Friday, August 24, 2018

[Kembali ke Pojok] I Must Have That Man

I don’t know what happened, but jazz seems to be back in style lately.

It’s quite common to have people blasted John Coltrane or Billie Holiday from their overly expensive speaker. Once again internet prove to be a much powerful medium of music enlightenment for the mass market. Maybe God can try to spread His message through internet as well, maybe open a social media account that millions can follow? Maybe those mid-up educated class can be more open to the idea of divine being when they can click “like” or “love” over their phone display.

Oh yeah, I’m raving, I’m sorry. My sarcasm usually goes stratospheric after a full session of Billie Holiday. Not because of miss Holiday specifically, it is more because of one particular person that I’m unintentionally associate with miss Holiday. Let’s call him Hades, just like how miss Holiday describe such a person like him.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Who Ilsa really loves?

I might never get the exact answer for this.

I have that question alive in my head for 24 hours, since the first time I watched Casablanca. I watched again and still I cannot tell. Roger Ebert once said that "she paint his face with her eyes", and my... hers were a beautiful one. Do the mix look of longing and regret can be one of the indication? Or can I have a personal opinion that she loves Rick because the other man act so stiff I believe he cannot walk properly. But really, who Ilsa Lund really loves?

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The goal of a corporation is to maximize shareholder's value, true or not true?

I have gone through financial management course this last two weeks. Learning about money, capital, debt and other things that is so fundamental capitalism. The above question is the first question asked in the class by our professor. And yes, the answer is 'true'. But then, come up another question, is it right or not right?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Lit the little squirrel: Observation day

Once upon a time, in a country far north, lives a little squirrel named Lit. Lit is a highly discipline squirrel. He believes that the key to success is to maximize the use of his valuable time. He has a packed daily schedule and he extremely punctual to it.

Today is what he calls observation day. When the Bell Tower in the middle of University of Michigan central campus rings 6 times, he is already stationed at his favorite branch of his favorite tree situated in the middle of the Diag. Students from the university usually spend their afternoon there, just to pass time, reading books or just lazying around. This is the time when Lit can freely observe them and learn more on how to be a successful squirrel, after all, they say it is one of the best university in the country. 

Lit looks around and then he find something that seems interesting for him. There is this one girl. Lit recognize the girl. She always spend the afternoon at the Diag with her thin box that has picture and words in it. Today, the girl also have that thin box with her, but unlike the usual, she looks gloomy. She keeps looking at the thin box, tapping on the surface and sad expression comes to her face. Little Lit feels curious. The girl usually very lively, a little stupid perhaps, because sometimes she laugh by herself when she reads. So, this is unusual of her. Lit decides to approach the girl. 

He climb down his tree and running across the Diag and hops to the girl's side. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Blue is the color of the sky!


If I said that, can you guess what I will write next?
Yups, after quite a battle and a lot of consideration, I choose to go north, University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross school of business. This announcement is late though, because I am already doing the courses for the last month. Apologize for that, everything happened so fast.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Commitment of Independent Nation

Since I graduated from high school, 17th of August always pass by as any other day for me. It's just one of those rare public holidays. I celebrate it more as an opportunity to stay at home all day, rather than to reminisce the fact that my country declared its independence at the day many years ago. The celebration of independence day has lost its meaning for me.

Before 98 reformation movement and I still at grade school, I am required to attend official ceremony every 17th of August. We all will stand obediently at our school yard, watching our national flag being hailed, listening to the Declaration of Independence being read, listening to written speeches about nationalism, and others. But then, the ceremony’s over, we all are being dismissed and everything we’ve heard and watched at the ceremony forgotten, let alone remembered for its meaning. However, at least we do that. We force ourselves to wake in the morning at public holiday, go to our school and stand at the yard for approximately one hour. At the very least, we are aware of the celebration.

Today is the 68th anniversary of Indonesia’s independence. I have breakfast with my friend at nearby coffee shop in the morning, chat around about works and friends, come home and stay for the day. No attending any ceremony. No singing national anthem. No listening to any nationalism speech. Am I becoming so ignorant about my country?

At my first Toastmaster club meeting last thursday, I got an interesting topic for my speech, “please tell us the importance of independence and liberty”. Raking my brain to works, I try to find the right words to answer it. To explain the importance of independence, first you have to understand what it means to be dependent. And it’s hard to explain something that you never been into. How I understand the importance of being independent nation?

Say if, at today 68 years ago we’re not declaring our independence, will I be leisurely sitting in a cafe and type down this blog post? Will I be even exist? Because who knows if my parent will meet each other if they are still at war. I think it over this afternoon, between my second cup of latte and affogato desert, and realize how I have always taken my country and independent for granted.

I watched a speech by pak Anies Baswedan in a virtual independence day ceremony from 2 years ago. He start his speech with a statement, “kemerdekaan tidak hadir semata-mata untuk menggulung kolonialisme, tetapi untuk mencapai keadilan sosial bagi seluruh rakyat Indonesia” [Independence is not only about ending colonialism, but also to fight for social justice for the people of Indonesia]. Highlighting on the optimism to meet this objective, he told the commitment made by our founding fathers with the declaration of independence. That independence is the statement of optimism toward a better way of life, a commitment to be fulfilled.

Most Indonesian, like myself, have become skeptical citizen. Always questioning the government, complaining about the country, complaining about fellow Indonesian. It’s easier that way, when we are being ignorant of our own responsibility and blamed others for the chaos. But the commitment of independent nation is not just made by our founding fathers. Remember that the declaration state, “We, the people of Indonesia...”, we are the people of Indonesia, we are all bound to that commitment of social justice.

Like pak Anies said, let's make celebration of Independence as a celebration of success. A success of fulfilling our commitment of social justice for the people. Instead of being ignorant and blame others, we can look around and try to make small effort in fulfilling that commitment. Help others, share optimism and positive attitude. After all, nothing will accomplish through whining.

Let’s celebrate our effort, then let’s celebrate our success. Happy independence day fellow Indonesian.

Kami, bangsa Indonesia, dengan ini menjatakan kemerdekaan Indonesia.Hal-hal jang mengenai pemindahan kekoeasaan,d.l.l., diselenggarakan dengan tjara saksama dan dalam tempoh jang sesingkat-singkatnja.
Djakarta, 17-8-'05

Friday, June 7, 2013

Project Code Name: Sangkuriang!

Try to stop at the Pasupati bridge in Bandung, face north, you will find a unique shaped mountain. In the shape of upside down boat, it is the Tangkuban Parahu. For local, the existence of Tangkuban Parahu revolve around a folktale of Sangkuriang and Dayang Sumbi. Pass and keep by generations of sundanese, the tale is a story of a young man, Sangkuriang, that try to marry his own mother, Dayang Sumbi. Blinded by his ego and lust, denied reality and try to commit a taboo. To prevent it, Dayang Sumbi ask for an impossible dowry: a giant lake that made from damming Citarum river and a giant boat with which she will sail the lake, all have to be done within one night. It is hard enough to dam Citarum river and make a boat, it also has to be done in one night.  Impossible as it sounds, but story told that Sangkuriang nearly made it happened, with the help of a thousand Jinns, before Dayang Sumbi trick him into failure. Magic is how the impossible happened, and trickery is how it failed.

The story is very well known and the name ‘Sangkuriang’ grow into a metaphor for doing the impossible. In our office for example, when a project needs to be delivered in impossible timeline and goal, we will call it “Project Sangkuriang”, because figuratively, we have to deliver it in “a night”. Once in a while, having this impossible task is good for self development. Give the team confidence that they can beat a great challenge. But having it too frequently to be normal, is like asking the team to transform from human to Jinn, and lets face it, divine intervention don’t do frequent request.

Tonight, between watching a floppy TV series about US college life and wondering how I have to write my scholarship presentation, I am questioning myself about my goal. Do I set a goal that seems so impossible to reach that I need magic or divine intervention to reach it?

Long ago, I set myself 3 goals that I want to achieve in life: better education, better job and better family. Compare to what? to the common standard of my family. In the first 24 years of my life (I turned 24 last month and had no will to write my annual birthday post, sorry about that), I can say that I have achieved the first 2 goals. I am among the first generation of my family that go to college, and I am the only one that made it to the top university in the country, that give me better education. I graduated in 4 years and get a steady job in the largest mobile operator in the country, indeed better job than anyone in the family ever achieved. And for the third goal, I can’t say anything about it yet, because let’s face it, getting a proper husband is not as easy as get admission to college or land a good job. So, I just need to be patient for this one.

And then come along the boredom. What will you do when you still can't complete your task yet, and you have to wait for God knows how long? Escalate the level of existing achievement! Between education and job, it seems that the first one is more appealing, it will bring more possibilities in the future, including achieving the third one. So, I set focus on the first. Who knows that it turns to a continuous effort for 3 years with many complication popped up in the middle. In the end, a sweet opportunity come in a package of Company Scholarship Program.

It felt too good to be true. I remember asking myself several times if I am finally succumb to uncurable delusion or somebody just get bored and hack HR system to send that scholarship program announcement as a prank. But it turned out to be true. The official announcement released, first test conducted, second test conducted and I passed. The odd is currently in my favor until this moment. Then come the third test: interview about study goal and target university. And they announce a list of target universities for us to choose, that is when I feel the odd slipping away from me.

Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Princeton, Yale, Columbia... name it! Ivy, world class, and every possible definition of greatness. Delusional as it is, the chance of me getting admission to those schools is the same as Pluto finishing its first revolution in my lifetime. Not impossible, but near impossible, how near? As near as my thumb and middle finger. There is an index in between, the first can give you thumb up, the other can give you the unspokable.

But when you achieved your goal early, it seems how far you escalate the level is not an issue. So why don’t shoot the impossible. Betting on the greatest so at least when you failed you end up with the second or third greatest? it is still the greatest anyway. That is what I do, shoot on the moon with a cannon from earth. Not a chance on looking vividly at the target, let alone have the power to shoot it straight, but as hell I will pass this opportunity without die trying.

This is my Project Sangkuriang. Unlike Sangkuriang, I can not and I won't employ thousands Jinn to help me out. But unlike Sangkuriang, my mother does not try to fail me, she back me up. I am not committing a taboo, I shoot at the impossible and I pray for the best divine intervention that can happen: God’s bless. My job is to try hard, and that is what I am doing. 

The very least, I'll end up with the second greatest: a better and wiser version of myself. Suit up!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Debriefing Edition: Quarter Life Crisis dan Kelas Inspirasi

[definition - The quarterlife crisis is a period of life following the major changes of adolescence, usually ranging from the late teens to the early thirties, in which a person begins to feel doubtful about their own lives, brought on by the stress of becoming an adult.]

Ada masanya, ketika saya mendengar istilah yang didefinisikan di atas dan saya merasa tidak peduli, ada masanya ketika 'menjadi dewasa' adalah hanya satu bagian kalimat dari lagu yang dinyanyikan Sherina, dan ada masanya ketika saya menonton How I Met Your Mother dan berkomentar "naon sih?!". Ada masanya semua itu terjadi, dan sayangnya saat ini semua momen itu sudah lewat.

Dulu saat menonton HIMYM dan melihat adegan mereka duduk di kursi yang sama di bar yang sama selama bertahun-tahun, mengobrolkan pekerjaan, relationship, liburan, dan hal lainnya, saya akan berkomentar, "orang-orang ini kurang kerjaan banget deh nongkrong di tempat yang sama terus-terusan dan mengobrolkan hal yang kurang lebih sama" (hanya beda pelaku). Saat saya bilang 'dulu', itu maksudnya sekitar 5 tahun yang lalu. Sekarang, 5 tahun kemudian saya dan kawan-kawan, kurang lebih melakukan hal yang sama seperti Ted Mosby cs.