Saturday, 16 October 2010

Do This Right

-16 October 2010-

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Lomba Blog Depok - Top 10 -

The same post in English

Saya gak sukses masuk TOP 10! Tapi, saya tidak kecewa, karena melalui lomba ini, saya telah bertemu banyak blogger hebat. Buat saya, ini lebih berarti daripada memenangkan lomba blog.. :-)

Tapi.. Ibu berhasil masuk ke TOP 10! Dan Ibu sedang mengumpulkan keluarga dan teman-teman untuk memberi 'vote' untuk artikel beliau yang dilombakan.. Tepatnya, SAYA mengumpulkan keluarga dan teman-teman untuk memberi 'vote' untuk Ibu.. ;-)

Jangan memberi 'vote' secara asal.. Intip dulu BLOG Ibu

lalu baca ARTIKEL yang masuk ke deretan TOP 10..

Kemudian, baru silakan VOTE untuk Ibu di website lomba.

Artikel Ibu dilombakan dalam kategori 'IBU RUMAH TANGGA' dan judul artikelnya adalah "B.H. Yess." Di daftar 'vote' tertulis seperti di bawah ini:

Dengan memberi 'vote' pada artikel Ibu, kita tidak saja mendukung beliau untuk memenangkan lomba blog ini, tapi kita juga telah memberikan dukungan terhadap Posbindu (Pos Binaan Terpadu) 'Dahlia Senja.' Ibu selalu memposting kegiatan kelompok lansia ini di blog beliau.

Sejauh ini, blog Ibu telah mengundang perhatian dari pemerintah setempat dan organisasi yang berkaitan dengan program kesejahteraan warga lansia. Kunjungan kita di blog Ibu akan lebih meluaskan lagi minat masyarakat terhadap program kesejahteraan lansia dan diharapkan nantinya akan membawa masa depan baru dan lebih cerah bagi program kesejahteraan lansia di tanah air.

Selamat mem-voting!

Monday, 30 August 2010

Working with Junior High School Students (SMP)

In my last post, I wrote about my experience in Junior High School (SMP -Sekolah Menengah Pertama-). The post was in Indonesian, but I believe anyone can guess the content of the post, which was about the difficulty in adjusting from child life in primary school to adolescent life in junior high school.

In this post, I would like to write a little about my experience working with Junior High School students, after I left school -in fact, after I graduated from the university.
Initially, I was back in my Junior High School because my sister had been sending me letters throughout my university study about how the Scouts and Guides Brigade in our school was going down the hill because of its lack of proficient instructors. Later, a girl who was one year below my sister -whom I had never met- was also telling me about how bad things were.

As soon as I graduated from the university and came home to Jakarta, a good friend of mine, and I decided to have a look for ourselves what all the fuss was about. It turned out that the school could not find an instructor to set out a good program for the Scouts and Guides Brigade. So, we decided to ask around.

In a couple of months, we finally found someone we thought we could work with. We decided to give it a try and the result was really good. My friend and I stayed on for a few years as a senior member of the club. Our main role was to accompany the students, especially when none of the teachers were available. The club instructors could ask us to be involved in the program as they saw fit.

Even though our role was never really formalized, it seemed that the students -club members- had the right idea of our presence in the club. They did not see us as authority, but they felt that they could tell us their viewpoints freely. In most cases, we successfully bridged the communication between the teachers/school, the instructors and the students.

My friend and I were only 24 years old at that time. The students saw us young enough to be their older brother and sister. They often told us what they felt was a worry for them, and we tried to discuss it with them.

The first person who often had discussions with us was the girl who told me about the club problems, Niken. She liked the club, but she felt that it was not enough for her curiosity and enthusiasm. She was a smart person, and she had her priorities in the right order. We decided that we should let her find the place she felt belong, and wow, she did try!

Niken started off joining various social communities concerned in youth problems, until finally, she found the one that she liked best, a young readers community which main goal was to gather used books to be donated to localities that lacks the presence of a library.

Niken finally decided to leave the Scouts and Guides Brigade. At first she felt guilty about it, and she was not sure why her parents were fine about it. We told her that she did not need to feel guilty. There are many ways to participate in increasing community welfare, and Scouts and Guides Brigade is not the only way. Everyone should look for a way that best suits them.

The next year, we had two girls who were very enthusiastic, Vie and Tricia. When they were both present, they could invite many others' curiosity to join the club. Other members always looked more eager and enthusiastic whenever these two girls were around.

After a few weeks, Vie and Tricia told us that they started to feel that their academic results were going down, and they were worried that their parents would ask them to leave the club. We cautiously asked them what they thought was the problem and what their parents thought so far.

Vie admitted that she often felt uninterested when it came to studying, while Tricia said that she didn't know how to approach some subjects. After talking to the girls for a bit, we decided that these girls were in the stage when they were feeling burdened by their study. Both Vie's and Tricia's parents wanted them to join a sports club, but the girls were worried sports club would make them more tired.

We encouraged Vie and Tricia to join a sports club before they decided to join an extra study class out of school. We told them that sports would balance their body and mind. We suggested them to try it for one semester. If it didn't work, they could quit it. They agreed to give it a try. Vie joined a self defense class, while Tricia joined a tennis club, both were out of school clubs.

In six months, there was a significant change in both Vie's and Tricia's development. They were both more confident. The best thing was, as they were physically fitter, they studied better too. Later,  they started deciding which subjects, they needed to take extra classes on and what other side activities they wanted to do so that they could use their time effectively.

By the time they were in grade 9, Vie and Tricia did what my friend and I didn't think of doing during our years in Junior High School. They refused to leave the Scouts and Guides Brigades and their sports clubs. They simply explained to their teachers that it was the side activities that kept them functioning well and balanced. Then, when one time I could go on a camping trip, both girls said to me, "Don't you worry. We'll go in your place. We'll make sure these new kids are well taken care of on the trip."

These three girls I met, Niken, Vie and Tricia was clear proofs that Junior High School students CAN and DO grow faster than anyone could expect. Before you know it, they have transformed from a little primary school kid to a young responsible adult with just a little encouragement.

The best lesson I learned during my time working with Junior High School students was that I should always put the parents' advice under consideration. After all, parents are the people who know their children best. If the adolescents feel differently about their parents' choices for them, try to find the right time to talk to the parents about what their children think they want to do. Never try to come between parents and children because it will only create a problem we can never solve!

*Note: the names have been changed to protect confidentiality, but the story was true. The three girls, whose stories I wrote here are welcome to read this post and write comments anytime.. :-)

SMP.. Sebuah Awal..

Yess.. lulus SD.. masuk SMP.. seragam putih-hijau.. (maklum aku sekolah di sekolah Islam, jadi seragam SMP-nya putih-hijau, bukan putih-biru).. Ciee, bukan anak kecil lagi nih, ceritanya..

Eits, minggu pertama masuk, langsung ketemu Penataran P4 dan Masa Orientasi, berkenalan dengan kakak-kakak kelas... Lohhh?? Kok kakak-kakak kelas ini pada galak-galak amat ya? Ortu di rumah aja kayaknya kalah galak deh??!!

Di akhir bulan pertama sekolah, memilih eks-kul sendiri.. wets, gaya! Kalo dulu pas SD pilihannya cuma antara Pramuka dan beberapa cabang olah raga, sekarang banyak pilihan lain.. hmm.. berhubung aku pengen banget ngerasain kemping.. yaaa, akhirnya pilih Pramuka lagi juga sih, hihihi...

Itu bagian yang 'agak' serunya..

Nah yang bikin puyengnya ada juga..

Soal pelajaran, mulai 'berkenalan' sama yang namanya SKS! Duh, amit-amit.. kenapa Matematika harus termasuk pelajaran yang SKS-nya gede sih?? Trus.. tiap pelajaran ada PR, ada ulangan dadakan, ada formatif, ada ulangan umum/semesteran, ada ulangan perbaikan, dll.. Ditambah lagi, percobaan di lab yang diambil nilainya..

Cangkok pohon gagal, nilai jelek.. Percobaan di lab gagal, nilai jelek.. Aduh mak! Perasaan udah ngikutin petunjuk di LKS (Lembar Kerja dan Soal), kok ya masih gagal juga? Nanya sama teman di kelas.. lah, pada ikut bingung.. kenapa hasilnya beda-beda, 'kan LKS-nya sama??!! Nah loh?

Waktu SD dulu, kayaknya tiap topik bisa dibahas sebulan penuh. Setelah di SMP, pertemuan pertama guru menerangkan, pertemuan kedua percobaan, pertemuan ketiga ulangan dadakan atau formatif. Kemudian, nilainya dicatat. Baca dari buku cetak dan catatan kadang-kadang rasanya masih tetap gak ngerti tapi udah harus siap untuk ulangan dadakan!

Untungnya, seminggu sekali ada eks-kul.. ketemu sama teman-teman yang tidak sekelas, ditambah kakak-kakak kelas yang punya hobi sama. Sambil latihan Pramuka, iseng-iseng tanya kanan-kiri, soal cangkok pohon, soal percobaan di lab.. ternyata, ada juga yang 'ngerti' dan bisa nerangin.. Eh, ada kakak kelas yang bersedia berbaik hati menemani waktu mengulang percobaan mencangkok.. Ah, lega juga..

Akhirnya, tiba juga waktunya kemping.. biasanya sekitar 2 minggu sebelum ulangan umum semesteran. Sibuklah seluruh anggota eks-kul mempersiapkan bawaan kemping. Apalagi pesan dari para pembina bunyinya, "Di perjalanan nanti, ada jalan yang tidak bisa dilalui bis/truk, jadi semua bawaan harus bisa kalian bawa sendiri!"

Sampai di lokasi kemping, bangun tenda rame-rame, gali parit dan mindahin barang-barang dari truk ke tenda. Setelah selesai masak dan makan malam, ngobrol-ngobrol dengan teman satu regu di dalam tenda. Ada yang panik nilai Matematika-nya jeblok, ada yang bingung sama Bahasa Inggris, ada yang pusing sama Fisika.. wah, ternyata aku bukan satu-satunya yang lagi panik menjelang ulangan umum!

Akhirnya, kita sepakat, setelah kemping mau ngumpul lagi dan belajar sama-sama..

Awalnya, bingung juga mau minta ijin sama ortu di rumah. Biasanya pergi kemana-mana selalu diantar, ini pergi sama teman-teman naik kendaraan umum. Tapi, ternyata dikasih ijin! Wow! Beda ternyata kalau sudah SMP! Pesan ortu di rumah cuma, "Kalau ternyata teman-teman batal, jangan paksakan pergi sendiri ya!"

Emang juga gak berani deh, pergi jauh-jauh sendiri.. hihihi...

Dua minggu penuh, kita belajar sama-sama, sekalian keliling dari rumah satu anggota regu ke yang lain. Seru juga. Belajar selesai, sekaligus lulus materi mengenal alam sekitar dari pembina Pramuka, karena 'berkelana' ke rumah-rumah teman membuat kita jadi mengerti rute bis kota ke berbagai area di Jakarta.

Setelah ulangan umum selesai, eh, ternyata jadi kangen main rame-rame lagi. Akhirnya, janjian ke rumah salah seorang teman, untuk mengisi liburan. Di sana, kita rame-rame dengerin musik, baca majalah dan.. masak rame-rame.. coba-coba menu sederhana untuk kemping berikut..

Ternyata seru. Apalagi, setelah itu, diakui lulus materi memasak sehat dari pembina Pramuka! Waktu itu rasanya keren banget!

Tidak terasa, tiba-tiba saja, sudah masuk semester 2 kelas 3 SMP. Eks-kul sudah harus ditinggalkan. Masing-masing siswa mulai mencari-cari les pelajaran untuk latihan soal-soal EBTA dan EBTANAS. Aku dan teman-teman satu regu Pramuka tidak bisa masuk les yang sama karena lokasi rumahnya berbeda-beda dan lumayan berjauhan, juga pelajaran yang harus 'diasah' berbeda-beda.

Mulailah 'memaksakan' diri untuk bergerak sendiri sesuai dengan kebutuhan pelajaran masing-masing dan lokasi les yang dekat dari rumah.

Itulah masa SMP yang aku ingat.. belajar untuk masuk ke lingkungan baru, mengenal orang-orang baru, membawa diri di hadapan orang-orang lain. Selain itu juga belajar untuk bisa meminta bantuan dari orang lain dan mencari penyelesaian untuk masalah yang kita hadapi.

Dalam tulisan ini, mungkin terasa sederhana, tapi, seluruh perasaan, emosi dan pikiran yang kalut pada saat itu, adalah sesuatu yang terasa berat dan menakutkan! Sedikit saja ekspresi atau kata-kata dari guru atau orang tua yang kurang mengena di hati kita, bisa membuat semangat jadi buyar gak karuan..

Perubahan dari masa kanak-kanak di SD, menjadi seorang remaja di SMP bukanlah sesuatu yang bisa dilalui dengan mudah. Ada yang sukses di akademis tapi harus 'berjuang' di urusan sosial. Ada juga yang sukses di bidang sosial, tapi akademisnya mengalami penurunan dibandingkan waktu SD.

Salah 'terapi' dari pihak guru atau orang tua bisa-bisa membuat si remaja, bukannya merasa lebih nyaman, tapi malah merasa tambah terbebani. Begitu nilai akademisnya jeblok, orang tua langsung mendaftarkan si remaja ke les pelajaran dari sejak kelas 1 SMP. Trus, demi mengejar hobi, si remaja harus juga ikut kursus ini dan itu. Hari-hari penuh perjuangan dan hampir tanpa istirahat..

Sesungguhnya, dinamika perkembangan remaja saat memasuki masa SMP hanyalah suatu proses. Guru dan orang tua sebaiknya jangan panik menghadapi tantangan remaja SMP. Perhatikan dulu apa yang sebenarnya yang jadi masalah dan diskusikan pilihan solusinya dengan si remaja. Fisik, pikiran dan emosi remaja SMP berkembang secara unik untuk masing-masing orang. Ada yang emosinya lebih cepat stabil dibanding fisik dan pikirannya, ada yang pikirannya lebih cepat, ada yang fisiknya lebih cepat. Penurunan nilai akademis bisa jadi hanyalah sesuatu yang sementara sifatnya, begitu juga sifat minder di pergaulan.

Memaksa remaja SMP untuk langsung mengejar akademis sejak dari semester 1 kelas 1 SMP kemungkinan besar tidak akan membantu banyak perkembangannya secara keseluruhan karena mungkin akar permasalahannya bukan di situ. Tapi, terlalu lama mengobservasi dan menunggu juga bisa-bisa membuat masalah jadi berlarut-larut.

Masa SMP adalah awal dari proses menuju dewasa. Perubahan yang terbesar adalah kalau waktu SD seorang anak masih senang diatur orang tuanya, setelah masuk SMP, dia mulai merasa 'tersinggung' kalau apa-apa selalu diatur. Yang paling diperlukan oleh remaja SMP adalah kemampuan untuk mengenali diri sendiri dan konsep prioritas. Saat si remaja sudah bisa melihat kelebihan dan kekurangan dirinya, dia akan bisa menentukan skala prioritas pribadinya dengan lebih tepat. Setelah itu, barulah si remaja bisa diperkenalkan dengan pilihan-pilihan untuk membantunya mencari solusi bagi hal-hal yang dianggapnya sebagai masalah atau tantangan.

Pendekatan yang tepat dari pihak keluarga dan sekolah bisa membuat remaja SMP merasa lebih nyaman dalam melalui proses pendewasaan dirinya dan lebih menghargai dirinya. Pada akhirnya, rasa nyaman dan menghargai diri sendiri akan membuat seorang remaja terpacu untuk maju dan segan untuk melakukan hal-hal yang bisa merusak dirinya sendiri.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Indri Lemur

Years ago, I learned that there was a species of lemur that was called 'indri' .. I just remember again and I decided to look for it in youtube..

I FOUND IT!! And it looks so cute..

I showed this video to Ariq. He said that the lemur is cute, but the singing was scary.. :-)

What do you think?

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Nature's Teaching

The wind blows..
Waking the world of nature..
It is time to spread the seeds of new life..
Mundane.. simple.. yet important..

The bee buzzes..
Calling its kind..
It is time to nurture the seeds of new life..
Natural.. unnoticed.. yet real..

The rain falls..
Paying a visit to earth ground..
It is time to grow the seeds of new life..
Repetitious.. basic.. yet strong..

The way the world speaks to us and teaches us is..
Mundane.. natural.. repetitious..
Simple.. unnoticed.. basic..
That we often take them for granted..

When we search behind the modesty..
We will find meanings that are..
Important.. real.. and strong..
Lessons that we can never live without..

-10 March 2010-

Google Search