Birthdays

It is just in the count of days until I hit the first day of 23.

Bear in mind that this post is not an innuendo nor it is a hint, it just came to my mind that this is the age where I should reflect and think more about my being.

The 22nd anniversary of myself was good, thrilling, and at some point, challenging. There were a lot of challenges and changes in me along the way. 22nd seemed to be a transition before I deal with real reality. In 22nd, lots of thinking process happened and I’d have to say this year, I changed quite significantly in terms of knowledge. I have read as much as 6 books (quite weak, I know) in a year, but countless of articles which stack up to my knowledge.

I also changed course. In the back of my mind, I still had an affection for my former-dream of being a diplomat, you know, sometimes you need to make your old folks and people around you happy. The image of me being a diplomat still lives somewhere in my brain, and the reaction it would spark to people around me. Instead, I chose to get off the conformity train and wanting to create path of my own, beating the bushes, tidy up the trails.

It’s not that easy, though. In fact, I probably still–if there’s a progress bar–sit in 2-3% of the 100%. It’s not easy knowing the fact that I, at some point of my life, have to make ends meet and pay the (upcoming) bills. It’s not easy knowing the fact that the society has not appreciate creativity, yet. Discourses around here are still siding with conformity; you need to go to school in order to get a proper job and neat checks and find someone to marry while raising kids at the same time with 9-5 routines. It’s not all negative, though, but deep down inside I wished for another alternative.

Quarter-life crisis is now a thing for me. The scariest thing about it was it is not visible. It just come abruptly while we were being happy. Gone all the thoughts of living easily, come all the hard-and-sometimes-unnecessary decisions. Overthinking sets the body in motion… for destruction. I am in the middle of it. Got a hard time deciding which profession fits me… or is there a thing called “lovable jobs”? Sometimes I found myself daydreaming of being a Salesperson, a Marketer, an Operation guy, a CEO, a Writer, and more. Haven’t found any clicks in it.

I probably have to re-read Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” in order to get rid of my awkwardness in interacting with people. Seriously, it kills me. Whenever a new person come to me, my reaction will depend on his/her position. If somehow, he/she’s not that high, I can feel myself flooded with confidence, resulting in a comfortable way of talking and gesture. But vice-versa, boy was I a creep. I remember mumbling when talking to older people with higher position than me, he understood, fortunately, but I was barraging swear words to myself. What a shame.

There is also something wrong with my system. I mean, I am fairly good in doing a lot of things, but I never learn it the correct way. I learned English since I was 6 years old, without any formal courses. Until I hit 20, I arrogantly claim that there’s no need to learn grammar as it will come naturally when you read much, but come the days when I started to write, I write crap. When friends of mine can write benefiting a beautiful idiom or writing a wonderful poem, I still struggle with the rules of grammar, and sometimes, choosing and tailor good words.

Happens as well with business, guitar, and writing (this is just a little). When I read business books and articles, I felt like I can analyze a company or understand fairly enough. But when I dive into communities, feels like they were talking in alien languages. Jargons flying around and strangely, the jargons weren’t what I read before, there’s always a layer beneath layer. And it frustrates me.

I perceived the world negatively. In my definition–after so much events–friendship never last. No matter how close you are to your friend, there’s always something new that slowly put up brick by brick and separate you and your friends completely. I do aware that it is possible to have a lifetime friend, but in my case, with all my complexities and overthinking thoughts, there’s less than single-digit percent of people who (want to) understand the way I think, the way I perceive the world, the way I approach things. At some point, I’m in dire need of that kind of friend, which I rarely find. Like Petyr Baelish, worst-case scenario is always my go-to tool. Almost can never go wrong if worst-case scenario is in hand. You expect less, worry less, fear less. Which is why the world seemed negative to me.

Occasionally, I ignore all that advice from the Board of Brain Directors and H.E. President of Brain. You know, ‘Ignorance is Bliss’ sometimes is very handy when you need a time to relax. Detach yourself from the grim reality just to sit back and enjoy your life.

 

I really, really, really need a lot to fix and add in 23. 22nd has been a hell of a journey, and a year feels like a month. I do hope that I can attain all those targets and fix all those severely bad things in the future.

Advertisements

Looking Back and Forward

It’ll be less than two weeks that I will be 23. It’s not an age where a full year can be used to sprinkle glitters or having a chocolate party, this is where the flowery road stops and miniature hell is upon your innocent sight.

In short, it’s going to be a hell of a journey.

School ends, your funding faucet slowly closes, no more 3-months break from college, less time to party it out or having fun. From this road, gravels or rocks will be the least of decoration of your road.

Realizing it, I couldn’t help but looking back to the past. Reminiscing good old memories which I stored in my brain attic, dusty as heck.

The ways I’m doing a nostalgia journey varies, starts with listening to old songs that I used to listen in Junior High or Senior High, or even Elementary. And each of these songs have their own link with specific memories in my brain, it’s like these songs have bar codes attached to it that when it is scanned, something popped up.

For example, I listened to Miley Cyrus’ Wherever I Go and I’ll Always Remember You. Both songs colored my near-ending Senior High School times. Both songs are a graduation-themed songs (read the lyrics here) and I played it before and after I graduated and remembered the years I’ve spent doing some silly acts and embarrassing stories behind it, the times I had my first painful heartbreak, or the good times I spent hanging out with my friends.

Another song that revives my old memory is KENO’s Ohayou and Wino’s Taiyou Wa Yoru Mo Kagayaku. If any of you is–or was–an anime fan, you’ll immediately realize that both was a soundtrack of the anime Hunter X Hunter. In addition to that, Naruto’s soundtracks like Michi, Nagareboshi, Heroes Come Back, and Seishun Kyousoukyoku were the theme of my Junior High School. To me, this was the most poignant and hurtful memories of my life. It’s the first phase my mind was aware of anything, the condition of my environment, myself, or my family. These songs are also meaningful to my younger sister, as we faced those at the same time.

Beside listening to specific songs, reviving my old memories could be attained by visiting some spots in my hometown, Bandung. Despite the positive and breakthrough changes the current mayor, Pak RK made, there is still some memories left in old places. To me, BORMA (A Bandung-based department store) that was located in Antapani serve as the best example of this

whatsapp-image-2017-05-30-at-05-16-37
This was after the renovation

BORMA played a significant part in my life. It was clear in my mind the time when my mom brought 6 of my friend to Hoka Hoka Bento which was located inside BORMA. It was around 2004-2005, when I was in Elementary School. I can remember my friend had no idea how to use chopstick. Instead of holding it, he was stabbing the chicken katsu as if it was a satay. We laughed at how clueless he was.

Around 2007 to 2008, I frequently came here with my mom and sister, mom had the ‘one snack policy’ which allowed me and my sister to pick one snack that we would like to buy. As for me, immediately after stepping in to BORMA, all I did was dart through the toy section and look for Yu-Gi-Oh cards, wasn’t the original but still, it’s a playable card. Afterwards, we would eat at California Fried Chicken (I’m still surprised it’s still there).

Only less than 2 weeks ago, I revisited BORMA. The layouts and the building are pretty much the same, the parking lot where I’ve been there countless times with various vehicles is still the same. The nooks and crannies are still the same.

I used the time to take a good look at every details of the store. Walked to various sections; toys, vehicle spareparts, computer accessories and stationery. It’s still the same. The pale white paint on every wall, cheap-and-lazily-made signs from a low-tier stationery, bootleg accessories and toys, and more. The cashier also stayed with an old CRT monitor and old-fashioned POS software, completed with signature ‘beep’ sound that emitted almost simultaneously from 4-8 cashier post.

But things have changed, a lot. Whether it’s me or the other party who’s changed. The pages have turned, only the writings left.

 

Life out(and in)side Earth

I agree, the title does sound like History Channel program or overtly done headlines. Besides both, the title does also sound like a conspiracy article overly mentioning Roswell or other UFO sightings accompanied by “Are We Alone In This World?” and straightforward URLs like “arewealoneinthisworld.com”

It has some correlation to it, though. But I’m not gonna spend your time reading a very obvious piece. Bear with me.

Since 2007-ish, I have an incredible level of admiration towards anything sound creepy or mysterious. When the internet become common in Indonesia, all I search that time was about Nessie (The Loch Ness monster). Nessie was the first ever monster beside Aliens that I discovered, I remember how excited I was reading how Nessie was firstly spotted in 1934 in a photograph named “Surgeon’s Photograph”. In the photo (below), the plesiosaurus-like monster was shown in a mysterious fashion and vintage filter.

 

920x920
Surgeon’s Photograph (1934)

Ever since the discovery, I couldn’t stop surfing YouTube or other sites just to see a (probably faked) footage or sightings of Nessie. One video I remembered the most was when a tourist boat was crossing the Loch Ness, there’s a bulge on the sea surface that caught the tourists’ attention, some began to record and some screamed.

After Nessie, I found a blog full of cryptids (more info). For those of you too lazy to click the link I provided, cryptids are, in brief, mysterious creatures which existence still in doubt, since it’s known from anecdotes or other stories with lack of scientific backing. Besides Nessie, I found more cryptids like Ogopogo, Mothman, Chupacabra (There are a lot of movie about it), Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and more.

Oh, I have to mention that I was also a big fan of UFO sightings. Before Nessie, I remember I bought a book that specifically discuss about Alien. The whereabouts, about Area 51, Roswell Incident, aaaand more of it.

A childhood well-spent, I think.

My penchant towards those cryptical, mysterious, and unknown matters made me love things that are undiscovered, mysterious, or unknown. I found myself attracted to incidents and events that leads to uncertainty, or even remain unsolved.

Couple weeks ago, I read Hunter X Hunter manga (which is one of my favorite of all time). There’s this picture

ZmF8D99
A snippet from HxH Manga

You know, this picture fascinates the inner me so much that I spent a good 2-3 minutes staring at it.

It’s just… Amazing.

Even though it’s just a manga. Think about this: we’re only living in one planet. There’s countless planets outside the Earth.

The question might be a cliche, but don’t you think there’s a lot of organisms or anything new beyond Earth? Like depicted on the HxH snippet.

I don’t know as well. But the imagination of someday a newly discovered life outside earth would appear excites me. REALLY excites me.

 

 

 

 

“Indonesian (kids) don’t know how stupid they are”

“Indonesian (kids) don’t know how stupid they are”

Sebelum Anda marah-marah karena judulnya, biar saya jelaskan kalau ini adalah artikel yang dibuat oleh Elizabeth Pisani, seorang jurnalis dari Amerika Serikat yang berfokus kepada Indonesia, terutama untuk ilmu pengetahuan, politik, serta budaya.

(Ini tautan untuk artikel yang dibuat oleh beliau Indonesian kids don’t know how stupid they are)

Kesan pertama saya membaca judulnya cukup terkejut, bukan karena tersulut ingin marah, tapi karena keberanian yang dimiliki ibu Pisani ini. Saya tidak ambil pusing sama judulnya, karena saya tahu isi artikel dan faktanya memang mirip. Lagipula, hal ini pun didukung oleh tes PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) yang diselenggarakan oleh OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development), sebuah organisasi yang dibentuk untuk memberikan informasi bagi setiap negara yang berguna untuk dijadikan sebagai referensi kebijakan untuk kemajuan ekonomi dan kesejahteraan setiap manusia.

Sedikit tentang PISA

Tes PISA sendiri dilakukan 3 tahun sekali. Sampel yang diambil adalah anak-anak berumur 15 tahun dari sekolah-sekolah yang dipilih berdasarkan standar teknis yang ditentukan melalui proses quality assurance sehingga benar-benar harus sesuai dengan standar. Materi yang diujikan ada 3; Reading (membaca), Mathematics (matematika), serta Science (ilmu pengetahuan, tidak sebatas IPA). Saya kutip dari website PISA:

PISA focuses on the assessment of student performance in reading, mathematics and science because they are foundational to a student’s ongoing education. PISA also collects valuable information on student attitudes and motivations, and formally assesses skills such as collaborative problem solving and is investigating opportunities to assess other important competencies related, for example, to global competence.

Soal yang dibuat oleh PISA sendiri tidak murni menggunakan Bahasa Inggris, di salah satu pertanyaan FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) ada kalimat yang berbunyi:

Participating PISA countries and economies are invited to submit questions that are then added to items developed by the OECD’s experts and contractors. The questions are reviewed by the international contractors and by participating countries and economies and are carefully checked for cultural bias. Only those questions that are unanimously approved are used in PISA. Further, before the main test there is a trial test run in all participating countries and economies. If any test questions prove to have been too easy or too hard in certain countries and economies, they are dropped from the main test in all countries and economies.

Jadi, pertanyaan yang dibuat oleh PISA bisa dibilang independen, dan niatnya khusus untuk mengetahui kapabilitas manusia-manusia di bumi ini.

Hasil tes PISA Indonesia

Sebelum masuk ke hasil yang Indonesia capai pada tahun 2015, saya ingin menjabarkan definisi yang ditetapkan oleh tes PISA terhadap kategori Reading, Mathematics, dan Science, disadur dari laporan PISA (hal.28) (Laporan PISA 2015)

  • Reading literacy (kemampuan membaca): Adalah kemampuan siswa untuk memahami, menggunakan, dan merefleksikan teks tertulis dengan tujuan untuk mencapai tujuan (goals), mengembangkan potensi dan pengetahuan, serta terlibat di masyarakat

 

  • Science literacy (memahami ilmu pengetahuan): Adalah kemampuan siswa untuk memahami hal-hal saintifik, serta dapat menggunakan ide dan teori saintifik sebagai alat untuk diskusi dan refleksi. Siswa dengan science literacy yang baik dapat berdiskusi dan mau terlibat dalam diskusi yang menggunakan metode-metode saintifik, termasuk dalam menjelaskan fenomena-fenomena, interpretasi data, dan memberikan bukti secara saintifik*. NB: Saintifik bukan berarti berkaitan hanya dengan Fisika, Matematika, dan Kimia.

 

  • Mathematical literacy (keterampilan matematika): Adalah kemampuan siswa untuk menggunakan, menginterpretasikan, serta merumuskan matematika dalam konteks yang berbeda-beda. Termasuk pula, berargumen dengan dasar matematika serta menggunakan konsep, alat-alat, fakta, serta prosedur matematika untuk mendeskripsikan, menjelaskan, dan memprediksi sebuah fenomena.

 

Untuk mendapatkan data komprehensif, PISA juga membagikan kuesioner tambahan untuk mengetahui informasi kontekstual dari mulai latar belakang siswa, keadaan keluarga, besar ruang kelas, hingga aspek terkecil seperti motivasi siswa, cara belajar, dan kebiasaan siswa.

Berikut adalah tabel lengkap mengenai hasil dari PISA 2015

45

Indonesia berada di urutan 9 dari bawah, persis di bawah Yordania. Jika dilihat dari data yang ditampilkan, dari sejumlah siswa Indonesia yang diikutsertakan dalam tes PISA, hanya 0.8% yang merupakan Top Achievers (Mencapai level 5 atau 6 pada satu atau lebih subjek) dan 42.3% merupakan Low Achievers (Tidak melewati level 2 pada semua subjek). Artinya, siswa Indonesia masih jauh ketinggalan dari negara-negara lain.

Tetapi, untuk kebahagiaan, siswa Indonesia paling bahagia berada di sekolah menurut laporan PISA 2012

 

Lalu, apa salahnya?

Sayangnya, paling bahagia tidak menjamin seorang siswa untuk menjadi top achievers.

Semasa kuliah, saya merenungkan pilihan-pilihan saya dan apa yang telah terjadi semasa saya SD hingga SMA. Saya merasa ‘banyak yang kurang’ dari diri saya sendiri. Dulu, waktu SMA, saya pernah bercita-cita ingin jadi Tony Stark dari Indonesia, bisa punya perusahaan mobil, bisa bikin Iron Man, dan lain-lain. Masih hangat di otak saya bagaimana saya di SMA termotivasi gila-gilaan karena film Iron Man, saya dibuat cinta fisika karena film itu.

Beberapa minggu setelah menonton Iron Man, saya mengajak beberapa teman kelas yang pintar di fisika untuk membuat proyek, membuat baju exoskeleton a la Iron Man. Saya bertanya tentang gigajoule, tentang listrik, dan banyak hal lagi. Membuat sketsa baju Iron Man yang bisa melakukan hal apapun.

Namun, impian saya mulai patah ketika saya mulai tidak paham fisika. Di SMA, saya masuk jurusan IPA, beberapa kali mendapat nilai yang cukup memuaskan di fisika, kimia, dan biologi pula. Namun saya merasa ada yang kurang dari pemahaman saya. Tapi pada waktu itu, saya tidak tahu sama sekali apa yang kurang.

Lulus SMA, layaknya siswa pada umumnya, saya mencoba peruntungan dengan ikut serta dalam tes untuk masuk universitas negeri, pilihan saya jatuh ke Universitas Indonesia waktu itu. Pilihan pertama? Teknik mesin. Seingat saya, untuk memperbesar peluang masuk, sayapun memilih beberapa jurusan dengan ‘sedikit peminat’. Mengetahui kalau jurusan akan menjadi tanggungjawab saya dan pilihan karir, saya memilih jurusan seperti Arsitektur Interior, Metalurgi, dan Fisika yang seingat saya menyediakan banyak bangku kosong.

Sayangnya, saya tidak berhasil.

Saya kecewa bukan main waktu itu. Bertanya-tanya kenapa saya tidak bisa masuk UI? Hingga akhirnya saya coba evaluasi diri beberapa waktu kemudian dengan melihat soal-soal tes SIMAK UI. Awalnya saya merasa mengerjakan sesuai dengan rumus yang diajarkan. Sesuai dengan apa yang saya hafalkan sewaktu les.

Lama-lama, saya mengerti kalau sebenarnya saya tidak mengerti. Tapi hafal.

Ayah saya sering bilang:

Belajar itu ukurannya ‘paham’, ‘ngerti’. Ibaratnya, kalau kamu lihat gelas, mau dibolak-balik kaya apapun, kamu paham itu gelas. Tapi kalau hanya hafal, gelas kalau kamu lihat dari bawah cuma lingkaran. Kalau kamu lihat dari samping kaya silinder.

Mulai dari sinilah letak kesalahan saya sadari.

Kesalahan 1: Siswa diajarkan untuk ‘hafal’. 

Dulu, kami di sekolah diberikan segerombolan rumus-rumus dan cara cepat mengerjakannya. Termasuk di bimbingan belajar. Saya hanya tahu kalau rumus gravitasi adalah F= GxMm/r2. Tapi kenapa bisa begitu? Tidak tahu. Inipun terjadi di beberapa mata pelajaran lainnya. Dan ‘Cara cepat’ adalah hal yang menurut saya jelas terlihat kalau pelajaran tersebut diajarkan untuk dapat lulus Ujian Nasional. Kalau tidak, kenapa harus ada cara cepat

Kesalahan 2: Banyak jargon (istilah).

Ini pengalaman pribadi saya, jadi mungkin tidak berlaku untuk beberapa siswa. Saya tipe orang yang untuk paham hal tertentu harus dikaitkan atau dianalogikan dengan hal yang sederhana. Jargon sendiri seringkali hadir tanpa diperkenalkan terlebih dahulu. Akhirnya, saya kebingungan mengaitkan jargon satu ke jargon lainnya. Contoh:

Ia [Newton] mengemukakan bahwa benda yang memiliki massa lebih kecil akan cenderung tertarik oleh benda yang massanya lebih besar, apel tertarik oleh bumi. Gerak tersebut diakibatkan gaya tarik apel kepada bumi jauh lebih kecil jika dibandingkan gaya tarik bumi terhadap apel. Fakta ini kemudian dikenal dengan hukum gravitasi newton. (Disadur dari rumus hitung)

Tulisan yang saya tebalkan, menurut saya mengandung jargon. Karena biasanya fisika dan beberapa ilmu eksak lainnya perlu imajinasi, kalau kata-kata semacam ‘apel tertarik oleh bumi’ saja siswa sulit mengerti, bagaimana bisa lanjut ke tahap selanjutnya? Biasanya, kalau saya mengajar adik saya atau beberapa teman saya, saya selalu kaitkan istilah-istilah semacam itu dengan praktiknya di dunia nyata atau analogi dengan hal yang lebih mudah dipahami. Hal ini memudahkan siswa untuk memahami konsep dan mengenali jargon.

Kesalahan 3: Nilai = tingkat kepintaran.

Ini mungkin sudah jadi rahasia umum, tapi kenyataannya masih saja ada hal seperti ini. Saya selalu prihatin kalau nilai dikaitkan dengan tingkat kepintaran. Padahal, jelas-jelas nilai bagus tergantung dari prosesnya. Terkadang, proses juga masih sering dicampuri faktor lain, kalau siswa sedang sakit? Kalau ternyata sedang ada halangan tertentu? Bisa saja nilai terpengaruh. Sayangnya, nilai masih jadi tolak ukur yang seakan bisa jadi alat prediksi kesuksesan seorang siswa.

Hal ini juga didukung faktor eksternal seperti orang tua, lingkungan, media, bahkan pemerintah. Semuanya berputar membentuk siklus.

Orang tua —-> Lingkungan —-> Sekolah —-> Pemerintah/media —-> Orang tua

Orang tua ingin anaknya sukses. Itu pasti. Tetapi, takaran suksesnya kadang-kadang bergantung pula dengan lingkungannya, ada yang ingin anaknya punya nilai 100 semua, rapor bagus dan dapat penghargaan. Siapa yang memberi penghargaan? Sekolah. Akibat dorongan pemerintah dan media, yang secara langsung dan tidak langsung menetapkan standar tertentu bagi ‘anak berprestasi’ dan ‘pintar’, sekolah membentuk mindset sendiri bahwa anak pintar adalah yang sesuai dengan standar yang ditetapkan pemerintah secara langsung dan media secara tidak langsung. Imbasnya, tentu kembali ke orang tua. Kebanyakan orang tua pasti merasa malu kalau anaknya mendapat nilai ’40’ atau ’50’ di rapor. Lalu siklus ini kembali terulang.

Kesalahan 4: Kurang motivasi

Saya teringat guru Bahasa Indonesia saya waktu SMA, bu Anik Zubaida. Ketika seharusnya Bahasa Indonesia membosankan, bu Anik dulu sering cerita tentang hal yang tidak sepenuhnya terkait dengan teori yang diajarkan di mata pelajaran Bahasa Indonesia. Beliau malah bercerita. Saya lupa persisnya cerita tentang apa saja, tapi yang saya ingat betul, saya termotivasi untuk mulai menulis karena bu Anik. Dan bu Anik adalah salah satu guru yang meninggalkan imej ‘keren’ di otak saya.

Seperti halnya kejadian saya yang tergila-gila dengan fisika setelah menonton Iron Man, seharusnya ruang kelas tidak hanya dipenuhi oleh catatan dan papan tulis yang penuh serta LKS dan PR yang menumpuk. Siswa tidak hanya menjalankan hidup yang linear sekolah – kuliah – kerja – menikah, beberapa dari mereka mungkin akan hidup dengan cara yang tidak konvensional. Ada yang akan jadi aktivis, traveler, pebisnis, yang setelah sekolah akan menikah, dan lain – lain. Seperti yang saya alami, hampir 80% dari memori saya tentang sekolah hanyalah tentang teman dan pengalaman. Tidak semua pelajaran akhirnya digunakan, hanya sedikit. Lalu, kenapa harus memenuhi ruang kelas hanya dengan catatan?

Kesalahan 5: “Matematika itu mengerikan/ Skripsi itu mengerikan”

“Matematika itu susah!” “Gue benci hitung-hitungan!” “Sumpah gue takut entar skripsi enggak bisa!”

Itu adalah beberapa hal yang sering terdengar dari siswa dan mahasiswa di Indonesia. Mungkin di luar negeri pun begitu, hanya beda bahasa.

Buat saya sendiri, betul matematika susah, dan skripsi adalah hal yang cukup menguras otak. Tetapi, kenapa harus dijadikan ketakutan?

Saya rasa, ketakutan terhadap matematika dan skripsi terlalu berlebihan, hingga ke tahap siswa dan mahasiswa benci dan cenderung menghindari. Tidak hanya di matematika dan skripsi, tetapi beberapa subjek lain.

Kesalahan 6: Membaca & Menulis itu membosankan

Hal ini saya temukan di banyak teman dan lingkungan saya. Membaca rasanya jadi aktivitas yang membosankan, apalagi harus membaca buku tebal berbahasa Inggris. Di jurusan saya, Hubungan Internasional dulu, buku yang diberikan dosen tidak tanggung-tanggung tebalnya. Saya teringat di semester pertama ketika masih culun dan bau kencur, dosen Pengantar Hubungan Internasional saya memberikan buku Global Politics yang tebalnya kurang lebih 500 halaman dalam bahasa Inggris. Saya yang belum tahu apa-apa dulu cuma bisa menghela nafas.

Menulis juga. Tidak separah membaca, karena saya sering menemukan blog orang-orang yang berisi mulai curhatan pribadi hingga blog yang kelihatan untuk tugas. Untuk di tingkatan menulis santai atau cerpen, masih OK. Tetapi, untuk di tingkatan yang lebih tinggi, seperti menulis buku, belum begitu banyak.

Kesalahan Tambahan: Sinetron, YouTube, dan media sosial

YouTube dan media sosial sebenarnya berlaku seperti pisau bermata dua. Tergantung pemakainya menggunakan untuk apa. Tapi, di masa-masa seperti ini, ada banyak influencer dan YouTuber yang menggunakan daya pengaruhnya justru untuk membawa penonton (yang termasuk anak-anak muda) ke arah yang…. Cenderung salah.

Subjektif memang kalau berbicara tentang salah. Tetapi, menggunakan standar norma Indonesia, akhlak, dan kepribadian, saya rasa banyak yang salah. Anak-anak kecil menggunakan jari tengah sambil bernyanyi, misalnya.

Sinetron adalah yang terparah. Hampir tidak ada unsur positif selain hiburan (murah). Sinetron memperlihatkan adegan-adegan yang aneh dan jalan cerita yang itu-itu saja. Hujatan saya terhadap sinetron ada di tulisan saya yang lain. Tetapi intinya, sinetron bisa memengaruhi dan merubah penonton dengan usia muda yang belum sepenuhnya rasional.

Akibatnya, apa?

Akibat dari kesalahan-kesalahan itu (dan kesalahan lain yang belum saya temukan) adalah:

Akibat 1: Siswa/mahasiswa yang tidak berorientasi terhadap proses

Kenapa mencontek dan jual-beli kunci jawaban sering terjadi? Karena siswa panik. Dari satu sisi, mereka tidak mengerti materi yang diajarkan dan dari sisi yang lain, ujian sudah di depan mata. Mereka sadar kalau SKS (Sistem Kebut Semalam) tidak akan membantu mereka lulus ujian atau Ujian Nasional. Jadi, secara rasional, mereka memilih alternatif yang paling simpel dan menguntungkan: mencontek.

Mencontek sendiri tidak semata-mata terjadi karena itu, ada faktor-faktor lain pula seperti karena memang malas, atau hobi. Tapi untuk tulisan ini, kita anggap faktor utamanya adalah karena kepanikan.

Gabungan dari Kesalahan 1, 2, dan 3 berakibat hal ini. Terutama karena “nilai” berbanding lurus dengan kepintaran. Saya selalu eneg ketika setelah masa-masa Ujian Nasional, sering ada berita tentang siswa yang dapat nilai Ujian Nasional tertinggi. Buat saya, berita semacam itu tidak ada pentingnya kecuali karena ekspos dan nama baik untuk sekolah. Akibatnya? Secara tidak langsung, orang-orang se-Indonesia menetapkan standar bahwa pintar adalah sama dengan nilai tinggi. 

“Proses” menjadi hal yang aneh. Padahal, di masa depan, siswa dan mahasiswa akan menghadapi “proses” untuk menjadi seseorang yang sukses. Kalau terbiasa dengan pola yang melewati proses, maka sulit bagi siswa dan mahasiswa Indonesia untuk menikmati proses yang panjang.

Akibat 2: Fixed Mindset, not Growth Mindset

Saya punya kutipan yang jadi pegangan saya. Dari Elon Musk “I think it’s possible for ordinary people to become extraordinary” (Saya rasa mungkin untuk orang biasa untuk menjadi luar biasa).

Mimpi saya banyak. Mulai dari ingin bisa membuat baju Iron Man, mengerti fisika, punya jet pribadi dan lainnya. Apa semua mungkin? Mungkin. Klise memang kalau bilang ‘tidak ada yang tidak mungkin’, tapi itu betul. Saya merasa kita sebagai manusia, terlepas dari faktor geografi, budaya, dan lainnya, punya kesempatan yang sama untuk punya mimpi tinggi.

Sayangnya, masih banyak yang menganggap bahwa ‘mimpi’ seharusnya hal yang masih bisa dicapai.

Penganut kepercayaan tersebut memiliki pemikiran disebut dengan Fixed Mindset. Artinya, orang dengan Fixed Mindset percaya bahwa kemampuan yang dimilikinya adalah mutlak. Tidak bisa dikembangkan. Mereka beranggapan bahwa orang-orang sukses memiliki kemampuan yang dibawa dari lahir, sukses secara genetik.

Sebaliknya, Growth Mindset adalah orang yang percaya bahwa kemampuannya selalu bisa dikembangkan, dan “nilai” adalah sekedar angka. Mereka selalu merasa “bodoh” dan akhirnya mengembangkan kemampuan terus-menerus.

Dikutip dari artikel yang ditulis oleh Pak Rhenald Kasali:

 Seperti yang pernah saya tulis pada kolom di Jawa Pos setahun yang lalu, manusia memiliki dua jenis mindset, yaitu growth mindset dan fixed mindset. Orang-orang yang memiliki settingan pikiran tetap (fixed mindset) cenderung sangat mementingkan ijazah dan gelar sekolah, sedangkan mereka yang tumbuh (growth mindset) tetap menganggap dirinya “bodoh”. Baginya ijazah dan IPK hanya merupakan langkah kemarin, sedangkan masa depan adalah soal impak: apa yang bisa Anda diberikan atau dilahirkan.  Maka kepada mereka yang pernah belajar dengan saya selalu saya tegaskan, pintar itu bagus, tetapi impak jauh lebih penting.  Celakanya universitas banyak dikuasai orang-orang yang bermental ijazah dan asal sekolah sehingga mereka terkurung dalam penjara yang mereka set sendiri, yaitu fixed mindset. Bagi mereka impak itu sama dengan paper, atau kertas karya, terlepas dari apakah bisa dijalankan atau tidak.

Hal ini bisa terjadi karena kurangnya motivasi yang diberikan oleh setiap ruang kelas. Kita terlalu dipersiapkan untuk menjadi ‘pekerja’, bukan manusia.

Akibat 3: Konflik karena kurang baca, kurangnya buku bagus

Hal yang paling ironis saya temukan beberapa hari lalu ada di artikel yang saya cantumkan di atas. Berjudul Indonesian kids don’t know how stupid they are.

Kalau Anda lihat bagian komentarnya, sangat penuh orang Indonesia yang berbahasa Inggris, dan Indonesia beramai-ramai mencaci maki judul tulisannya.

Ditambah lagi, ada yang pura-pura terlihat saintifik dengan menanyakan metode penelitian PISA, padahal sudah terjawab semua di laman website PISA dan OECD.

STUPID
Contoh 1
STUPID1
Contoh 2

Komen-komen tersebut membuat saya… Gemas. Pasalnya, mereka yang menantang judul yang menggunakan “STUPID” justru memperlihatkan diri mereka sebagai “STUPID”. Lebih parahnya lagi, mereka tidak teliti membaca sebelum berkomentar.

Kedua, buku bacaan di Indonesia yang kurang bagus. Untuk novel dan buku cerita lainnya, saya tidak meragukan karena memang banyak yang bagus. Tapi untuk buku-buku yang memberikan pengetahuan baru? Saya rasa masih jarang. Bahkan untuk buku pengetahuan non-fiksi saja, masih sedikit.

Contohnya, kebanyakan buku-buku yang memberikan pengetahuan baru berasal dari buku luar negeri yang diterjemahkan. Kita punya buku seperti teori manajemen, makroekonomi, tapi tidak jauh berbeda dengan buku teori pada umumnya. Yang saya maksud ‘pengetahuan baru’ adalah buku yang memberikan perspektif baru, istilah baru, temuan baru yang berguna untuk khalayak luas.

Di luar negeri, banyak buku-buku seperti itu. Contoh, Outliers oleh Malcolm Gladwell, How to Win Friends and Influence People oleh Dale Carnegie, dan lain-lain. Di Indonesia, buku seperti itu tergolong sedikit, makanya dihadirkan versi terjemahan dari buku-buku semacam itu.

Hal tersebut bisa jadi merupakan imbas dari Kesalahan 6. Akhirnya tidak ada penulis buku-buku yang seperti itu.

Solusinya apa?

Solusi 1: Guru/Tutor, anggaplah kalian menjelaskan sebuah materi kepada anak 5 tahun

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand enough” kata sebuah kutipan. Kutipan ini tidak hanya sekadar kata-kata kosong, namun justru menjelaskan hal yang benar. Saya beberapa kali menemukan hal serupa. Contohnya, salah satu pertanyaan di wawancara kerja Apple adalah “Bagaimana Anda menjelaskan RAM kepada anak umur 5 tahun?”. Contoh lainnya, jika Anda senang mengunjungi website Reddit, Anda akan menemukan forum yang berjudul “Explain Like I’m 5“. Sebagai tambahan, sebuah metode belajar bernama Feynman Technique pun menyarankan untuk menjelaskan ulang menggunakan istilah-istilah sederhana.

Seperti saya uraikan di atas, penggunaan jargon yang terlalu banyak dan sulit dipahami membuat siswa/mahasiswa sulit mengerti konsep bahkan yang ada di tingkatan dasar sekalipun. Akan lebih baik jika pelajaran dibuat seperti storytelling.

Solusi 2: Orang tua, anak-anak memiliki keunikan tersendiri, dan mereka bukan robot

Orang tua ingin yang terbaik untuk anak-anak, itu pasti. Sudah hukumnya. Tetapi, kalau anak Anda dijadikan ‘alat’ untuk Anda agar mendapatkan predikat ‘orang tua hebat’ atau pujian lainnya dari lingkungan Anda, itu salah. Anak Anda punya keunikan sendiri yang mungkin Anda harus temukan perlahan, tidak semua anak bisa dan–yang terpenting–mau ikut ekskul tertentu atau menyukai pelajaran tertentu. Nilai jelek di satu pelajaran bukan berarti dia bodoh atau tidak mampu.

Anak mungkin tidak mau dipaksa, tapi kalau diberi motivasi dan support, anak pasti akan terdorong untuk menyelesaikan tugas-tugasnya.

Solusi 3: Kurangi baca cerita sukses

Untuk takaran tertentu, membaca cerita sukses bisa memberi kita energi dan motivasi untuk melakukan hal-hal yang terasa mustahil. Tapi jika terlalu banyak, cerita sukses akan memberikan perasaan kalau kita semua pada akhirnya akan sukses. Sehingga, rasa ‘harus bekerja keras’ akan hilang.

Sebaliknya, bacalah banyak cerita gagal. Ketahuilah kalau semua orang bisa bermimpi, namun eksekusi lebih penting daripada sekadar mimpi. Kita harus sadar kalau dunia terus berubah dan persaingan semakin ketat karena kualifikasi yang dibutuhkan untuk sukses akan semakin ketat pula. 20 atau 30 tahun lalu, tidak diperlukan kemahiran Digital Marketing, sekarang? Sudah perlu.

Solusi 4: Waktu adalah tsunami

Rasanya baru kemarin Pak Jokowi terpilih jadi presiden. Tapi ternyata, itu sudah 3 tahun lalu. Rasanya baru kemarin BlackBerry merajai pasar ponsel pintar, tapi sekarang sudah tergantikan oleh Apple dan Samsung.

Semakin hari, waktu tidak terasa. Satu tahun bagaikan beberapa bulan saja. Hari ini, sudah bulan ke-8 di tahun 2017, sisa 4 bulan lagi. Apa yang sudah kita lakukan untuk berubah?

Perlu disadari kalau di saat kita sedang asik menonton TV atau memandangi berita Lambe Turah, orang lain sedang mati-matian membangun dirinya dan bekerja keras. Waktu adalah mata uang yang harus kita bayarkan setiap hari, kalau kita hanya gunakan untuk leha-leha, apakah kita tidak merugi?

Sudah banyak website atau aplikasi yang bisa dimanfaatkan untuk pengembangan diri. Ingat, pengembangan diri tidak perlu dan tidak akan selesai dalam satu malam. Kita bisa sedikit demi sedikit membangun diri, kalau mengutip istilah Kaizen, hanya perlu lebih baik 1% setiap harinya. Bayangkan, kalau kita ada peningkatan 1% di diri kita setiap harinya, berarti 365% selama setahun!

Caranya? Cukup dengan baca dan belajar hal baru.

Kesimpulan

Kita sering mendengar ungkapan “Indonesia adalah bangsa besar!” atau “Indonesia memiliki potensi untuk menjadi bangsa besar di tahun 20XX”. Sekilas, itu semua terlihat seperti prediksi. Bahwa Indonesia PASTI akan menjadi besar pada beberapa tahun ke depan.

Sayangnya, itu tidak akan pernah terjadi kalau masing-masing dari kita tidak berkontribusi atau berubah sendiri.

Saya gemas dengan apa yang terjadi di dunia pendidikan Indonesia selama ini. Alasan mengapa saya menaruh “Indonesian (kids) don’t know how stupid they are” adalah karena itu memang yang terjadi. Saya mengurung (kids) karena tidak hanya anak kecil, namun kita semua.

Kita terjebak dengan cerita-cerita Indonesia berhasil memenangi olimpiade, jargon-jargon kalau Indonesia akan menjadi besar, bonus demografi, anak Indonesia pintar-pintar.

Di atas kertas, itu semua benar. Tapi pada praktiknya, saya sendiri tidak menemukan hal itu.

Saya mungkin tidak terlihat nasionalis karena tidak setuju kalau Indonesia berpotensi menjadi bangsa besar. Karena memang pada kenyataannya, untuk sekarang, seperti itu. Mungkin, jika tulisan ini berhasil menggugah pembaca, hanya dalam kurun waktu 1-2 minggu, atau bahkan hitungan hari, pesan tulisan ini akan pudar begitu saja.

Juga mungkin terlihat seperti orang yang “Cuma bisa kritik tapi enggak ada karya dan solusi”. Percayalah, solusi dan karya muncul dari observasi dan kritik.

Saya percaya Indonesia bisa menjadi bangsa besar KALAU hal-hal yang saya jabarkan di atas–dan beberapa hal lainnya–mulai teratasi. Hingga nanti, mungkin saya akan ada di satu barisan dengan Elizabeth Pisani.

Behind the Scenes

Did your mother nag so much when you got home way beyond your curfew?

Did your friend screamed at you when you make fun of them in front of his/her crush? Or in general, just screamed when you say or do something you think okay?

We all have been there. That’s why we apologize for our mistakes whether we are aware of it or not. Because each of us has a different culture, experience, trauma, or sensitivity to something.

Back when I was around 9-10 years old, my old house was located near a border between a rural village and urban house. The village was 10-steps away, bordered by a steel fence which would be closed at 10pm for security reasons. But in daytime, the people living in the village are free to roam.

I vividly remember when I was in 2nd grade (8 years old), my father bought me a McDonalds and got a toy from it. The toy was my prized possession. Loved it so much.

Then there was these village kids, approaching me and took my toy away. There were two of them, angered by the action, I ran into one of them and he would throw the toy to his friend, then I ran to the other and he throw the toy back to his friend, and it would repeat for minutes. I felt helpless and cried. A hate then grew.

I kinda remember my neighbors had the same experience with the village kids, since then, we were in constant war with them.

One day we even fight physically when one of the village kids didn’t accept the fact that they lose a competition. I didn’t participate, one of my friends initiated the fight after an intense trash-talk. The trash-talk, by the way, kept happening for years every time we met. A friend of mine who initiated the fight even screamed to them saying “you son of a dick!” or “anak setan! (Son of devil!)”, looking back at it, it was a strong word for an 8 years old.

In other occasion, after the constant war between us and the village kids subsided, an internal altercation between the neighbors broke. The friend who fought with the village kids attacked one of my close friends, he would ride a bicycle and when he passed my close friends’ house, he would scream “dasar rumah ngontrak!”. Again, such a dirty mouth for a kid.

Fast forward years, in junior high school, young people of my generation used to search for each students’ parents name and would use the name as an ultimate weapon in a battle. I remember successfully protecting the identity of my parents and people couldn’t mock me back then. But as for me…. Well, I had fun throwing off parents’ name and managed to be a double agent in finding those names. Let’s just say I had my own fair share of being a bad person.

Once, my friends and I were sitting on a pavement near our schools’ field. There were other student whom parents’ name are well-known and frequently made fun. When people made fun of his parents’ name, I joined the bandwagon and laughed. Within a moment, that guy pushed me and was about to hit me. I was surprised. However, I did the same in other occasion, but my friend, who was the target, didn’t give any reaction at all. He just calmly accept and sit in silence. Dick move, bro.

It happened to me as well. After being a straight up jerk, tables had turned.

Senior high school, 6 years ago. I broke up with someone, and when asked why, she only said because her close friends didn’t like how I look. For your information, in 2011, I was only 40 cm away from a dwarf, with zero sense of fashion (and zero budget for it, too), a look someone couldn’t be proud of. “Alright” I told myself. Worse, it didn’t end there. Weeks after the break up, I know from a friend that actually her parents also expect a tall, white guy with presentable looks.

The pain was amazing. Not because of how I looked, but how my parents’ would react if they know their ‘hardly produced’ (There’s a back story for this) child was considered “didn’t have presentable look” or in better vocabulary, “ugly”. That night I cried imagining my parents’ reaction to that. It was painful, even just a word.

That event was a wake-up slap, a total wake-up slap for me. After knowing how hurt it was, my mind started to think about the past, people who were a victim of my sharp mouth or (in my perspective) comedy. I even remember what Quran said about keeping your mouth from saying anything unnecessary, because our tongue is a sword.

Who knows if your nagging mom had experienced her worst nightmare getting home past their curfew and only wanted to protect her children from it?

Who knows if the village kids that my friend shout “son of a dick!” and “anak setan!” at cried hard, because their parents’ had passed away and they lived without their parents? Or who knows if there was a traumatic event that made the kids cried because we aren’t sensitive enough about that?

Who knows that my close friend, whom my other friend shout “dasar rumah ngontrak!” at cried because he knew his family was in financial breakdown? Or they had a struggle in paying the monthly rent? Who knows?

Who knows that the guy who pushed me for making fun of his parents loves his parents so much that he protect the pride of his parents?

Or a friend of mine who couldn’t react when I mock his parents’ name? What if his parents were sick at that time and he was thinking about his parents’ so much that he couldn’t react and just smile when I did that?

You know, people HAVE many considerations before they react to something. Ever confront an office boy who accidentally spilled a tea on your Marc Jacobs shirt? Why didn’t they react? Maybe they feel bad, they feel useless and if they react, their supervisor would push the “FIRE” button immediately, and they’ll lose the job.

It amaze me how a mere word could cause a major pain for a person. You’ll never see the chain reaction of that word because it isn’t for you to feel or see. If you ever confronted because of that, you’ll say “baper amat” or “it’s just a joke, bro” and decides not to care about it. But behind the scenes, behind the door and on the corner of the wall, you will never, ever know how that person would feel.

Was told to care, but I’d rather not.

If anyone ever interested, I was a graduate of international relations.

During 4 years of my college years, I had a fair share of uh… criticizing policies, made a dilettante-level analysis about things from political matters to personal behavior of a world leader. Had a dream to be involved in high-level political meetings, or at least be the one who critically criticize and see through bull-craps of politician.

Philosophy also had a fair time residing in my brain, read and instill several tenets from philosophy, apply it to real life and get a pair of contrarian spectacles. You know, the tenets of philosophical thoughts that made me see through bullshits whenever I see one. Though I’m not sure about its accuracy, but my intuition in smelling bullshits seemed accurate.

Combination of both above mentioned provides a brand-new way of looking, perceiving, and predicting things for me. At a moment I could be ultra-sensitive and suspicious, questioning everything as if I’m a Sherlock Holmes. Other moment I could have goosebumps feeling extreme cringy whenever I see something like that overly formal and unnecessary dialogues from cheaply produced bad (Indonesian) soap operas. And other permutation that I couldn’t name it here, but has happened.

Back in college, this sort of perspective helped me went through college and feeling like high caliber political pundit or anything. I continuously told people that politic matters, kept quoting Aung San Suu Kyi’s infamous quote. You know, “politics may not be important for you, but politics is all about you” that sort. Told my analysis to people (Now I feel it was uncalled for) about this and that.

Ugh, now I cringed.

Especially, when it comes to recent sequences that happened subsequently. It’s distress–no, actually it wasn’t distressing for me. I just happened to found a bigger picture than this whole world combined. A religious perspective of course, which I believe is the utmost truth, and I’ll stick with that to the end of my time.

Sticking to that perspective makes me feel like anything earthly isn’t as important. Plus, the world’s getting rough and worse, too.

And people…. They are making assumptions (backed with logics, okay) on literally everything. They’d write thousands of lines on their social media, voicing out their thoughts–which is okay by the way, but a bit bugging. Instead, I found it to be my latest pet peeve. The other user then would share it, act like it is true (sometimes it does) and would echo the message anywhere. A perfect day for discourse to set itself in the motion. Voila, then you got yourself a public-made opinions… and a changed mind.

Being tired of that, I decided not to care anymore. Like, this world has been taken care by millions of people. Why would I still think to spend my precious amount of energy to make fuss something that’s: 1. Not my forte 2. Not my cup of tea 3. Don’t affect me much

I would rather take care of people I cherish and just go on with life. I’d still elect, think about the economy, but delve in like I used to? Nah, I’ll pass.

Seoul Talk Concert (Guest Star: Eru, Red Velvet)

 

(Breaking news that breaks my heart: Cleveland Cavaliers (I root for LeBron) just got its first loss since post-season from the Celtics after blowing out Celtics in previous two games, come on..)

So, last night I went to a mini-concert/talk show named “Seoul Talk Concert”. The event was intended to promote the sister city of Jakarta, which is Seoul and its top spots, foods, and the beauty of the Seoul itself. It was attended by two main guest stars: Eru and Red Velvet. To complete the Seoul promotion, several representatives of Seoul including its Vice Mayor.

qq
Event banner

Before we going to the main part of the show, I’d like to tell you some back stories before I got here.

THE STRUGGLE

After the sudden announcement from Eru’s official LINE account that he would attend a event along with mistyped “Read Velvet” (whom I thought was a cover-dance group), I got a bit nervous. Firstly, the event was completely FREE, and there were only 964 seats publicly available. Even though Red Velvet’s fanbase aren’t as big as that of EXO’s or SNSD’s, but Red Velvet has surely attracted many international fans with their talents, visual, and their personality. Plus, I have seen a bunch of Indonesian who comments on every Red Velvet music videos. Which adds to my nervousness.

The official ticket handler was Kiostix, whom already experienced in selling tickets to many events, its name also is quite as big as other ticket provider in Indonesia. Kiostix announced that they were going to start the ticketing on 10th May and 13th May. Starting from 1:00pm until sold out.

Completely FREE means everyone has the same chance to get the ticket, fans or not, cash or cashless.

So I predicted that the traffic would be outrageous, the website would be down for the entire sequence. At 10:00am on May 10th, simultaneously doing an interview, I started to refresh the webpage of Kiostix’s. From the phone. Which was not a wisest thing to do.

I couldn’t access the page from 10:00am to 3:00pm. Unfortunately I couldn’t reach for my laptop as well as I wasn’t in the room for the whole 5 hours. I was doing a back-to-back interview. Boy did I nervous.

Right when I could access the website, the banner showed “REGISTRATION CLOSED”. Damn. It means I should wait for another day for war. May 13th 2017. Luckily, May 13th was on Saturday, means I could go full berserk on getting the ticket.

So the day came, I woke up at early morning, did a registration on the website (I was  a fool for not realizing I should’ve registered on the website first) and opened like 10 tabs from 3 different browsers, almost as if I was prepared for total war. The ticketing, as previously happened, was opened at 1:00pm.

The clock ticks at 1:00pm. I started to refresh like crazy.

The first 30 minutes. No luck.

The first 1 hour. Still no luck. Checked the twitter, people went batshit crazy because the website was fully inaccessible. All we got was this screen.

b2tyzly24mfrxet0jciz.jpg
You’re on the right track….. baby I was born this way

The first hour coming to two, I could still think positively and calmly hit refresh each of the tab I opened, like mother bird giving worm to each of her kids’ mouth.

Okay… I got this, we got this, just let everyone raged, we have to hit refresh. refresh. And refresh.”

I thought the self-hypnosis would be effective but….. no.

Over the next 45 minutes, I got tired of trying. “Screw this”. I told myself.

But only then I remembered that when you’re tired of trying and feel like giving up, that’s when you’re closer to succeeding. This might be exaggerated for a mere ticket, but it was true!

Before I got tired, I made a mistake of clearing the browsers’ cookie. Which I thought would make me access faster, instead, I got logged out from Kiostix because the password I saved was wiped away.

However, after the tiring sequence, magically, in one attempt, I successfully relogged in and bought the ticket smooothly! Much like cutting through butter with hot knife.

I got excited but still cautious because there might be a mistake or anything.

But no! The E-Ticket was successfully sent to my e-mail, it looked like this:

STC Ticket.PNG
Swwwweeet.

THE STRUGGLE PART II

It all started with this clause:

Clause

That pretty much means: “if you’re late then screw you and go home”.

So, I planned to sleep early the night before and woke up early to prepare and depart early.

That’s the plan.

In reality, because I was a tad tired and got anxious, I couldn’t sleep until 1:00am. The thought of meeting Red Velvet in person made me giddy. But I managed to sleep.

I then woke up at 5:30am, did a Subuh prayer and foolishly slept afterwards and re-woke up at 6:40am. A shot of panic crept up my body. I swung myself from the bed and hastily took a short shower. Departed from home at 7:20am.

It took only 12 minutes from home to the venue, plus, Jakarta at Sunday morning has a blissful traffic which I enjoyed while jamming to Red Velvet’s songs.

Right when I arrived, I thought I would be on the 50th in line or so, but life gave a powerful slap and laughed hard while saying “you’re 300th, dumbass. Don’t dream like you’re the first to arrive”.

Suddenly I remembered early bird gets the worm.

aa2p0n5hjsi4a4fla66z.jpg
Taken from Kumparan.com, this was the front line, they had been here since 5:00am

I walked towards the end of the line while not believing what had just happened. Couldn’t digest the reality.

“Alright…..” I sat down.

It was 8:00am. The E-Voucher exchanging with wristbands would start at 11:00am. Means I have 3 hours of doing anything.

There wasn’t much to do, frankly. I tried to make friend with people queuing beside me, but they weren’t people of my age. In fact, we probably have a double-digit age difference. So, a small-talk attempt ended in awkward pause.

Fortunately, I brought my N3DS and a book with me. Played Monster Hunter and killed some dragons, and read a quite hefty page. But there were something that distracted me the most:

Hunger and weary.

Both gave me a serious deal of pain. Although it wasn’t that painful, but boy did I became fidgety and finicky.

N3DS and book help me got through roughly 2 hours and 15 minutes, there was 45 minutes left and I feel uneasy, changing position became frequent, my stomach screamed, and my body felt like giving up.

This was actually my first Korean concert experience, unlike my sister, I wasn’t that much of a concert goer. She had gone to like 7 different concerts, while I only 2; Taylor Swift and Red Velvet. Taylor’s concert didn’t involve a lot of queuing, we got the ticket after we bought it, then just get in and enjoy. Whilst I have to get through battles in order to get there. So, tiredness was inevitable.

After barely made it to 11:00am, the committee finally spoken and everyone rushed to stand, the queue started to move line-by-line, there were approximately 200 people lining in front of me. It was such a tedious waiting and I was getting agitated, both because I was worried that the seat would suddenly ran out and I hadn’t eat anything yet.

Fortunately, it didn’t feel so tough after I opened Reddit and read comments from NBA thread, it was legitimately funny. Call me anything, but Reddit people are always good at making me laugh. During the queuing, I laughed silently but too obvious; people were staring confusedly.

12:00pm, I finally made it to the end of the line, and got the wristband. My seat number was BG 32. Located on the top part of the theater.

51703556913__8C4A6126-99B1-49B5-AD33-E96AC4265B89.JPG
After such a struggle

THE (PRE) SHOW

There was a 3 hour gap from the wristband exchange to the open gate, it was 1:00pm, I’m totally worn out and knowing that my home isn’t far away from the location, I went back home and spent like 2 hours of resting before the actual show.

At 4:00pm, I darted back to the venue and found that there were a bunch of people waiting outside the venue, mixed between those with wristband, and those who were still hoping to get the ticket (the ticket provider promised to give extra tickets on the venue). The faces showed grimace of hopelessness and at the same time, happiness.

When the securities allowed people with wristband in for (another) queuing, the scene got even saddening. You know the scene from disaster movies, where people with privilege could hop in the safety vehicles while those without privilege just wait outside, silently cursing and being judgmental, giving the “I’ll see you in hell” face? That’s exactly what happened. Worse, people with wristband and those who were starving for tickets were only separated by a glass. So we could see these people’s disheartened expression.

Sadness aside, I successfully entered the venue front side for (another) queuing. This time, we were told by the staffs to write some sort of questionnaire that would be randomly picked and read by performing guests and the vice mayor himself, with a gift from those people as the award.

There’s usually a fan union in Korean concerts. The purpose? In order to appreciate our idol, the fan union usually gave something called freebies. The freebies are usually banner, a fan, or photo card. ReVeluvs (Red Velvet fandom name) were given a banner, a photo card, and a sheet of lyric with emphasized parts inside it.

51705797259__6753c9ce-afbf-47c5-accf-b18c2b7e81c6.jpg
Actually, there should be more than this but I’m too lazy to move

We were told indirectly by the lyric sheet that Red Velvet will only sing two songs: their current hit Rookie, and a ballad First Time. I personally was a bit disappointed, firstly, two songs? After all this pain? Secondly, I was hoping to sing Red Velvet’s One of These Nights. That song was subjectively amazing and all-time great. But I had to be grateful to even able to watch them live.

The time then came, 6:30pm. The committee told us to queue (again) and sequentially enter the main venue. At this point, I envied those who were located on the bottom part of the stage, you know, I thought they could see them closer.

As I entered the door that led me to seat number BG 32, I started to realize that this was a freaking theater. A theater’s seat must be stage-focused, the design must allow even the farthest seat to see the stage with ease.

And yes.

This was my view:

51706036679__E7DD2666-E2BE-4A72-9E10-EE805DE58249.JPG
Crystal clear.

Wowzers.

Better yet, there were nobody sitting behind me, so I could dance all I want and just let the hell out.

The show then started shortly after.

An old man in his fifties started to emerge, after the emcee introduced him. He was the Vice Mayor of Seoul, spoken some diplomatic words to solidify the sisterly relation between Jakarta and Seoul. Then proceed to introduce the Ambassador of Seoul, which was Gita Gutawa.

I never once doubted Gita Gutawa and turned out, it was right. Gita was a classy performer with good attitude, classified as top performers (subjectively) along with Afgan, Raisa, Tulus, and more. Her signature high-note is always her identity.

After a symbolic ceremony between the Vice Mayor and Gita Gutawa, Gita Gutawa then started to sing 3 of her songs: Harmoni, SempurnaAYO (Come on). I must say these 3 songs were perfect for the moment and with her high note ability, the crowd couldn’t do anything but clap in awe. Great choice!

IMG_1512

RED VELVET STAGE

With Gita Gutawa’s last song finished, and back to the backstage, the emcee again emerge. At this point, almost 90% of the audience forgot that the main performer was ERU. Not Red Velvet. So we didn’t anticipate their appearance until the last hour.

The emcee teased us about calling out Red Velvet to the stage. We took the bait but he laughed.

The emcee again teased us.

But this time, Red Velvet really came to the stage.

With some introductory video, the girls started to walk to the stage. The whole venue exploded with excited scream, I screamed to the top of my lungs.

Without hesitation and giving us fans a moment, they started to dance and here comes the first song…

Dumb Dumb

The decibel level went from 90 to 140 in just a second. We didn’t thought they would sing this song.

If you watched Descendants of The Sun before, on episode 16, Red Velvet attend the armies’ event and sing this song as well. The armies’ chanting were sounded like mine, here’s the scene:

The only difference was I screamed with passion. Ha.

Right after Dumb Dumb finished, they still didn’t give us a moment to sit.

Aaaand…. Little Little

I couldn’t scream much because this song is a Ballad. But I sang along with this enjoyable Ballad. (I actually waited for Last Love or Body Talk, but…)

Along with singing, I realized that it was the first time I saw them live. No intermediary objects, no select resolution, no, this wasn’t 720p or 1080p or even 4K, this was real.

When they were singing, I kinda realized that I was in the Twilight Zone. You know, the moment you couldn’t exactly believe.

Anyway, after singing Little Little, came the talkshow about hot spots in Seoul. Each member spoke about their favorite spots in Seoul. Hongdae, Itaewon, Common Ground, and more. The funniest thing happened when Joy were introducing nightclub as a spot to relax, the audience went “nooo Joy!” and she was embarrassed, along with this smile

red-velvets-joy-behind-the-scenes-from-the-liar-and-his-lover-while-singing-yeowooya.png
This isn’t her final form

This is the live version:

@redvelvet.smtown Joy Talk Show Cut #RedVelvetInJakarta #SeoulTalkConcert #ParkSooyoung #Joy #조이

A post shared by Muhammad Farizky Priambudi (@farizkey) on

Long story short, we didn’t expect that they would continue singing….

But they did.

Russian freaking Roulette.

Please excuse my overly hyped scream. That was intentional.

I couldn’t tell much here as I was into the moment.

Again, no break.

Then Rookie happened.

Damn straight.

Post-Red Velvet

Eru took the stage right after Red Velvet, performing his own hit songs from 2011 and proceed with cooking on stage and introduce South Korean cuisines such as Samgyetang, Bibimbap, and others.

IMG_1527
Eru. My apologies, I went “Who ER-U?” during your performance.

To describe the atmosphere post-Red Velvet, it was like a stock crash. The voice that was previously 140 decibel plummeted to 70 or 80, no argument there. I deducted that the committee and the Seoul people thought that Eru has a large fanbase in Indonesia, but sadly no. I personally didn’t know him much either, the best that I know from him was his duet with local comedian, Sule. That’s that.

After Eru performed with the Vice Mayor, Red Velvet reappeared! The crowd again rose from their seats and wave hands at the girls, they waved back and doing cutesy things… you know what happened after.

My Take on the Concert

The whole talk show was amazing! Besides the main gem, Red Velvet, the shows were carefully designed (I noticed the intro videos) and in my opinion, successfully attract us fans of South Korea to visit Seoul. It’s just a bit sad that there were a lot of fans who couldn’t attend the concert.

ADDITIONAL REMARKS

I’d like to recommend some of great Red Velvet songs (besides their hit), with deep meaning and enjoyable tune, my top 10 rank:

  1. One of These Nights (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xWiro_tS1k)
  2. Last Love (Wendy solo) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46AuqaVnG1Q)
  3. Because I Love You (Wendy solo) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDMLANstgGI)
  4. Body Talk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MM0AwoKzZTg)
  5. Would U (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nu7OmSqHVng)
  6. Automatic (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=px2Q47O0_eE)
  7. Be Natural (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpAn9ryoB4Y)
  8. Little Little (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mskdzoFF4o)
  9. First Time (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HchJVfmSG5w)
  10. Day 1 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1uasFLFB4UI)

Enjoy!