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
Who knows from the beginning that IB (or International Baccalaureate) can take your life so much? Perhaps, my first-year observation was too narrow. Or perhaps, being indifferent is just my thing. But it is overwhelming to see the life of second years through the eyes of a second year. University application, standardized test, Internal Assessment, Extended Essay, FOA, WT, you name it, and most of them are stuff from the IB.
Tick-tock. Time flies. My fingers have been numb for a long time. They usually dance on white alphabets of a Lenovo laptop every week or every other week, but for about four months they have been locked from playing with words. Not completely, they are still playing for reporting Urban Nomadizing or doing the “acronyms” – EE, IA, WA, etc. The victims are not only my fingers, but also my brain. My brain has been lost, missing the way to express itself. My brain wants to release the emotions. Letting the ideas fly roaming the air. And now, is the time for coming back.
It has been roughly 2 months since the school began. Even today is already the first host family weekend and Fall Break is coming in a week. But let’s take a step back before the school began because many things were happening, including Urban Nomadizing. For those of you who don’t know what it is, Urban Nomadizing is the name of a project of me going back from Indonesia to Germany without using airplanes. The whole thing can be found later in the blog once I update it (some parts are already there, including pictures).
But for now, let me just focus on one thing, something happening before all of the above: my stay in Indonesia. Perhaps, from the previous post, you can get a sense how it was: hot, humid, friendly, short, yet intense. My summer break was actually from May 28th to August 20th, but since it also consists of my journey and attending a summer university, I only had almost 6 weeks in Indonesia.
In the first week, what I basically do was just balancing between meeting my old friends and organizing the mangrove tree planting project. Before going back to Indonesia, I ran a small donation in UWC RBC for a mangrove tree planting in Indonesia. Muara Gembong, a coastal area just three hours away from my city, is hardly damaged by erosion due to a positive feedback of mangrove deforestation. This also causes many houses to be flooded all year round and even more, a habitat loss for Javanese langur. One possibility to help is simply by planting more mangroves there to give more protection and that’s why I was doing it.
After the first week, it was already Ramadhan – a month in Islamic lunar year where Muslims are fasting every day from sunrise to sunset. One of the nice things in Ramadhan is that people often gather together in the evening to break their fasting together, from families, organizations, to school reunions. This means, we have it all the time. I consider this as an easy opportunity to catch up with old friends in Indonesia rather than meeting one-by-one. It is always fascinating to see how people change when they are growing up.
In between, most of the work I did was a balance of my Extended Essay and the preparation for Urban Nomadizing (tickets & visa). This part of summer break might seem boring, but my stay was actually powerful. I have been constructing my perspective towards things in a rather liberal environment in UWC, without actually encountering the real-life situation in the society, especially the society of my origin. Let’s take my stance towards environmental issues as an example.
Being sustainable in UWC bubble is easy. We don’t need to worry about the meal option and transportation at all, as the environmental-friendly options are available. But the attempt back home is a different story. In term of food, literally no one in my surrounding is vegetarian and as in other cultures, there is barely vegetarian option available in the market. Luckily, my mom is very supportive towards this, so there is always vegetarian option on our table. The same was with transportation. Sadly, public transportation seemed to be an option only for economically poor people while using motor bike is so much more time and energy efficient, and even can be cheaper than public transportation, due to uncontrolled usage of personal vehicles.
After all, everything comes to an end, including my summer break in Indonesia. I had to take myself back from being comfortable at home and get ready for another home. I wasn’t going right away to anywhere though, but Urban Nomadizing. However, if I think about it, Urban Nomadizing makes road my home as well, so where is my home?
According to Wikipedia, “reverse culture shock (a.k.a. “re-entry shock” or “own culture shock”) may take place — returning to one’s home culture after growing accustomed to a new one can produce the same effects as described above” (the original culture shock).
And here, I want to share the reverse culture shock I had to deal with after coming back to Indonesia two weeks ago. It was not such a big shock though, since I was not in Indonesia only for 9 months and I was still in contact with Indonesian people that reflected the culture.
However, here I will share the shock that are not only in term of culture but also in the other terms. There are four shocks I will talk about: (literal) culture, time, weather, and food. So, here they are!