What does love mean?

Something to reflect on the last day of July, after journeying half of 2011.

Touching words from the mouth of babies.

A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds, ‘What does love mean?’ The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. See what you think:

“When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.”
– Rebecca – age 8

“When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.”
– Billy – age 4

“Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.”
– Karl – age 5

“Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.”
– Chrissy – age 6

“Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.”
– Terri – age 4

“Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK.”
– Danny – age 7

“Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss.”
– Emily – age 8

“Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.”
– Bobby – age 7

“If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate.”
– Nikka – age 6

“Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday.”
– Noelle – age 7

“Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.”
– Tommy – age 6

“During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling… He was the only one doing that. I wasn’t scared anymore.”
– Cindy – age 8

“My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don’t see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.”
– Clare – age 6

Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.”
– Elaine-age 5

“Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford.”
– Chris – age 7

“Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.”
– Mary Ann – age 4

I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.”
– Lauren – age 4

“When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.”
– Karen – age 7

“Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn’t think it’s gross.”
– Mark – age 6

“You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.”
– Jessica – age 8

And the final one, The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman’s yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, ‘Nothing, I just helped him cry.’

This story is shared all over the world, and through these innocent little children we are a step  closer to defining what love is. I guess love is all that, and if you notice, all the love definitions are actions. You want to define love? Do an action of love.

“Love is when my mommy wakes up every morning to make my favourite breakfast even though it cost her hours of sleep and energy, and she doesn’t even like what I’m eating.

Love is when my daddy cancels lunch with his church friends just because ‘my daughter is home,’ and he wants to make me know that I’m special.

Love is when my big sister does not go to her uni and instead accompany me to go shopping, just because I’m in Singapore and I don’t have too much time.

Love is when my sis allows me to sleep in her bed (even though she likes her privacy) because she knows I like it.

Love is when my sis listens to my stories for hours and hours and not remembering a single thing of it but still pats me on the head and tells me that I’m a good sister.

Love is when my mommy gives the best piece of chicken even though that’s also her favourite part.

Love is when my daddy skips work when I’m around and accompanies me to play bowling, billiard, and having lunch at Pepperlunch.

Love is when my big sister ‘escapes’ from her Professor and goes back to Indo just because my second sis and I are going back.

Love is when Jesus died on the cross just because I am so special in His eyes.

Love is when you are old, been together for 60 years, yet you still see her like it is the first time. Holding her hands tightly, you say, ‘I’d love to spend 60 more years with you, and I don’t even know if it’s enough.'”

– Marcella Purnama – age 19

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Hillsong Conference 2011 – Jentezen Franklin part 1

Jentezen Franklin

Jentezen Franklin at Hillsong Conference 2011, photo by Hillsong Church

“I am the bread of life.”
John 6

How many of us realise that bread is actually the ‘main course’, and not the ‘side dish’?

The culture that we are in now forces us to look at bread in a different light compared to 2000 years ago. In the culture where Jesus lived, bread was the main course. But the era where we are living right now says the other way: bread is just a side dish.

What is God for you – the main dish, or the side dish? While we are doing our ministry to serve Jesus and make Him happy, do we sometimes just pretend that we are doing it for Jesus but instead it’s just another routine? Do we make it look like we are busy doing church stuffs, but we do not ask God for guidance?

I’m in church bulletin ministry, and today I need to go to the church to print out the bulletins. After a long 30 minutes drive, in a cold winter day, I arrived with the information that the church is locked (l.o.c.k.e.d.) and we had to wait until someone with the keys to go back and open the church for us. It was quite weird, because the kitchen people (who were going to prepare the food for Sunday) and we, the bulletin people, hasn’t gone in. I feel really sorry for the people who had to go back to open the church door for us (God bless you guys!), but I couldn’t help but being kinda irritated along the way as well.

After another 40 minutes waiting, we went straight to the printing room, and there was something wrong with the printer/computer (we couldn’t get the bulletins to be printed). Ended up that someone pulled off the cable and blah, so yeah, after a while, we managed to do our ‘job’.

Going home for another 30 minutes drive, I reflected back on my attitude towards my ministry. When does it become ‘just another routine’? I know that I am serving the Lord, but sometimes (especially when you are tired, busy, and in a bad mood…in some sense) you can minister with the wrong attitude.

And by the way, do I put God as the main dish? Certainly not. I didn’t ask God to bless the article that I’m putting, nor for it to be an encouragement for those who need it. It was just another ‘editorial-job’ routine that needed to be printed for Sunday service.

But that was not a job.

That was my ministry to God. I was too preoccupied on all the other stuffs going on and I failed to put God as the main dish of my ministry.

Remember the story about Martha and Maria? While Martha was busy serving Jesus, Maria sat down beside Him and listened to His words. Is something pulling you away from Jesus? Do you spend too much time running programs for your church, perfecting a music practice, or too busy ministering the church and in the end forgot that the most important thing is Jesus to be the main dish, not the side one?

What if Jesus sees everything that you have done, and suddenly asks, “Those works look good, oh by the way, would you like some God with that?”

Hillsong Conference 2011 – Brian Houston

Brian Houston

Brian Houston at Hillsong Conference 2011, photo by Hillsong Church

The message by Brian Houston is a big eye opener: in sum, it’s about our ministry. Drawing from Judges 6, which looks at the story of Gideon who is uncertain of his ability to do the work of God, Pastor Brian reminded us once again to be “doing what you are called to do”. In Judges 6:14, the scripture specifically says, “Go with the strength that you have.”

Continuing with the message, Pastor Brian said that, “We humans, are more conscious in what we can’t do rather than what we have”. Romans 12:3 conveys that our purpose and calling are given by God according to the grace that He has placed for us individually. Furthermore, 2 Cor 8:12 reinstates that we shall do our ministry based on what one has, and NOT based on what one has not.

I had a Personality Psychology tutorial earlier this week. In a questionnaire, we were asked to list 3 of our negative attributes and 3 of our positive ones. What startled me is that it was so much easier listing down the 3 negatives, instead of the 3 positives.

Somehow, human nature is programmed to be looking at our weaknesses and improving them instead of giving a fair amount of time to focus and expand on our positives. The same thing happens in ministry. Pastor Brian kept on stressing the point that we have our own callings according to the grace that God has given to us – simply, we have differing gifts that have to be used.

I’m not a singer, nor a dancer, half a musician (back in high school), but sometimes I envy those who can sing, dance, and play music beautifully. Humans always look at the neighbour’s grass and feel as if they are greener. Similarly, we always want to have the talents that what we don’t have.

Nevertheless, Pastor Brian emphasised the point that if we are comfortable in our own grace, we can be an over-achiever.

“The key is to keep maximising the potent that you have,” he said.

Further on, he drew upon the scripture from 2 Cor 10:12, which says that we are not supposed to class or compare ourselves, and not even to boast about our abilities.

I remember my high school years where I mostly focused on others – what score did they get for the test? Did they have better marks than me? Were they able to complete the questions in shorter amount of time that I was able to? At that time I believe this was normal; the world’s norm is to compete – or fail. It is what Darwin referred as natural selection.

However, clarifying the false paradigm, the Bible teaches us that we are not to ‘judge’ ourselves and ‘judge’ others, and measure them on a balance scale. We are supposed to know our own callings, invest on them, and not to go outside our grace zone.

“There are 7 classic ways to go outside our grace zone,” said Pastor Brian.

The first one is when we class ourselves – what we think we deserve to have. When we begin to have believes that “I deserve to be treated better, I deserve to have a better job,” we start to step outside our grace zone. God is the only one who has the right to do so.

The second one is when we compare ourselves. Do we come second? Do we come first? Comparing ourselves means that we are limiting ourselves, in a sense that we will always be focused on what others have achieved, and not about Jesus. Remember, we are created to reflect God’s image, and not others’.

Third one is when we commend ourselves. Humans are proud beings that sometimes we forgot that we are merely creations, and God is the creator. Everything that we have done and accomplished, they all because of God. Instead of giving God the credit, we cross the line with commending ourselves – ‘because of my hardwork, I’m able to achieve this.’ Remember that we are just dust, and someday, we will return to dust.

Fourth, is when we are measuring ourselves. Titus 1:15 says “stop measuring”, and it is intended for both internally (measuring on which ‘level’ you are) and externally (measuring on which ‘level’ you are in accordance to other people). The Bible teaches us that the right way to measure ourselves is by the ‘faith that God has given to us’. (Romans 12:3). It is not wrong to measure ourselves, but there is a right way and a wrong way to do so.

The fifth one is explicitly told in the verse 14 (back in the 2 Cor), which is when we are overextending ourselves. We want to get acknowledgement, for instance. We want to succeed. However, the main focus should be kept on winning people for God, and not pleasing people for the sake of our acceptance.

Sixth, when we start to boast in other man’s labor. This is such a classic thing. I believe all of you are familiar with the term “plagiarism.” Why does it exist anyway? Because we want to be praised, to be known as someone who is innovative, and we take shortcuts in doing so: by stealing other man’s works and claiming them as ours. While the credit should go to your friends, someone approaches us and say, “good job,” and we simply imply that the credit is ours.

And seventh, stated on verse 15-16, it is when we fail to acknowledge other people’s grace zone. If you are good at singing, and not at dancing, but joining a dancing department, and know a friend who’s terrific at dancing, do him or her a favor: quit, and join singing department. By not doing so, you are limiting your own potential, and becoming a hindrance for your friend to achieve his or hers.

In the end, if we forget everything else and just able to remember one thing out of his sermon, I guess Pastor Brian will want us to remember to keep “staying in our own grace zone.”

“…And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have.”
2 Cor 8:12

“…Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.”
Romans 12:3

“Oh, don’t worry; we wouldn’t dare say that we are as wonderful as these other men who tell you how important they are! But they are only comparing themselves with each other, using themselves as the standard of measurement. How ignorant!

We will not boast about things done outside our area of authority. We will boast only about what has happened within the boundaries of the work God has given us, which includes our working with you.

We are not reaching beyond these boundaries when we claim authority over you, as if we had never visited you…

Nor do we boast and claim credit for the work someone else has done. Instead, we hope that your faith will grow so that the boundaries of our work among you will be extended.

Then we will be able to go and preach the Good News in other places far beyond you, where no one else is working. Then there will be no question of our boasting about work done in someone else’s territory.”
2 Cor 10: 12-16

Hillsong Conference 2011

Hillsong conference 2011 checklist:

  1. Waking up at 6am everyday to queue for shower (15 people allocated to 3 bathrooms who need to grab their coffee by 8am and make their way to the conference straightaway).
  2. 4 hours of sleep everyday, 5 tops, and no concealer to hide those scary panda eyebags.
  3. Queuing 2 hours before the session began with thousands others: we were competing for good seats, and sometimes, fresh air.
  4. Seeing at least 100 lighting in every colour and format possible, which danced gracefully towards every tune played.
  5. Screaming, yelling, praising, and worshiping using a different voice that you never know existed!
  6. Three-quarter circular shape screen which has colour composition 999 times better than your iPhone.
  7. The frenzy crowd who were screaming on your ears every time Israel Houghton came out.
  8. At least $10 billions worth sound system whose size as big as a trailer, which produced the perfect combination of amplitude, frequency, volume, and pitch for a 30,000 people capacity building as clear as listening to an iPod using those big, binaural, earcup headsets.
  9. Crazy multimedia that passed every kind of video art on which you think is already the ‘coolest thing ever made by man.’
  10. Entertainment presented by Butter Chicken and team, whose guy talked like a high-pitched old lady who had something in her throat, dressed in shocking gold stockings and black singlets, and never failed to make the irritated crowd (on whom have fought bravely to to get the best seats) laughed a lot.
  11. Powerful messages that left you inspired, filled up spiritually, and fallen in love with God once again.

Putting aside some religious context at hand, most people will agree that “seeing is believing”. For so many years I’ve been told that Hillsong Conference is awesome, but I never really thought of the degree of that ‘awesomeness’. Now that I’ve seen it, I’d say it blew my mind.

Hillsong Conference 2011 Opener, photo by Hillsong Church

The 4-days conference in Sydney is beautifully spiced with terrific multimedia, crazy lighting and lasers, incredible sound system, wonderful Praise and Worship, and of course, POWERFUL messages. Special guest speakers include John Maxwell, Jentezen Franklin, Priscilla Shirer, Nicky Gumber, Jesus Culture, and Christine Caine. Plus, Israel Houghton and Sydney Mohede were there. (OH, I’M PROUD TO BE INDONESIAN).

Watching the highlights once again, I remember the cheers of the crowd – the cries, the screams, the yells – the hearts that were hungry for the Lord. It was such an amazing moment, where thousands and thousands of people just humbled themselves and cried out to God. There, I witnessed the love of the Lord: it was so pure, so loving, so tangible that I felt like I could actually touch it and I will never want to let it go. Never. It was so beautiful, and nothing on earth can be compared to the love of Jesus.

Hillsong Conference 2011 Opener - photo by Hillsong Church

Packaging

In one word? Perfect. All the videos, the conference news, the special effects, the multimedia, the sound system, everything. They were just perfect. Here are the night’s openers:

Ps. did you notice that it was actually THE Judah Smith singing ‘A Whole New World?’

Ps. did you see the huge, artistic heart that probably weighs over 200 pounds? I wonder how they were able to ship that thing and hang it up 50 meters high ceiling…

Praise and Worship

In one sentence? There was the presence of God. Israel Houghton  and Jesus Culture – they were just wonderful. They are what I refer as people “who raise their voices yet sing with their hearts”. I could see the worship leader of JC smiling while she worshiped the Lord. So genuine, so pure – an expression of their love to the Lord. And of course there was the HS team – Darlene Zschech, Reuben Morgan, Joel Housten, and United.

Hillsong Conference 2011 Opener - photo by Hillsong Church

Hillsong Conference 2011 Crowd - photo by Hillsong Church

Here is one of my favourite songs in Hillsong Conference. It’s titled “Jesus be the Center”, written and sung by Israel Houghton.

There was also another song titled “Blackbird“, an old song, but sung so beautifully.

Messages

The messages were so inspiring, powerful, humorous, educational, yet still slapping me in the face. There are so much that I have not known and the ones that I’ve already known, I sometimes forgot, or worse – I don’t live them out. I took my hat off to Priscilla Shirer, whose speaker left a very deep impression on me; Jentezen Franklin, whose words were accompanied with a sense of humour yet spoken with such passion; John Maxwell, whose voice was authoritative yet inspiring; and Christine Caine, whose passion is given to those who are lost, making the greatest commandment as her life pursuit. Other speakers include Brian and Bobby Houston, Nicky Gumbel, Judah Smith, and Scott ‘Sanga’ Samways, among others.

I will break down the messages into several blog posts which I will post in the next couple of days. I hope you will find the message inspiring, and be blessed from them.

Souvenirs

It doesn’t seem right to call these ‘souvenirs’, as they are the ones who will bring my faith up to the next level. I bought four books during the conference. Here they are:

"What if life on Monday was as powerful as church on Sunday?"

"For years, we as women have been told we can have it all, be it all and do it all. Inevitably, we too have aggressively set out on a pursuit to achieve this utopian "all."

"Do you remember the hospital, Colton?" Sonia said. "Yes, Mommy, I remember," he said. "That's where the angels sang to me."

Hillsong, teamed with NLT, made the Bible in the era's cup of tea.

This Bible itself is a very attractive one. Check out some of the pages below:

I haven’t started reading any of the books yet, but will definitely start one tomorrow. It may be a while for the reviews to come up, but stay tuned.

“In the beginning God created man for relationship with himself. This Eden time displays the designers original plan and intent…..deep and satisfying relationship between God and people and people with each other.

Disobedience gives birth to original sin which then violently separates the made from the maker, sinful hands tear at God’s great tapestry of grace, trampled and marred till the designer’s original picture is rendered unrecognisable.

Cut off from the divine tapestry, our lives are separated threads without greater purpose or direction, fallen image bearers in a tangled knot of confusion.

Not content to stand idle and watch His original design decay, God intervenes by sending His own divine thread in the form of Jesus…this redemptive Scarlet Thread stained red by the sin of the world.

By His death and resurrection, Jesus is introduced into the loom of life to bind up and restore the original tapestry, now tattered and threadbare.

As our lives are restored by grace, the designer’s original image slowly comes back into view. Each thread is valuable and plays its unique part in the tapestry that declares God’s salvation for everyONE.”

The Scarlet Thread

a tribute to IICS teachers

When asked about what makes you love your senior high school, different reasons come to mind. It might be because of the friendship made, the meeting with someone special, or even the lifestyle itself – playing around without much thought about the future.

One of my highlights is the teachers.

Graduated in December 2009, I have never missed a holiday without a trip towards my school. That said, last Thursday I came back to the old building, but despite the familiar view that I used to see, I saw strangers in green squared uniforms – the ones that I used to wear – oh boy, time flies.

Making my way towards THE canteen – my crime scene where I used to go eat in order to skip classes – I saw even more strangers. Feeling out of place with the weird stares of young folks – as if thinking, “Who is this girl in t-shirt, black pants, and sandals? She does not belong here,” – I went to the 3rd floor. Time to greet some friendly faces.

Entering the teacher’s room, it was the same old greeting – surprised expressions which turned quickly into smiles followed by a high-pitched “Waaaaah, Marcella!” by my teachers.

I went from the 3rd floor, to 7th floor, 5th floor, 4th floor, and finally 3rd floor again. I didn’t meet all the teachers that I’d like to meet, or even had a good composed conversation to those on whom I did meet, but it was quite a good catch-up. Here are some of the teachers that know me better than the others.

Mrs. Ireng Ambarsari

with Mrs. Ireng Ambarsari

My Biology teacher in year 11 (before I dropped the subject in year 12, which has cost me the cynicism from Mrs. Ireng probably for the rest of my life) has a really strong motherly character. Mrs. Ireng is the teacher who knows my family background best – the old story of me being the ‘shadow’ of my brilliant sister, until the climax of the rebellious me wanting to break free from the expectations of others.

One of the most memorable experience with Mrs. Ireng is back in December 2009. We alumnis were given the privilege to do a Christmas drama for our school’s Christmas celebration. My other good friend, Sharleen and I were involved, and we acted as twins, with Mrs. Ireng as our mother. The shooting was done in Mrs. Ireng’s place, and it was quite an experience!

The other thing that I will remember forever (I guess) is my year 11 Biological field trip to Sepa Island report, on which I nominated as my ‘number-one-well-accomplished-with-maximum-effort-given’ report. It was around 50 pages long (if I remember correctly), and I am so proud of it, until now. Of course, I got a very good grade for that one! (With two weeks of 5-hours sleep: examining the data, researching the introduction, doing the graphs, and thinking of what to write for the deadly discussion part). That was my first and only time to have such very little sleep. Even when I’m in uni now, I never do an assignment as keen as I did for that one.

That said, even though I didn’t take Biology in year 12 nor did I pursue further studies in Biology (although Psych has a bit of Bio), I am forever thankful to Mrs. Ireng for she didn’t just teach me about Biology. She teaches me about doing what is right, and not to walk behind someone else’s path. I remember a well-known saying, “Just be yourself, because everybody else is taken.” That’s what I will remember when I meet Mrs. Ireng, even when I have forgotten all about Biology.

Mr. Aldjento Ondy

with Mr. Aldjento Ondy

My Year 11 and 12 Chemistry teacher who I disappointed greatly by not achieving a band 6 during the HSC (I’m sorry Sir, I really do, I’m just not a Chemistry person…). Although I never did understand Chemistry (Ehm, a little secret here…), I scored high in Chemistry all due to the practicals (and failed miserably during the theory tests). Taking a peek at the Chemistry past papers last Thursday, I was so amazed that I could actually do these questions 2 years ago. It was quite a miracle, and if I could have a chance to talk to myself at 17, I would tell her that she’s such a brilliant student (LOL). What can I say, I do not remember a single thing about my past studies now!

Well, maybe I do remember a bit of Chemistry. Ehm, okay,… Errr, titration? Ehm, potassium shows lilac colour when burnt? (is this information even right?) And…. soap… something about soap, detergent, grease,… Annnndddd…. something….. with… periodic table….. LOL.

My other sin with Mr. Aldjento is during Christmas 2 years ago. I was asking him to make a Christmas party in his house, and in the end I was unable to come.. I’m really, really sorry Sir. I’ve made you lots of brownies as a compensation (bribery accepted, yes?).

The most memorable experience with my funny Chemistry teacher is about his birthday celebration at his house, on which he invited lots of students to come over. He cooked so many delicious things, and we played and laughed and laughed a lot! I also remember playing iTouch during class (ehm, because we promised to finish the past papers, or at least to copy other students who have finished, of course), and competing in “Find It!” game. Good old times!

Mr. Aldjento

Mr. Aldjento, Sharleen (my

Sir Aldjento, like Mrs. Ireng, has taught me Chemistry, and he taught me well. But more than that, he teaches me about how much fun a teacher can have with his students. In his 2010 Christmas card, Sir Aldjento calls me as ‘friend’. It was quite a statement, especially in our culture (where older people, especially teachers, need to be respected a lot).

Ps. he’s still single!

Mr. Marcello Stanley

with Mr. Marcello Stanley

My year 10 Computer teacher! I was forced to study Microsoft Access (which was very hard, at that time) and sadly I’ve forgotten all about it (there is something wrong with me, my memory, and my past studies).

I will always remember Mr. Marcello (or Pak Marcello, as I used to call him), as someone who can do anything (well, most things anyway). He is a photographer, a teacher, a media person (he knows anything about the media, literally), a curious individual (he always looks up everything that he’s curious about – I think), a cook (I remember spotting a thick thick THICK cook book in his office), and much more.

From time to time I always have difficulties in finding him – if you are lucky, you may find him in his 7th floor office, although it only happens ONCE in my whole life (which is last week, to my surprise), or you will find him in the strangest places (the places in school that I only enter for the sake of finding Pak Marcello), which include the computer labs (3rd floor and 4th floor) and the counseling room. If all else fails, usually Pak Marcello is found in THE canteen, if not, he might be roaming around outside the school. Plus, it IS very hard to locate Pak Marcello by phone. Only IF you are lucky, he will pick up.

Entering his office last week, I found the familiar scene – the ‘scary-state-almost-broken’ long table with huge computers and heaps of books and papers and cables and God knows what else on top of it. “Stability,” is what he says when I commented. I used to be offered “Teh Botol”, but it was quite disappointing when I found none inside his office last week. I couldn’t have a proper chat because of the time limit (most of my friends do not really know him, and we need to get going to the other teachers…), but when I do talk to him he always tells me something new. From Jean Baudrillard, the use of RSS, the latest news, the media this and that, and other stuffs. I think Pak Marcello is the only teacher who actually fancies me for taking Media studies (FYI, I was a science student. Quite disappointing for my science teachers that I actually do a completely different degree).

Pak Marcello may have taught me Computer, but he leaves a deeper impression. It’s not just about the IT, the photography, the cookery, and all the other stuffs, but most of all, it’s about the passion. He teaches me to keep pursuing my passion, no matter what it is, and to give time for learning it.

Mr. Abraham Sam Kurian

with Mr. Abraham

Yet my another disappointed science teacher. Mr. Abraham taught my year 11 and 12 Physics, and frankly this subject was my weakest. Until now I have no idea what inertia is, I just memorised the definition. Mr. Abraham is the kind of teacher that always gives you the “keywords”, making everything easier to be learnt (or at least for our tests to be marked). Somehow if you could mention all the keywords right, you will get reasonably good marks.

Although I didn’t understand Physics – my poor brain is just not made for that – I am forever grateful for the studies in Medical Imaging Techniques. Two years later in Psychology, I came across the same old X-Ray, CT Scan, MRI, USG, PET SCAN, and fMRI which Mr. Abraham used to teach. To my surprise, I still remember what I was taught two years earlier! It was quite a triumph for me, knowing that my memory is a very bad one, but I was so happy that I grasped the concepts of these imaging techniques right from the very basic, all because of Mr. Abraham.

So Sir, thank you, and sorry for disappointing you for not getting a band 6 either ;p.

Mr. Kristhianto Nathanael Kainama

with Mr. Kris

Well here is my Mathematics Extension 2 teachers, who made me suffer all the way to the end of year 12. Mr. Kris, or Pak Kris, is a brilliant Math teacher – he is just… genius. I remember studying about complex numbers, polynomials, harder Maths, integration, volume, blah in every obnoxious way possible. I was good at Maths (used to, not anymore), but Extension 2 was just INSANE!

Well, at least I graduated with ‘honors’, or else extra two and a half hours every week (from 3.30 to 6pm Friday after school) and countless hours of EXTRA studying will go to waste. But it was a really fun time. For us, 7 students in Math Ex-2 2009 class, it was indeed a great experience, lots of laughing, crying, and competing – I might say. Math Ex-2 was the hardest subject ever (equivalent to 2nd year uni maths, if I’m not mistaken), and the fact that all 7 of us got band 6 really make us (and our teacher) proud! It is because of this subject that I dropped Biology (I’m sorry!), and in the end, I still can’t decide if I have the chance to re-do my senior year, will I be taking Bio instead of X-2.

Math X-2 2009 students

Not only remembering his favourite phrase (“Ring a bell?”), his inability to erase with the proper blackboard eraser (instead he always uses his hands), I also remember the stories he told us when our brains have rejected more maths formulas that were projected. I remember the story of his first encounter with his wife, how he studied hard to get his degree, his first dream of being a pilot, and all the others. I remember my friends, Pak Kris, and I went to the cinema to watch “Seven Pounds”. I remember he kept on mumbling, “oooh, Hmmm.. It’s like that…” and a long “OOOOOOOHHH” when he finally understood the movie. I remember 3 months ago when Pak Kris and a couple of other teachers went for a field trip to Melbourne and we (some alumnis and teachers) talked until 2/3am in the morning – updating news about the school and the students. Good memories!

Yes, Pak Kris taught me Maths, but he also teaches me to believe in myself, that I can actually do the subject, not only that, that i can actually do it well.

Ps. we students always think that Pak Kris looks a lot like Will Smith. Want a proof?

Pak Kris, in front of

Mr. Daniel Patricko Hutabarat, Ms. Eliana Maria, and Ms. Natalie

My year 12 Math, year 11 and 12 Mathematics Extension 1, and year 11 Math teacher, respectedly.

Sir DPH, as I used to call him, is a very, very, very patient teacher. He was never angry with us, even though we sometimes didn’t pay attention, or talking and laughing too loud in class. He always smiles, and is a very friendly teacher indeed!

with Mr. Daniel a.k.a. DPH

Studying in Singapore, Ms. Eliana is indeed very Singapore-ish. Ms. Eliana taught me Math X-1, and she is a strict teacher (in a way…) But my other friend used to go to her desk and messed around (taking this book, looking at papers, taking that book, writing on some papers…), so maybe she is not that strict… ;p

with Ms. Eliana

Ms. Natalie is the cute teacher. She is quite strict as well, but she is also very kind (and the ultimate target of my friend’s ‘naughtiness’). Ms. Nath taught year 11 Maths, and some of year 12 Maths as well, if I’m not mistaken, and she is a very tidy person. She likes Tiger (in Winnie the Pooh), and if I remember correctly, she likes anime (is it Samurai X? I kinda forgot). I remember giving her a Tiger doll with some friends for her birthday, I’m not sure if she still remembers that!

with Ms. Natalie

Ms. Yuli Yanti Tjia

with Ms. Yuli Yanti Tjia

I can’t write a good introduction for Ms. Yuli Yanti Tjia because she didn’t teach me anything. She is an Econ teacher, but I didn’t take Econ. She was not even my homeroom teacher. My first encounter with her was through my friends, who were taking Econ at that time. But the funny thing happened when I arrived at school at 6.30am every morning, and there she was, walking past my locker almost everyday throughout year 12. That was how I really get to know her.

Ms. Yuli then coordinated some parts of the Year 12 Graduation, and that made me need to contact her even more. I remember one fine day when she approached me and asked me to do a speech during the graduation. I was like, “WHAT?” (although now I am quite proud of my speech). Ms. Yuli Tjia is a very loving teacher, and she cares a lot about her students. Last Thursday I stopped by her office but she was not around. I intended to say happy birthday (she had her birthday one day earlier on Wednesday), but unable to do so. So, Happy Birthday, Ms. Yuli Tjia! :)

Mr. Adjie

with Pak Adjie, THE librarian

I do not really remember his full name, or how to spell his name correctly (forgive my poor memory, will definitely do my homework to research the proper name later on), but I remember entering the library from time to time, greeted with a smile and followed by a phrase, “Eh, Marcella…” I do not expect him to remember my name (he did not teach me, only saw me occasionally), and I always tease him by asking, “Sir, do you still remember my name?” He also remembers my sister, and asks about our further studies. He is the librarian, the keeper of my second crime scene, where I used to hide when skipping classes! lol

Mr. Sigit Setiawan

Pak Sigit Setiawan

I have no photo with Pak Sigit, so I went on Facebook and stole his FB profile picture. (Ooops, Sir, I hope you don’t mind). Pak Sigit is my year 12 Indonesian teacher, even though he only taught me for a brief period of time. He was one of my sister’s closest teachers, so I occasionally pay respect to him by dropping at his office and have a little chat.

Last week’s conversation was a really interesting one indeed. After telling him that I’m pursuing further degree in Psychology, he showed some interest. It turned out that Pak Sigit was (or is) doing a thesis on Albert Bandura, a very well-known Psychologist! We were talking in Psychological terms by then, and I was really proud to actually be able to converse in Psych. He told me that a former student was taking Psych and now is working as a Character Building teacher in IICS. He also told me ideas about interesting thesis and researches that can be done, focusing on third world country (e.g. Indonesia), in the context of the diversifying cultures and beliefs. Interesting. Will keep that in mind when the time comes for me to write a thesis ;p.

There are lots of other teachers on which if I mention one by one, I would have fainted. There is Ma’am Hedy, my year 9 Math and homeroom teacher, who is very caring towards me throughout the years. There’s Sir Rafeek, my English teacher, on whom teaches me to write a good essay in Academic English, which is very useful for my Uni studies. Plus, he introduced an interesting movie (Rabbit Proof Fence) to be analysed and some books (The Stolen Children – Their Stories and China Coin). There’s Sir Jesse, my year 12 Indonesian teacher, Sir Lukas, my Computer teacher, Lao Shi Tony, my Chinese teacher, Mr. Freddy, year 10 Physics teacher, Sir Daniel, my Religion teacher and just lots of others.

IICS class of 2009

What I will remember from my teachers is maybe not about the subject that they have taught. The memories that happened during school may as well fade as time goes by. But as Randy Pausch says, the head fakes count. It is not always about the academic studies. The teachers have also succeeded, one way or another, in teaching us how to lead our lives the right way.

It is always a pleasure to be coming back to school, knowing that you will be greeted with a big hug, and at the end of your visit there will be a question, “So when is your next visit?”

back to reality

After one week of Hillsong Conference in Sydney, and 11 days in food paradise (my lovely hometown Jakarta), here I am, sitting down on my comfy sofa, hugging my sheepish pillow, examining my subjects for the coming semester.

What can I say, I wish I don’t have to study any further (the subject overviews give me headaches already), but I know, I need to keep attacking these ANTS (read: Automatic Negative Thinking Syndrome).

Okay, take a deep breath – have your dinner (at 9.10pm), and be right back.

My first exposure towards this coming semester is a very beautiful one. Well, I got 2 days off – Thursday and Friday. I was thinking to get a part time job and maybe fill my time with further volunteering stuffs and blah. But then again, do you notice the usage of past tense? LOL.

My heavenly timetable for Semester 2 2011

I just got back to Melbourne yesterday. To be honest, I was looking forward to go back – meeting friends, going back to uni, and doing all the routines (and probably arranging some diet program – gained too much weight during the winter break). Now I am faced with the horror of Deafness and Communication, Personality Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, and Introduction to Media Writing.

As far as I am concerned with the two Psychs, I have been taking Psych subjects before, and the exposure equipped me with the readiness (fingers-crossed) of what to expect for these two subjects: some statistics, theories, lab reports – ah, the joy…

Deafness and Communication. I never thought of it to be an easy subject, but I didn’t anticipate it to be hard either! LOL. My first assignment is in a couple of weeks and it is a creative presentation of one aspect of deafness, and you can use any format (brochures, DVD, blablabla). I’ve skimmed through the first required reading for tomorrow’s lecture and it was… ehm, how to say… very rich in information and explanation of something that I have NEVER been exposed before? lol. The subject looks exciting though, but scary enough to make me lose my appetite (literally).

And Intro to Media Writing is in some sense worse. I have 8 assignments (which I believe will be due every week or every two weeks) for every existing media possible (magazine article, reviews, travel journals, and blah – I forgot, just skimmed the pdf before).

Quite a shock when you just got back from paradise, and suddenly – BAM! Welcome to reality, girl!

Now for tomorrow’s lectures, I need to read 6 long articles. I’ve never done this before (you know, reading lecture materials BEFORE the lecture). Maybe I should quit being an ‘aiming-for-getting-good-grades-with-minimum-effort’ student.

Should I apply for part-time jobs? Well it’s no guarantee that I’ll get a job anyway. Maybe I’ll send out my resume this weekend, and see how it goes. Some volunteering stuffs seems fun.

So when people say that your perspective – how you see things – counts, I guess they are right. I am persuading myself to be excited of the coming semester right now, knowing that I will gain invaluable knowledge for my future.

Postscript.

A horrified student’s prayer

Dear Lord,
I know I’ve been naughty lately
had too much fun and no studying
too much eating and no exercising
but when I visited the heaven on earth
and suddenly thrown back to the earth on earth
I’m scared, I don’t want to face my coming semester alone
I pray that You will always be with me
going through these four horrific subjects
I know they are going to be fun.
and btw, Lord, I intend no sarcasm
Thank You.
In the name of Jesus I pray,
AMEN.