Saturday, 29 August 2009

Should I focus?

Time is still my biggest problem right now. Writing as a citizen reporter (or perhaps as a blogger) is different than writing my own offline diary. To copy and paste my article for in this blog means that I mixed English and Indonesian in one blog. Being not really advance in technology, I am not yet trying to make this blog as a one gate blog with its special tags like Indonesian, English, or collections, religious thoughts, etc. People said that wordpress is easier to manage subtopics, but I think I'll keep blogspot for the time being.

Writing for international readers also made me more careful with the content. Actually I feel that it is easier to be just a blogger...

OMNI seemed to have financial problem too. I think citizen journalism website like OMNI is important for journalistic education. I just don't know how to help them. At the same moment I've really got a very hectic schedule. Now working without any assistant at home made me realized how average homemakers in the Western countries struggled for daily workload. Indonesia is heading to it, soon we'll find that having (suitable) assistant at home is a luxury... Yet, a friend said to me that it is still different being a homemaker in the West like in Canada, or the USA comparing to being a homemaker here in's harder in Indonesia (without with helpers it would be easier here...)

As a blogger I probably need to focus myself, while as a citizen reporter I don't really need to focus myself. I wrote a comment in wikimu about the article for the Youth section in printed Kompas. "Guru CBSA, Apaan Tuh?!". It is about the need to write notes at school. Young people now is not really able to write. They are depending on computer, on multiple choice questions, and printed books. So writing task became such a burden, and they'll blame their teacher for giving them writing tasks as an old fashioned teacher. I don't really agree on this, that is why I wrote something about it. Taking notes is important, a teacher deliver the subject in the classroom is more important. If they like the subject, they'll probably take their own notes or at least remember a bit of the interesting discussion throughout their life.

After that I wrote about an event with wikimu when we went out to the Thousand Islands with the Jakarta Green Monster. It is only a record of my journey with them. I always love environmental issues, I also love history and this journey is really something that I'd love to share. Actually I would really like to share it to OhMyNews International too, but I need more time to write down a good "journalistic" article in English. In Muara Angke, I just remembered how I visited the place (around) ten years ago with my friends from the Indonesian Heritage Society. I introduced a bit about the Jakarta Green Monster. We do need volunteers to take on those environmental issues. As I found myself not able to share my time, actually the only thing that I can do is writing out my two cents to get younger people interested in it. Jurus "Silat Payung" Membuka Pagi is the title of the first article in the supposed series of articles about the journey.

The second article is the article titled "Bertemu Mbah Surip Di Pulau Onrust". Did I really meet the late Mbah Surip (a suddenly famous singer who passed away recently) in Onrust island? Yes, through the vandalism written on the wall of ex Japanese prison. Local tourists here love to leave behind their remark on the site, either in the mountain, the river, or an archeological site...

I always like the commentator notes under an article. The comment in this second article made me commented on the popular "new English" here: "I love you full". The late Mbah Surip was so popular with his laugh and his "I love you full" message that I do need to remind those children at school that it is not a good sentence in English. Media is a place for youngsters to learn language. We learned languages through reading materials and songs, and even if I've got to admit that his easy to remember song is nice to hear I could not help myself of frowning as it would encourage people to use unstructured language (even his Indonesian language was a mixed Indonesian language and Javanese dialect).

I was also taken aback when I heard that the poet Rendra passed away. Mbah Surip's last destination was the land owned by this poet. It is surprising because I didn't realized that Rendra was sick. I even asked myself where was he when I saw the many person came in, but I could not see the landowner. So, no wonder Mbah Surip was more "visible" to me than the Dutch woman who dressed in red (the ghost story of the island).

I'm still trying to finish the third part. I have no time as I am back teaching elementary and junior high school. Part timer, it is only to help the school before they can find a teacher. Teaching is not an easy task. Actually my focus in this blog is education. And, this blog is just as colorful as the real education system. We should educate the youngsters through their academic achievement, through art and culture, through character building...So, focusing in education made me venture into various subjects or topics as we do need to educate our children to fulfill all the aspects needed for their future needs. As a mother of three boys, active and clever boys, I will continue focusing in education.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Rest In Peace Fighters!

I am mourning for the lost of two fighters. The first one is Corazon Aquino, a great leader from The Philippines. Then, the other one is W.S. Rendra, a great Indonesian poet who also lived for his theater group (Bengkel Teater).

Actually Corazon Aquino, or we know her as Cory Aquino, is closer to my mind than Rendra. Cory had shown us, women, how to be a fighter. Loosing her husband didn't stop her steps backing him up, she even moved forward to help continue his husband's struggle to help his countrymen. She also brought meaning into peaceful fight. It was said that her presidency era brought the restoration of democratic institution in the Philippines. She was also stepped down gracefully after her period. No wonder if her people shared deep respect and honored her before her funeral. I'd like to honor her too for being an inspiration...a faithful wife who aided her husband, a strong mother who stand up for her people, and a real fighter...she fought for democracy, and later in her life she also fought the colon cancer. As a Catholic, her life story seemed as a good example of a devoted Catholic. She prayed, did her sacrifice, and she faced her life bravely even if it wasn't as bright as one would wishes.

Rendra, whose also known as the peacock of Indonesia, showed his fights through his poetry and his theatrical activities. I read one of his poems when I was still in Junior High School, "Doa Seorang Serdadu Sebelum Berperang" (A prayer of a soldier before fighting in a war). The soldier was asking God's permission to kill in the war. He was asking His pardon before doing the sin. Rendra opened the poem acknowledging that God's face was portrayed in the burning cities, and His words are spelled on the shallow graveyard. It was also very clear to the soldier that God's tired of human's sins, His tired arms were hugging the world who betrayed Him. It is still happening today...when people is killing in the name of God. Does God approve it? That poem is deeply carved in my heart. It gave me more "lesson" about war than a history book. Rendra fought in his own way. He was in prison, was not permitted to perform a show, but he kept fighting.

The printed Kompas had posted some of Rendra's poems. It was interesting to see how he wrote as a Catholic, and then as a Moslem...A journey of a man searching peace in his own way. As a Catholic he wouldn't be able to marry three women, he would not even be granted a divorce (although there are a lot of Catholic divorce these days). Perhaps that was the reason why people accusing him of changing his religion for polygamy. Yet, venturing into his poems we might perhaps understand how he was seeking his own freedom to believe in God. One's faith is one's own communication with rest in His peaceful arms Rendra...