This and That, Here and There

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It has been so long since I updated my blog.  Many times I wanted to write, but I didn’t have time.  So many times I want to write a status on my Facebook page, but I hesitate.  It is interesting that now FB is asking different kinds of questions on the status section to stimulate someone to write how she feels, things going on in her life, or just how she is.

Well, these are what happening in my life, how I feel, how things are going, this and that, here and there, in my life journey.  Just pouring out my words here.

1.  Birthdays are special, aren’t they?  Mine this year was.   Early birthday wishes from friends (and family) afar.  Special birthday dinner with two special people.

2012-09-30 18.40.30

2012-09-30 18.41.04

A special birthday card and a special gift.

card

book gift

2.  Going to Kansas State fair with a group of new friends is something.   We went around and around, ate a huge turkey leg, watched people play, took pictures here and there.

kansas fair

turkey's leg

with Mr.Lorax

3.  It was very interesting to walk around the campus and looking at the garden.  There were some areas which say “community garden”; a garden where we can get the harvest for free.   There was one in the College of Education.  I had never taken part in harvesting but one time just before they pulled out and cleaned the garden plants because winter was coming.

The pepper/ chili plants near the Ulrich Museum:

cabe

The peppers from the community garden in the College of Education:

garden harvest

4.  Kansas wind is crazily strong and wild.   I bought an umbrella.   It was not useful at all.  It was broken at the first time I used it!  It couldn’t be fixed!  I threw it away.   I might need to buy a more expensive and more quality one.

umbrella

5.  It is funny to know that Wichita State University coffee shop is selling “Seattle Best” coffee instead of  “Wichita Best” haha!

wsu coffee

6.  Living with two Moslems from India and Pakistan is really an interesting experience! (I am not trying to be racist here)  I truly and sincerely respect diversity.  It is always fun to learn other cultures.  However, sometimes it is also hard.  I don’t blame the culture.  I am not perfect either, nor my culture.

I found that I don’t like the smell of Indian cooking that much.  I found it more annoying  when I see that they don’t clean the kitchen after they cook.  There are many details in the bathroom that I don’t need to say here.  I am a clean person, I can’t handle untidiness or dirtiness, but I learnt to be patient and tolerant after many years living with my siblings.  And one year being in a preschool in Newton gave more perspective that messy can be fine and fun .  I am grateful.

Growing up in a very diverse and multicultural country is a privilege for me.  I know so many things about Islam that my suite-mates are amazed.   I am used to live with Moslems.  However, my suite-mates are strict ones.  They eat only halal meat.  They told me that they didn’t eat any meat since they came here until they found a place that sells halal meat.  Do you know that ‘halal’ means you say prayers just before you kill the animal?

I am grateful that they understand and respect me and my belief.  They say they can’t forbid me to eat pork etc., but they do make it clear that I may not use their utensils.  They gave me enough space in the fridge to put things of my own.  When I say enough here, it is really ‘enough’.  Oh my!  They occupy the fridge like they can’t go grocery shopping for a few months.  Their part of the fridge is always full and sometimes they use my part and move my things around without telling me because they have too many things!  The fridge door is heavy (with none of my things!) that it is hard to be closed.  Things got tense when we talked about fridge.  But don’t get me wrong, we are having good relationship so far.

One time I offer them to try a kind of snack I bought.  One of them carefully looked at the package and looking for this sign:

U sign

Do you know that it is a code saying it is safe to eat for the Jews?  It means halal.  I didn’t know it until they told me! Oh my!

Above all those, we maintain good relationship so far.  They told me they had worse situation with the last person staying in my room.  They are grateful that it is me now living here.  And for me, well, it could get worse, so I choose to be grateful and work everything out.

We share our food (halal ones).  What can be better than a slice of delicious vegan pizza from your suite-mates?

pizza

7.  Here was when I volunteered to be a guest speaker in a class talking about my beloved country, Indonesia.  It was an awesome opportunity and experience.

2012-11-01 13.38.47

8.  Look what I did for the Special Education Program in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction:

2012-11-02 15.10.07

This tri-fold presentation board has been displayed  in big and small exhibitions and will still be used for more occasions.  It is always a great feeling to express what you can do!

9.  I am so grateful.  I have the best boss ever.  Well, not really a boss, but I work for her, so I usually say that she is my boss.   Actually she asks me to work helping some other professors also which makes me grateful more and more.  God is good.

At first, we were trying to know each other.  Now we are good friends.  I like her. And she is also grateful for me.  Isn’t that interesting?  We are grateful for each other.  Thank God for Dr. Mandy Lusk as my supervisor until (at least) Spring 2013.

IMG_0044

She is such an enthusiastic, positive, encouraging, and expressive person.  She was just graduated from her Doctoral Program and is very excited to teach her students.  She keeps on persuading me to change my major into Special Education (that’s her program).  She keeps on telling me to get a Ph.D and asks me to wrote an article with her about special ed in Indonesia.  I laugh every time we have this conversation.  What an enthusiastic person to work for!

She gave me thank you notes and gifts.

gift

gift

Now, she calls her office as “our” office.  She gave me a spot next to her comp desk.  And I get to use a mac on so called “my own desk”.  How cool is that?

my little spot

I am grateful, but this is not the end of my road yet.

10.  I also have the best adviser ever!  Dr. Gibson is a very wonderful person.  She will share her vacation stories as if you are a friend.  She will invite you to her thanksgiving dinner when she knows you are living alone on campus.  Many times she will say that you can drive her car when you need it.  She will go through your academic problems and trying to find the best solution for the whole program you are taking.  She did those to me, she will do the same to others.

11.  I am surrounded by wonderful people.  I am grateful.

12.  Look who is accompanying me in my room:

pooh

13.  Oh! I think I have the best Resident Assistant (RA) ever! Nick is very friendly and he will help you anytime you need it.  His mom made a gift set for each of the resident on the fifth floor and Nick put it in front of our door.  How sweet is that!!

sled from the best RA

14.  Going through the first semester in graduate school is really something.  Being in a class without a printed syllabus is interesting.  Struggling with classes and statistics is an experience I will appreciate forever.  Being an educator myself, sometimes I ask why do these profs do this.

I found it hard having an enormous assignment on the first semester of grad school without a clear guidance from the prof.  Asking reliable people and getting an answer that this is not a normal class at all.  Well, it is understandable when you are revising the whole program.  Yet, it was unbelievably hard.

Big topics

You might not understand this picture, but I still keep this note to remind me how hard it was and the feeling of victory each time I crossed each one of those topics.  Those are the 10 topics of the big comprehensive literature review I had to write to make the best of this class.  You might want to know that for each topic I needed to have at least 3 articles for references.  Literally I had at least 30 articles  for this one assignment which gives me only 30% of the grade for this class.

15.  Those stressful struggling times are paid off when I saw my grades and my GPA. Guess what? I got A for all my classes and a GPA of 4! I literally shed tears and said thank you to God like hundreds of times.  I couldn’t make it without HIM!

I DO MY BEST AND LET GOD DO THE REST!

16.  Here are the path I always walk on to and from the College of Education:

the path     the path.2

Isn’t that building beautiful?  I love this building!

17.  My apartments building is next to the golf course.  Sometimes before I enter my apartment building, I like to sit on a bench on the golf course and enjoy the scenery.

golf course

On that day, I watched geese were landing and taking rest on the golf course.  When I was approaching them, maybe they felt threatened or they just didn’t like getting near them.  Even the geese were turning their backs to me, how sad!

walking away ducks

But they left these foot prints on the leftover snow… how cute!

duck feet

17.  One night while waiting for my Indonesians friends playing pool, guess what happened?  My glasses fell from a tall chair and it cracked!

fractured glasses

Do you see the line? Geez! It is the only friend of my eyes (since all my soft lenses I brought from Indonesia were all gone) and now it is fractured!

So, I was so happy when after 2 weeks, I got my soft lenses I ordered online.

P1070059

Unfortunately this winter air just makes my eyes tired, sore, and dry so easily.  I hope the lenses will last longer than what I had before.

By the way, I am still wearing my fractured glasses.  Haha!  I will still wear them until my new glasses arrive.

18.  I miss my students!

19. How wonderful it is to chat and receive emails / messages from my students.  They asked how I am doing, where I live, and when I will be back to Indonesia.  It is such an amazing and sad feeling when you read your students are missing you so much and want you to teach them again.

20.  I am grateful for technology.  It connects me with family and friends afar whom I miss so much.  I can’t see them, but i can just do some typing on my tablet and I will see their reply.  How neat!  I love this technology!  It makes long distance not that long anymore.  I still get updates from family and friends in minutes, not weeks nor months.

Again and again, I am thankful how God shows His love in my life.  The whole blog will not be enough to write all of it.

I might not know what will happen next, where my future will be, will I get married and have children, will I graduate on time, will I even be able to continue studying here.  Yet, I believe in HIM who never leaves me.

I am grateful.

2012-10-12 18.31.31

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