If Only a Day is More than 24 Hours...

This week is full of hectic days. I just feel that I don't have enough time for everything. It seems that there are so many things to do yet so little time. It was all begun when I got an offer to give lecture for two new subjects, sounds so interesting at first. In fact I always have mixed feeling about new subjects to teach, excited and tense at the same time. 

There it goes, I said yes and directly got soooooo many materials to deliver. I must be ready to transfer those material to the students. While at the same time I still have obligation to finish the marking of my existing students. Well...the stress begins to come. I am so caught up with these teaching stuff. I have to read many materials related to the teaching, preparing the slides, modifying the assignment, etc. 

Still I consider that teaching is exciting. Having new subject to teach is even more exciting. It's challenging. Yes, it's 'killing' you sometimes at the beginning but at the moment you absorb it, it's going to be fun. Moreover when you have the opportunity to teach the same subject for next term, it's double fun. You just need to 'retouch' your material bits and pieces but the rest of it is already there. 

Really hope that next week my days will be back to normal again. I do miss my reading time, in this case my novel not the teaching material of course. Can't hardly wait for the weekend.  

A Short Getaway: Belitung

Tanjung Pendam Beach
A Light House at Lengkuas Island
The yummy Mie Belitung and super fresh drink, Jeruk Kunci Ice
SD Muhammadyah (Laskar Pelangi School), East Belitung
Museum Andrea Hirata, East Belitung
Last weekend I had a three-day-journey with three friends in Belitung. I have been in love with Belitung since I finished reading Andrea Hirata's works, Laskar Pelangi serial. I once promised myself that one day I have to go there and see with my own eyes those giant granite in the middle of Belitung ocean. 

After several postponement finally the trip itinerary was fixed. I had been assigned as the arranger for this trip. I browsed here and there to get as many information as possible before I decided to hire an Event Organizer, Belitung Trans, in order to arrange all our necessities there in Belitung. It turned out that the EO was very professional and  friendly. The guide, Pak Empong was so patient in handling four-talkative-emak-emak.  

We arrived on Friday morning and planned to have breakfast at the most famous Mie Belitung stall named Mie Belitung Atep at Sriwijaya Street. Too bad the place was still closed since we came so early before 8 a.m. We finally headed to our hotel, Bahamas, a nice and cozy hotel with a beach view at the back of the hotel.

The adventure had just begun, we went around East Belitung on the first day. We visited several beaches on the way there then continued to Manggar, Kota 1000 Warung Kopi (A city with 1000 coffee stall) and happened to see SD Muhammadyah, a school where Laskar Pelangi children once studied. Although this school building is actually just a replica (since the real school has been renovated into a proper school) but Andrea Hirata tried to make it looked like the original one. We also visited Museum Kata Andrea Hirata, this is the first literary museum in Indonesia. We can see lots of Andrea Hirata's works here including his books, pictures, short story collection, etc.

On the second day we did islands hoping. We got on a boat and went around the islands there. We also climbed out to almost 200 stairs in the antique light house at Lengkuas Island. Although the light house was built in 1882 but it is still functioned well up until now. Belitung has many islands and beautiful beaches. The sand in the beach is cleaned-white, there is no wave, all is calm, in fact it doesn't look like an ocean but it seems more like a river since it's so peaceful there. Not to mention those magnificent granites in Tanjung Tinggi  and many more. They're just too amazing.

I am thinking to go back to Belitung and take my family there. Najla and Zea sure are going to love the beaches, do swimming, play with the beautiful white sand and climb up to the giant granite. It's going to be fun. Last but not least I must salute Andrea Hirata, he's one of Belitung heroes. If there is no Laskar Pelangi serial, I don't think I will come to Belitung and experienced a very good time.  

Bookmark: A Small Thing with A Big Use

Yay...two new bookmarks
some of my remained bookmarks
 A book freak and a book mark will definitely make a good couple. In the old days collecting bookmarks is one of my hobbies beside collecting stamps, stickers, name label, etc. Every time I visited a book store, I would not only looked for a new book but I also tried to find a new cute bookmark. Since I lent my books including the bookmarks to many friends, I just realized that my bookmarks collection was getting less and less. Perhaps the bookmarks left at my friends' house or they're also hiding somewhere at my parents' house (the bookmarks I mean, not my friends, LOL).

For some people, bookmark is not so important. Of course this is for people who are a fast reader or people with strong memory who never have any difficulties in remembering the last page they read. My hubby is also a book freak and he has no bookmarks at all. He uses everything he met for his bookmarks. No wonder if I found a parking ticket, a tissue or a payment receipt in the middle of the book he reads. Nothing is wrong with that. People have their own habit and we must respect that.
Recently, the older I get, the less bookmarks I have. I rarely buy any new bookmarks now. I get the bookmarks from anyone anywhere. Sometimes I get it from the publishers who also provide bookmarks for the book they publish. Other time I get it from several bookstores which like to give a bookmark as a bonus for the books we buy. For me (as a person with weak memory), bookmark is still important. As long as I still read book (in fact, I can't imagine if I have no book to read), bookmark will always have important part in my life. I know I begin to sound too much, haha....

Yesterday I got new bookmarks from Ferina, one of my bookworm blogger friends. The bookmarks are special since they have wayang (shadow puppet) on the display. Been quite long I have no new bookmarks.  These new ones will definitely get along together with their other bookmark friends. Terima kasih banyak ya, Fer! 

Guru Gokil Murid Unyu

Author: J. Sumardianta
Publisher: Penerbit Bentang
Publication date: April 2013
Pages: 306

Aku melarikan diri dari kelas-kelas yang mengajar,
tetapi tidak mengilhamiku.
Dan aku memperoleh kepekaan 
terhadap hidup serta alam.

--Rabindranath Tagore

Welcome to a digital era, the era where young people called alay a.k.a anak layangan. A generation with speedboat mental who likes to run fast over a shallow water surface while in this kind of situation a teacher must keep up with the students. The teachers are not only asked to swim but must be transformed into a submarine who take the students slowly in getting an in-depth meaning of life. 

Students now are different with students in the old days. They are very critical. They can't sit still. They want to move. Some of them are very creative but they don't know how to execute neither their creativity nor their dreams. Therefore the teachers must become the facilitator. The era of becoming  a  'killer teacher'  has passed. Instead of making the students afraid of the teachers and considered them as their enemies, teachers now must get ready to become a friendly teacher with a driver and winner mental and also a good listener.

Since I resigned from my 9-to-5 work three years ago and decided to become a lecturer, I experienced myself that the world of education now is totally different. If in the old days students will sit still and listen to the teachers, but now most of the students are equipped with latest gadgets such as iphone, ipad, laptop, blackberry, etc. During classes, some of them are usually busy with their gadgets, pretending to listen to the lecture notes while actually playing games. When there are some assignments with close due date, they suddenly will keep terrorizing their lecturers with e-mails and asking for consultation session in order to get good scores. 

According to the author, being a mean teacher is soooo... last decade, if you notice that your students look bored with the delivered material, it's time for that teacher to do introspection and find a way to attract students attention. If the students realize how interesting your topic is, without forcing them, you automatically will win their hearts.

The author, J. Sumardianta,  is a high school teacher at Kolese John De Britto Yogjakarta with 20 years experiences. Beside teaching he is also a freelance writer in Kompas, Tempo and Jawa Pos. The author is definitely a man with a deep passion of teaching.  He explores a wide range of education, from school curriculum, a teacher without any passion to teach, lack of reading habit, nowadays students characters, and the like, and delivers all topics  in details. The author starts his writing with a quote and inspiring story before discussing the main issue in an interesting way.

Honestly I learn a lot from this book. It opens my eyes that there are so many things to consider in becoming a good teacher. Even from the author's own story of life, I  also get life lesson, such as the reason why he loves reading very much or why he prefers to write a book review instead of a recent opinion. A very inspiring book.

I highly recommend this book for everyone. For those dealing in education system, for  parents who want to know more about the essence of education in order to choose the best method for your kids or for anyone who wants to enrich yourself with new insights. I promise at the time you finish the book, your point of view on education will change. Definitely a must read.     

Rapid Fire Questions

Pic is courtesy of Mia Membaca

As requested from bu dokter cantik Mia to join Rapid Fire Questions, after a long deep thoughts *exaggerating*, here are my answers:

1. Nambah atau ngurangin timbunan? Ehm...apa ya? Sekarang ini tiap tahun, buku-buku yang sudah  saya baca saya sumbangkan ke beberapa tempat supaya rak buku saya bisa 'bernapas' dan saya bisa beli buku baru lagi, hehe...saya selalu berpikir, beli saja dulu, dibacanya bisa nanti-nanti *berakhir dengan tak kunjung dibaca*, sepertinya saya nambah timbunan terus, belum insyaf juga :)

2. Pinjam atau beli buku? Berhubung sulit menemukan orang dengan bacaaan bergenre sama dengan saya, akhirnya saya lebih sering beli buku.

3. Baca buku atau nonton film? Walau cinta sama dua-duanya, tapi saya tetap pilih buku karena buku membebaskan saya untuk berimajinasi kemana-mana.

4. Beli buku online atau offline (ke toko buku yang temboknya bisa disentuh)? Tentunya beli buku offline karena salah satu kebahagiaan saya itu adalah berada berdekatan dengan timbunan buku, pegang-pegang, lihat-lihat, hirup-hirup aromanya, wuahh..heaven.

5. (Penting) buku bajakan atau ori? Ori pastinya, selain menghargai hasil karya pengarang juga dari sisi kualitas, buku ori pasti lebih bagus.

6. Gratisan atau diskonan? Sebagai perempuan penggemar diskonan, haha....tentunya saya pilih diskonan karena kemungkinan mendapatkannya lebih besar.

7. Beli pre-order atau menanti dengan sabar? Menanti aja kali ya, toh...timbunan buku juga masih menggunung:) 

8. Buku asing (terjemahan) atau lokal? Sejujurnya belakangan  hari ini, saya jarang baca buku lokal karena jarang yang mengena di hati, saya lebih sering baca buku asing (terjemahan).

9. Pembatas buku penting atau biasa aja? Penting banget karena saya punya kebiasaan baca beberapa buku secara parallel dan berhubung ingatan mulai melemah, haha...pembatas buku wajib ada ditiap buku yang sedang saya baca.

10. Bookmark atau bungkus Chicki? Memang Chicki masih ada ya? *salah fokus* sebagai kolektor bookmark, saya pasti pilih bookmark yang cantik, inspiratif dan bergaya *plak* 

5 pertanyaan berikut dari jeng Mia: 

11. Haruki Murakami atau Pearl S. Buck? Berhubung semua buku Pearl S. Buck sudah dibaca, sekarang ini pastinya lebih pilih Murakami, karya-karyanya begitu beragam, aneh, tak tertebak, absurd, bikin kita bingung, 'ini nyata atau fantasi?' dan senangnya beliau tetap rutin mengeluarkan karya walau tidak rutin tiap tahun, tapi tetap bikin hati deg2an menunggu hasil karyanya, yaaa...seperti deg2an nunggu pacar mau kasih surprise apa ya malam minggu nanti? *mulai berlebihan* :D

12. Buku Motivasi, yay or nay? Kalau iya buku apa? Nay, seiring usia yang makin senja *halah* rasanya kok makin malas baca buku motivasi, mungkin karena sudah mengalami banyak hal dan sudah tahu 'mau kemana' *kok jadi sok ya?* haha...buku motivasi terakhir yg saya baca 101 Creative Notes, tulisan Yoris Sebastian, buku sederhana yg 'nancep' di hati.

13. Review buku yang panjang, pendek atau yang sedang? Alasan? Berlebihan itu kan tidak baik ya, jadi saya lebih suka yang sedang-sedang saja *joget bareng Mia sambil nyanyi lagunya Vetty Vera* :p

14. Buku yang paling berkesan (yang paling lucu? paling bikin mewek?)? Aduhhh...apa ya? Banyak sekali buku-buku bagus yang sampai sekarang tetap nempel di hati, tapi karena diwajibkan memilih, saya pilih Tetralogi Pulau Buru-nya eyang Pramoedya Ananta Toer, 4 buku yang sukses bikin hati saya galau, resah, gelisah *plak*...:D

15. Beli buku dimana, pilih salah satu dan apa alasannya, Amazone, Kinokuniya, Periplus, Book Depository?  Sejujurnya saya beli buku dimana-mana *lihat yg lagi diskon dimana*, haha..tergantung genre buku karena tiap toko buku punya kelebihan dan kekurangan. Favorit saya untuk belanja novel biasanya di Periplus, sepertinya harganya paling murah dibanding toko buku lain. Sementara untuk buku-buku bergenre lain, saya kadang beli di Kino atau Aksara.

Welll...this is the end of my answer, utang saya lunas ya, bu dokter? :)       

Manuscript Found in Accra

Author: Paulo Coelho
Publisher: Knopf
Published year: 2013
Pages: 190

What is success? It is being able to go to bed each night with your soul at peace.

In his latests work, Paulo Coelho, doesn't deliver his usual novel instead he comes out with a kind of manual, a wisdom literature. The manual is a collection of wisdom sayings and advice around various life topics.

The setting is Jerusalem on July 14, 1099 on the eve of the Crusades, where a wise man known as the Copt dispenses philosophical guidelines for living to audiences of Christian, Jews and Muslim gathered to ask questions and listen. The topics asked are varied such as the difference between defeat and failure, victims, beauty and elegance, death and many more. The Copt answers all questions in detail and enlightened them all with a timeless and powerful exploration of personal growth, wisdom and joy.  Read one of the excerpt here:

And a woman who was getting on in years and had never found a husband said: "Love has always passed me by."

And the Copt answered:
In order to hear Love's words, you must allow Love to approach.
However, when it does draw near, we fear what it might say to us, because Love is free and it's not ruled by our will or by what we do.
All lovers know this but refuse to accept it. They think they can seduce Love through submission, power, beauty, wealth, tears, and smiles.
True Love, however, is the love that seduces and will never allow itself to be seduced.

Tears speak for themselves.
Because we managed to keep our heart open, despite the pain.
Because we realized that the person who left us did not take the sun with them or leave darkness in their place. They simply left, and with every farewell comes a hidden hope.
It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

What a beautiful said, isn't it?  

Now centuries later, the manuscript containing the Copt's extraordinary insights on the courage, solitude, loyalty and loss has been unearthed from a cave in Cairo. According to Coelho, "You still have the same problems right now that you had back then." Coelho further said that his writing is not related to a religious system since he thinks that every religion is heading toward the same light and that light is God

This enlightening book speaks of the main human values, of life, of love, of sorrow, of death, in other words, he tells ourselves to us. The book is the kind of book that you can read many times. You can take it down from your bookshelf, flip into a topic you need, contemplate for a moment and ...voila the answer is there. A must read.

"Don't try to be useful. Try to be yourself; that is enough, and that makes all the difference."

Dentist Time

There was time when Najla had a nightmare every time we mentioned about visiting a dentist. It was all because her first experience with a dentist was not too good. Actually I got the dentist's name from a friend since at that time I had no experience with a dentist for children. My friend recommended me to a pedodontist or a pediatric dentist (a health care professional concerned with the dental care and treatment of children) who practiced at one of big hospitals in Jakarta.

I contacted the hospital and found out that the pedodontist had lots of patients and if I registered at that time, I would get my turn on the next two weeks, whew! I felt shocked and surprised for the same time to know those facts and thought how great this pedodontist supposed to be.

On the d-day, I brought Najla there. Since my expectation was so high, I was a bit disappointed to see the way the pedodontist treated his patient.It's Najla's first experience, no wonder if she got a bit stressed, she was screaming, crying and kicking all the medical stuff there and I saw that the pedodontist still forced her to give the medical treatment. At first I though he would take a break for a while and calmed Najla down, but perhaps since there were lots of patients were queuing outside his practicing room therefore he needed to finish every patient in a short time. Those unfriendly treatment of the pedodontist made Najla's lips swollen on the next day but the worst impact was her trauma over the dentist issue. 

Until one day when we browsed around a mall, out of the blue my hubby saw a dental clinic among the wardrobe outlets. Since the atmosphere was relaxed and Najla didn't realize what kind of place it was, we could take Najla in and got treatment peacefully. Actually the doctor is not a pedodontist, she is just a dentist but I admired her way to convince Najla that everything would be alright, nothing to be worried about. There's also a reward for a brave patient, they will get a colorful teeth necklace, you can even choose the color according to your favorite one. How nice.

Those friendly experiences brings positive impacts, there are no more nightmares or trauma over the dentist and even Zea is also excited to visit the dentist since she knows after her teeth checked, she could ask her father to take her to Gramedia bookstore nearby. Yes, she is a girl with a hidden agenda!

Well...those teeth issues  teach me a lesson that it's not a smart and popular specialist we need but a simple doctor with a heart does. I remember a line who says, "Being a doctor is good, being a merchant is also good, but if you combine both, it won't be good anymore."