Category Archives: Deep in Thoughts

What Has, What Has Not, What Hopefully Will 2015-2016

Hey again!

This post has been a “ritual” that I usually do at the end of the year for the last few years. There you go, another post looking back at my resolutions and whether I have achieved them or not. So, let’s get to it!

  1. Go back to writing my blog regularly. Well, I definitely wrote a lot more than last year, not as frequent as I hoped I would be. The theme of the posts is also apparently converging to one topic, which I will discuss later. 😛
  2. Reading one book in French every month. Just like most of the resolutions, this one was only alive at the beginning of the year, maybe until February or March. It is a bit unfortunate since I really want to improve my French. XD
  3. Fourth language. Still a no. I have been really thinking about it, but I keep getting too lazy to start learning. I also think that I will need to join a class to learn a completely new language. Or maybe I just say that to myself as an excuse to not do it. Hahaa..
  4. Get healthier. I think I am quite healthy, not a six-pack or anything like that. But I am not fat, and not too skinny either. I still do swimming, not as frequent as I want, but I have some equipment at home, like a pull-up bar, weights, etc. So, I work out at home.
  5. Get over my insecurities. Here is the big problem..

If you pay attention to my blog posts in 2015, mostly they are about my mental health problem. I have been having many problems (as other do too), but this year somehow it was harder than previous years. Most likely, it is all due to the pressure coming from work, family, friends, and especially myself. It has been really difficult, but I am glad that I have people who I can trust and who also can understand my situation.

So, this is my number one resolution for 2016: defeat the demons inside my head. I am sure that this is the key for me to be able to enjoy my life to the fullest. And it is about time I face the problem head-on!

2016 will also be a big year for me. I am scheduled to finish my PhD at the end of the year, so maybe next year I will have gotten my Doctor title when I write this blog post. Amen! And then, another chapter of my life will start. I am hoping that I can get a job in Europe, especially France, because I am already familiar with how things work in France and also able to speak the language. My second choice would be Germany because I know many good labs and places to work there. It could be a nice change of scene too.

The other goals that I haven’t achieved should also become my resolutions now. Getting healthier: I will try to stop eating chips! Brave, I know. But, I eat them too much! Fourth language: Spanish is my first choice. Reading one French book every month: come on Andru, you can do this! Maybe even write blog posts in French every now and then.

2015 was hard, but it was still a great year. I have so many things to be grateful for. I got to go home and see my family during the summer. I went to Barcelona for a conference. Moved out to a bigger apartment. I still have roof over my head, food on my table, clothes to keep me warm, etc. So, here is to hoping that 2016 will be even better!!

Cheers to all of you! And have a great new year!!

No Shame In Being Imperfect

UPDATE: I wrote this post almost one year ago (now October 2016), I kept it private because I was afraid of the consequences of this post. But, not anymore. I know by making this post public is not going to make me feel much better either, but it might help you. Yes, you who are actually having problems or you who know somebody who has problems. More stories need to be shared, more lessons need to be learnt. Now, here is the original post…

Today, a record was made. It was the second time that my supervisor asked me to rewrite a single paper draft, more or less from scratch. Don’t get me wrong, I agree with him mostly. My draft was not good at all and there has never been a history of my paper drafts being no-good-at-all. This is my all-time worst, even my supervisor said that it was not like my writing at all. Later, he asked.. “Are you okay?”

Before I tell you what my response to my supervisor was, I just wanna give you a little background. I have been having psychological problems for a long time (as everybody does), but everything became so much more intense when I started my PhD. I have been warned about the PhD problems long before I started mine. I have read about them everywhere too. The amount of stress that PhD might cause, the suicidal thoughts, the catastrophic failure, etc etc. But you know what, I have been an all-star student as I beautifully bragged here (PS: being an all-star student might be the source of my problems too). So, I thought that I could get through it unscathed and surely people were exaggerating. Man, was I wrong..

For me, there is this weird sense of pressure that PhD gives. That ridiculous amount of competition that you bear on your shoulders. That you have to do stuff as quickly as possible, otherwise people will do it faster and better than you. Just in that snap decision when you want to do your PhD, the world suddenly turns against you. Maybe just me, well at least that’s how I feel. Somehow, my mind got out of control. I started having this crippling anxiety eating me up inside, which leads to many things. I started developing an impostor disorder and also (what I feel like) depression. That suicidal tendency that I had had in the closet, started coming out like nobody’s business and getting stronger by the minute.

Last year, I tried to talk to a therapist. It was a bit tricky since she was in Indonesia and I was in France. The scheduling was hard and having therapy sessions via Skype was not the most efficient. Despite all that, I actually felt better discussing my problems with her. However, the scheduling became so annoying that I stopped seeing her. Sure, there was still ups and downs afterwards, but nothing unmanageable. Except for the last few months..

For some unknown reasons, the last few months have been really difficult for me. I have been having panic attacks more frequently. The suicidal thoughts I am having start scaring me. Life has been bleak and dark. But I am trying to get out of this. I am putting all my efforts to keep living, carrying out my daily life as a normal human being, hidden under the bubbles and laughter.

“To tell you the truth, I have been having some problems..” And with that sentence, I told my supervisor about what I have been struggling with. Not in detail, just the big picture. His response was very kind and warm, but too many things are replaying in my head that I couldn’t really focus on what he was saying.

Instantly after telling that to my supervisor, I felt like a little burden on my shoulders has been lifted off. Yet later, I became afraid that he would think I was faking it (negativity is also in the list of my problems). I was also afraid that it would destroy the whole dynamic of our working environment. Honestly, I don’t know what is going to happen now. Oh whatever. I should start accepting that what he (or anybody for that matter) thinks about me is out of my control. And I think this is why people who have similar problems tend to keep it a secret, because they are afraid of what people might think of them. But, they should not feel this way! More stories need to be shared and more lessons need to be learnt.

To be honest, I am not sure why I wrote this. I have been wanting to write this for a long time, but I was afraid that I would be writing it for the wrong reasons. I did not want to write this because I wanted attention, because I knew I wouldn’t get attention anyway, I would just get pity out of this. And I did not want this to be a cry for help either. Now, after telling my supervisor, I found out that it is okay. It is okay to be imperfect, to be broken. I guess I wanted to write this to share with people, to tell them that life is difficult, life is confusing, even for the people you least expect it to be. Some people don’t understand you, and there might be only a few who do. That is normal, but remember you are not alone. Hold on to those few. Also, start letting people in anyway for life is too cold and dark to get through by yourself.

Letting people know about your problems does not make you weak. There should be no shame in admitting your flaws. And there is no humiliation in taking some time to deal with things in your life. 

More importantly, you should take pride in having that sheer willingness to show up and go on another day despite of your debilitating problems. You’ve made it through yesterday, surely you can take another day. After all, tomorrow is just the future’s yesterday!

PS: Watch this beautiful short about suicide. I hope it helps!

About Trust

I find it really hard to trust people. As loud as I might seem, I am very silent about what I am going through, about my life. Almost nobody knows about my darkest secrets and my deepest fears. Whenever I meet a new friend, I always keep them at an arm’s reach. Close enough to call them my good friends, but enough distance to let them not see the pimple scars on my face (figuratively speaking, although my face does have a bunch of scars. lol). I have been creating a wall my whole life because what is going on inside this head ain’t pretty. If it scares the hell out of me, I don’t think other people can handle it either.

But. At some rare serendipitous moments in this fleeting life, I have met some people that I feel comfortable around. I would make a door for them around my wall, and let them enter. These people, I hold dearly. To put it simply, I would help them hide a body if need be. Every single time I find people that I feel I can trust, I feel like my life is a little easier than before. Just like recently.. Well, long story short, I trusted this guy and thought of him as a brother. I let him see all the devils in my head. Until…

Famous-Trust-Quotes-with-Images-14I found out that he has been lying to my face the whole time. He is not the person that I thought he was. He is not the person anybody thought he really was. I really thought that I knew him. Had I seen his true self, I wouldn’t have trusted him with anything, not even my friendship, let alone my trust. And it hurts.. It really hurts to find out that the person that you have trusted for a long time has been lying to your face the whole time. And to find out about it from another person, not even from the person himself, hurts even more.

This post might be seen as a passive aggressive message to this guy. But really, it’s just a reminder to myself that I should be more careful.

Well, I just hope that all the bodies that we have hidden together will stay hidden. And for now, I will put a police line on the door where the door I built for him used to be. I want to be back inside my wall, back with the people I had already trusted. And to him, I say, best of luck.

People I Want To Throw Cold Spaghetti At

Hi everybody!

Welcome back to yet another entry from my rant collection about things that I feel like talking about. The title is a little shout out to Grace Helbig’s podcast with Miranda Sings and Colleen Ballinger if you are one of her fans. Basically, Grace asked Colleen “Who you wanted to throw cold spaghetti at?” Why cold spaghetti? Because it doesn’t really cause them any harm (because you don’t want to, and as you shouldn’t), but it sends a message regarding how you feel about them. So, I compiled two worst characters in people that make me want to throw cold s’ghetti at them!

Cold spaghetti

Cold spaghetti

Disclaimer: a friend told me that maybe I should rethink about writing this since it can be considered as a passive aggressive messages to some people. Well, if you feel like you match these descriptions, then at some point of our knowing-each-other, I must have had the urge to throw cold s’ghetti at you. This is not some sort of a passive aggression. To be completely honest, these posts mostly serve as a reminder for me. In this case, it’s a reminder that these qualities are the things I hate from people, so I should not have them myself.


I tried to search this word. Apparently, this word doesn’t exist. Well in any case, I guess you know what I mean.

Anyway, people keep telling me that I should not be too harsh on people. Not everybody is the same. I am a bit at loss why people say that to me. I just want them to be responsible, not bring me the moon or something. And I am not asking them to be perfect. Everybody makes mistakes, I know that. But they have to own up their mistakes and work their best to work things out. Not just run away and do nothing about it. Also, responsibility is not something that you were born with, it is something that you develop yourself. So when I am harsh to people who are irresponsible, I don’t think I am being unreasonable.


Being a programmer, I have always been taught, asked and told to make an efficient program, to make complex things less complex while keeping the effectiveness of a solution. This insatiable feeling of efficiency actually started to grow when I was doing my undergrad studies. I was a relatively active student. And now being a 25 year-old, I have learnt it the hard way that the clock ain’t ticking backwards. I really hate it when I involuntarily waste my time. For example, I hate being on a train alone for a long trip because I am the type of person who can’t do much on a train. I can’t read, I can’t work, I am not comfortable watching a movie due to the lack of space (my laptop is huge), I can only stay seated, listening to music. To me, this is a complete waste of time and I hate it!

I think these are the two things that really grind my gears. I really wanna do violent things to these people throw cold spaghetti at them! I am pretty sure I have a lot more qualities that really annoy me. However, I have the feeling that these two keep popping up in my life. Very very recently too. Well, I am not gonna go to the specifics. After all, this is not intended to be a passive aggressive message to the people who should remain nameless. 😛

P.S.: I know the question was asked first to the Gregory Brothers, but the podcast with Colleen was so much better. 😛

An Overachiever Who Can’t Deal With Failures

Yep, that’s me.

First thing, don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong in being an overachiever. When a person has the talent, they can do whatever stuff they want to do or they feel like doing. However, a talented person is a person nonetheless. In this imperfect world, they are bound to face failures and some people are not ready for failures. Unfortunately, I have to admit I am one of those “some people.”

Growing up, I was always at the top of my class, easily. It felt like I didn’t need to do a lot of effort to be there, or maybe I just didn’t notice that I did. In any case, school was a breeze for me. I participated in competitions that I was good at: science and music. And I won them swimmingly. I got the title of “the exemplary student” of my city when I was 8 (how cute!). I was the marching band conductor and the head of the science club in middle school. I skipped a year in high school. I was a cum laude graduate for my undergrad studies. Well, you got the point, I was in it to win it and I am not used to failures.

At this point, you might be tired of my stupid ranting already. But wait, the point is coming later. I think… 😛

You know how parents always repeat stories from your childhood and you always know what they are about to say after the words “do you remember the story… ?” Yea, my mom really likes this one story about me crying my little heart out when I didn’t win a competition. So long story short, four students were selected to participate while only three were actually needed. Somehow, I ended up being benched. I saw my comrades failing to answer the questions while I knew the answers. Trust me, it was not a “vini vidi vici” moment for me, more like “we came, I watched, you lost.” So, I went home and cried in my mom’s arms. I cried because I knew I could have won it, but I didn’t. Instead, I was just a spectator. My mom loves to tell this story because what happened was so stupid. I kinda like this story as well because like I said it is so stupid. Just bear in mind, I was 10 at the time.

Anyway, it’s not like I had never failed before. One time when I was 8 maybe, I was asked to participate in a drawing competition, which I didn’t know I was good at. I didn’t win, but I didn’t care because it was not my forte. Well in more recent events, I have been applying for grants and other awards for the last few years. I have got none. But, I didn’t care because I knew I wouldn’t get it. The competition has been tight as fuck.

So, I think there are two important lessons that I can make from this rant so far. First, it is about maintaining expectation. Like I said, I have faced failures. However, I expected nothing to come out of it in the first place. If I made it, great! If I didn’t, well tough luck! But of course, sometimes you really expect things to happen. Especially, for things that you know you are actually good at. Things that you have a great chance at. Also for those things, you will inevitably face failures which is the cue for my second point: how to deal with failures. 

It is very difficult to be an overachiever who cannot deal with failures. You want to do a lot of things and yet you are afraid of the outcome. You end up not doing anything at all. Since you are not doing anything, your overachiever self wants to kill you. It’s a very vicious cycle. Trust me, been there done that. For example, as a researcher, I have to think of new exciting ideas to solve problems. When these ideas come (especially the good ones), I got really excited, then after some time I would get really nervous. I would be afraid of the outcome, whether it will work or not. In my mind, of course the worst case scenario is playing. The method wouldn’t work and I would be a worthless human being. Because of this fear, I often procrastinate doing small stuff or doing nothing at all. Seeing that I don’t have any results, I will hate for not having done stuff. Like I said, vicious cycle.

From experience, I think my fears actually come from the fact that I feel so attached to my work. I feel like it defines me or rather I define myself through my work. Why wouldn’t I? I spent more than 35 hours a week for this. So when my idea to solve the problem fails, I feel like I actually fail too as a being. And of course this is not okay. This is not right. However, I feel like some overachievers feel this way. That their achievements are what define them. Thus, their failures too.

A long time ago, I came across a very nice ted-talk presentation.

It is from the author of “eat, pray, love” talking about the fear of failure after the success of her ground-breaking novel. At the end of the talk, she said something that I really took in:

… It doesn’t have to be quite so full of anguish if you never happened to believe that in the first place that the most extraordinary aspects of your being came from you. Maybe if you just believe that they were on loan to you, you know from an unimaginable source from some exquisite portion of your life to be passed along, when you finish, to somebody else. …

That’s it! I think this is exactly what I should do. I should not let my previous “relatively full of achievements” life defines me. I should distance myself from it. To be free from expectations. If my idea works, thanks genie, it was a good idea. If it doesn’t, well genie, it’s okay there are million other ideas to explore. Work is just work. I am a PhD candidate most of my time, that much is true. But, just because it occupies most of my time, doesn’t mean that it has to  define most of my being. I don’t want it to.

So, if you are an overachiever who doesn’t deal well with failures, just like me, maybe you can try doing this. Whenever I begin to implement my idea and the fear starts kicking in, I will just say to my fear “Hey, let the genie work. If he doesn’t succeed, let him take the blame. If he succeeds, well we can take some credit for it,” and code away. 😀

About Our Fleeting Little Life

“Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
.. Then again, it could be a permanent solution to a permanent problem.
.. Well, if you fuck it up, it could be a temporary solution to a permanent problem.

I don’t know what it is about being suicidal that makes people treat you like a fucking 6 year-old.
Cause to be honest, it is a bit shit.

Is it really that surprising that the thought of suicide crosses our mind every now and then?
That little voice that tells you to jump, those moments when you remind yourself how thin the line is.
And it’s easier to shut them down, to suppress them and to slap a big suicidal label on anyone who dares to say it out loud.
But are they not the most human thing? Reminding yourself that you have control over your fleeting little life if nothing else.


If you kill yourself right now, kids are still gonna go to school, get their lunch money stolen. DFS is still gonna have another one of half price winter sale. Pre-pubescent teens are gonna fuck up their first times and still brag about it to their friends. The clocks will keep ticking.

You know, in this great nation of ours, about 14 people kill themselves everyday. Is that what you wanna become? A number? A part of a number? A fucking tally on a fucking spreadsheet? Filed away somewhere deep in the office of national statistics. Until some entrepreneurial fuckwit digs it out and half beg attempt to convince all that we need to invest in this pricey safety initiative. Or stats on tejustic in their assembly slideshow, just to remind the kids that the school has a counseling team. As if ten minutes of circle table and color-coordinated leaflets on how dealing with stress is really gonna tip the balance.

Course you’re right. You don’t matter. Not in a grand scheme of things, I mean I’d miss you, but I’m gonna fucking move away.
Bill Murray, Mrs. Buckston’s cat, that racist man at the end of my road.
None of it matters, not in the end. Except Bill Murray, he is a treasure.

But still 100 years from now, you and I are gonna be nothing but a few faded photos in a shoe box and an abandoned facebook profile. Or maybe facebook would be dead.
Ultimately, it’s all pointless. But what does that even mean? As a species, we seem obsessed with finding our purpose and a point to everything. But maybe there isn’t one. Or maybe there is, and this is it.

Kill Peter Wright if you have to, but don’t kill yourself. Jump on the next Eurostar to Belgium, leave all this behind. Pursue a life as a chocolatier in the Rue of Tranquility, of Derby. And learn a new language, marry the local barmaid with massive tits and grow old in a thatched cottage. Can you imagine? Your grand-kids would love you.. You’d be like Willy Wonka to them or something.

No, but I’m serious. Is that NOT better than dying?

If you really were committed to the idea of saying goodbye, surely you’d have the conviction to pack up and start fresh.

I know you’re not religious, but the way I see it you have three options.

Either you meet your maker and find out suicide is a sin and good luck with that.
Alternatively, you’re reincarnated as a mosquito and find out that your best efforts were wasted.

Or.. you assume that this is the ONE shot we get.
Stick it out for a bit…

See what happens.”

What Has, What Has Not, and What Hopefully Will 2014-2015

OMG! Has it seriously been more than a year since the last time I wrote something here? God, I can’t believe it. I feel sorry for myself. I have no documentation whatsoever about what happened in 2014. 😩 And damn, a lot have happened. Well, I am not gonna write what happened in 2014 in this post. As usual, this post is a running tradition where I am gonna babble about my last year’s resolution and whether I managed to accomplish them or not. I know I know, I am late. So, let’s get to it people!

So, let’s list my last year’s resolutions:

  1. Publishing cool papers and going around the world.  I am so proud and grateful to say that I have achieved this. At the beginning of the year, my paper was accepted to IPCAI 2014 in Japan. Later in March/April, my paper was accepted to a very good conference, MICCAI 2014 which was in Boston. I had the chance to go to MIT and step on the land of the free for the first time. My job has made me travel all over the world: Austria, Italy, and France. It was a really good year for me. (FYI: I just got a good news this morning that my paper for IPCAI 2015 was accepted without the need for rebuttal. Man, I am so lucky! :D)
  2. Travel a lot more. and travel I did! The great thing about it is that most of the trips were covered by my lab. In addition to those “business/leisure” trips, I also went to Brugge and Ghent to see my undergrad friends, to Paris meeting my bimbz, and also to a bunch of cities in Germany during winter break. Again, 2014 was an awesome year!
  3. In touch with my right brain. Well, I should say this one was not successful. I just couldn’t find the time nor the motivation to work on this. I’d rather spend my time on youtube. lol
  4. Fourth language. Well, this is also a fail. I started catching bits and pieces of other languages, like Spanish or German. But, again just haven’t got around to it. Youtube sucks my whole life force.
  5. Generally be happy. Being happy has been a very hard thing to do. Despite all the awesomeness that happened in 2014, I can positively say that 2014 was also the lowest point of my life. I hit rock bottom, multiple times. When I thought nothing could get worse, it did. Well, I am still working on this department. However, I am very thankful to be around very great and supportive friends who have helped me through this. 🙂

Well, there you go! The resolution review. I wish I had done more last year, but I already did a lot. It felt like I never stopped working (which is of course not true). I guess I should manage my time better this year. I also should go back to writing stuff on this blog. God, it is so sad that I have nothing to look back to in this blog for 2014. Ah, there it is my first resolution for the year 2015, let’s get to it, then. 😀

  1. Go back to writing blog regularly. Seriously, it is sad that I have nothing in 2014. I am actually not sure whether it is a good idea or not that I stopped writing here because I needed to get used to writing things scientifically. And this blog is not the most scientific stuff on the internet. I was kinda afraid that writing this blog will impede (see, this is a scientific word) my scientific writing skills. In any case, I wanna go back to writing here regularly.
  2. Reading one book in French every month. My french is not improving as fast as I want it to. I remember that one of the things that helped my English was reading Harry Potter in English. So, now I am going to try to do the same in French. I will start reading novels in French. 😀
  3. Fourth language is still in my list. I really want to be able to speak Spanish now. It will be super useful since so many countries speak it. XD
  4. Get healthier. In 2014, I picked up swimming as one of my new hobbies and I really like it. There was one time when I was swimming almost 3-4 times a week. And I felt really great. I wanna go back to that. I want to be healthier, and superficially speaking to have a better body. 😀
  5. Get over my insecurities. One of the things that has been keeping me from being happy is my insecurities. I am not sure how, but I am willing to work on it. This is very abstract, I know. But I feel like I need to write this down to remind myself to get over them.

So, yea. That’s all, folks!

I just realized that I will be 25 this year, and pretty soon too. I have been on this earth for quarter a century. Wow, ain’t that something?

What Has, What Has Not and What Hopefully Will 2013-2014

It has been a very long time since the last time I posted something on my blog. Have been (kinda) very busy and I guess I am getting old. I don’t feel the need to write down what I think about stuff anymore. I am becoming more.. what should I say? Accepting the condition as is. Maybe.

However, this resolution post has been a tradition in this blog, so I will try to keep the tradition going. Let’s take a look to my las resolution for 2013 (that can be read here).

  1. Stay fit: Well, I am not fat and not overly thin. So I guess, well done!
  2. Violin thingy: come to think of it, I haven’t played violin as often as I planned.
  3. Earn and save money: my life has been telling me that I am still too young to think too hard about it. Saving money is important, but don’t stress out over it!
  4. Job/PhD: I signed the contract around October, so this is one point checked! 😀
  5. Northern/Eastern Europe: I JUST DID IT! And I am writing this post in Northern Europe. Well, Budapest is the eastest and Stockholm is the northest I have been. But hey, that counts, right!
  6. Serious relationship: well, let’s just keep our fingers crossed for this one! 😉

There you go, my review for 2013! Actually a lot of other things happened as well: receiving my master diploma, moving in with 2 great friends in Strasbourg, learning to play guitar, getting my first ever paper accepted in a workshop, submitting my first paper to a legit international conference, and the most recent thing: losing my bestfriend.

2013 has been a roller coaster ride. Tears, blood, joy, despair, grief, it has been all but uneventful. I am grateful for the opportunities that have been thrown at me and the experiences that I got to go through. Not only am I one year older than I was a year ago, I think I am somehow a bit wiser when it comes to real life problems.

As for 2014, I have a really high hope. Let’s make the resolution list, shall we?

  1. As I just started my doctoral study, I am really hoping that everything goes well and I can finish all the milestones that have been set for me. Publishing cool papers, going all around the world attending conferences and stuff. Getting to know a lot more people in the field, gaining a lot of knowledge to boost my confidence.
  2. I wanna travel a lot more. East Asia and South East Asia. I wouldn’t mind going to Greece and Turkey as well. I wanna see a lot more places!
  3. Getting in touch with my right brain a bit more. I wanna try to learn as many instruments as I can. In 2013, I just learnt to play a bit of guitar. I wanna learn to play ukulele and saxophone. And also, I wanna buy a piano to put in my room. The trip to Vienna reminded me of my dream of being a legit musician. I know that it might be too late to be a professional musician, but at least I wanna be able to learn a lot of other instruments.
  4. Start learning my fourth language. Well, I wouldn’t say I am fluent at French, but I can get by with daily conversations. So, I guess it’s time for me to learn my fourth language. I am interested in Mandarin actually, but that will be hard as hell to learn. The options are: Chinese, Italian, Spanish, German, and Japanese. I will get back to this later.
  5. Just generally be happy. Oblivious to what other people say, be less caring of society’s expectation. Just, yea, be happy.

So, yea that’s all I want to say for 2014. May 2014 be a very happy year for all of us!

Tentang Pendidikan Tinggi di Indonesia (Bahasa Pengantar)

Hulaeo hulahup. Udah lama banget rasanya ga nulis. A little update, sekarang lagi riweuh-riweuhnya tesis. Melancarkan beribu-ribu eksperimen dan menganalisis bajillion data. *sigh* Tapi harus tetap semangat. 😀

Tulisan kali ini ditulis pake Bahasa Indonesia, soalnya ditujukan untuk orang Indo (berasa ada bule yang baca tulisan gue aja). Naah, poin kali ini adalah tentang pendidikan tinggi di Indonesia, especially di almamater tercinta Institut Teknologi Bandung.

Jadi awal mulanya adalah dari bercerita tentang kemampuan bahasa Inggris sama temen-temen se-lab di sini. Of course, mereka mengagumi kemampuan bahasa Inggris gue (aum), sampe-sampe dibilang…. Eh, sorry not the point. 😛 Intinya kita ngobrol tentang gimana kok kita bisa ampe ngomong pake bahasa inggris to our level. At some point of the discussion, gue akhirnya bilang bahwa gue ga begitu ngerti technical/mathematical terms di bahasa Inggris. Gue gatau banyak apa bahasa inggrisnya segitiga sama kaki, tegak lurus, siku-siku, yaah yang gitu2 deh. Of course sekarang jadi tau lebih banyak, yaa karena belajarnya pake bahasa Inggris. Ahahaa..

Compared to me, most of my friends here belajar di pendidikan tinggi (universitas) pake bahasa Inggris. Jadi, technical terms itu ga jadi sesuatu yang asing di telinga mereka. At that point, gue ngerasa negara kita itu ketinggalan BANGET! Yes, pake kapital.

No offense, tapi di kampus gue, setidaknya di jurusan gue, ada dosen yang berusaha sekeras mungkin buat menghindari menggunakan istilah-istilah inggris (you know whom I am talking about. :P). Gue setuju dengan ideologi untuk melestarikan bahasa Indonesia, but no. This is totally out of context.

Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB) bisa dibilang salah satu kampus engineering yang kece lah di Indonesia, bukannya bermaksud menyombong. Meski pengetahuan engineering gue in general ga kalah dari temen-temen di sini, sangat memalukan sih ketika gue pertama kali dateng ke Prancis dengan pengetahuan yang sangat minim tentang technical terms in English. Padahal gue bisa dibilang segelintir orang yang beruntung karena masih punya kesempatan untuk belajar Bahasa Inggris di luar silabus kuliah. Bayangkan dengan orang-orang lain yang ga punya kesempatan kaya gitu?

Jalan keluar yang ada di pikiran gue sih, mulailah menggunakan istilah inggris yang lazim di kelas-kelas. Ketika menjelaskan matriks dan ruang vektor, mari gunakan istilah matrix dan vector space. Ketika menjelaskan geometri mari gunakan perpendicular (tegak lurus), equilateral (sama sisi) dan isosceles (sama kaki). Karena there’s no point in translating those terms to Bahasa Indonesia in class. Kenapa? Karena semua pengetahuan itu ditulis dalam Bahasa Inggris. International papers, articles, journals, you name it. Dan ketika kita taunya tegak lurus dan di dalam artikel ditulis perpendicular, kita akan kebingungan dan harus mencari padanannya dalam Bahasa Indonesia.

That being said, mungkin agak rancu kalau di dalam kelas yang berbahasa pengantar Indonesia diselipkan banyak istilah asing. This leads to my second point, ITB needs to conduct classes in English. This is just plain mandatory in my opinion. Tau gak kenapa banyak orang India/Nepal di US atau di seluruh dunia. Karena most of their higher education itu taught in English. Ketika mereka keluar negeri, mereka ga kagok dengan diskusi teknikal berbahasa Inggris. Mungkin ada yang bilang “Ah, pake bahasa Indonesia aja udah banyak yang keluar negeri kok, Ndru. Sukses pula.” Bener! Tapi efeknya itu ga cuma sampai “mahasiswa bisa kuliah di luar negeri”. Banyak banget informasi itu datangnya dari luar negeri dan diantar dengan Bahasa Inggris. Keterbatasan pemahaman bahasa teknikal bisa menghambat kelancaran pengetahuan itu untuk dicerna dan menurut gue sih ini cukup krusial.

Mungkin ada juga yang mikir “Apa sih Ndru cuman gara2 gatau bahasa inggrisnya pemampatan citra (image compressing) aja bisa ampe segitunya. Yang penting bisa bahasa Inggris toh cukup.” No! Untuk ke US (dan beberapa negara lain), most of the criteria itu bukan TOEFL, melainkan GRE yang mana meng-include a bit of math and engineering technical terms.

Ahahaa, at this point, I’m just blabbering. Intinya sih, menurut gue sudah saatnya Indonesia mulai mencanangkan edukasi berbasis Bahasa Inggris. So far, edukasi berbahasa Inggris itu cuman ada di sekolah internasional yang isinya mostly bule atau orang-orang kaya. Sudah saatnya perguruan tinggi negeri mulai bergerak ke arah sini. Bahasa Indonesia itu WAJIB dilestarikan, tapi sangat irelevan dan such a setback rasanya untuk ‘memaksakan’ Bahasa Indonesia to conduct higher education.

Negeri 5 Menara and Ranah 3 Warna Reviewed!

Berhubung ini novel Indonesia, kayanya lebih enak juga kalo ngebahasnya pake bahasa Indonesia. Okay, here goes.

Pas gue balik ke Indo selama liburan tahun baru, gue beli beberapa novel Indonesia soalnya udah lama ga baca literatur Indonesia. Gue beli tiga novel, Partikel-nya Dee, dan Negeri 5 Menara (NLM) dan Ranah 3 Warna(RTW)-nya A. Fuadi. Setengah beres baca Partikel, novelnya raib dicolong sama orang yang nyolong tas gue. Alhasil, gue ga bisa review padahal ceritanya kayanya bagus banget sampe gue nangis pas baca di pesawat. However, mari bahas dua novel yang lainnya.

NLM sama RTW ini novel yang ditulis bernuansa islami, dan menurut gue banyak pengalaman pribadi yang menjadi material novelnya. Di satu sisi, agak risih bacanya, soalnya kepikiran aja kenapa sang penulis ga sekalian bikin autobiografi aja ketimbang bikin novel. 😛

As a novel, it has so many weak points. In terms of writing, ada beberapa kesalaham penulisan, kata-kata yang gak pas dibaca, beberapa kalimat asing yang typo. Menurut gue harusnya untuk novel yang udah se-terkenal ini, it should be without these little mistakes. Ga terlalu ngaruh sih, cuman agak mengecewakan aja.

Tentang storyline dan plot. Sangat datar, ga ada klimaks, awal tengah akhir semuanya terasa datar. Tapi ada beberapa chapter yang penuh life lesson yang sampe gue bookmark in case gue butuh penyemangat atau perlu “diingatkan”. Ada juga beberapa chapter yang cukup sedih sampe bikin gue nangis. Well, it might not be that sad since I’m a crybaby anyway.

So, do I recommend this novel? It depends. Tergantung apa yang mau lo cari. Kalo lo mencari suatu novel dengan cerita yang bagus dan alur yang bagus, the answer is no, this novel is not for you. Tapi kalo lo mau belajar tentang ajaran agama Islam dengan cara yang fun, yes this is for you. Kalo lo mau baca tentang life lessons, yes this is for you. Now that I think of it, this series is more of a self-help stuff rather than a novel for me. It is not necessarily a bad thing. It just might not be for everybody. Everybody needs to be reminded once in a while right? 😀

me and universe

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