Dear my beloved PRESTASI IIEF team,
A Mother’s Letter by Asrul Sani
“Go into the far-flung world, my beloved son!
Go to a free life!
While the wind is at your back,
And the morning is bright on the leaves,
And in the jungles and on the green fields.”
“Return, my beloved son,
To the evening’s side,
And when your ship draws up to the quay
We shall speak
“About love and your life in the morning.”
(translated by Burton Raffel and Nurdin Salam)
I am one of those people who admire Asrul Sani, a famous Indonesian writer, poet, and screenwriter. My thoughts, words, and actions have been inspired a lot by his creation, for instance, from such an eloquent poem above. I want to explore the world, seek the knowledge, and bring it back home.
My journey to the United States began in August 2013 when I first touched down in Indiana State. It was such a great honor for me to be admitted in Indiana University Bloomington, or IUB for short. The school is one of the largest public schools in the U.S. with thousands of international students. The city of Bloomington is the home of the Hoosiers, that is how we call the people here.
My academic life is filled with so much fun (no tears hehe). I am truly blessed having a kind-hearted academic advisor and brilliant professors who are willing to help anytime I need. One thing I want you to know. My academic advisor bought a cake and a birthday present for me (she was giving the gift at night in my birthday while having a potluck). I couldn’t be happier. Meanwhile, I do comprehend that I should devote my time and energy to study and to succeed in my academic endeavor. To be honest, reading the articles, having group meetings, and working on assignments in front of computer everyday are indeed tedious works for me. All I can say about the type of learning here in the Instructional Systems Technology (IST) Department IUB is all about Project-Based Learning. I must deal with many clients and projects. There is such a good combination of the educational field and corporate settings. For some reasons, I started to fall in love with both fields. The students are exposed with a wide range of organizations, human resource development, of course, instructional technology as well. Whenever I have questions or concerns, I just come to see my professors to get more feedback. In the previous classes, I conducted semester-long team projects with some clients as capstone projects in which our team should show an understanding of lessons learned throughout semester. One example of the projects was an evaluation of training opportunities for staff in the School of Education at Indiana University. This project met client expectations and received high regards from the clients.
To best equip myself in academic research, I have participated in a research group of Human Resource Development (HRD) Education. The research group is mostly composed of doctoral students, but in rare cases the professor opens it for master’s students if the student is interested in conducting research. Our research group members and the professor presented an initial study of HRD education at the 2014 Instructional Systems Technology Conference. This activity was an outstanding opportunity for me to exercise my ability of presenting a study that we have collaborated in the past year. Moreover, taking a part in the department to serve our graduate students’ association called Graduates in Instructional Systems Technology (GIST) as a parliamentarian allowed me to demonstrate my ability in leadership. I have been working with other master and doctoral students to plan the conference, conduct professional development events, and plan happy hours.
In my spare time, I hang out with my classmates, and most of them are Chinese. We share cultures, food, and even new ideas or perspectives. I really love playing badminton with them. It seems like we have so much things to do on weekends to relieve the stress. Moreover, I like to dance in my free time. I travelled to Ohio, Michigan, and New York to dance in Indonesian Cultural Night events. For as long as I could remember, I had an experience when I was absent for one of my classes because of attending the Indonesian Night. For that case, I let the professor know in advance, and she was kind of supporting me to attend the event. I usually took the bus to go to travel. I probably could say that I love travelling with a bus because there I can see a gorgeous view on my way traveling. However, there was a time when I missed my family and was afraid of my grades or my achievements. I sometimes feel homesick, and whenever it happens, the only thing I do is just talking with my advisor as well as calling my family and friends in Bali.
I’d also like to share a piece of happiness with you. I was awarded for Ambassador’s Award for Excellent (AAFE) 2014, and that was the greatest gift from God after accomplishing my first year here in Indiana. This award was given by the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia for students who demonstrate a good academic and non-academic achievement, leadership ability, and social responsibility. Last summer 2014 I was invited to attend the award ceremony and join the Flag Raising Ceremony for the Independence Day at the Ambassador’s Residence, Washington, D.C. I couldn’t be happier shaking hand with Mr. Ambassador, taking many pictures with him, and talking about my future goals. I do understand this could not happen without all the effort, patience, and persistence.
Well, now I am waiting for the time when I must be ready to go home as the son has to return from his journey catching the fish over an open sea to meet his mother. I always keep this in my mind. Once you reach your dreams in this land of the opportunities, you should be back home to share the joyful of the dreams, love, and stories with others.
Thank you for your tremendous support and affection, PRESTASI IIEF.
I Kadek Purnawan (Awan)