Monday morning was always about dealing with the awful traffic and rushing to my one and only class, TNE. This morning was clearly no exception as I rushed myself to the classroom by taking stairs, or by running, to be exact. My TNE’s lecturer was known as very disciplined and a bit strict person when it came to punctuality. That was why I and my other classmates always did our best to come on time to this particular class. So, today’s traffic was bad as usual, and the public transportation I drove seemed not really cooperative with me as the driver waited so long, or locally known as the “ngetem” culture. This culture really killed my productivity.
I was so scared imagining my lecturer already came and I, once again, came late. Fortunately, and to my surprise, my lecturer and her assistant, had not come yet. I was so fortunate as I arrived on campus around 7. 45 a.m. They came around 8 a.m. and the class began. My lecturer started explaining about our final project or exam in her quite persuasive way. Here, I fell in love with her again, with her confidence and convincing gesture. The project seemed a bit hard and way more challenging than our previous one, but I was determined to do my best for the final, and this was surely inspired by her explanation. There was always this one thing about her that I loved seeing – her passion for teaching. I saw it again today, the passion was so strong, and I assumed that the passion was something that made her so good at what she did. She gave us the reasons for every point we should do, the clear and – in her word – make-sense reason, of why we should this and that.
The explanation on our project did not last so long, it was a brief one. I personally thought that the class was about to dismiss as the explanation was all delivered. To our surprise, the lecturer had this special presentation. The special presentation was from our Turkish friend named Zehra who had been living here in Indonesia for about five years. We welcomed the presentation happily as we never had the chance to know another culture such as Turkish. Again, I was inspired by my lecturer’s perspective on how this Turkish presentation could be closely connected to our Cross Cultural Understanding subject. Yeah, this was exactly why I expected – learning CCU definitely meant that we would learn another different culture, and how we should act toward it.
Ka Zehra, as we usually addressed her, clearly prepared her presentation well. The Power Point slides were all good and colorful. They were full of pictures. The presentation was mainly about the life of a Turkish, in this case was Ka Zehra’s life, and about the Turkish culture itself. She opened the presentation by introducing us to her family, then moved to the schools she went to, and the Turkish famous places worth visiting to. There were some interesting things or facts we learned from the presentation such as the fact that it was still forbidden for girls who wore veil to enroll at a university in Turkey; there was also the fact that Turkey itself was a country which, in its early years, looking for its identity and forcing its founding father, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, to have a stand between looking up to the Arab and to the Europe. He chose the latter causing the country to be secular and liberal in its way of life. That was why, as Ka Zehra explained, even though the country’s Muslim population was like 95%, the Islam practice was still restricted there.
The presentation lasted pretty long. She clearly shared a lot about Turkish culture. She also shared some of her cultural shocks between her Turkish culture and Indonesian one. She told us, in an innocent and honest way possible, how she once could not eat anything but bread to how she could not eat anything but rice now. It was funny that the class all laughed. Listening to her presentation, I could say that her Bahasa Indonesia was pretty good. She even admitted herself that her Bahasa was better than her English. She then ended her presentation by showing us two videos about Turkey. We all had this big applause for her, and some of us gave a few questions, out of curiosity, for sure. Here, I must say that I was proud of Ka Zehra. I and my friends used to underestimate her just because she was a foreigner and could not adapt well. Today, my eyes were like opened by her performance. I surely needed to stop judging someone by her/his cover, I surely needed to have more respect to anyone as she/he might surprise me someday. And that was all, the class then was dismissed.
After the class ended, I saw Ummi outside the classroom. Again, she came late this morning and was too scared to come. She joined the second class then, it was way better than she came for nothing. I and my other friends then headed to our usual restaurant to eat. Finished with eating, we went to our usual printing place to print our lesson plans.
I myself had planned to go to the main library today, and luckily my two other friends, Iki and Mbake, would like to go to the main library as well. So, the three of us went to the library after I, Iki, and Akira, finished discussing our PPK’s materials. Going to the library took a great effort as it was so far from our faculty. Even so, our determination to find some references for our future proposal, beat our fatigue from walking.
As we got there, we went into different directions or book-shelves to be exact. We worked like some professionals now, looking for books that matched our own different topics. I was busy looking for some writing books while Iki looking for some sort of cooperative learning books and Mbake looking for speaking ones. It reminded me of how serious we could get now as we were totally into our proposal topics now. It was fun knowing that despite the fact that we now had our own focus, we could still spend some time together like looking for references today. This clearly boosted our motivation to start working on our proposals.
From today’s book-hunting, I got five books, and most of them were so thick. I even had to borrow Mbake’s ktm to borrow one book. Mbake and Iki got some books too. Finished with the book-hunting, we headed back to our faculty to submit our lesson plans to Sahlan. Luckily, he was already there on the fourth floor, so we did not have to wait for him. The three of us walked feeling tired yet satisfied. I especially was the one who carried the heaviest loads – all of the books were so heavy until my back hurt. Not only did I have two thick books inside my bag, I also had to carry three books in my arms. I was totally a nerd today.
As we arrived on the fourth floor, we met Sahlan and handed him our lesson plans. We then performed our Zuhr prayer. We stayed on the fourth floor’s lobby for a while teasing Ummi and waiting for other friends to submit their lesson plans. It was when I felt so hopeless about going home with the thick books. I started asking my friends for a plastic bag or something that I could use to carry my books. Thankfully, Mega had one that I could use. She lent me the bag, and I happily put some books there. Problem solved. I and Mbake went home around 1. 30 a.m. after saying goodbye to our friends and teasing Ummi with our Vanilla drink we were about to buy. It was fun, teasing her.
So, that is all I can share about today’s activities. Until next post!