Before I share my memories for the last four months, I want to express my disappointment and embarrassment feeling since I cannot update my blog too often (or even never!). It is like I wasted my paid domain even though the fee is quite affordable. As you know, I’ve been accepted as Postgraduate student at the University of Auckland, New Zealand at July 2014. And since then, I am officially become super busy again, even more busy than my two undergraduate experience! To analogize, I feel like Olaf (a snowman in the Frozen movie) admiring summer. I (Olaf) really love to and want to go study abroad (enter the summer), without knowing that ‘abroad’ thing could melted you down and destroy you (just like the ice melted by the heat of the sun). And you need your personal (snow) flurry to be survived, or on the other words, I need to create my own world inside this estrange world so I won’t get too shocked easily. It is indeed a hard thing to do, since creating comfortable zone in the war area is almost impossible. But this ‘almost’ term means it is not impossible (suddenly Shontelle singing Impossible around my head, skip it). Why I need to build this impossible comfort zone? You know some people need a strict deadline to give their best shot at study, and the others do not. I am one of the people who will only be able to study in an Indonesia-ish and supportive environment, quiet-but-not-lonely atmosphere, and specific timeline or more like a detailed dream.
And every class I took was really a priceless experience!
I took four courses with minimum 15 hours class and individual study to be spent per course per week. At Tuesday I have Human Learning Development class which the instructor, Annette (and I still try hard to call the lecturers their name, since in Indonesia I don’t usually mention older people’s name directly), remind me on one of my fave lecturer at UIN bu Witrin. This class was gave me the greatest mixed feeling: excited, nervous, afraid, challenged, and unconfident or should I say, shy. The last feeling-shy, is really a new thing because I usually talk a lot in Indonesia before, and here with use of English, suddenly I become a little more silence person. And now I understand how hard to be able to speak in front of the class for some people. How hard to express our joke with other language. My relaxed and comfortable time can be created through people’s laugh and happiness. Although my TOEFL was enough for the university requirement, I still find it hard to even understand the assignment given in the class. For example, for the thought paper that need to be done every two weeks, I just understand and seems able to do the exact task after I did 2-3 thought papers! That’s after I talked to Annette about my difficulty and she personally give me advice related with the class. I said to her that even though I have a hard time and have to overcome the language barriers, I cannot make this challenge as an excuse for me to not giving the best in this class. And she agreed with that. The other time I was doing my research proposal assignment, and what makes me feel recharged and recharged again is on every assignment and outline I submit, 3 days to 1 week later she gave me detailed comments on every mistakes I made or what is need to be revised. This, I can say, a one-stop education which still mainly based on our individual thought (what do you expect from Postgraduate study? Like my lecturer said, it is not like undergraduate study anymore!).
The second class with the meeting every Thursday morning is Community Psychology class, and this is the only class that I can breathe a little easier since not only this class highlighted the diversity and social justice (which make me really comfortable as an international student plus come from multicultural country), but also the instructor, Shiloh, who is really kind and inspired me with her quotes, “You don’t have to fit in, you can shape psychology the way you want it.” This quotes encouraged me to not give up in this-so-hard-but-need-to-overcome time in my life. Almost every topic in this class are happened in Indonesia, and I cannot hold myself to give personal opinion on my reading diary, to relate the topic with Indonesia’s condition. And somehow I feel that this course could provide one of the best approach to develop Indonesia better (and come on Az, you cannot say you ‘feel’, you have to prove it in scientifically manner! If you still want to be an academic though.) This is how I spent my first three days on every week.
The third class is the most difficult but also the most fun paper I had this semester, Consciousness and Cognition. Kelas ini ngebahas tentang proses terjadinya kesadaran dalam diri manusia. Daaan betapa istilah-istilah di dalam kelas ini sangat sulit untuk dipahami. But the lecturer is super nice and can make the class atmosphere into super fun mode. So I really enjoyed the class.
The fourth class is an interesting topic but maybe because of the huge cultural differences make me hard to understand the concept since it is related with gender, power, and sexuality. Although I sometimes see myself as a feminist, but many of the topics are hard to absorb since I don’t get used to discuss this kind of topic in Indonesia and with people around me.
After the semester finished I spent my whole summer in Indonesia to be together with my family. And it’s been fun! Alhamdulillah.