Things we can and can’t

I am confused how to start this post.. But let’s start, shall we?

Do you know? One of my biggest regret in my life is not able to speak, read and write in Chinese. I can tell you, how many times I face situations where I felt embarrassed as the Chinese approached me, asked me about something in Chinese. My response will be always like this, “Err.. Can you switch to English?” or “I can’t speak in Chinese, I am sorry” These two sentences are always my “weapon” when I do not know what to reply them XD

The second point is not getting any musical ability. My siblings can play a bit of piano, but I? Hah! I am done with that. The only thing I can do is sing a song with my lousy voice XD

It is pitiful, isn’t it?

Well, those two are top two items among others. I have numbers of remorse within my life. It is always coming later, those guilty feeling. Always.

My several items:

Recently, I met a friend who is very brilliant in Philosophy. He is not studying Philosophy after all, but he remembered lot of well-known Philosophers from several era as well as their well-known work. I could not do like what he does.

I am terrible speaker, especially when it comes to English :p

Getting bad grade for your course is something which bothers quite a lot. Why? That is because of the energy you have poured for the whole semester, which is averagely 4 months comes in vain. You need to start over next year.

As my highlight in my previous post, that friend will never be with you all the time. Some day, they will go. A new friend will come. In the future, they will go, and this cycles are endless… They are not the same to each other. They are special. Friends are… function of time.. I mean physically, as they are always within you, emotionally.

Now, I know what you are thinking…

You can’t stop the time. Seconds will keep ticking.

 

In this circumstances, does it mean that I am giving up? Simple answer: No.

There is still one thing we can do. Instead of focusing in what we can not do, I think it is better to have focus on “what is more important?”

Having this kind of way of thinking, maybe for most people, it is like a cliche where I just run away from what the thing I can’t do. Fine, it is their opinion. But from my case, I need something to push myself outside from my comfort zone.

What is important? It will take my way of thinking toward a new idea which I have not thought before. It challenges me in getting a possibilities of new stuff. Though it is not working sometime, but at least I have shifted my focus to the thing I feel it is important.

What is important? For me, I have my dreams, family and dearest friends. Whenever circumstances are not supporting me, I will only see those which are important to me.

It does take time, but am I going to give up? No

Nobody knows what will happen in the future, When sometimes we think that it will come in this way, suddenly it is altered to another. But who knows? It is your hope that makes you stand out. To what or whom do you put your hope on?

For my personal opinion, I am totally agree with the sons of Korah (Psalm 42:11)

By thinking what is important, we can see that this life -moment of time- must not be taken for granted. Talking about “not to be taken for granted”, my mind suddenly filled with my family and dearest friends. If you do realize that you are on the limit, especially when it comes to families and friends, you have to treasure them, think of what is important matter that you can do with them and hope in God that He will take care them for you. Never-ever make this kind of regret.

Sorry for my awful and unstructured English or argument, this post is kind of “rush” post from me.

 

Copenhagen, 17 August 2014*

*in celebration of 69th Indonesia independence day, hoping that I can take part for my nation resurrection in the coming future.

Between Sukowono, Surabaya and Trondheim

Hello :)

This post is inspired by a friend of mine. She is living in Zambia now. It is the following sentence she wrote which triggered me to write this post,

Sky is the limit

For international student like me, living in the place which is far from home country has its own fun and challenging experience. I will not talk about the pleasure side. I think most international students out there have listed what the good things being independent and outside from your comfort zone. Even BBC has an article that either studying or working abroad makes us smarter. That article is reasonable that through difference experience, culture and people that we, as international students, have to face how to solve it through out every day life..

This is my personal reason why it is demanding: homesick. It is serious matter as I am desperately missing my nice life in my country, among my family and friends. But it is inevitable, isn’t it? This is life and I have to find out how to tackle this problem, so that I can develop and move forward.

I have been living in few places so far. I was educated from kindergarden and elementary school in Sukowono, while junior high school to senior high school in Jember (It is just 30 km away from Sukowono). Not a problem anyway, since I went back and forth house-school, everyday with public transportation. I used to nap time or just simply talk (more precisely: joking) with friends sitting beside me.

250 km was the distance between home to university where I pursued my bachelor degree. I need 5 hours to get there and by this reason, I decided to stay in Surabaya, the capital city of East Jave province. Now I couldn’t go home as frequent as I want, not only was it far but also several technical factors such as traffic jam, time efficiency and gasoline cost as my main considerations. At least, I could go home once in three months when I had minimum holidays of 7 days.

My journey did not stop in here. I have made myself to pursue higher education outside of Indonesia. It was the experience together with sort of “questing and testing” myself in order to dig down what kind of unrevealed aspect of my innerself which I did not realize. So, of all applications I sent, university in Norway and Taiwan accepted me. Strangely, I decided to go to Norway which is really far from Indonesia. With the distance close to 16.000 km, crossing Asia and central Europe, I arrived in the place which was new for me, a foreign land with unknown culture, people and habit. Thanks to the God, what I feared by the time I determined myself taking a Master degree in Norway had been slowly faded. Through the cruel winter, poor sunlight, slippery road and many other things which are occured naturally in northern part of the world, I survived. I found the warmth heart of the people among the coldness; and the most important factor is friends. I enjoyed my days being with them; my life was colored by them, I was really grateful. As the time flied, one by one of my friends had to return back to their own country, and it brought me a great sadness. Finally, when I finished my education, it was my turn to leave Norway. The night before I left Norway, all of the memories I had for the past two years ran through in my head, similar like old projector with black and white color. So much trouble I had that night, remembering the unique and memorable life I made with my friends, through every cycle of emotion. The day after, I left Norway.. Sorrow lived in my heart but I could not cry. Such a nuisance XD

Time is cruel, I tell you my friend. It does not need to know what you have done or progress you have made. It will do as the time come. I am just knowing that our life is not the function of result, but it is a function of time. Therefore my advice is: treasure your time, be wise in using it! It will never come back..

The next journey of my life after completing Master Degree has been determined after I had been graduated from bachelor level: research. So the asnwer is clear enough: either becoming a researcher in industry or looking for PhD opportunity. In four months of engaging jobs and PhD searching, I have settled myself for company and university in the semiconductor field. Tens of applications were sent and just few answered me. Among them, only one positive feedback I received. It was a PhD position in NTNU, the university I am working now. It has been four months since I came back again to Trondheim and started my research. Though I returned to the same city where I have been living for two years, I experienced such different: a new perspective. Some aspects are not the same as I had when I was a master student. My old and best friends are not longer in here anymore, and such a reminiscence and memory I have for them, whenever I walk alone through the “wild” path I use to go from home to university and vice versa or when I have fellowship with some friends in the Church. I am vaguely remembering their face, but their presence are still living in this tiny heart.

I remembered correctly that when I had a final exam weeks during my junior and senior high school era, usually I did not sit in my room. As long as I could, I studied in the 2nd floor of my house where there was an open space, mainly used for drying the laundry stuff. So I sat and read there, under the bright of the sun, with the sky as my solely roof. For some time when I got bored, I used to see the sky, some shape of the clouds and birds. It did not only help returning my concentration, but also I felt that burden and tension in my mind were also blown away with the wind. This habit disappeared when I moved to Surabaya as it does not offer the townfolk great view of the sky; people are busy with their own things, without realizing an awesomeness of the sky is sitting above them, and I was one of them. The habit of staring the sky grew when I did my master in Trondheim but I much more enjoy it now.

Sky as it is seen from the bus stop close to my home

Sky as it is seen from the bus stop close to my home

As the place where I live now is bit further up (about in the hill), I can see some part of outskirt of the town from the bus stop close where I live (around 10 m). Whenever I return from university, I always rest in this bus stop with no intention for taking bus of course, just re-take my lost breath for having 3.5 km walking or cycling up to the hill. Especially when it comes in cycling, I feel my heart beating so fast with heat generated in my both feet especially in thigh. As I arrive there, I feel satisfy with good time in work and exercising (walking or cycling) while enjoying sunset, clouds, vehicles in the far place, mountain, weather station on the peak of the mountain, Tyholt tower, roof of Nidaros Church, the fjords, apartments, roads, light road, people… It is paid off. In the same place, I often reflect, revise what I have been done for a day and plan for the tomorrow. While gazing the sky, my mind has wondering, looking to the future, where I will be after I finish my PhD degree and what kind of place in the next 10-15 years and things I have been designing so far. Sometimes, things are not going as I plan, but as soon as I set my mind to the dream I store in the “clouds” or sky, I feel eased up, putting my feet back to the ground with a conviction that “Everything will be OK and something will be get developed as long as there is a hard work, determination and commitment in solving present issues”. A new power has been obtained and I prepare my night for the new day. It takes 5-10 minutes for me to enjoy my solitude. A great thing also that, my desk in the university is just next to the window, so I can free my mind in between of busy working days.

Sky as it is seen from my desk at university

Sky as it is seen from my desk at university

Through sky-gazing, I realize something: we are living under the same sky. No matter where we are, there is a common connection between us. One of the most miserable event in my life is separation or parting. Realizing the moment when that will be the last time I enjoy moment with my friend, and think that the “good bye” is meant to be “So long!”, the last and final word to be spoken. An occasion with rare statement of a friend when we about to part with each other, “we will not see each other again” broke deep inside my heart, leaving a scratch on it. Unexpectedly, all the reminiscence appeared and anxiety of leaving friend for indecisive time and thousands km of distances. Throughout my life, I met some great friends from whom I learnt a lot: some fellows are still in Trondheim while number of them are away and I also receive a new friends \^_^/; I am grateful that my experience living as an international student has brought me to have chance encountering them. It is them, whom I treasure. My feeling at the moment? I am badly missing them! Nevertheless, whenever I look fixedly at the sky as well as through constant prayer, they are within my reach emotionally. Something is on the sky, a magical space linking us together.

Between Sukowono, Surabaya and Trondheim: these places are bonded together, though the mighty distances separating them. My recollection are treasured within these cities. Despite I live separatedly from my friends and family, but one thing I remember:

it is the sky that becomes the only limit between me and them. And one day, take it in mind that I will meet them, under the same sky :)

It is a great to meet a new friend(s) who you can get familiar with. It is awesome when you talk to them as you will not feel time passing. It is substantial by the time you listen to them since you feel relaxed just by opening your heart to accept them as they are. If you do find them, treasure them, as they will not be able with you all the time.

“Is there any adventure more exciting than meeting new people and finding out what lives within them?” -Sonja Henie, Norwegian skater-

I remember a great song created and sung by GooseHouse, called “Sky”. Here is the pieces of the lyric:

We’ll walk our own ways
Then looking back,
“I’m alone” you may say
Hey, don’t you forget
We always share the sky
Always…
I’m by your side 

Thank you for reading :))

Your friend,

Andreas

Preview for my second month

Ok, I am really behind my schedule to post this. Here are the things took place from 17 April through 17 May 2014:

1st week

  • My first Easter week in Trondheim as a PhD student. Living a second chance of life in the same city has given me a bit of different perspective on how going through it. To appreciate the 7-day off (Easter-spring break), I went for two-day away from Trondheim, to Surnadal, staying in a house with more than 100 years old of history, witnessing many important events in the local area.
That view!

That view!

  • My off-days were accompanied with lunch invitation by friend of mine. What a nice day! I spent almost 6 hours in my friend’s place, doing nothing :p
  • During the Easter day, on Sunday, I helped a friend to run a Sunday school. But it was a suicide attempt as I do not have “enough” Norsk speaking ability. As you can see, I just did some body language to communicate and… a desire to learn Norsk has been growth. The day after, last day of vacation was spent in helping a family who moved out to new place.

2nd week

  • One of my flatmate celebrated a birthday. It was nice to share the joy together. The day after, I visited another Indonesian family who returned back to Indonesia for good, dedicating their life for the country. I am looking forward to hear news from them soon!
  • Ah, one day was the time I needed to have graphene electronic bandgap visualized and the result was still not like what I want! Well, let’s move to another part of interest.
  • Finally, our small apartment has our own microwave, but though it is an old microwave (and insanely heavy!), its performance is still on the top!
  • Finally, the sun had come out from its hideout. After Church meeting, I spent 2 hours with my friend, sitting around and enjoying the sun. Lol, something I will not do in Indonesia :p

3rd week

  • My very 1st draft of research proposal has been done. It was terrible :))
  • Invitation on 1st May. It was also goodbye dinner for a friend, leaving Norway on 4 May. He is going to marry soon in this summer! Almost 3 hours we spent together. The day after, I had invitation for another dinner. Two days in a row!
  • Voluntary work? I did by helping a little in cleaning one room in the Church :))

4th week

  • Wow, my 2nd draft was finished. Still terrible, but at least better. The day after, it was a full-day seminar about PhD introduction, outside of NTNU.
  • Next days in a row: 3rd group meeting, and I was passively participating the discussion. Commemorating a PhD defense of Indonesian friend. Easter celebration in Indonesian Bible Study. On Sunday, the Church’s main pastor moved to another city and a farewell party was held. I heard they had a big feast.. Ooh, where was I? Oversleeping in my room :p
  • 2nd day of PhD introductory seminar, and it was held in NTNU. The day after was another fascinating seminar: working with Norwegians.
  • In this week, the group had a big event where one of the PhD student was going to defend his work and after that, he was officially received a Doctoral degree. Congratulation!
  • And in the end, 17 May, a constitusional day of Norway was celebrated. So much fun!
200 years of Norwegian constitusional celebration (It is my friend who took this nice photo. I will borrow for a bit :D )

200 years of Norwegian constitusional celebration (It is my friend who took this nice photo. I will borrow for a bit :D)

Well, I am looking forward for the third month :)

Life perspective from pair of shoes

Life from the shoes perspective One step taken and the journey started!

Life from the shoes perspective. One step taken and the journey started!

It is interesting though, from the shoes accident, I brought up a paragraph. Even more, I extract some experience from it, appreciate every detail and give thanks for it. Now, I am going to write another version of it, which I have thought about it during Easter holiday in here (the broken shoes took place in those days).

And I promise this is the last one :)

Each of us has our own shoes size, preferred brand and preferred price. The facts are that we have our own favor, which we can’t determine other people to use like what we use. All we can do is giving them advice, and it fully depends on them, as a matter of freedom of thinking: take it or leave it.

I think that, picking up shoes is somehow similar when we choose what kind of life we want to be in the future.

Using right shoes will deliver us to the place we want in enjoyable adventure and of course, safe way. In the other hand, picking up wrong shoes will bring us to horrible situation.

So, each of us has different goals in this life and to achieve that goals, I believe at least we have something in our mind to set it to become reality. For those who does not like abstract stuff, they prefer to sit down and write on the paper, plan for it, from the general matter up to detail ones. They are trying to “choose their shoes and examine them” whether it fit them based on internal factor (ability, hobby, family, education) and external factor (society expectations, friends).

In living our life, there are many mistakes we often made in the past, and somehow it is repeated again and again and again… Friends can contribute great impact for living our life. It is extremely important to have friends with constructive view of points, open and honest toward us. Sometimes they point out that we put wrong shoes or not good enough for the journey we are embarking on. It is not so practical, inconvenience and annoyed by the time we have to revised all of our plan from the beginning. Positive inputs or suggestions have never been relaxing us, right? It challanges us to step out from our comfort zone.

After all, it depends on us whether we take that suggestion or not: So, my friend suggested me  to take one very nive shoes whose price is triple compared to what I have before T.T Yes, they are out of my mind! But, for sake of my feet to be redeemed from any future inflammation of the skin, I took that advice. So far, it has been suited perfectly with me! I am grateful afterall, enjoying how birds are chirping in the morning :)

Friends can be the guidance and reminder to keep this life in track. Sharing story, exchanging views, Expressing agree and disagree about something: they have put their marks in our hearts, enriching this life. Even though they can’t help solving your problem for instances, their presence alone bringing themselves as a listeners are enough to lift up our burden. It is just… they are there for you and you for them, being together to face the same obstacles.

Maya Angelou, an American poet once said interesting stuff which I can relate to a friendship,

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Well, I am agree with that.

 

Thanks for reading!

Story from the shoes

Note: this writing material is purely my opinion, based on my personal experience for the last two weeks periods :)

Just like I wrote on my last paragraph in my previous post, I had annoying experience concerning with water and shoes. Owning good (normal and proper) shoes have never been comfortable like this. Besides covering your feet, the good shoes also provide well, pleasant and safe transportation from one place to another, no matter what the situation is. The ultimate goal is, you will arrive in your destination with an enjoyable and extraordinary experience.

Whaaattt? Enjoyable experience? Extraordinary experience? Yes, I think so. I believe walking with the water inside your shoes is bad idea :) Enjoying sunrise and sunset while walking, feeling the breeze of the wind, watching the clear sky, inhaling the taste of spring season and listening to the bird’s singing are one of the best things to do in life, of course non of them will come true with wet feet :(

 

Sunrise

Sunrise

 

Sunset

Sunset

 

NTNU main building (NTNU hovedsbygningen) a.k.a Harry Potter building

NTNU main building (NTNU hovedsbygningen) a.k.a Harry Potter building

You can listen to the bird’s chirping, which I recorded with my phone several days ago: link1, link2 (play it it VLC player)

Or, even the piano (It is not me who play it, of course. I recorded piano performance of my friend last Sunday), I can hear it with much awesome feeling: link (play it it VLC player)

Everything has its own special attractions when I put more detail in it, put more thankful for everything we see, listen, feel, sense or eat :)

I think I am bit of exaggerating this point. Well.. yeah, maybe.. but this is my point. Most of the time, I am too busy with my life, without realizing that there are many small aspects in my life needed to be thankful. I often complain, grumble, sigh, mutter, protest, whine, complaint regarding my situation. Well.. I am a human being, since it is natural to do: when I get something I want, I will smile and happy; when I get nothing from my expectation, I will do the opposite thing. Meaning that, my joy will be decided only in short time, just in the result, not in the process of obtaining it. Argh, life is hard if it is like this.

From this shoes incident, I learn that giving thanks in every things I have is very important. I don’t think that I will realize value of the matter until it loss its functionality, even it has small value in my life.. such a wet feet due to the broken shoes.. :(

Big and tall building are started with the material such as stone, wood, glass and so on, so that they are combined to be what architects and engineers want, of course by a detail plan. I think my life is the same. I am “building” my own life, to be as tall as I want or in another word, according to my life purpose. The building process, of course, composed of my plan and things which happened in my life, as a reaction to the action I give. Through complaining, I unconsciously put “wrong and unsuitable” material in my life. It is not wrong actually, but maybe bit deviating from what it is supposed to be. If it builds up continuously, the “building” in my life will become fragile enough so that by the time external pressure applied, everything will collapse and fall into pieces… I don’t want it to be happen…

As I give thanks, I will have soon arrive in different perspectives. Everyday I make mistakes, intentionally or not, to friends and myself. No one can deny it. The most important thing is, I can learn from my mistake and fix it. Through all of these nuisances, I learn something and start developing to be a better person. In relating to my illustration, it is like that I manage to use and put “material in right place”. Slowly but sure, I build our dream in the right track. How can I be entrusted with something big, if there is no effort of learning and gratification in small things?

So, the rule of thumb is:

Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.

A Friend of mine – J.C

Quite simple, huh?

Concerning small matters which are deserved to be thanked for, I remember one of the biggest author in the history, named Moses, wrote in the chapter of psalm,

So teach us to number our days,
That we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Ah! I realized its meaning, even though small part of it: reflecting what I have done, take the essence of it and concluded by giving thanks for everything I get. All of these will be adding knowledge of life, so that I become a better person days by days.

In the end, I will put more effort (to learn) reducing complain, grumble, sigh, mutter, protest, whine and complaint.

And no wet shoes any longer ;)

Sight in a month

Four days ago is my 30 days away from home-16000 km. The first days I arrived here, there were snow everywhere and I had to cope with them for two weeks at least. I was bit worried not by the coldness, but by its surface which can give me fall probability increase. It was hurt as hell!

Snow everywhere

Snow everywhere

So the first three weeks, I stayed in my friend’s place. I am gracious to have his kindness over me. We had nice fellowship and conversation in the night and morning after. Most of the time, I shared with him what I had been doing in one day, both happiness and sadness, and I felt really glad after sharing all of these feelings, realizing that I am not alone. The week after, I have to move out to my permanent place, at least for a year. Fortunately, I have a new great flatmate in here :)

The first days in the university were nice. I am assigned in the office I have been dreaming: It is in the electrical buidling, a glass house close to the Stripa and Hovedbygningen.

Electrical engineering building

Electrical engineering building

Several things I have to settle first, including introduction with my project as well as preparation for the research proposal. Both of my supervisors are busy to the climax at the moment, so I have to organize everything by myself for this moment.

My desk

My desk

The desk I have was not organized very well, from the racks and the cupboards, as well as the bottom part. It had malfunction CPU, it hold one CPU and monitor from the MBE lab, lot of samples, many files on the racks, a pair of sandal and shoes, broken cupboards and unidentified things inside it, and scattered office tools. Nah, the most annoying thing was selecting magazines, papers, books and other things from the cupboards to be thrown away to garbage. They were indeed heavy.

Another side of my desk

Another side of my desk

For a while, I had to use my mid 2009 macbook pro in my office. Recently, I had it connected with 24″ inch HP LCD. A bit of organizing the cables was annoying, since I have to went down, at the bottom of the desk and stood up again, just to make sure the cables. The first stage of cleaning has finished anyway!

I did some cleaning in some areas, reporting a broken cupboards to vaktmaster, proposing for new computer. After two weeks or so, they came. Another action to organize these things has been done: re-organizing the new machines, as well as putting the cables to their place andddd bringing my macbook pro home with me . Now, these equipments are sitting in the place I wanted and I can sit comfortably as long as I want!

Woohoo

Woohoo

Due to the large screen I had in my office, I was thinking to have one also in my flat. Luckily, I found 20″ acer and it sits nicely with my macbook pro :)

Live is never been easier like this if you have a large screen!

Hungry T-Rex

Hungry T-Rex

I found good accompany while I study: Hungry T-Rex! I have no idea why I want it on my desk, sitting next to my computer, but it looks nice :) Time to hunt down for another model!

Now I understand the feeling of having secure in my feet! What I mean is that, the comfortability you have while walking during the rain. Last week, I had my Viking shoes broken, actually started from middle of 2012, but it was not that bad like it is. So, I think I can handle those water coming in, penetrating through the broken membrane in my shoes, but in fact I can’t hold it any longer added with crazy weather over Trondheim, where this city got rain all days long in a week. I got blister on my feet and I felt a quite pain in my feet. No, I think it is more than blister, it is dermatitis, a skin inflammation. So, the day after I had climax for my frustration, I went to the shop with my friend to buy a new shoes, Crispi, more expensive than I thought, but I think it is good enough for next 2 years, at least they warranty it. Ahh… Now I know it is nice to have warm feet :)

Well, that is for now. I have no idea what I will have for upcoming month, but I am looking forward to it!

Knowledge at its best

Hi all,

All of us have been educated for many years, both in formal education institutions (elementary school up to university) and informal institution, err… community to be precised.

Have we ever been wondered, what is the point of the education we had in the formal institutions? In a straightforward way of speaking, it supposed to be benefitting the society we are living, directly or indirectly.

In my opinion, knowing and understanding something is not enough. Learning is fun, but making it more helpful, or able to utilize it for the people has its own satisfication. It feels like bringing me up to the advanced level. After all, those will become a new knowledge.

All the researchers do the same. They will learn things (read journals and try to absorb the experience as much as possible) from the past and present, try to understand it, and then start to think how to develop them into something that useful for the human kind.

Not only matters related to the research fields, all the people outside this area, I am sure that they have the same objectives.

I remembered with one occasion where my 3.5-year-old cousin had the ability to spell, from a-z. He succeeded in spelling the words, but was not able to pronounce it correctly. Instead, he screamed the word he knew for that object. Here is the illustration:

Of course, without knowing how to use it :)

Of course, without knowing how to use it :)

So, with 1+1=2, what can you do for the goodness of the people around you?