Posted in The Big Three

Books Adventure

I used to read and buy lots of books. Bookstore had been my favorite place to go and to spend my money since I was little. Well, I am still little now, but also older.

My reading adventure began at the third grade of elementary. My first love was Girl Talk which I borrowed from a friend. I fell in love in an instant with Sabrina, Katie, Randy, and Allison. I felt like having new (imaginary) bestfriends and a whole playground for my self.

After one book, I went to the bookstore to buy the next series. For few years, I was religiously waiting its next books. The excitement of visiting bookstore and saw the newest serial was there were one of the happiest childhood memories.

Along with Girl Talk, also came several serials like The Babysitter Club, Sweet Valley Kids-High. Enid Blyton serials were a must read too. From Malory Towers, The Twins who went to girls boarding school which I forgot the title, and The Naughty Girl. Oh! Just googled it. It was St Claire’s, the school of the twins.

Little House series were on my favorite lists too. I had complete sets of it. From the first book until the last. I treasured this one a lot. Only few I think who read this one. If you went to the bookstore, you wouldn’t find it easily unless you really looked for it.

Went up to junior high school, my aunt introduced me to Agatha Christie’s. My first encountered was with And Then There Were None and I fell in love once again. I started reading other Agatha Christie books my aunt had. Amongst my favorite were The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Crooked House, and of course the last case of Hercule Poirot, Curtain.

After Agatha Christie’s, I stopped buying new books since I didn’t find any books which captured my interest. Then, Harry Potter came on my senior high school years. It felt so great to be back. Reading a new good book and the best part was it had few series so it gave me something to be waited for. I collected all Harry Potter series both English and Indonesian versions.

It was on the second year of high school when I first met le husband and book was the first thing we had in common. Mine and his were totally different. His were those books which I found not interesting, well, at first. He introduced me to Ayu Utami’s Saman and Larung and Pramoedya’s Bumi Manusia series. I liked the latter much better. Ayu Utami wasn’t and will never be my favorite. I was never into it, although I couldn’t say I liked Pramoedya’s much too. Those were not my cup of tea. But, since he insisted, I had all those four books. The power of liking someone. Hahaha.

During my college years, Dee Lestari’s Supernova came. Although it was already available since my high school years and le husband had already suggested me reading it. But, after his suggestions on Ayu Utami’s and Pramoedya, I prefered not following. Sorry, Yobo.

I didn’t start Dee’s with the first one. I fell in love first with her third one, Petir. Elektra was my favorite character. Then, I red Akar and Ksatria, Putri, dan Bintang Jatuh. I didn’t all Dee’s book. Other than Supernova, I like her Perahu Kertas better.

After Dee’s, I met Ika Natassa’s. Again, it wasn’t the first book also, but her second, Divortiare. I loved Divortiare. It was fun, witty, and very-well written. I also read other books from her but nothing impressed me much. I haven’t checked her newest one, Critical Eleven.

This one is my last favorite but obviously not the least, Ilana Tan. I love her season series very very much. Summer in Seoul, Autumn in Paris, Winter in Tokyo, and Spring in London, I had all those four. Once again, I didn’t start with the first one but the second one. To be honest, this Ilana Tan’s series deserves another post about this. Maybe later. She just released a new book, Once in a Blue Moon and I haven’t read it.

Other than those ones above, I read several good books such Tony Parsons’, Little Women series, Laskar Pelangi Tetralogy and several books without series. I really love book series. That is also why I prefer dramas than movies.

Book series and dramas give me something to be waited for. It give me a chance to learn from characters intensely and slowly. You begin develop feeling for something or someone when you have daily or regular encounter with them. Then you’re getting engaged and after sometime you may married to the characters without you realize it

Along the journey, it enriches your minds, gives joy to your soul, and once you fall, the good ones stay in your heart forever.

May the good books always be with us. 

Posted in Past learning, The Big Three

A Home, Once Upon A Time

I can’t help writing this right after accidentally found an old photo on Instagram. It was taken five years ago. An old photo of me and my students back when I was teaching at my first school.

I always love teaching. Spesifically, teaching high-grader elementary students. Why? My best chemistry is with those between 4-6 graders.

After graduated, I knew where I wanted to work. Long before graduated, I always wanted to work at an Islamic school. A modern one where English is widely used but still keep its religious environment. I had pictured my self being a teacher at that kind of school for a very long time.

But, I didn’t get right after I got my bachelor certificate. I was pushed to apply for a real office job. For my parents at that time, working at school is not a real job. I was accepted few times at several real office ( I use the term real office to emphasize it), but it just never felt right. I just felt I really didn’t belong there at all. That was why, beside those real office applications I sent, I secretly sent few others to the schools that I found suitable with my dream.

It was already the seventh month after I graduated and still hadn’t installed in any real offices nor schools. I didn’t remember how many applications that I had sent, interviews, but still, it wasn’t for me yet.

Until one friday afternoon, I saw the advertisement on newspaper telling about an Islamic school looking for teachers. When I saw the location, the distance was pretty near from home. I rarely sent hardcopy applications since it took time and more efforts to go to post it. But, that one, without really knowing why, I did send it by post on the next day.

Maybe that was what you call jodoh. I sent my application on Saturday morning, I was phoned by the school on Monday, asking for doing paper test. Thus, I came. The next day, another phone call from the school, asking me for an interview with school psychologist. I came once again. It didn’t stopped there, the very next day they asked me to come again to have an interview with the principal. It was going smooth. Somehow, at that point, I really couldn’t believe that I kept going for three days in a row as if nothing stopped me to be here. Thursday was no call. And, Friday, finally there was one once more asking to do an interview with the school director. The final interview about salary negotiation. Then, that was it. Both parties agreed. I really got the job that I really wanted only within a week.

Believe it or not, I didn’t tell my parents about this until I really made it. I had come so far following their request to apply to those real offices. This one and this time, I couldn’t let go when it just already in front of my eyes and it was real.

I started working the next Monday. Who says if you are doing what you love every work will feel easy? It wasn’t for me. It took me sometime until I could get used with the school work and environment. Working at school wasn’t merely about teaching. We had to do other things such class administration, class decoration, etc , which I found not too pleasant. Haha.

After sometimes, I started enjoying my time. It slowly become and felt like home for me. I got my spirit every morning knowing I’ll meet the students, teaching, and other things. Alhamdulillah, I also got a great partner.

What hasn’t been written here is, I was freshly broken-hearted at the same time. A severe one, which I won’t put it here since it is another very long story.

Coming to this school was surely one way to overcome that pain. My students kept me busy and they were ones that really made my days. As a six grade teacher, I often had to stay late because of additional time for several students, which I didn’t really mind at all. The less I spent at home, the better. I cried too much if I stayed at home.

I had my french course every Tuesday and Friday evening which made me stay late more at school. On that two days, I didn’t leave the school until 5.15 pm where everyone was almost left. I stayed in my class browsing, or simply resting on the carpet.I did shower, prayed, made a glass of tea, then I left. It felt truly like I went to the french course from home. It was a very long day to go, but you know, it wasn’t hard at all. I felt so full and happy.

I went to several field trips with my students. Again, although that was pretty exhausting, but I felt happy. Lots of good things happened there. Like I was once chosen as one of the most favorite teacher by my students. I had my pictured displayed and got money prize. It wasn’t much but it meant a lot and it stayed for a very long time on my good memories shelf.

I remembered one day when the national exam result was out. It was a bright day and my heart was so warm reading all those result. Even warmer when my subject got the highest among three. It felt all the hard works was paid-off very well.

My students were funny, nice and easy to get along with. We conversed like we were bestfriends. Especially for the boys. They said I looked too young to be their teacher. I thanked them for such compliment;))

Other thing beside compliments that I few times received there were marriage proposals. Hahaha, it was confusing yet, somehow made me laugh. I was an ordinary one, not socializing a lot, but surprisingly noticable, hehe. More than that, how did they know I had just broken up?;))

Maybe the happiness felt there was conveyed through my body language. Since I felt happy, I also felt pretty and it happened that others saw it too since I often heard people said that. Yeah, who wouldn’t be happy to receive those compliments saying that you were pretty?;)

I stayed there for 2,5 years before I quitted to continue master degree abroad. I had those great time as I imagined before. I healed my broken-heart almost completely thanks to that school. I found comfort that I didn’t find at home during those hard times.

One that gives you comfort, shouldn’t be it called…


Yes, it should.

Posted in The Big Three

Introverted Parenting

Few days ago, I found an article about Introverted parenting which I found very interesting.

Why? It described me so well.

To be brutally honest, for these 10 months, I might be very far from what one called a good mother. I don’t play with Langit a lot, sometimes being angry to her, mostly let her playing alone by herself. I rarely take her to baby’s friendly places. Instead, I (had to) take her to places where I had some bussiness to be taken care of like went to the SAMSAT office to pay the cars’ taxes or to car service and repair shop to pick up my car or else she had just stayed at home.

I am also selfish. I don’t like messy schedule simply because it will disturb my resting time. I am doing almost every single thing about Langit’s daily needs except washing her clothes. Apart from breastfeeding, I am doing all the stuff from cooking, feeding, bathing as well as its pre and post bathing, playing, tidying up, washing her feeding utensils, even taking her to the doctor, I go without le husband, every months. Shortly, I am taking care all of it (almost) alone.

To add many more things I have to do at home, I also take care of mostly all stuff at home. Taking care other three men my father, brother, and of course le husband. Preparing breakfast, snack boxes, dinner, sometimes lunch, grocery and monthly shopping, go to the marketplace, paying the household bills, you can continue adding the lists.

That is why I am very strict about schedule. With those stuffs to be done everyday, when will I have my rest if I don’t have precise time management? I am working part time three days a week where the schedule has to be even more punctual.

I need my me-time everyday. When I am currently writing this post, I have done all of morning duties and Langit is sleeping. Beside writing, my favorite thing is of course watching my friends koreans on the laptop. I have to have it everyday to keep me staying sane after doing all the chores.

My me-time is the time I spend leisurely at home. I don’t consider going out as me-time because it gives me more things to do, especially when Langit is going too. Mothers will know how ‘simple’ it is to go out with a baby.

Back to the article, it said :

This seems to me the most important thing about introverted parenting: respecting your need to have time to yourself, even if you’re in the same room with your kid, and finding creative ways to do so. Having a few of those moments—whether you’re literally alone or not—make it possible to be fully present for your child the rest of the day.

One big savior for us? Television. I know: plenty of parents, armed by scientific studies, are against giving too much (or any at all) screen time to little kids. But Felix needs opportunities to zone out, whether it’s with a book or in front of the screen. When he was a toddler, I’d get to the point reading aloud when both my voice and will to live would start to fade, so I began allowing short stretches of TV time. Today, it’s a cherished part of his routine. He has about forty minutes on a school day, once he’s done his homework and before dinner, to watch TV. On the weekends, my wife and I join him for afternoon movies. Afterward, he’s refreshed and ready to rejoin the social world, usually with a minimum of whining.

Okay, so spending time with your child is one thing, but what happens when other parents get thrown into the mix? When your child is still a baby, you don’t have to worry about unwanted socializing because the play dates at that point are mostly for the adults. If you don’t want to have them, then don’t.

Things change when your child grows old enough to show an interest in other kids and making friends. At that point, you have to suck it up, though you can still socialize on your terms.

I know parents who enjoy long, unstructured hangouts where everyone flits from activity to activity and space to space. They might meet at the playground, mosey down to the nearest ice cream parlor to grab a treat, and finally move to someone’s house, gabbing all the way. That kind of socializing is not for me. It’s never been for me! I can make small talk for a while and have deeper talks about life, love, and literature for even longer, but at some point I need to escape.

Felix seems to have the same tendency. He loves playing with other kids for a little bit. Then his attention flags, and he becomes less playful and more rough. A moment of frustration might lead to him stomping his block tower. Or he may sit on my lap and show more interest in hanging out with the adults than the kids. These are all clear signs that he’s reached his social limit and requires a calm space to himself to re-energize. Of course, being five years old, he doesn’t recognize that or want to acknowledge it, so I offer him an incentive to coax him home—a snack, a special activity, or a favorite TV show.

When scheduling play dates, I let the other parents know not just when we’re coming but also when we’re likely to leave so that we don’t overextend ourselves. I don’t feel ashamed about setting an endpoint—there’s nothing wrong with being an introvert!—it’s what works best for us. I make that clear to my parenting friends. “We’d love to come over for lunch,” I’ll say. “And we’ll probably get going around two or so, so we can get home for a rest.”

When we invite friends over, we tend to do it around meal times so that there’s a clear end point. After dinner, you’ve got to go! Honestly, though, we don’t often host play dates at our place because we find them generally tiring. Besides, if one parent takes Felix to someone else’s house for a play date, then the other parent gets time alone at home, which can’t happen when our home is invaded!

Like doing anything as a parent, being an introvert requires a bit more effort and intention on your part since you’re not just managing your child’s proclivities but balancing them with your own as well. My wife and I consider ourselves fortunate that Felix’s energy matches ours, partly because we’re able to understand his needs but also because we’re not often at odds—socializing-wise, anyway. (Like all parents and children everywhere, we have our issues!)

When Felix feels exhausted from a long day in school or even just a short play date with a friend, there’s a warm kind of understanding that passes between us. I don’t push him to get out of his shell more or criticize him when he says he’s tired and requires some cuddling and “spacing out.” I know where he’s coming from because I need it too.

Sooo amazing how this father describes everything. I feel youuu.

respecting your need to have time to yourself, even if you’re in the same room with your kid.


One big savior for us? Television.

Agree! But for us, it is youtube. We don’t watch TV at home. Almost never. It is 24 hours off.

you don’t have to worry about unwanted socializing because the play dates at that point are mostly for the adults. If you don’t want to have them, then don’t.

This is truly me. I don’t find playdates suit me and necessary, for current time.

That kind of socializing is not for me. It’s never been for me! I can make small talk for a while and have deeper talks about life, love, and literature for even longer, but at some point I need to escape.

How can he describe me that well?

When we invite friends over, we tend to do it around meal times so that there’s a clear end point. After dinner, you’ve got to go! Honestly, though, we don’t often host play dates at our place because we find them generally tiring. Besides, if one parent takes Felix to someone else’s house for a play date, then the other parent gets time alone at home, which can’t happen when our home is invaded!

So much brutal honesty in this paragraph until I can’t choose it because every word means truth.

After dinner, you’ve got to go? YES!

Host playdates rarely because it’s tiring? I’M WITH YOU. Beside, sometimes guests make me uncomfortable. They take my resting time if they stay too long.

Last one, luckily, as I have been observing lately, Langit seems to be the same like us, or me? She doesn’t really like going out. Only until certain time is beaable for her. At home, she also likes playing by herself. It seems that we understand each other. At least it is for me and her. She tends to be more eager when she meets her father. It’s very okay with me, but not always ok for le husband. Haha.

This is not something that I write to be proud of. But, this what works best for me. I just hope it doesn’t make Langit misses what is important by being an introvert mother. That is why I keep myself updated by reading lots of stuff.

I love this sentence as a closing :

Like all parents and children everywhere, we have our issues!

Yes, we have!

Posted in The Big Three

The Eids

We’re going to celebrate Eid al-adha tomorrow. So, today we are having Arafah fasting as the pilgrims are doing Wukuf.

The Eids always bring some warm and happy feeling. Although it’s getting less and less happier as I grow older, but yet, it is still here. I had a very good memories about Eids. Back in childhood, eid meant new clothes, towel, mukena, bed sheet, even underwears. Those were coming in such lovely scent, the scent of my mum cupboard.

Also it meant Eid cookies too. When my mum was still here, we had five compulsory cookies that should be present for Eid, especially Eid Al-fitri, and another cake. Those five were chocolate chip, kaastengel, almond cookies, sagu keju, and nastar. All was home made cookies. For the cake, it has been always a black forest.

Both those Eids were also a-cleaning-up-the house mood booster. As the Eids were approaching, the house started being cleaned up. Although it was the same house, I loved the house 100 times better during the night of Eids. It was clean, tidy, and so lovely.

I really hope to be able to give Langit the same experience as I had. I really had perfect childhood Ramadhan and Eids memories. They were the best days of the year. Much better than a birthday.

More than any gifts that you received, happy memories will last for a lifetime. It gives you strength to keep going and surviving the bad times.

Happy Eid al-adha!

Posted in The Big Three

Blogging and Blog-walking

Why do I love blog-walking?

Because those ones are informative, enjoyable, and leave something after reading it.

Why do I do blogging?

Because I like remembering things. Write that up makes me remember better.

Another new one is because my kid(s) don’t have a chance to meet her great grandma in person. I need and want to write much so they will know her better through my writing. My mum is not the only thing in my life, but everything I receive in my life, all mostly thanks to her.


Posted in Maternité, The Big Three

Patience ATM

I wish there is one. With unlimited amount and auto refill. So I can withdraw it whenever I need it, as much as I can. The more we withdraw, the more it refilled. I wish I will just simply press a button in my body then the patience will flow through my head and heart.

When Langit is being unusually cranky, it tests my patience a lot. I am maybe pretty far from what you call nice. To everyone. Even one of my best friend’s boyfriend said that I was too straightforward, in term that he didn’t really fond of it.

The consequences of being impatient are not pleasant too. The baby is getting louder and seems even more cranky. While for me, it is the guilty feeling after sometime. It feels uneasy to be angry to your baby. Feels like I am not capable enough even after all the things I have been done (alone):'(. Sounds like I am saying that I have been doing that much, eh? Whatever.

I am currently writing this with the guilt after last night. Langit is currently doing thawaf in her play yard. Yes, she is able to circle from one side to another side now.

See that happy face 🙂

I love you, Cipi-kun.  Have a lot of patience with me ya. I will try hard to boost mine:oops:

Posted in Maternité, The Big Three

Parenting : a learning from the past

Being a mother for less than a year is surely not valid to say much about parenting. Thus, I prefer writing it from my experts. My parents.

I was raised by great parents. Surely, they were not flawless, but who were perfect anyway?My mum liked talking a lot. About everything. She had strong characters, a decision maker, in short, the centre of her family before and after marriage. She had been always right in everything she judged. She was the best multi-tasker I have ever known.To her children, she was pretty strict and stern. Most of the time, or maybe almost always we did what she told us to do, in everything. Especially me. I hardly do everything without my mum’s approval. At first maybe because of fear. But, as I grew up, I found too many truth in every words she said. For small things, such buying clothes or things I used, I didn’t wait for her approval, but I always let her know. But, for things like the one whom I was seeing (well, actually, the only one I was seeing in the past was le husband), I asked her. When she was against it, I stopped. Of course, not just like that. I did tell her my arguments, and things became awkward between us, but I chose her.

We had more time together than my siblings had with her. I was glad I spent so much time with her. Even on her last breath, I was the one who was with her. For me, it was a greatest honour I have ever had. To be with her on her last moment. Since she liked talking a lot, she left me with many advises that really stuck on my head. What I have been done taking care Langit alone, half of it based on her lectures. Maybe I know now why she had been talking a lot in the past. To guide us through her words since she was not able to be present physically.

Not only to us the children, she was very chatty too with others. Her colleagues, or even random people. My mum was widely known in our neighborhood. They called her Bu Haji Salma. Of course, not only because of being chatty, but she was very generous and helpful. She had a sharp mind. She could see things in a long-term way. She could think something that no one can do. Let me give you example.

Do you know when someone dies and the family wants to bathe the body in the house, we need curtain to cover the bathing area, and after that the body needs to be covered with kafan, we also need another curtain to it? She saw this after the death of her father. Thus, right after that, she went to Tanah Abang buying fabrics to make two different curtains. She asked someone to sew it. Then, she told some people and the mosque keeper, whenever someone needed the curtains, just came to our house. At first, It startled me. Why, what for and who would use it? But, as I told before, she had been always right. Not long, the first person I asked to borrow those curtains. Only once? Nope. Every time our mosque announces the death of a person, the family shows up to our house to borrow the curtains. Until now. Her invention could be compared with those who invented electricity and telephone,hehe.

My father is kind-hearted, more flexible, and a great family man. During our childhood, I remembered him as a scary father. He was very strict about school and scores. He could make us sit for hours just doing maths problems that we couldn’t solve and being angry for that. So unpleasant. He was so discipline in everything. Really, my father in the past was no cool, at least for me. Well, for us. As I grew up, he changed, pretty much. He became  more relax, flexible, royal, in short, be more like a dad than a father. You know the difference between a dad and a father, right,? Of course, it made us happier. But, in certain things, he is as strict an discipline as before. We don’t mind though.

Mostly, my dad followed what my mum decided for us. He had been always said ,” Ask your mum first,” when we asked him buying us things. He was financially stable and had good position, a good and respectable career as a government’s officer. When my mum wasn’t a good student at all, my dad was a very bright one. He had been a chief of student body at school, at campus. When my mum was known because of her social skill, my dad was known because of his brain.

My feeling towards him was not as good as mine towards my mum. But, after my mum left, I took care and spent more time with him, although it is not always easy, I grow fond of him much more than before. Took care of my mum on her last days had great impact to the way I feel toward him now. I want to take care of him as long as I can, as best as I did to my mum. Because, he deserves it as well. I see that in spite of the difficulties, it is lucky that I am given a chance to take care of him. I will just use it well as long as I can.

My favorite time as a family was mostly happened in the kitchen. In our dining table. There, most our best conversations were happened. Values were shared. It was a happy feeling reminiscing what we had there. Especially during weekend. We had breakfast together, made plans, or just talking about everything. Even gossiping, haha😁
Of course we have our ups and downs too. Bien sur, it were not happy moments. But, once everything was settled, then we were good.

So, what are those I most learn from my parents? Here I list from the most considered important :

1. Shalat, and other religious things
Shalat becomes the most often thing my parents being annoying about. Yes, I use term ‘annoying’ since they are really concern about that. It doesn’t stop there. We were obliged to learn Qur’an every week with a teacher, from primary until we graduated from college. Nonstop. After we all earned our own money, my mum asked us to pay our own zakat and every year do our own qurban during Idul Adha. It didn’t stop there, after that, they encouraged us to go Hajj before getting married. Thus, three of us are done with the fifth pillar in Islam before married. I went in 2012, others two went in 2013.

2. School, school, and have another soft skill
We were sent to the best schools from kindergarten till college. We went to good private school in primary, went to the same junior high, (semabels), went to unggulan high schools (81,68,81), and went to reputable universities (IPB, BINUS, UI). Other than Hajj, another thing that we were being encouraged to do before marriage was pursuing master degree. Then, I went abroad to UPM, Malaysia took Curriculum and Instruction, my sister went to Binus Applied Finance and my brother got scholarship from UI continuing his bachelor to master degree in Industrial Engineering.

Really, up to until this standard, I am not really sure whether I can do as good as them. Not many parents can do as good as they were based on my experience. Is that all then? No. See more below.

3. Earn your own money, as soon as you can.
Earning our own money had been sounding for a very long time by telling us how they were already earning their own money since very young. They told us so many times until we were very bored hearing that. But, later, I knew that was their way to implant this spirit into our mind. All those courses we went to, so we could have many options to sell ourselves better in the future. See my  Piano post.
They were repetitively reminded us we had to have a job before we graduated. It was compulsory. No matter what job we do, but we had to have that. Why? Because they knew, being jobless was tiring and uncomfortable. Thus, three of us graduated with a job that paid us quite well. We seeked our ‘serious’ job with another job in our hand. It was true. Not only us felt different, the interviewer looked the same way. We had our pride, they saw with respect.

4. House works duties.
We had our house helper but since primary each of us have our own tasks to do. My mum started teaching me and my sister preparing for breakfast since the third year of primary.
Few years later, she didn’t go to the kitchen until breakfast was ready. So was for dinner. After our house was rebuild, we had our own room and bathroom. Me and my sister were sharing a bathroom. Thus, each of us, including my parents cleaned up our own bathroom.

5. Be happy, go shopping, go seeing the world
This one maybe is the easiest and most pleasant. They allowed us to do whatever we want with our money. Me, I liked saving and using it for travelling. I regularly bought dollars after I had two jobs (even three). With those money, I went to several countries, went Hajj and funded half of my master degree cost. My sister likes shopping a lot. She spent her money mostly on bags, watches, clothes, or other things. My brother is more like my sister, plus he likes eating out a lot.

Fiuh, it is a very long one. But, it worths my time writing it all. It helps me remember better. And I also write this for my children so they will know later how good their grandma and grandpa were. It also becomes my guideline so I can have this standard and hopefully no lower than this. Amin.

Guess I can face my mum with a bright smile if I can do as good as she was once we meet again later insya Allah.  So help me God. Let me show her I can do as good as her. Fighting!

Posted in Past learning, The Big Three


I am too sleepy to write at this hour but when le husband hasn’t come yet, I can’t sleep. So, I will just write another story for Langit Senja.

Started learning classical piano at 5. Why? Because I had to repeat another year in kindergarten since I was only 6,5 months. It wasn’t enough to enroll elementary. Mum was afraid that I would be bored of schooling, so she enrolled me to a music school.

This music school is famous for its classical learning. It is truly a school not just a course. It has an academic year with certain timetable of report and exam month. Not only doing the practice, it also teaches the theory, history, psychology, and paedagogy.

If one goes through all level from the beginning, it will take 12 years to complete all level, if you don’t delay any subjects. Me? I was doing it for 13 years. 13 bloody-years.

If people heard I was doing it for such a long time, they thought I was really talented. In fact, I wasn’t and am not. I just worked very hard and luckily, the results were enough just to let me pass to the next level.

One must think that learning music is and should be fun. As long as I remembered, fun was not a right word to describe the time I had there.

We,the students had a practice session with the teacher twice a week for lower level and once a week for higher level (each session is 20min for lower level and one.hour for higher level). Beside practice lesson, we also had a theory class together in one big room with other teacher once a week. Higher level students had paedagogy, psychology and history of music other than theory, all once a week.

The levels consist of Pre Elementary, Elementary (maybe like kindergarten level in school), grade 1-6 (primary in school), Pre Conservatorioum Preparation (Pra PK), Conservatorioum Preparation 1-3 (PK 1-3). If you are good enough, in every subject plus attitude, you will be offered a place for become a teacher there. Then, you will continue to PKg 4. It is very selective offer. In one year maybe only 1-4 students being offered. Even once, there were none in one year.

I made it until the very end (PK 3) with hard fight. I wasn’t a bright one at all. I didn’t know why all the lesson seemed so hard for me. No matter how much I practiced, it.was never good enough to deserve 80 in my exam and let alone got any prize. Yes, they were so stingy with score. During those 13 years, I only got 80 on PK 2 level. 80,05 precisely. Fiuh.

This school has a policy that stated students who fail in grade 6, can not continue to the higher level and must quit. They can re-enter by doing the entrance test for the next academic year.

Grade 6 became very important for those who really wanted to continue there. My grade 6 years had been so hard and painful. I got teacher, very strict, very stern, and I couldn’t help being so afraid everytime I had my lesson. I really had my lesson under pressure, each week. Since I was the last student of that day, the lesson that supposed to be finished in an hour extended until three hours!

Was that all? No. This teacher, other than being strict and stern, she was also having a sharp tongue. She predicted by saying among three grade 6 students she had, one would go directly to PK 1, one would go to Pra PK, and one would fail? Who would fail? It was me absolutely.

To be honest, I was half happy and sad if I really failed. Happy because it had been so hard that I really wanted to quit for so many times. But then, I let my teacher to be right that I didn’t deserve to be a higher level student. My mum had been encouraging me a lot that I would endure it at least until the exam. She said, whether I failed or passed, it was not up to me. My job was only doing my best. Nothing about pass or fail, but not to embarrass my self in front of the examiners. That was all. That thought calmed me. Surely, I too didn’t like the idea of me embarassing my self in front of other people.

So, I practiced more and more. I woke up at 3 am every morning so I could practice better. As the exam was closer, I practiced even.longer. Thought this might be my last exam here, so better to leave with my best effort.

I tend to remember clearly with every small details about some special days in my life. This one is one of them. The day when the result came out, it was saturday afternoon, I was waiting anxiously at home. I didn’t go to my music school since I had school in the afternoon. Whem my mum arrived, I asked her when she was still sitting in the car outside the gate.

“How was it?”

She replied quietly with a soft gaze,

” You made it. Passed.”

It was one of her look that I remembered knowing that she was proud of me.

It felt like my heart exploded with lots of happy feeling. I really made it! It was even happier when I knew that among those three, it was only me and another one that was predicted to PK 1 directly passed. So, the teacher’s prediction, I answered it well.

You know, to pass the exam you had to score average minimum 70, from 12 examiners. Me? My score was 70,93. The other who didn’t pass got 69,97. 0,01 made all the difference. Could you imagine how strict they were? It was just another 0,03 to let one passed, but they didn’t do that. Amongst 100 students in my batch, only 40 made it to the higher level.

The happy days lasted for days and soon be replaced by anxiety. The consequences of passing means I would go back to those hard days. It would even harder.I passed to Pra PK level. It was just like another grade 6 because when you failed here, you had to quit too. Not (too) happy.

Another problem arose when the result came, another news also came that my father was transferred to another province which made all of us had to join him later after school year ended.
I remembered how my mother had been struggling with this. She surely didn’t want all those efforts done to pass to the higher level be wasted like that. It was also a chance that would not come twice in the future. She was very sure once I quit, I would never be able to come back. Not only about ability, but more of my willingness.

She came to my teacher telling the problem and the teacher’s reaction even louder. She strongly opposed the idea of me going there. She even said, she would accompany my mum to meet with the director and asked to postpone my entrance for a year and came back later without doing a test.

It turned out my problem became bigger than it was expected. My mum happened to trap in the directors meeting just to discuss my case. Other director agrees to postpone a year and come back without a test, while another one didn’t. It was pretty tense to finally made a decision. Then, my mum exited the confrence room with a letter signed by the director I was allowed to come back a year later without a test.

So, did I go then? I didn’t. My teacher proposed an idea to my mum that told me to stay and had a private lesson with her for a year to strengthen my skills to be better at the higher level. She said it would be very tough and I was not good enough for it. I might fail again in Pra PK. Better not go and had another year with her. My mum agreed.

Surprisingly, I enjoyed my higher level time much more than previous ones. It was more interesting and maybe it was a proud being in a higher level since not everyone could be there.

In that higher level, the hardest thing was the months before exam. We were pushed to practice like it was the only important thing in the world. Students who were under one teacher will gather twice a week performing in front of each other. The session started at 7 pm and ended around 11 pm or even 12 am. My dear father had to wait for 5 hours sleepyly.

I passed every exam I did quite well. As I said before, I was not a  bright student at all. To be more.honest, amongst 40 people there, my best achievement was only being in the 27th place. I graduated there obtained Judisium B. It was more than enough for me.


When I was having hard times there, I promised my self that I would never to do such thing to my children later. I would not push them to do something they don’t like and not good at too.

After graduated in 2003, a year later I started teaching at another music school. Then, my mind started changing. I didn’t know before that teaching could be so pleasant. I really loved it. I might be not a good performer, but I dared say my teaching is very far from bad. To add some more, it was so cool having a job you like to do when you were just a first year college student. To have your own money while others still relied on the parents support. Oh, I did too. My parents still paid for my tuition fee. Other than that, I paid with the money I earned.

Slowly one by one, those 13 years of learning started showing its investment return. Not only in term of teaching, but almost in many things I did. Believe it or not, during job interviews I had been through, this piano lesson became a very important thing that got me accepted. Almost every interview asked me about that. Until the very recent interview I had, the 13 years of learning still helped me to nail it.

On a bigger scope, the charm also touches others’ life other than myself. Right after the wedding, le husband entered the first semester of residency, and I just graduated from my master degree and just returned from Hajj. Both of us were jobless. The only thing left was my piano teaching. I was still in the process in few schools at that moment. So, we survived the first sixth months of our marriage solely from my piano teaching salary, which was not much but Alhamdulillah, it was sufficient. Oh! Another thing, it was also this piano that made us closer for the first time. When I think about it, le husband had so many advantages from this thing:))

When Langit came, this piano thing spread its charm even wider. I had to resign from the school, again, the only thing left was piano teaching. I helped my husband, my child, it is the biggest advantage that I feel so grateful.

I am glad that I and everyone made me stayed that time. I am glad I chose to endure more years so I could make it to the highest level and graduated.

If one day Langit read this, I’d like her to know, enrolled, encouraged, supported her mother all the way  to do and survive this piano lesson is the greatest gift that her grand-mother gave to her.

Again, I remind you dear, hard work and patience will never betray. The result goes with you for such a long time.

Posted in The Big Three

Allo, maman..

Dear Bu Gendut,

Beberapa kali pengen banget nulis sesuatu nyeritain apa aja yang Kak Indi mau ceritain. Tapi seringnya ngga jadi. Ntah lagi cape, ilang moodnya, atau ada apa lah sampe akhirnya ngga jadi.

Duh, bu, banyak bener yang pengen diceritain. BANYAKK.
Hari ini semoga bisa beneran selesai.

Kak Indi baru pulang dari Pondok Gede. Hana aqiqah hari ini. Alhamdulillah lancar semua. Pas baca doa bener2 cuma keluarga deket, Alhamdulilah tamu lainnya belum dateng. Kenapa Alhamdulillah? Ya karena sbagian besar yang baca doa, kirim doa buat ibu, ya orang-orang yang bener-bener kenal ibu. Jadi, Insya Allah udah pasti bener ngedoain.

Lega bener hari ini udah selesai.  Hidup sesudah ibu ngga ada, sama sekali ngga gampang. Terutama buat Kak Indi dan Dian. Banyak bener yang kita harus hadepin. Rasanya kadang- kadang sampe mikir, kok berat bener ya. Kadang-kadang. Ngga selalu. Ngeliat semua ke belakang, we’re doing really fine I think. Maksudnya biarpun Ibu udah ngga disini, kita bisa jalanin dan ngurus semua (seringnya) sendiri.

Buat Kak Indi, salah satu achievement yang paling gede itu ngurus Langit sendirian. At least 90% sendirian. Bukan sekedar ngurus sendiri, tapi Alhamdulillah sampe detik ini, selama hampir 9 bulan, Langit selalu sehat, berat tingginya bagus, perkembangannya juga bagus. Selama hampir 9 bulan ini, Alhmdulillah kita ke dokter anak cuma sebulan sekali karena jadwal vaksin. Semoga sehat terus. Amin.

Semua yang bisa Kak Indi kerjain dan urus ya bukan karena siapa-siapa, it’s all thanks to you. Terima kasih karena udah ngedidik dengan sangat baik, yang mana ternyata emang sangat ngga mudah. Semoga Kak Indi bisa ngedidik Langit sebaik ibu.

Keep watching me from up above.

Till then..

Posted in Past learning, The Big Three


Ramadan always bring good and heart-warming memories in the past. I really miss how different the house feels. It smells nice.

School was very much better during Ramadan. Less lessons, less hours, more play and no-unifrom. Nice. School here refered to my elementary school. My best Ramadans happened during those elementary years. Even best of the best was there too. The Ramadan when I first fell in love. Haha.

After meeting le husband, Ramadan also brought some different feeling. First Ramadan back in 2002, I remembered wake him up for sahur several times. Others I remembered we were on very bad terms, and if I am not mistaken it was mostly bad terms;))

Slowly, as I grow older, the feeling also has changed. I don’t know why the excitement slowly faded. After 2012, it was even too gloom since we had three losses within a year. This year, although I am trying hard to make the house feels like Ramadan, it still feels different. Maybe it is not thing that made the feeling, it is the people.

I really hope I am able to give Langit the warm feeling Ramadan brings later if once she is older and starts her fasting. I have been never into things and consider they are important, but experience, special ambience, it stays in memory.

You can always visit your happy memories whenever you are feeling down. It is a happy place where you don’t have to spend money, moving around, or make preparations to travel. Just lie down, close your eyes and have a nice journey to the past…