Our Story- Arvoisa

Dedicated for my friends from Budi Mulia Dua Bintaro, angkatan ke-empat, ARVOISA.

The bell rang through the school corridor, signaling that yet another school day had begun. All 19 of us shuffled into class. We took our seats and waited for the teacher. There were 19 students in the Arvoisa generation- out of 60 students in total. We started school without knowing each other, or what would happen to us, yet during those mornings we drilled for the National Exams, I couldn’t believe how close we were to graduating. How far we’d come.

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20 “Homemade” Gifts

  1. Showing the person your secret thinking spot
  2. A song by you
  3. Poetry
  4. Dinner/lunch/breakfast cooked by you
  5. Home-baked brownies, cake, ice cream, milkshake, etc. – made by you, of course
  6. A book you wrote!
  7. Movie night
  8. An old heirloom(this is very romantic, but make sure it is actually of worth and that you won’t get into any trouble by giving it away)
  9. A drawing/painting that you created 🙂
  10. A photo album filled with you and that person’s memories
  11. A scrapbook/book of memories
  12. A collection of inside jokes, (or quotes or song lyrics that are special to you both)
  13. A sweater/any article of clothing(if you can, you know, knit)
  14. Origami
  15. Teaching something(like how to make origami cranes)
  16. A book someone else wrote!
  17. A box of memories (I’ve done this one before. I made the box using a shoe box which I covered with old book pages. Inside I put little things that were special to both of us) 🙂
  18. Something you invented
  19. Knowledge – there is no greater gift than knowledge
  20. A garden

The point is that the best gifts are the ones which you create wholeheartedly with your own hands. You can also give a gift by sharing something special to you.

Kelengangan

Aku lelah, sungguh aku lelah

Dengan pernak pernik dunia

Cemerlang cemerlang di sana sini

Hanyalah sebuah hiasan tak berarti

Sedangkan

Ada jutaan insan

Kepada langit

Kepada laut

Kepada seluruh alam

Berteriak bisu tentang sebuah kepedihan

Hingga langit terlukis merah

Dan awan pun bercorak darah

Apakah kita semua terperangkap

dalam misteri dunia?

Apakah kita hanya menjalani

Sebuah sandiwara?

Buat apa semua ini

Jika tiada yang abadi?

Jika hal yang terindah hanya dapat

dirasakan sesaat

Dengan mata terpejam, datang secepat kilat

Aku lelah, sungguh aku lelah

Dengan pernak-pernik dunia

Cemerlang cemerlang di sana di sini

Semua hiasan yang tak berarti

Writing About Writing

A while ago, I was trying my luck in applying for Phillips Exeter Academy. Yep. That extremely selective private boarding school. The school of Mark Zuckerberg and Dan Brown. That school. I don’t know what I was thinking. But, everything’s worth a try right? Heh.

Anyways, now that it’s all over and done with I decided to share one of the essays I wrote for that school. I don’t know if you’ll like it, but maybe you’ll agree. 🙂

Write a topic or activity about which you are passionate.

I have always loved words and telling stories. Through stories, you can open up gates to a world both so fascinating and awe-inspiring it cannot be much expressed through words. For years, people have always found magic in folktales and legends. Martin Luther King fought against discrimination using words, not force. Princess R.A. Kartini of Indonesia changed the minds of Indonesian women through her writing. Anne Frank gave us a deeper understanding of her struggle during World War I, which we would not have acquired had it not been for her diary. Writing is a vital part of life, just as much as eating and breathing are. Writing gives us documentation, in phenomenal ways that no technology can replace. Even human history was marked by the point when we began to record things in writing.

Writing has always been a big part of my life. In the corner of my room, I have a stack of dusty journals to prove it. Soggy as they might be from the rain that once leaked in, I like to leaf through them and see how much has changed. In the third grade, I wrote a novel titled Two Lives in One Girl, which was originally only a handwritten story in a journal. When I finished that book, and the one I wrote with my friend titled Heart of the Willow, I felt like I was on top of the world. I know that seems like such a simple thing to be proud of, but it turns out that writing a novel is hard work. It takes sweat and determination. Writing has different meanings for everyone, but anyone can agree that even though it is a grueling process it produces fruits that are so sweet to harvest.

I believe there is power in words. Words are important. With them, you can inspire, motivate, and change the world. That is why writing is my greatest passion. I find it amazing how you can express yourself and pour out your heart through written form, and even inspire others with it. I never want to stop writing. Someday, I want to change the world with this beautiful craft, the way my favorite authors Markus Zusak, J.K. Rowling, Madeline L’engle, Princess R.A. Kartini, Anne Frank, Jostein Gaarder, and so many other great authors have changed my world.

Ramadhan

Last month was Ramadhan, the month of fasting for Muslims all around the world. On July 6th it was Eidul Fitri. So to all my Muslim friends reading this, I wish you a Happy Belated Eidul Fitri! How did you celebrate(if you did)?

Ramadhan is always a special time of the year, like a prolonged Christmas. During that month, you can’t eat or drink during the day.

Here is a rundown of how us Indonesian Muslims fast:

To prepare for the day, you wake up at 4:00 A.M.(give or take) to sahur, or eat. You fill your stomach to the brim until the adzan sounds through the neighborhood. Then, you have to quickly swallow your food, then a big gulp of water. You pray Subuh, then go back to sleep, read the Qur’an, or exercise depending on what type of person you are.

Throughout the day, you try to make the month extra special by doing good things such as helping the poor, being kind, and praying.The day feels long and hot. Your chores never seem to end…

Finally, after a long day, you look at the clock and watch the hand tick ever closer to Maghrib time. Your anticipation rises. You and your family prepare for breaking the fast by concocting fruit salads, hot tea, soups, kurma, rice, and all the other foods that look so much more delicious when you’re fasting.

Tick. Tock. Everything’s ready. Everyone is waiting, waiting, and waiting for that cue. Someone turns on the TV and channel surfs to see if it’s time yet. Tick. Tock. At last, the adzan rings through the air. The beautiful, lyrical Arabic words travel through the dusky air of your neighborhood and from the TV. Allahuakbar Allaahhuakbar, Asyhadu’ala ilaha illallahh… “Alhamdulillah! Yay!” All crowd to the table and say their prayers. The food is gone within minutes, yet somehow you feel full even after only one bowl of fruit salad. How odd.

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Someone to Love Us

Memory I

It was a cold winter day. There was no snow in Austin, but in my head, ice flakes were flurrying down and all around. The skin between my index finger and thumb had gone dry, causing cracks in my skin. Dried blood. Shivering, I waited. I looked between my feet and waited. I looked at the neat, beautiful houses in rows and waited. At the cars going by. And waited.

My mom sat beside me as we both squinted into the distance, eyes searching for the signature university colors of dark orange and white. Upon seeing my chattering teeth, Mama took off her woolen jacket and wrapped it around me. I stayed quiet.

Ten minutes felt like an hour. But at last the campus bus came, and we shuffled into the warmth.

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May 2nd, 2014 – Contemplating “Home”

I want to go home. But at this point, I don’t even know where home is.

Whether it’s Colorado Apartments, where I grew up or Santa Barbara right here, in Indonesia, the place that I was born and the place I belong. But I’m not even sure I really belong. People sure don’t treat me like I belong. And now I’m crying and it’s stupid, I know. But I don’t know. I’ve never belonged anywhere really, have I? All my life I’ve moved from here to there and I feel like I don’t have any roots. Or at least, I do have roots, but I’ll never get to experience the growing roots. All I can do is wait for some years and then see what the seeds I’d grown up with have grown into. Of course, I’m using a lot of metaphors here…

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