I am back!
Or sort of. I know I haven’t written anything for a year or more.
I decided to stop because I wanted to allocate my time that I used for writing a post for anything else. Not saying that I had been using it right, but I think that was a good thing too to pause and let this blog be mainly about my UWC experience.
In the end, the title is “Indonesian in Freiburg”, right?
Anyway, his post was just meant to share my videos and pictures of my train trip around the U.S. that I just did this summer.
The trip has been postponed for a couple of times since January, but the original intention of the trip was to visit my friend in UBC, Vancouver, Canada without taking a flight. Trying to be more sustainable as RBC taught me, amirite?
I purchased a 15-days rail pass that allows me to travel for 8 rides/segments. What I did exactly was taking a bus to Albany, NY since that was the closest place I could print the tickets on, and then I ride the train to Chicago, Seattle, Vancouver, LA, Washington DC, and NYC. It was fun!
Since I was following the famous quote “Perfect is the enemy of good”, I chose to compile the videos into a video and just have the pictures be posted separately.
Below is a 4 minutes video from the trip I made quickly with barely any editing. It’s sped up 1.5x, so the train might not be as fast as it appears to be haha.
And the rest of the post will be pictures from the trip, if you prefer them.
I will probably publish another post to give an update how I have been at Middlebury. Just keep checking in!
Enjoy and take care!
Middlebury, VT to Albany, NY
Albany, NY to Chicago
Chicago to Seattle
Seattle to Vancouver (CA)
Vancouver (CA) to Seattle
Unfortunately, no pictures
Seattle to Los Angeles
Los Angeles to Chicago
Chicago to Washington, DC
Unfortunately, no pictures. It was all green.
Washington, DC to NYC
Unfortunately, no pictures. Too short.
NYC to Port Henry, NY
About The Last Days
In the last days at school, it was not that easy. I was heart broken, I was ill, and the fear of leaving my ‘home’ kept haunting me all the time.
I warned myself. But maybe it’s sort of these “be careful of what you say because it may come true”. And it did come true. Many of my friends and I were expecting that finishing IB exams means a total happiness, that the remaining days at school would all be glittered by happiness. People talked about ‘things to do’ for the last days and …. never mind. It didn’t happen. Not to scare the future second years, but in the last days, people were tired. We just procrastinated. And we also needed to pack up and clean our room. Some people managed to cross some of their ‘to-do-list’, but it was overwhelming. At least for me.
I started crying since the Thursday of that week. Every bit of memory that was added to the experience made me cry. The last cultural cafe, the second year show, and the big prank my friends made for me. The closing ceremony, the teacher show, and the last night All of these made me cry. And I cried like never before.
I still have a clear image of the day we were leaving. 22nd of May. It was a different one to the last year’s second year leaving where it was all bleak and raining a bit which amplified the sadness. This one was sunny. Like a day in the weekend where you would just chill out outside and play volleyball or something. And there were us wiping our tears, as one by one of the second years were taking their last steps at the college. No managed to say goodbye to everyone, I think, but I didn’t manage to say goodbye to some of my friends. I deliberately stayed longer to say more goodbye as I would still be in Freiburg anyway.
But eventually, I left too. One of the last ones. I think it was already half past noon. As I were sitting in the car observing my surrounding, the image of my first arrival there was projected clearly in my mind. It was with the school van, with Michael and Luigi and that was sunny as hell like the day I am leaving. As that comes to mind, the realization that the experience was over finally arrives. Instead of making me cry again, that thought actually let me sigh my first relief and say: it’s over.
About Staying Longer
It’s been a bit more than three weeks since then. I am still in Freiburg, if you don’t know.
And I even already came back to the college for four times. It’s always weird. Of course it always recalled some memory, but nothing really made me sad. It always gave me smiles instead. I was sitting casually at the mensa again, I talked to the first years, the staff, and it always came with happiness. And it was really weird! I saw how my roommate Alex changed ‘our room’ into a hotel-like room. And I was greeting the first years casually as I passed by with my bike in the city.
With all of these in mind, the fact that I am staying in Freiburg for longer time really changed the situation. I am gradually detaching myself from UWC. It’s like me suggesting myself that I can still be there again and it wasn’t real. I am deluding myself.
And now, I am faced with the fact that I will be really leaving. I am facing the reality. In less than two weeks. It struck me really. I am not ready to say goodbye. But I am familiar with this. Recently. And for now, I will just keep in mind my first year’s (Farid) words that he eloquently wrote on his blog: you’re luck if it stings.
On the 26th of June, I will be leaving to Indonesia. That day, this blog will officially be invalid anymore. Not that I am deleting it, but it’s no more Indonesian in Freiburg.
About Going Home
I will be settling back in my original home with such climate I am not used to anymore and the culture that I haven’t been exposed for a year. It will take a while to feel home again and may not be completely
But surely it will be fine and wonderful. There are certainly a lot of things to get excited about.
Although, I’m not really going back for good. I will be there only for two months and after that, this Indonesian in Freiburg will become Indonesian in Middlebury*. This just means, I eventually have to encounter a parting like this again. It really feels like a cycle. And it’s tiring. And what I can do is only to remember, again, what Farid says about “You’re lucky if it stings” and this quote:
An important note I want to say is, I am going back home not only for the sake of going back home. I am still aware of the environmental impact I will make by taking a flight. My original plan was to stay so that I would take one less flight. I also want to explore Europe even more. There is just a lot of memory here that I am still not willing to say goodbye yet.
But, I remember my ultimate goal is to go back and give my best to change this country to be a better place. To constantly contribute brick by brick that let this country’s foundation become greater and greater. And this time, I am coming with one brick. It might be nothing for the nation, but a huge one for me. And I’m really looking forward to sharing the news once it’s done.
Have a nice day,
* No promise that this blog will turn into Indonesian in Middlebury. Let’s see!
Next week is going to be very hard.
It’s 11:22 PM when I begin to write this. I just finished reviewing Biology, worked out in the gym, and read some news. Tomorrow I will have my first final exam – and yes it’s Biology – so I probably should go to sleep early. Even my biology teacher, Kris, told us that if there should ONLY be two things we learn from his classes, it’s having enough sleep and not smoking.
Let’s count. One, two, three. Let’s think about PWs I’ve done: First, food Bank; Second, working in a farm; and third, establishing a startup(-ish).
If I think about it, those project weeks are in the areas that I knew I was passionate about. That means, these project weeks didn’t challenge me to my maximum. I knew I loved doing those things. And this term, the scenario is different.
Most of the project weeks being proposed were either skiing or something related with big cities. I have fear of height, so I don’t want to put myself on a situation where I feel uncomfortable for the whole week. Skiing? Crossed. Then, I also believe that you often get distracted in the big cities, so you can’t do your best there. Another one crossed.
Then, it left me with two options: La Machina Fissa and The Laramie Project. La Machina Fissa is basically a project somewhere in France where the students help in the garden of an old reading retreat. I love to do so, but then, I’ve done about similar thing before. And the other option somehow intrigues me a lot, so I decided to cross La Machina Fissa as well.
And here we go: The Laramie Project. So, what is it? It is a theater play. Yes, for those who know me, I chose a theater project and I already performed it. The Laramie Project is a play by Moisés Kaufman that is based on interviews and journal entries that were conducted after a gay student was murdered in Laramie, Wyoming, USA. And since it is based on real-life situation, there are over 50 characters in this piece played by ONLY 8 of us. Everyone plays a lot of characters basically, although some only have few lines. And for me, my main character was Jedadiah Schultz – a university student who whose changes are depicted in this play. I also played as a judge, a DJ, a Mormon leader, a priest, etc.
This play is not enjoyable, to be honest. Don’t get me wrong, what I mean is that it is a long emotional play (2 hours 15 minutes). But it is certainly beautiful. It does not force you to adopt a perspective (e.g. pro-LGBT), but rather it unwraps multiple perspectives from different sides: religious people to atheists, old to young, gay to straight – everything. And after playing this theater piece, what I think most of the people in Laramie had learned through this case is, at least, that “in the end of the day, we are all human”.
The preparation for this play was relatively short. All the processes happened only within two weeks, from first reading the script, memorizing the lines, to remembering well where a chair should in a certain moment (they call it “moment” in this play, not scene). Since we didn’t want to get stuck in Freiburg, we went to Pallegney, France (it’s in the middle of nowhere, tbh) to relax and practice in a new atmosphere.
We didn’t only achieve the goals for the performance, but we also had the whole week well-spent. We watched the whole Angels in America, cooked dinners, played games, walked around – it was nice. Another unique thing about this group is that we have two staff members in our group: Emmett and Julia. Emmett was both the proposer of this project week and the director of the play (applause for his success!) while Julia was also performing with us. Somehow, there was this dogma that there will be such awkwardness to spend a long time with staff members, but that’s not true! “In the end of the day, we are all human” – it was very chill!
And lastly, the performances. We performed it twice as shown in the poster above, just a week after the project week. I personally performed best in the first one as I didn’t make any mistakes other than the minor ones, but as a group, our best performance was on the second one. We expected to have more audience as we invite people from the city too, but there were still more than 200+ people in both plays which is still great. Many people commented that it was such impressive, moving play, which made us feel rewarded. Some cried, some continued the discussion further.
Our project week ended the last. We spent the most time compared to the others. Arguably, it was the best project week here and definitely my best one. Not that my other project weeks weren’t good, but because this one challenged me much further and there is a strong sense of tangibility. It was difficult to detach ourselves from the whole thing, but we ended up nicely with ordering pizza and sharing our last thoughts.
Thanks for reading,
You may be confused with the name, but it’s a good summary of our goal and I’m going to explain it now.
In this project week, we were aiming to collaborate with a non-profit organization called AKGG to establish a unique platform for refugees and non-profit individuals to sell their creation for further goods. In other words, we are making This was not a student proposal, but a staff proposal from Katarina – an English and Theater teacher – who has a network in that local organization in Kassel, Germany.
As a group, we divide ourselves to five different groups, which are: IT, Design, Concept, Content, and Marketing. As my interest in developing a website was on its peak, I decided to be a part of the IT division. The areas we were working on are: hosting system, payment system, and web database.
Not only working on the digital part, but we also jumped into the real stuff, which was getting involved with the refugees in the making of their products, which were jewelries from silverwares.
After all the processes, we gave a final presentation for possible sponsors, in which we managed to successfully fundraise at least 5000 Euro (five thousand!) from the local government and a private company. And actually, this project also became a project week again this term and they managed to publish the website and win an award that gives them $4000! This is so cool because the project has been successfully seeded even before the website runs properly. If you are interested in this, you can have a look at our Facebook page here: Do Good Shop.
Overall, it was such a nice experience because everything ran smoothly. In addition to my own work, I am also satisfied with myself because I managed to take care of our money and schedule quite well. Kassel is also a nice city!
Let’s face the fact. It is just ten weeks left before it ends. The school year, my study at UWC Robert Bosch. Ten weeks minus one day before closing ceremony. The book is coming to an end, the exams are approaching and our hearts need to gradually get detached from this place. As I often say in my posts, time flies. So fast.
And similar with other books, I want this book to have a nice ending. I want to leave this experience bittersweet, without regrets. As you may notice, this book wasn’t on a nice track. Or, at least, the documentation of it. The narrator had been so busy that he couldn’t update his blog much. Now, the narrator wants to be honest. In addition to a pile of assignment to do that took most of my time, I have been contemplating about what to share on my blog and what I should keep privately, which leads me to not posting anything at all.
Indeed, it was a mistake because there are many interesting things to share as well without having me and my things discussed in it. But, since the time is going to be over, again, I want to end this book well. Therefore, I am going to commit myself to share my last days experience in UWC and what I gained in this experience in general in the next weeks.
And in the next post, I am gonna start with …. Project Weeks!
Snow. Cold. White.
Welcome a new member of our community (who survives for… less than a day)
Wait. Is this spring already?
It is just last week.
Ironically, it was the day “Snow Day” happened
(House for two years <3)
Referring to European Central Time, it is still on the edge of 2016. And indeed, it has been ages since my last post. For whatever reason my break was, this blog must be continued and this is the perfect time to revive it