Rabu, 10 Februari 2016

Book Review: Melipat Jarak

Melipat Jarak
source: www.goodreads.com
I got a really interesting book from my best friend for my birthday, it is titled as Melipat Jarak by Sapardi Djoko Damono. It consists of the poems made by Sapardi from 1998-2015, that's why it is titled as Melipat Jarak, meaning folding the distance.
I always love the poem made by Sapardi, the most famous poems are probably Hujan Bulan Juni and Aku Ingin Mencintaimu dengan Sederhana. So, when I got this book as a present, I got really excited! There are many poems in the book, my favorite there is Sajak-Sajak Kecil tentang Cinta


mencintai angin
harus menjadi siut
mencintai air
harus menjadi ricik
mencintai gunung
harus menjadi terjal
mencintai api
harus menjadi jilat

mencintai cakrawala
harus menebas jarak

harus menjelma aku


Little Poems about Love

to love the wind
has to be rustle
to love the mountain
has to be steep
to love the fire
has to be lick

to love the horizon
has to slash the distance

to love You
has to become me
The poem, in my opinion, is a kind of admiration to God. That to love Him, people need to be themselves. My favorite poem is still Hujan Bulan Juni, though, but that doesn't mean this book isn't good.
I really suggest this book for those who love poems or those who are really interested in learning Indonesian literature. The book is the compilation of contemporary poems made by Sapardi Djoko Damono, one of the most famous poet in this era. Enjoy!

Education to Build a Better Future for All

source: www.thisissierraleone.com
Education, according to Oxford Dictionary, is the theory and practice of teaching.  Today, education is one of the topics most often discussed all over the world; it is said that education is responsible for making human civilization the way it is right now and therefore is also the main concern to build a better future for us all. The question now is, how would education improve our quality of living in the future? Is there any of the education principles that needs changing?

In my opinion, the reason of education’s importance is because it is the guidance of what the currently-young people will do in the future; when they will already have the strategist positions to change rules, principles, etc.  If those successor generations study well, they will be able to decide wisely so that the effect of the choice will bring good to everyone. There are several definitions of “well-studied”, it really varies between people, but by considering the way the world is working at the moment, I guess “well-studied” that could bring prosperity for all is not seen from the students’ scores in the report card, or their ranks at school, their ability to solve Math questions, etc. Those things, unfortunately, are the way most people think at this era. At the very least, the way my country’s residents think.

There are three important things that are missing from the current education curriculum, in my opinion; first, schools today don’t teach leadership and entrepreneurship. Second, students are being given only theories, not how the theory could help them in their daily life. Third, the system has made the students focused only on how to get good scores, not on enjoying the beauty of learning. Those things, in my opinion, are the things that define the quality of people.

Leadership. Why is that even an important thing? In order to get success, people need leaders. Good leaders. Not just a good leader for the society, but at the very least, people should be taught how to be a good leader for their own selves. A good self-leader will not be late, throw rubbish anywhere carelessly, or do any other thing that is against the society’s norm. In my opinion, obedience is one of the most important things that could bring society into a better way of living. Before we are able to lead, we need to obey, so that is why leadership needs to be taught at school. Beside, the condition of the world right now demands people to stop being an employee; and instead, begin businesses that could open new employments. The world right now needs entrepreneurs, and to start to be one, people need to have bravery and leadership.

Now, the questions probably have shifted to the way of teaching leadership in school. Do we need to arrange a new subject? In my opinion, it is unnecessary, but to make that shows that the policy makers concern at the problem seriously. The leadership, in my opinion, should be taught in every occasion. This is the solution of my second point; that education needs not only to enlighten students with new knowledge, but also on how to use it to solve daily life problems. The condition should not be applied only for teaching leadership, but also for students to understand each topic in every lesson. This way, the school will not only be preparing great theorists for the future, but also problem solvers.

Innovation is also an important thing for future’s life. In order to innovate, people need to be excited in learning new things first. Now, how would students be excited if what they learn is to be judged by how their scores in tests are? Instead, the joy of learning would be replaced by the fear of being false. In fact, being false is what the scientists had faced before their invention changed the world. That’s not only the problem showing up; when students fear scores too much, they could choose wrong paths to be good, like cheating, etc. That kind of attitude is what would make students become a problem in the future; cheating, in my opinion, is how corruptors learn to do wrong, and corruptors is a really major problem right now.

There are three important things that education right now needs to change; teaching leadership, solving daily life problems and that learning is a joy and what enlightens people. With those things, there is no doubt that education will be able to build a better future for all.

Getting the Yellow Jacket: Ways of Entering Universitas Indonesia

Universitas Indonesia's logo, the makara.
(source: id. wikipedia.org)
The University of Indonesia (UI), is one of the best universities in my country. Every year, many high school students from all over Indonesia (and some other countries, perhaps) struggle to get into the college. With the name of the country used to name the university, in my opinion it's not a strange thing.

An advertisement that inform about the usage of jakun.
(Source: www.anakui.com)
There are three ways for all students to enroll to the university that is famous by its yellow jacket (or jaket kuning in Indonesia, often abbreviated as jakun): via Seleksi Nasional Masuk Perguruan Tinggi Negeri (SNMPTN) Undangan, Seleksi Bersama Masuk Perguruan Tinggi Negeri (SBMPTN) and Seleksi Masuk UI (SIMAK UI). One other way is also available for those who won the National Science Olympiad (Olimpiade Sains Nasional or OSN), but the choice of faculty is restricted; the medalists are only able to choose the faculty that study about the lesson he/she won.

1) SNMPTN Undangan is an enrollment that based itself on the scores given by school in students' three-year (or two-year for accelerated student) study. Every school gets its own quota; the determination of this is an authority for the universities joining the program, the universities owned by the country. The students of each school are then ranked according to their scores; especially the scores of the lessons tested in the National Examination (Ujian Nasional or UN). For those who chose Maths and Science (MIA) branch, the lessons are Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Bahasa Indonesia and English. Social (IIS) students should be more concerned about his/her Mathematics, History, Geography, Sociology, Bahasa Indonesia and English. There is one more branch, the Languange Branch (IBB), but I don't know what subjects are tested for this branch. The website for this enrollment is snmptn.ac.id.

2) SBMPTN is the enrollment which included testing as its way of selecting new college students for public universities. The test subjects are mostly the same like the ones tested in the UN; there are two question sheets need to be answered, Tes Kemampuan dan Potensi Akademik (TKPA) which includes Basic Maths, Bahasa Indonesia, English and some types of psychotest (numeric, verbal and figural tests) and Tes Kemampuan Dasar (Sains dan Teknologi or Sosial dan Humaniora) which consists of subjects tested in UN MIA and IIS, according to the branch the participants choose. Even so, some of the materials are not taught in high school. Most of them are, though, so there's no need for the students to worry if they have studied hard in their school times. The questions are much harder than the questions asked in UN, so keep practicing is really the key to success in this way of enrollment. The website for this enrollment is sbmptn.ac.id.

3) SIMAK UI has the same type with SBMPTN; it is a test. The quality of the questions are even harder than the SBMPTN, though. The quota for each faculty in this test is also very limited.

The university, as well as another public university, offers a kind of scholarship named as Bidikmisi. The Bidikmisi is applied together with the SNMPTN Undangan, as far as I know.

More information about the ways of enrollment to UI can be checked in penerimaan.ui.ac.id.

Rabu, 13 Januari 2016

Have the Mobile Phone Made World Better?

As technology is getting advanced every year, people get to argue about the advantages and disadvantages of the technology products more often. Does technology make the world better? Or instead, worse, despite the fact that it is claimed to be the thing that brings Earth’s civilization way further.

One of the most used product in this world is perhaps the mobile phone. The invention of telephone by Alexander Graham Bell in the late 19th century has opened new ways of communication ever since. The telephone makes communication a lot easier by removing the limiting borders between people, so that the invention has been one of the  main product to be innovated until now. The mobile phone is one of them.

In my opinion, the mobile phone has made people’s life far better than before. Mobile phone has helped people communicate easily anywhere they are. Smartphones, the most recent innovation of mobile phone, has even included many features of other technology product, for example, camera, music, and internet facilities. People are able to get many facilities from such a small, easy-to-bring thing.

There are a lot of reasons of why mobile phone was invented. In my opinion, the mobility of people is one of the major causes. People needs to communicate, but at the same time they need to travel, cities to cities, countries to countries, etc. Having a mobile phone solves the problem. With the product, people are able to communicate wherever and whenever they are at the time. They also do not need to spare much time to know the condition of their family and loved ones, if they are busy. They will only need to get their phones out of their pocket and do a call or text a message.

The extra features available on the mobile phone has helped people to do things too. With the camera feature on the phone, people will be able to capture precious moments even though they do not bring any digital/professional camera. The internet also makes getting information easier, other than getting it from people they communicate with. There are also features included for our pleasure like its game applications and music player.

The disadvantages of mobile phone, in my opinion, is the result of the unwise usage of the product. People sometimes get very addicted to the mobile phone that they become unproductive, but the condition could be anticipated by being wiser in sparing our time to use the product.

To sum up, the mobile phone is one of the most changing product human has ever invented. It has many features that makes people’s life becomes easier, especially in communication.

Minggu, 10 Januari 2016

My Dream Job: Am I Choosing the Right Path for My Future?

There are some questions that always bother or are asked to 12th grade students; what would they like to be? What kind of thing would they love to do for the rest of their life? I am now a 12th grader, so the questions also bother me everyday.

Those are simple questions; well, many people say questions are always simple, what's hard are the answers. Many people of my age wonder in every single day of their study in the grade; what subject do they like the most? In what field are they good at? Schools also perform psychotests for their students to help them choose the right path for their future. To make sure that whatever the choice, the students choose it by knowing the consequences, by already thinking of everything that could possibly happen in the future. I believe that by knowing our interest and talent, we could consider things better.

A bioengineering lab in Sabanc─▒ University, Istanbul, Turkey.

Source: http://bio.sabanciuniv.edu/en/research/labs/signal-transduction-and-biotechnology
How about me? Well, sometimes I hope I could be those students who don't know what major they will choose so that I could accept the consideration of the others regarding my future. I already know what subject I like the most, Biology. I believe that by loving a subject as much as I love Biology, I will be able to improve myself at it everyday. Oh, I even know what branch I love the most in the subject; it's bioengineering. Biosynthetic. I love to work with DNAs and stuffs, it's just so challenging to me. I love the fact that by learning about it, I could change the world so drastically. Do you know that now there's a technology that could engineer a man's DNA that curing inherited diseases is not impossible anymore? These kind of news, of things... they seem so amazing to me. I'd like to be one of those people who invented those kind of things in the future. Yes, I'd like to be a scientist. I'd like to be an engineer in biosynthetic. That is really my dream job.

I'm so grateful that I am given the opportunity to explore my knowledge in Biology since I was in elementary. I read books; quite many books about Biology, but I didn't realize that I love the subject so much until I got to represent my school (and later, my province), in National Science Olympiad (Olimpiade Sains Nasional or often abbreviated as OSN). I had competed in Biology Olympiad for four years; 2015 was my last year, and now I often feel that I miss it so much. Not just the atmosphere of the Olympiad, but also the times I got to study Biology. I'm starting to feel like, yeah, Adriana, that's your path.
The CRISPR Genome Editing method uses this plasmid.
Plasmid is a small circular DNA in bacteria that is often
used as a media in bioengineering. These kind of things
interest me a lot. So small, but changing the world so big.

Source: http://www.scbt.com/datasheet-418922-control-crispr-cas9-plasmid.html

From the experience, I know that I'm not really good in Animals' Anatomy and Physiology, the subject that from what I know is all being the doctor about. Maybe not "not good", but I'm just not really into it. When I study about it, I don't feel the excitement as much as I do when I study Molecular Biology, a branch that is related to bioengineering and biosynthetic. People think differently, though, they think by loving Biology, I would make a good doctor. The truth is, maybe I would be a good one, but I'm still asking myself until now, would I do the job happily? One had said, "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." What would I feel if I chose to be a doctor? Maybe I would succeed, but would I think at the same time, what would happen if I chose biosynthetic instead of studying in medical school?

When I ask for people's advice, most of them suggest me to be an engineer in biomedicine. That's a lot different from my dream job; what students learn in that branch are mostly Physics and Mathematics. I searched the curriculum myself, and really, it is different.

Someone once said to me when he's advicing me about my future, "For me, being a doctor is what I am destined for. The reason why I was born." He's also a 12th grader, and I'm always envious of people like him for the fact that what they would like to be is supported by people. I could be anything, but if I would like to be a bioengineer, I have to admit that it will be easier for me if I moved to other country. I have never thought about not living here, in my home country, Indonesia. I love this country as much as I love Biology, and I always think that there is no country as convenient as Indonesia no matter how its condition is. I also would like to make Indonesia better in the future, so leaving it is perhaps my last choice.

I don't give up that easy, though. What I'm choosing as my job in the future is perhaps the win-win solution; I'd like to be a scientist doctor. Being a specialist in internal medicine seems quite interesting for me, but at the moment I'm interested in being a neurologist and to learn about Brain and Cognitive Science. People say that I'm wasting my time studying in medical school if I choose the path, but at least I will be able to do two things I really would like to do: to do what I love, and at the same time, do what my home country needs.

Bismillaahirrahmaanirrahiim. I hope I will be able to feel sure about my choice as soon as possible. What's more important, I also hope it is really the right path for my future. Aamiin.

Selasa, 17 November 2015

Peace, Is It the Answer?

Source: www.cfri.org

What is peace? Maybe people are questioning about this now, as the current worldwide-booming issues are about war, terrorism or stuffs like that. Peace, in my opinion, is when people are supporting each other with no hatred and suspicion between them. Peace is the thing that will bring us happiness and joy. Peace is the answer, the solution of all the issues I mentioned before.

But the question is, perhaps, how to make peace? Sceptical people would probably deny the probability of this world being peaceful enough, so that there would not be any problem anymore. The reason could be because of the war and problems has been occurring for a really long time; so long until to stop them feels impossible.

Me? I can state for sure that I’m not one of those people. I believe that there’s a way to start peace; the first step is by opening our mind to understand each other. I like this quote from Albert Einstein, “Peace cannot be kept by force – it can only be achieved by understanding.” It’s true, isn’t it? But the first step in everything is always the trickiest part. I don’t say hard, it’s not easy to change our way of thinking but I believe it is not hard too; it’s tricky. In doing this step, we need to know when to change our mind, but we also can’t forget when not to. To keep these things in balance is perhaps the key; not only the key to peace, but also the key to a better condition that can support peace in the future. By holding our principle tight, I believe there will be a diversity of thought that could always maintain our head to be open-minded.

The next step is a lot easier. With our mind being more open to what others think, it will be easy for us to solve our problems. Like I’ve pointed before, peace is the answer for all of them. Last but not least, we need to maintain peace we have after we solve all the things. This, in my opinion, is the hardest part. To achieve something is hard, but to keep what we achieve is harder. Right?

Even so, what we need to focus right now is to start peace. There is a really nice quote from Mother Theresa that could perhaps sum up all my writing:

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.

And I believe now is the right time to realize our bond with each other; now is the right time for peace.

Sabtu, 22 Agustus 2015

A Good Leader

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. - John Maxwell
In order to have an organisation works, there must be a person who leads it. The right person, of course. In high school, the organisation that gain much attention from the students is the Organisasi Siswa Intra Sekolah (OSIS) or if translated, the student council. It supervises the extracurricular held in school and holds events for the whole school. To do the tasks, I believe it needs to have the right person to have the leader position. He/she needs to be good at communication skill, charismatic, wise and creative, while of course goal-minded.

Firstly, communication is important as it is what the leader has to do every day. He/she needs to communicate with his/her team, the teachers, etc. In order to do this nicely, the leader has to have the charisma. He/she needs to be able to persuade people that his/her way of thinking is right, but at the same time, also be open-minded enough to what people thinks. This is what I mean by wise, beside deciding not for one's benefit.

Secondly, creativity. The main task of the council is to hold events, as I have written here before. To make an event succeed, of course it has to have a good theme and concept. Beside, the leader will also need creativity when he/she deals with people, as each people has different characters and thought.

Lastly, the goals are important to make the works of the council purposeful. Without goals, there won't be any parameter of success, which I believe is determined with the goals made before. In order to work, we need to know what we are going to do, right?

As for many criteria listed, being a leader seems to be hard. It is, but once someone is able to fulfill all the criteria, he/she will be remembered forever as a leader with great communication skill and charisma, wise in choosing, creative and succeed at fulfilling his/her goals (vision) he/she made before. In other words, a good leader.