Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Dewa Athena Part 1


If I could only pick two words from the dictionary to describe this event, they would be: hectic and tiresome. But before I start recounting (and simultaneously ranting) about this event and why I've labeled it with those two words, I'd like to explain what dewa Athena actually is and why it contains the name of a greek goddess.

The joke is, it has nothing to do with the celebrated greek goddess. It is actually short for "olimpiade siswa ajang tunjuk kebolehan, eksistensi, dan kebersamaan siswa" which translates to "Student's Olympics to showcase their talents" or something along those lines. Dewa athena is a sport event which is comprised of a series of sport competitions, such as basketball, football, dodgeball, and others. In this event, however, a few games such as gobak sodor, which is a traditional Indonesian game, and tug of war are added to sprinkle more fun to this event.

Long story short, on 25th of March, I went to school at 7 in the morning wearing my assigned jersey, which was a deep color of maroon with a slash of black across the chest and my name embedded on the back and my favorite number, which is 15, stitched in bold under it. From school, I walked to the sport field on foot with a couple of friends. Sure enough, the basketball court was filled with a lot of people from different classes. The various class jerseys made them look like scattered candies. I lined up with my friends until the rolecall ended.

At 08:30, the basketball competition started. I decided to take a shelter under a shade and watch the boys play. It was very rough and the ball constantly bounced towards the audience. We all shielded our head and silently prayed that it would hit someone else instead. The game ended with class 8 winning.

Soon after, class 9 which is my class was called by the committee for Gobak Sodor against class 8. As I mentioned before, gobak sodor is a traditional Indonesian game where there are two teams: attacker and defender. To decide which class would be the defender in the first round, a representative from each class did a coin toss. It was decided that class 9 were to play as the attacker. The defenders, because there were 10 people, divided themselves into 5 teams of 2 and formed a short human chain with their arms outstretched as a barrier. The attackers, which included me, were tasked to get pass each human chain without getting touched to the last chain. Long story short, none of us succeeded and the attackers were declared losers.

The sun was blazing and I was drenched in my own sweat. Throughout the whole event, I felt rather delirious and lethargic because I'd skipped breakfast that morning. So I asked my friends to replace me in the games I was supposed to participate in to avoid the worst case scenario and instead cheered for my friends. I think luck was bestowed upon my class that day because my classmates won the first and second round of tug of war.

At 3 in the afternoon, after watching competitions after competitions and cheering on the top of my lungs, I decided to go home and call it a tiring day.

A picture of me and my friend wearing the cool jersey.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Crossword Scrabble

Last Tuesday my friends and I couldn't have a proper English class like we normally do every week because the 12th graders were using the computer room for exam simulations as a preparation for the upcoming national examination.Hence, my English teacher gave us two gigantic plastic bags filled with various bottle caps. At first I thought we were going to do some sort of arts and crafts with them, but then I examined a cap and discovered that a letter had been written on the surface of each of them. Which then (after a brief instructional guide from the teacher) brought us to a game of Scrabble!

I paired up with my classmate and assembled 100 bottle caps, collecting an assigned number of every letter from A to Z. For A we had to take 9 caps, B 2 caps, and so on. Afterwards we arranged the caps to make as many words as possible, similar to Scrabble. However, like Scrabble, my friend and I  did not place each word separately. First I created a word using the bottle caps and then tried to find a word that ends or starts with the letters of the word I'd placed. From that letter I positioned new caps to make a new word, and so on.

While I was busy contemplating a new word, the teacher came and told us that we had to make questions or definitions of each word. In a way it's similar to crossword. I've drawn little empty boxes so whoever's reading can guess the words according to the hints.

I've numbered each word so that you (whoever's reading) can easily match each word with its proper definition.
I've also divided the words into two parts: ones that go across and ones that go down.

1.  Differing from the usual or normal way; odd
2. Timeless tale circulated orally among people.
4. Assigned character.
5. Period of life when one is young.
7. Electronic network that connects computers.
8. A person who navigates
10. Thought, concept, or object formed by imagination.
11. Sailboat for cruising.
12. Not cooked.
13. Portion of surface (plural)
14. Something that has to be identified.
15. Having limited amount of light; dark.

17.  To inhale sharply through the mouth because of shock.
19. The act of moving a hand back and forth on the surface of something.

2. In a state of danger;at risk.
4. A violent uproar by a crowd.
6. A vehicle that transports passengers in return for payment.
9. A tiny beetle that has a long snout.
13. A Japanese Buddhist movement that emphasizes the value of meditation as a way to achieve enlightenment.
16. A scent or smell.
18. a bitter dispute;conflict.
20. A spontaneous and spasmodic muscle movement.
21. The star around which the earth orbits.
22. A sexual orientation in which attraction occurs within the same sex.

Happy guessing!

Saturday, February 18, 2017


Nature’s Lectures

I’ve always been interested in nature and all of its systems. In my point of view, nature has a soul bound to it and it works in a fixed movement. For example, seasons come in certain months and very rarely do people miss their predictions of the upcoming weather. Nature sends signs when it is about to operate its usual systems and it leads me to ponder whether humans have been taking nature for granted of what it is capable of teaching us.

As a clarification of my initial statement, let me tell a brief story. Last Christmas holiday, my family and I visited the Museum of Melbourne. In the room labeled “Insects” there was a glass aquarium filled with an ant colony with half a sphere attached in the middle. It allowed me to stick my head in the sphere and observe the ants. The tiny ants were moving in perfect rhythm, forming an impeccable line like soldiers on a march, hoisting crumbs and carrying them into their colony. It was an extraordinary sight. These ants that I see loitering around my untouched food have the capability to do what humans are told by their elders to do: queue neatly, help others, and cooperate with others.

Who taught them? Perhaps it might have something to do with the hormones they excrete or other biological substance. Nonetheless, it still remains as a lingering question to me. Have we been overlooking nature and treating it as an object rather than a living soul? When we are asked “what is nature?” do we merely think of it as a cluster of trees, a splash of blue sky, and clumps of dirt? These kinds of questions are the ones that pop into my mind when someone mentions the role of nature in modern civilization.

I recall an awful event that happened 2 or 3 years ago. I was living in Balikpapan, a city in Borneo, at the time. Balikpapan is composed of forests, both natural and manmade. One morning I woke up to a terrible smell of smoke that crushed my lungs. When I got to school, everyone was wearing masks and the corridor was filled with white smoke. My friend told me that a businessman had burned down a considerable part of Balikpapan’s lush forests to turn it into a factory. It made me feel devastated. This proves that humans have begun seeing nature as an object and a source of income. With the growth of economic needs, this kind of action is inevitable but can we blame it solely on the rise of economy?

It is fair to say that we are part of nature and all of its complex systems. However, when weathermen are able to predict anticyclones accurately and scientists are able to figure out where birds go when they migrate, can something similar be expected from us humans? Can one human predict the action of another human accurately? Can we fulfill the expectation of others at the right time? Maybe these are the things that aside from science, art, and technology we have not been able to learn from nature. Why we deserve to be called part of nature and whether or not our own systems are in accordance to those of nature. Whether we have done enough to appease nature and allow it to accept humans with flaws like us, it is something that I do not think we are able to answer now.

Thus, as a human being who is willing to be part of nature, I hope I can change the mindset of the future generation to avoid more appearance of destructive humans and make amends with nature. I want to repair the bond between us and nature, so that our souls can bind and we can declare ourselves as part of nature.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

"Invisible" Thoughts

I take these pills to make me thin
I dye my hair, and cut my skin
I try everything, to make them see me
But all they see, is someone that's not me

Even when I'm walking on a wire
Even when I set myself on fire
Why do I always feel invisible, invisible
Everyday I try to look my best
Even though inside I'm such a mess
Why do I always feel invisible, invisible

Here inside, my quiet hell
You cannot hear, my cries for help
I try everything, to make them see me
But every one, sees what I can't be

Even when I'm walking on a wire
Even when I set myself on fire
Why do I always feel invisible, invisible
Everyday I try to look my best
Even though inside I'm such a mess
Why do I always feel invisible, invisible

Sometimes when I'm alone
I pretend that I'm a queen
It's almost believable

Even when I'm walking on a wire
Even when I set myself on fire
Why do I always feel invisible, invisible
Everyday I try to look my best
Even though inside I'm such a mess
Why do I always feel invisible, invisible

The words written above are the lyrics to a song I stumbled upon years ago, titled "Invisible". It was written and sung by Skylar Grey, an American singer. It is a melancholic yet heartfelt song that depicts the painful feeling of being unseen by people around you as well as the internal struggles the singer faces while trying to make herself noticed.

I discovered this song when I was in junior high. I don't remember exactly how I found it but the song still lingers in my head even though I haven't listened to it for years. The lyrics really echo the emotional conflict that I went through during junior high.

If I could be completely honest, junior high was the worst period of my life. Not only was I taking an abrupt swerve to adolescence, but I was also starting to realize how hard it was to fit in society, especially in a group of judgmental 13 year-olds who constantly criticize and betray others.
Back in 7th grade I was considered an outsider, a divine entity destined to amaze her peers with her outstanding grace and intelligence. Everywhere I went, people were always whispering and pointing at me. It slowly became a facade and other students would refer to me as that "pretty and clever new girl" which, in a sense, I was not.  The lessons were terribly easy and I felt like they were the ones who didn't try hard enough. I was also a high-achiever. Hence, my classmates used this trait as a weapon. When it came to group projects, they relied solely upon me to finish the assignment. At first, I pretended I was happy to comply, but it slowly became a sickening habit. I protested several times and asked the rest of the group members to help, but thinking of me as a shy, timid new girl who didn't dare tell the teacher, they shunned me and complained when I threatened to take all the credit for myself.

The next two years were just as tough. The mold from 7th grade had hardened and every inch of me was desperate to be acknowledged again. But I wasn't capable of doing anything else aside from getting A's in every lesson. This routine became a huge burden to me as my classmates' parents saw me as a diligent student who enjoyed studying (I didn't) and used me as an example. "Take a look at your friend Callista," they said. "She is super diligent. You should be like her." Sure, my parents were proud. But I wasn't happy. The happiness that radiated from me when I was a child disintegrated and I felt invisible among my joyful friends.  It was a paradox; the more I tried to make people notice me, the more invisible I became.  The bond between me and my best friend of 5 years was starting to fade away too. Without anyone I could confide in, I might as well have been an actual invisible entity instead of a person, depraved of emotions.

What everyone saw was a person I couldn't be. A character I couldn't portray. A veil that enshrouded the once happy girl and turned her into a studious monster. I'm still heartbroken due to the fact that I wasn't fully able to carve good memories. But I was jubilant when I entered high school; I could finally take off the mask that had suffocated me for years and start over. Now I am determined to become myself and appreciate my existence more.

I am thankful for the existence of this song that has helped me cope with my inner struggles and made me realize that I am not the most luckless and unhappy person in the world. Skylar Grey's voice is very soothing and it almost feels like she is singing the words straight from my thoughts. If you're curious about this song, here is the link:

image source: Google

Monday, January 9, 2017

Adventure in Australia

G'day, folks!

So school holiday's over, which is a complete bummer to me. Now I have to go back to school, face reality, and do heaps of assignments again. Nonetheless, I've got an amazing story to share about my holiday. Instead of watching TV and doing nothing like my previous holiday, I was fortunate enough to be able to travel overseas to the "Down-Under": Australia!

Before I begin my loooonggg story, I'd like to share a brief backstory revolving around what actually prompted my family to choose Australia as a holiday destination. My mother and brother have visited Australia once; but my father and I haven't (which is unfair because they get to visit Australia twice). My uncle lives in Melbourne so that made things a lot easier.

First things first, my family and I flew to Kuala Lumpur to transit to Melbourne. The flight lasted for 7 or so hours, and the time difference was so overwhelming that I felt super exhausted when we arrived. We'd departed at night and landed at 6 AM. Even though it was summer, the morning air was frigid and had I not been wearing my jacket I surely would have frozen to death (ok, maybe not). My uncle picked us up from the airport and bought freshly-baked croissants for our breakfast. After a few hours of sleep, I was ready to begin (and document) my journey in Melbourne!

On the first day, I wanted to visit the zoo. So my uncle decided to take us all to a famous zoo where visitors can touch koalas.
I am an avid animal admirer. This zoo is my favorite place since I got to see animals that can't be found in Indonesia. Long story short, my father drove my family to this zoo by following my uncle's car. The sun was glaring at us but the wind was kind enough to spare us from the heat. So I wore my aunt's puffy blue vest-like coat (I think there's an official name for it but I don't know). I was super excited because it meant I got to see koalas and kangaroos.

 Surprise, surprise. The special ticket that enabled us to touch the koalas were sold out. My father bought regular tickets for the four of us. My uncle and his family didn't have to do so because they were already members of the zoo community.

First animal that I saw was an emu. It was as tall as me, with an enormous and rather petrifying beak and round beady eyes. There was a fence surrounding its enclosure. Some tourists were posing a liiitle bit too close to the emu. My father took a picture of me and my cousin in front of it.

Afterwards, we walked to the koala area. Since it was daytime, the koalas were peacefully dozing on their own personal tree and ignoring nosy tourists. I was desperate to have at least one koala turn its head toward my camera, but none of them did. So my little cousin Aisha and I decided to head over to an eucalyptus tree imitation and learned about how koalas climb trees.

My family and I went to the Wildlife Hospital and we'd separated with my uncle's family because the kids wanted to play in the playground. The hospital was big. I went inside and watched a vet demonstrate how they feed sick turtles, using a dead turtle shell as an example. There were tubes jutting out from it. The animals weren't real, you see. It was an education center for future vets. Nonetheless, I learned a lot and enjoyed the visit.

Next, we went to the wombat and Tazmanian Devil enclosure. The path gradually became a bridge and when we looked down we could see a giant wombat.

I wholeheartedly enjoyed my visit to the zoo.

Afterwards, we all drove to a famous chocolate factory. It was 3 in the afternoon the factory was crowded. We took pictures in the field behind the factory where apricot and cherry trees were grown, bought some food and ice-cream, and went home. 

Basically, I visited a lot of places and it would take hours to write down the complete story, so I've decided to pick a couple of places that intrigued me the most. I will continue when I have time. 

Monday, October 31, 2016

The Outstanding Oprah Winfrey

Sometimes learning about someone's life can be quite interesting. I think you can gain a lot of life lessons and reading the biographies of famous people actually broaden my view on life and makes me realize that everyone's life varies. Not all successful people spent their childhood happily. Not all famous people were able to afford their daily needs before they became wealthy. One such person is Oprah Winfrey.
Oprah Winfrey is a talkshow host, actress, and producer. I present to you, the life of Oprah Winfrey.

Where was Oprah Winfrey born?

 Oprah Winfrey was born in Kosciusko, Mississippi on January 29, 1954. Her mother was an unwed teenage girl named Vernita Lee. Her father was a U.S. army private named Vernon Winfrey. Oprah's mother named her after a character in the Bible named "Orpah" from the Book of Ruth. However, her name was misspelled "Oprah" on the birth certificate and she has been called Oprah ever since.

 A Hard Life Growing Up 
When Oprah was still young, her mother moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to find a job. Oprah stayed in Mississippi and lived with her grandmother, Hattie Mae. Life with Hattie Mae was interesting. Young Oprah lived on a farm without running water. She had lots of difficult chores including getting water from the well each day and carrying it up to the house. She also learned to read and write by the age of three, mostly from studying the Bible. When Oprah turned six, she moved to Wisconsin to live with her mom. She moved around a lot growing up. Sometimes she lived with her mother in Wisconsin and sometimes she lived with her father in Nashville, Tennessee. Oprah's mother was very poor and life in Wisconsin was hard. However, Oprah was a bright student, she loved to read, and did well in school. She graduated from East Nashville High School as an honors student in 1971.

 A Young Speaker
 From the time Oprah was a small child growing up with her grandmother, she was a gifted speaker. She often spoke at church, at women's groups, and at school. When she was in high school she won a speech contest and earned a full scholarship to college. She used the scholarship to attend Tennessee State University. 

Getting on the Radio 
In 1971, Oprah was encouraged to enter the Miss Teen Fire Prevention pageant by a local radio disc jockey. Much to her surprise, she won first place. In the interview, Oprah said that her goal was to become a broadcast journalist. After the pageant she was offered a job as a news reader on the local radio. She loved the job and knew then that her future was going to be in radio and TV. 

A Nashville News Anchor
 While still attending college, Oprah got a call from the CBS news station in Nashville. They wanted her to be their news anchor. She couldn't believe it. At first she thought she should turn the job down and concentrate on school, but then she realized what a great opportunity it was. She took the job and became the first female African-American news anchor in Nashville history. She was only nineteen at the time. 

Becoming a TV Talk Show Host 
In 1976, Oprah moved to a TV station in Baltimore, Maryland. At first she worked as a news anchor, but things weren't working out very well. She was moved to a TV talk show called People are Talking. The first day on the job, Oprah knew she had found her calling. She said it was "like breathing." Soon her show became very popular. She was then recruited to host a morning TV show in Chicago called A.M. Chicago. When she arrived in Chicago, the show was in last place in the ratings. The first place show was the popular Phil Donahue Show. However, in just a few months, A.M. Chicago had taken over first place. A few years later, in 1986, the show was renamed The Oprah Winfrey Show and was shown all over the country

With the launch of The Oprah Winfrey Show, Oprah became one of the most famous people in the country. Over 10 million people watched her show every day. Oprah also made a lot of money. Her show made $125 million the first year and Oprah's income was $30 million. She had come a long way from her grandma's farm without running water.

Even though Oprah's talk show was a huge success, she had always wanted to work as an actress in the movies. She got her first major role in the movie The Color Purple in 1985. It turned out that Oprah had a real talent for acting. She did such a great job that she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Over the years, Oprah has acted in other films such as The Women of Brewster Place (1989), Beloved (1998), The Princess and the Frog (2009), and The Butler (2013).

 Other Activities
 Besides her national talk show and acting, Oprah is famous for other activities. She co-founded the cable TV media company Oxygen Media and started a magazine called O: The Oprah Magazine. She even founded her own TV network called the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) in 2009. Oprah also started a charity called the Angel Network. 

Interesting Facts about Oprah Winfrey 
  • Oprah was crowned Miss Black Tennessee in 1972. 
  • She stopped doing beauty pageants when her career took off. 
  • She started her own production company called Harpo Productions. "Harpo" is Oprah spelled backwards.
  •  Oprah is also famous for her weight loss and weight gain. She has lost weight several times and then gained it back.
  •  As of 2013, her estimated net worth was $2.8 billion. The Oprah Winfrey Show aired for 25 years. Its final episode was on May 24, 2011. 
  • She was named the most influential woman of her generation by Life magazine. 
  • She has a fear of chewing gum that she has had since she was a little girl.

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Monday, October 3, 2016


To celebrate the uniqueness and diversity of our talents, we are inviting you all to attend our school's annual talent show, "Show the Audience and Get Experience" or often abbreviated as STAGE which will showcase the students' marvelous talents. It will be held on:

Day : Saturday, March 15th 2019
 Time : 10:00 - 16:00
Place : SMAN 3 Bandung

There will be various performances by students such as singing, tap dancing, magic tricks, blind painting, and many more. People from outside of school can come and join at no cost, so please spread the word to your siblings, relatives, and friends.

For more information, add @awel_ on Line.

There will also be a bazaar, so if you'd like to occupy one of the stands, please contact @que_034 on Line for reservation.

Don't miss it!