Starting with ABC (Academics, Birthday, and CCE 2019)

Hi, beautiful people! 🙂 Honestly, there are times when I feel like I have no right to write, that my words don’t matter to the universe. That these frail sentences won’t matter to anyone but myself, as a way of letting go of the feelings that pent up inside my heart or as a way to express the things I can’t control or put in order. Yet, I promised someone important that I will write more regularly. So, dear reader, despite the doubt, I will do just that. Starting with… a recap of January!

A.

School has been pulling me in like the tides of the sea that draw in sand–eroding the land ever so slightly until one day there’s no land left. But don’t worry, I won’t drown! Once I told you about the subjects I’m taking, right? Well, I forgot to mention how I changed a lot of things. The subjects I’ll permanently take over these two years are Biology HL, Economics HL, English A Literature HL, ESS (Environmental Systems and Societies), Math SL, and Chinese ab initio. HL  means higher level, meaning there are more class hours dedicated for it, hence it’s more rigorous. IB is… demanding. It feels like a never-ending stack of homework or that pile of laundry that you keep putting off. It’s manageable though, don’t worry. And as much as people talk about how little they sleep or how stressed they are, I believe that if you can discipline yourself you’ll do fine…kinda. Hehe.

Anyway, in Biology, I’ve already learned most things we’re learning right now, since I was in jurusan IPA (science major). However, it’s still challenging, because I always have to study and memorize things before a test, otherwise I’ll probably fail. Reviewing and taking notes everyday is crucial, otherwise you’ll get left behind… unless you’re a genius that is.

All my life, Economics has been my weak spot. I never could understand when I read something in the news about it, or when someone started discussing it. So I thought that if I actually wanted to learn something new I’d better take it. It was the best decision ever. Economics is my favorite subject right now, maybe because I have an amazing teacher, or maybe because I feel it’s so relevant and important to understanding the world. After all, “you can’t always get what you want”–no one can–and it’s that allocation of resources that we study. During the holidays I read Poor Economics, which I recommend everyone to read, because it taught me so much about effective and non-effective ways of helping the poor. It’s quite easy to understand the concepts of Economics, and satisfying as well.

Literature… gahhh!!! This is the class that worries me the most. I took it thinking I’ll be okay, ready to face the risk of challenge, or whatever. How disenchanted I was upon the realization of it being the epitome of technical difficulty! It’s true that I love reading. That is not an issue. I read all the books and understood them easily. I loved the class discussions about the characters, plot, themes, similes, metaphors, backgrounds, and so on. However, believe me when I say that analyzing literature is not fun. Especially when you have to do it in a certain structure, at a certain depth, with an abstract and subjective marking scheme to judge your work upon. I hate how my grade hinges on how well I write the analytical essays. I dislike how the IB turned something I love into a seemingly insurmountable burden. I just pray that it’ll be worth it in the end…that there will come something out of it. However, dear reader, if you don’t want to torture yourself, it’s better to take English A Language and Literature, which is relatively easier. It doesn’t dive so much into one area but instead skims a broader range of texts, such as advertisements, news, novels, and so on.

ESS was the other subject that brought my grades quite low. In comparison to the others, it’s almost the easiest. It has a lot of overlap with both Biology and Geography. So, no matter which major you’re from (science or social sciences), you’ll do fine in this class…kinda. 😀 However, I don’t really understand how we’re to be graded because I try the best I can with this class, the way I do with all the others, yet the teacher says I’m not thinking critically enough or that I’m not engaged enough. He actually gave me a 1 out of 4 for thinking skill on my report card. LOL. So my solution was to stop asking or asserting stupid things, in other words, to filter my words more–and to show 10 times the engagement and enthusiasm as I did in the first semester. Wish me luck!

Math SL is absolutely incredible. It’s easier than ESS for me, because I already took two years of high school math as a science student back home, and we were already beginning calculus at the point that I left. During first semester I barely studied but this semester we’re getting into trigonometry, so I think I’d better change that habit quickly.

Last but not least… Chinese. Although I’m taking this at the most amateur stage, it’s another favorite subject. The teacher is funny and wholesome and he makes us enjoy learning the language. It’s taxing, but I believe it’ll be worth it in the end. My goal is to be able to speak with Chinese locals by the end of two years. 😉

Besides regular subjects, we’re being introduced for the first time ever to Extended Essay and Internal Assessment. My topic for EE is how socioeconomic factors affect the prevalence of dengue fever in a region of Tangerang Selatan, Indonesia. But please…let’s have no more talk of academics! :”)

B.

This month, on the 22nd of January, was my birthday. It was the most heartwarming thing anyone’d ever done for me. My best friend, Karol, planned most of it. I swear, it’s times like these that I feel Allah has blessed me with more than I deserve.

I don’t think you’ll be very interested in the story, so I’ll try to make it as short as possible. I was sitting there, trying to study Economics, but failing to concentrate because I was 97% sure that my friends were going to do something. Then Eesaa from Bangladesh came in and asked me to come outside. I forgot what he said because at that moment I was already grinning ear to ear and unfocused. The moment I stepped outside Kiki from China blindfolded me and put me in a chair. Then, she, Eesaa, and Amjed from Yemen pushed me to the playground, where a sweet drawing awaited upon a swing. After taking it, they blindfolded and pushed me again to the glasshouse. Along the way there a handsome tall stranger or something constantly talked about his presence, and how he’d replaced Eesaa, haha. ^_^ At the glasshouse, Karol opened my blindfold and there were about 12 or more people there, gathered in a circle around me. It was a clock. Each person said something nice about me or their favorite memory, and some brought a gift. My heart died. Karol also cooked Indomie for us all. They’d bought me a small fruity cake which was delicious. Fairy lights gave a warm ambiance to the room. I hugged everyone who came, because I truly appreciate them all. And Karol, if you’re reading this, I just wanted to remind you that you’re one of the best humans I’ve ever met. I’m not even exaggerating.

What’s interesting is that two times in a row during my birthday I’ve been reminded of time. Someone said the moral of the surprise was to cherish each second, and on my 17th birthday my parents gave me a watch so I’d inget waktu (remember time). It makes me think strange things, haha. Like how my life might end soon…? You never know.

C.

CCE stands for Chinese Cultural Evening. In this part, I’ll let the pictures and video do the talking.

Here is the video of the performances!

Anyways… besides that some other things that happened so far was:

  • Kak Rafa’s visit. She’s an alumni of UWCCSC from Indonesia who’s now attending the University of St. Olaf in the USA.

IMG_6028.JPG

  • Joining Creative Writing Zhixing and Choir Zhixing. This is the blog for Creative Writing Zhixing.
  • Trying to run for College Assembly, with the help of my good friend Eesaa, but failing because on stage my voice shakes and any trace of charisma is lost
  • Organizing Bravery Buddies with Abigail, which is a project that partners people up from campus to motivate each other to complete something they’re scared of doing
  • Trying to get to the bottom of what happens to trash and food waste at UWCCSC
  • Organizing a World Hijab Day (which is on February 1st) workshop with the two other hijabis, or as Karol calls it, swagijabis, on campus–Neha and Coumba. B) I’ll add pics of this later.

That’s all, folks. Have an amazing day!! ❤

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