and fascinating at the same time. I always wonder of how some people’s minds work. And I could not imagine of how Hitler perceive people and the world.

I mean, seriously. This guy was probably one of the highest rate ‘butcher’ of all time. He had killed millions of people, simply because he thought that he was much better than them all. I mean, that was lame. If he had lived in this era, and he had social media, I bet he would be the target of bullies, after Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un (though I don’t think the later has social media account).

Hitler grew up in a small city, called Linz in Austria. Since I have been there, I know that It is a peaceful city, it is beautiful. So how could a small and quiet, peaceful wonderful city have created such a savage human being?

Well, I know I am being illogical. Since Hitler might have gone bad, not only because of the environment, but also some other factors.

So if I had had chance to talk to him, first question I would asked would be:

“What had happened to you? Who did it to you? Did you get bullied all the time?”

And probably Hitler would break in tears and spent another 23 hours by spilling all the horrible things he had had. And I would have sat there, listening to him and said, “there … there …”

But then, I remember.

Hitler did not speak English. And I do not speak German.

So we need an interpreter.

So complicated.

😀

 

#30DWCJilid10 #Day12

 

Posted in 30 Days Writing Challenge #10 Nov-Dec 2017, english, Pendidikan

Mr. Bimo


#education

#randomthought

In high school, I had this really really cool teacher. He was not only cool, because he was nice and smart and everything. He was also cool since he taught chemistry, one of the excruciating science subject you could possibly imagine (at least for me).

For the first time in my life, I got 8 for (out of 10) chemistry test. Eight! I was so proud of myself, since once I thought, my brain had stopped working on math and science studies.

Mr. Bimo, the cool teacher, had turned the boring subject like chemistry into something that I wanted to always have at that time.

I tried to think what has made him so special for students. Not only me, but all students loved having him in the class. Long after I graduated from high school, when I started teaching my own class, I knew his secret.

Mr. Bimo told us stories. Before, or after the lesson, or even in between. The stories could be random, but the way he told them were mesmerizing.

He told common stories; some of his experiences, his daily life, sometimes a bit from history, and lots of jokes.

His ability in telling stories was not the only thing he had. Yes, his stories were fun and fascinating. However, he did further than that.

He had touched our hearts.

It sounds exaggerating. It sounds cheesy. Yet, it’s true.

Until this very moment, I still put Mr. Bimo as one of my top favorite teachers of all time.

He was not only our teacher back then, he was also our friend.

Starting my own journey as a teacher, I have tried many methods and have faced countless teaching-method-trials. Some were succeed, some were just so ineffective that I want to knock myself out for even trying.

Methods and techniques of teaching may be varied. Numerous students would always come and go. Nonetheless, one necessary thing stays; building a rapport with students.

This is what Mr. Bimo has taught me.

You can walk to your class, confidently, because you have prepared your lesson and you are sure that you can teach students well. You may do teaching and yaay … your students can do the exercise, and develop their competence. Big success

But, do you know about them? Your students?

Do you know where they are studying? (I am teaching in a language course, so my students come from differeny school)

Do you know what his/her hobby is?

Have you asked about their studies? Their friends? Their family? Their cat?

Have you listened to their stories, no matter how silly those stories to you?

Have you opened yourself to them? Enough to let them feel closer to you because they know what you like and dislike?

Really, being just an ordinary teacher is easy. Being an extraordinary one is tough.

You are teaching them. They know.

You are smarter than them. They notice.

You downgrade yourself to be leveled with them. They appreciate.

You love them. They adore you.

Thank you Mr. Bimo 🙏

#30DWCJilid10 #Day5

Posted in 30 Hari Menulis 2017, about me, english

Me and The Genie


#30HariMenulis 2017

Hari 10

Tema – “Andaikan kamu ALADDIN yang menemukan lampu ajaib dan bertemu dengan Jin baik yang akan memberimu 3 PERMINTAAN, permintaan apa yang kamu inginkan? Menulislah mengenai itu.”

This theme given should have been easy for me because I have been thinking so hard on what to write every day since day 1. On the contrary, this one is hard, and I am having a full day-off today. So, basically I have been wondering all day what to write and … nothing, nada.

However, I have to do it. Number one, because I am a little bit, a quitter, and I do not want to do that (again). Number two, because I am managing this event, seriously. It would be so hysterical if I did not finish this.

So, let’s just jump in.

If I were Aladdin, and I happened to meet the Genie, and I could asked for 3 wishes, I would probably asked for these:

First, I would like young people to fall for something right. I want them to be more aware of global issues, rather than being absorbed into Korean boyband. I want them to read more, like, reading real books, not just glimpse of celebrity news in LINE TODAY. I want them to have more sympathy and being compassionate toward other people, rather than bullying certain celebrities that they despise.

Second, I would like parents, especially mothers to be eager to learn more. Mothers have to be smart. A mother might already has love and wisdom for her children. But a mother also needs to be smart. Raising children nowadays not only demands money and rules and attitudes but also the power of knowledge. I love a mother who could be a friend to her children and to be the one who is able to answer her children’s questions.

My last wish would be something about me, but still related to other people as well. I wish to have a nice and complete library where everyone can come and read. I want to introduce to anyone, how thrilled it was for me when I held my first book as a child. How exciting it is every time I touch a new book and smell its special aroma. I want to share of all journeys I have taken through books. I want to tell how much books have helped me in my saddest moments and my triumph. Anyone who came to my library could read any book they want and even took it home if they want to.

See? Even in imagination, my mind does not work that well. My best friend a.k.a my partner said that I do not have any imagination, very little, if any. Probably some other people would asked for something else. Buying every single thing they have ever wanted or traveling all around the world (not that I do not want to). I could not imagine out of reality in my head. I am too realist.

I know.

But, I wish all those things can actually happen.

 

Posted in english, Film, Review

More Reasons to watch “13 Reasons Why” (Movie Review)


13 reasons why

Mr Potter : “How Did you get these tapes?”

Clay Jensen: “Because I’m number 11.”

 

Netflix’s latest TV series “13 Reasons Why” has been discussed among all movie lovers for the past couple of weeks. Knowing that another Netflix’s series “Stranger Things” did not fail me, I intended to watch this one as well, naturally.

 

After being absorbed in a distraught family drama called “Shameless USA” (7 seasons), I finally got my hand on these ‘high school type drama’.  Most of my friends said that this has a very emotional message, which is something that I always like from a movie.

 

‘13 Reasons Why’ took us to a dead-girl, Hannah Baker. A seventeen years old girl who killed herself and left something after she died. Just before she slashed her own wrist, Hannah made thirteen tapes (recorded tapes, like the old ones) to tell people the reasons why she decided to end her own life.

 

As it’s title, the series consists of 13 episodes, where each episode is revealing one tape at a time. When I started to watch it, I could not help to notice that it was probably just another teen movie, with a bunch of showing-too-many-skin-cheerleaders and a pack of school athletes showing their muscles. The pace of story that was pretty slow for the first five episodes (5, people!) made it worse. Then I was wrong.

 

“13 Reasons Why” might seem to be just-another-boring-but-with-many-beautiful-faces teen drama, but the message is extremely powerful. Things were revealed layer by layer per episode. My emotion was critically fluctuated, especially after the 9th episode. This is an absolutely mind blowing young adult movies/TV Series.

 

Okay, I will tell you what the main idea is.

One word.

BULLYING.

 

One word that everyone knows but rarely aware. Hannah Baker is a high school teenager girl who tried so hard to fit in everyday and failed. She got bullied because of one person. An inappropriate picture of her was spreading throughout the school and not so long after that, almost every guy in the school called her slut and treated her unrespect fully.

 

Hannah might be you or I. Just someone who is trapped in a bad situation. She was smart, yet she did not have friends to be with. Friends to spill secrets with and to share everything with. She did okay in the beginning but somehow lost track somewhere along the way. She tried very hard to fix everything but people called her ‘drama queen’ instead (including me at the first episode, hiks hiks).

 

I remember that almost in every class I teach, there usually one or two students that seemed to be lost. They sat in front of me, listened to whatever shit I delivered, and somehow I know that their minds were not even there with me.

 

Through many stories from my students, I learned that being an adolescent is rough. They live complicated life. Their parents’ demands, society’s demands and school demands. Countless teenagers and young adults (age 13-22 years old) confessed that they did not like what they had in life. They hated their parents for always insisting them to do something. They detested school’s regulations and education system that most of the time is not really helping them.

And having friends are not as easy as it may seem. Tell me about it. Even at this age I am still trying to figure out what to do and how to react to my friends, sometimes. Humans are complicated, the relationship is even more.

 

Overall, “13 Reasons Why” is a kind of series you need to watch if you really want to understand how teenagers face their life every day. The series depicted the life of American high schoolers, yet, the message is similar. It could happen to anyone, any teenager on earth, whatever language and culture they have.

 

Watch it.

 

Be good to other people.

 

That’s it.

Posted in 30 Hari Menulis 2016, english, Uncategorized

I Believe


#30HariMenulis

Day 15

Menulislah tentang apa yang menjadi landasan hidupmu, agama, prinsip keadilan, kemanusiaan atau apapun. Silakan menulis dengan bebas namun tetap santun

Since I was a kid, I tried very hard to apply this. Do not hurt people by my hands nor my words. Simply because I knew how it feels to be hurt. I had not so easy growing up time, I learned the hard way.

However, I am a human being. In my life, I did both. I hurt people. No matter how hard I try to explain the reason; no matter how many excuses I give, the result is just the same. People are hurt. Because of me.

For that, I truly regret.

Nevertheless, I couldn’t always rely on the premise that as a human being I am not perfect, so it’s okay for me to cause harm. History showed of how Muhammad, as the prophet never does anything that categorized as hurting people. Peace be upon him.

I have trained myself, ever since that, to hold my tongue and think before act. It’s not easy, it’s not magic. Needs practice, needs habit.

The ability not to hurt people can be achieved by becoming victim first. Literally and figuratively. 

I would never call my friend “ugly, because I was once called that, and it didn’t feel good. It was awful.

I would never say any bad things about people because someone once did that to me, and it didn’t feel okay. It was horrible.

But, you don’t always have to wait until you’re the victim. You don’t have to suffered first to be a good person. Just be one. And feel it. It feels million times better than just being human per se; not a good human.

I want to be a good person. Not only because my faith told me to, but also because it gives me good feeling. And I am good at being good.

Some people say that being a bad person is easier than good one. Because bad person doesn’t need to be worried with rules and manners. I totally object it. Being bad to other people is exhausting. It consumed energy and it kills our humanity.

Though I know that good and bad nowadays are vague. Good intention doesn’t always ended in good ending. And bad starting doesn’t always closed with bad things. But I guess that’s the beauty of being human. We need to think, and think hard. It’s not easy to stand where we want to stand. Especially when we still care of what other people might say. But again, we’re human and that’s our challenge. It is more fun than just being angels who always obey what God says just because they don’t have free will.

I am no longer young. I left my youth behind with all my wrong doings and misbehave. I, now, have kids to be taken care of. The kids need role-model and if I couldn’t be one, then whom are they going to turned to?

Years passed by. Events happened. Good things and bad. Glory and shit. Lessons are learned. Be a better person or become nothing at all.

I am a good person, and I believe that. I am learning to be better, day by day. I learned from my mistakes and prepare for things to come. 

Nobody can changed me the other way around.

I believe.

Posted in 30 Hari Menulis 2016, about me, english

The Best Time


#30HariMenulis

Day 12

Tema : Usia terbaik dalam hidup

It is said that “life begins at forty”. Some said that the best age is teenagers, young and wild free. Other said childhood is the happiest time of all. For me, each stage of life is priceless. Each year gives more nuances to life.

In my early years, I learned a lot about finding myself. Unlike other people who live happily their childhood years, I had to struggle a bit. Knowing who I  was and what I wanted to pursue. I was pretty mature for a kid.

Finding happiness was another chapter in my teenager life. There were moments that sometimes I felt I should have been better, yet, they were parts of who I am now.

So, when’s the best time?

I guess, that was when I decided to leave my fear and hatred away and embraced my new life as a married girl (a girl, since I was still young).It was a really huge thing for me to do, which I never regret. That time I broke my shell and opened my self out.

21 is young age. Most of my students of that age are still busy with their education.Still trying to figure out what to do with their lives. Many people surprised when they learned that I have married in such young age. Sometimes I am surprised with myself,too. However, years passed by, and I turned out to be okay. Perfectly okay. So many things to be grateful for today; so many blessing that God has given to me that sometimes I lost in calculation.

But 21 is just a number.

The best time in life is merely the time when you’re growing up. When you are able to make your own decision as an adult. When you know that once you step, there is no turning back and you are ready for any consequences ahead. The time when you are fully yourself.

For me, age 21 is my onset moment. Since the decision to get married is not easy.

For you, it might be something else.

It might means,the time when you decided to take responsibility in your family, in your group, in your community. Maybe the time when you start to say “no” for all things that you used to response “yes”. Maybe the time when you committed to do something better for yourself.

Or maybe the time when you feel very happy and free.

The best time in life is when you are you.

Posted in Artikel Kompasiana, english, english essays, Pendidikan

Creating Environment (learning English)


Jerry Gebhard states there are two ways of teaching English; EFL and ESL.

EFl (English as a Foreign Language) is teaching English to people who live in places where English is not the first language. For instance, Indonesia, Austria, Japan, etc.

ESL (English as a Second Language) is teaching English to people who speak other languages as their first language, but live in places where English is the first language. For example; a Chinese man who lives in USA.

These two ways are resulted in different goals as well.

In EFL setting, the primary goal for learners in learning English is to enable them to pass English exams. Whilst, in ESL setting, the aim is more to literacy. How a learner  trains himself/herself to speak like a native speaker of English, so that he/she can assimilate into the stream of English-speaking-population.

Teaching English in Indonesia is definitely fit with EFL. English is not Indonesian’s first language. Therefore, the prime goal for people to learn English is to be able to pass English exams (as compulsory thing to do in all schools).

The challenge is, naturally, different too. If Indonesian students go to study abroad, to European countries, Australia or USA, they (like it or not) are obliged to use English everyday. If not, they might not survive, not only in social life but also in university.

Now, Indonesian students who learn English in Indonesia have their own personal goals. Having English as one of the subjects taught in schools (since elementary level) does not make students feel obliged to be good in English. What for? They live in Indonesia, they speak Indonesian in their daily life. They might speak English once in a while in class, in English course or social media. The need to learn English more would usually come when they need to submit English Test score such as TOEFL or IELTS.

The thing is worsened by the fact that the English teaching in Indonesia still carried by traditional method. One of the most famous pesantren (Islamic boarding school) in Indonesia applied translation method in conveying English. Everyday the students have to memorize bunch of utterances along with the Indonesian translation. Does it work? It does. However, the alumni speak a really rigid English, if not weird, sometimes (as all the materials were memorized and not be put in context).

In public schools, English teachers tend to push students to memorize set of grammar rules, or tenses. They believed that once students know this rule, they’ll be able to use English correctly. Does it work? Zero.

These English experiences that students had since they met English for the first time, often  resulted in traumatic experiences in learning English. Students might know all the 16 tenses all their teachers taught them their whole life, yet, they never become fluent English speaker. They still confuse to put words and phrases, not really sure of putting the right tenses. In their adult age, when they need English preparation to face TOEFL or IELTS tests, they would go nervous and decide to start learning English (again) from the beginning. It is said that “better late than never”. However, having English course from the beginners level in adult age, and only have limited time due to the English test score submission is one hell of a challenge.

People with more money would send their children to study in English course since young age. But then, what would happen to those whose wealth is probably not enough even to pay their monthly bills? Then, the only solution is to learn English by yourself. Creating  your own sources and exposure.

Here are some suggestions I usually feed my students.

If you want to speak English, do these following things:

Create an “English environment” on your own

Remember when I told you, that in ESL setting, a learner must speak English to survive? Do that. Pretend that your surrounding is all in English atmosphere. So, you listen to English songs and recording, you read also in English. Don’t say that you don’t have the sources. You do ! Listening to English songs and watching movies are two things most people do these days. As for reading, pick some reading stuff that simple for you. Browse some English comics or short stories. Even if you don’t understand the whole story, that’s okay. You can always guess the meaning of each vocabulary in context.

Find someone or some people to practice English with

For me, this is a must. Language is to be spoken, not to be memorized. Find someone or some people you can talk to. Ask them to be your partner in speaking English. It will be better if you can find someone whose English is better than yours. In that way, you can learn more and ask questions. Join an English club, if any. If you can’t find any club, create your own. You would never know what other people might know better than you.

Learn more

Now, you have partner to speak with. You read and listen and watch all in English. Don’t stop there. You need to learn more. Once you’re done reading short stories and comics, start read heavier reading, such as articles or novels. Language is an evolving science. It is dynamic. It changed all the time. You might be surprised to know how the phrases we  usually had five years ago might not be used any more today.

Apart from the EFL or ESL, as an English learner, we must always upgrade ourselves. Motivation is another thing we must bear in mind when we learn English. What do you need English for? Studying abroad? going overseas? becoming a teacher? to talk to foreigner? Whatever that is, learning is something you can’t avoid.

Learn more, be better.