“We should all be feminist”, should we? 

I am not a feminist, at least I think I am not a strict feminist.
My brother maybe more “feminist” than me… “Kakak, you should be happy! Achieve everything you want to achieve! Go far…”
To be honest, I never think too much about gap equality on salary because I think the most important thing is what I did on the job, and I’ll have time to compare how much my salary compared to the men with same position with me.
I also will have no problem if someday I should have more time to take care my kids, why not…I love kids. I will find the job which quite friendly enough to facilitate my preference.
And if I am an actress, I also have no problem if the categories in Oscar divided into male and female, well… why not… more winner, more happiness… why not!

And I think, maybe most of women think like me (some of course have a broader ‘feminism’ perspective).
The problem is, sometimes men asked more without communicate everything first with the women. At least, that what I got from my personal perspective and also from what I read from “We Should all be feminist” By Chimamanda N. Adichie. Adichie, in my opinion (and I believe you agree with me)is very bright woman. She got some points to capture about gap inequality happening in the world. Arghhh… I like her 🙂

(PS: If you are too lazy to read the book, you can see her speech on youtube)

I remember in one page she talking about marriage. If men too late to get married, our community will see them as men who still fight and focus for their career. Building their brighter future.
While women? In some community (including my country actually), women who pass their middle 20 age are considered as spinster… and maybe (just maybe) it will be hard for them to find man who want to marry her.

Women also will face many obstacles to continue their career, and well… that’s not really bad. The worst thing is if divorce should be happened, the women who continue their career will be blamed more by the community than the men who workaholic and don’t have time for his family.

Maybe the gender inequality is more serious than I noticed… I just lucky because I always surrounded by very nice people around me.

But I am thinking, how far “feminism” should be?

feminism:
1 :  the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
2 :  organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests

I agree with the definition, but how far the equality should goes?
As a woman, in the future I am okay to take care my family… to educate my kids, to prepare some delicacy for my husband, taking care my family. That’ll be my pleasure. I even don’t have any idea to threat men authority. But I also have lots of potential inside, I still want to be a researcher, a writer, a photographer, play music, I also still love to teach. And I hope my future partner can understand that.

I know that our community sometime more-cruel than our inner circle family. They become a commentator without knowing what really happened inside. I remember when one of my friend told me that she has a friend who made a mean comment about a women who came very late from home by said “Hish… she must be never take care her kids”. Who knows this woman have a serious financial problem in her family, who knows her husband already passed away, who knows the income of his husband is just not enough… who knows? Have we think about that before we judge about other people?

The same question for my self.

Maybe… we no need to be a real-radical feminist.
Maybe just become a wiser and better person is enough to make this world become more comfortable to live in.
Yeah… maybe.

Book Review: The Omnivore Dilemma

Again, I always think that we designed as an omnivore, so it is not a sin when we eat both meat and vegetables. The problem now is how to be “wise omnivore”

I went to a book store in Tokyo, and finding the most popular book in popular science on their shelf. Then I found a very interesting book: The Omnivore Dilemma by Michael Pollan. People said you haven’t learn much about agriculture and foods if you haven’t read any Pollan’s book. And yes!

One of the best Pollan’s masterpiece is this book. I you are a young reader (or at least love bigger and more attractive layout of book), I recommend you to find the “young reader edition” because it is very easy to read and some information box and graphics are really help us to understand a whole idea in this book.

omnivore dilemma

It is like my whole research in easy words. In this book, Michael Pollan tried to bring us investigate every point on the food’s chain. From on-farm until off-farm. You’ll find out what human actually do for the shake of industry needs. This book will open your eyes about some hidden facts of all agricultural products including, of course, our foods. A book which brought me to visit farm area in Japan and motivate me to learn more about food chain, agriculture, and stuff. I will recommend it so much, especially if you totally green about animal cruelty, mono-culture in farm, and sustainable agribusiness. This book will be a good start and encourage you to find more.

Another thing I love so much in this book is Pollan, in my opinion, in not kind of “hardliner” about vegan VS non-vegan, he is very neutral and wise, and to be honest we need lots of writer like him. Also, while his background was a journalist (and I think he also guest lecture in Barkeley now), so the way he deliver his ideas is flowing and nice to be read.

So, yuph! If you still wondering which book to read next, then you can try this one 🙂

A story behind a snowy day

dsc_0636

“Not one word, not one gesture of yours shall I, could I, ever forget…”
― Leo Tolstoy

Just finished my research presentation. In one word: “meh”
I thought it was a little progress, in fact? Nope… I still need to learn another bunch of text books and mathematical modelling.

“No, Marissa… you can’t use this one.”
“Mmm… you should modify all of the model…”
“Well, we should think how to construct everything further. Okay… forget this agriculture part and forestry, move on to the energy sector. Finish it first, one journal, then we construct for the agriculture and forestry”

.
.
.
.

“I can see your hard work, well… I know you can overcome all of these. We just need time and we have it, don’t you think so?”

The last sentence, at last,  was warming my heart in the middle of snowy day.

My mom said every person who has achieved mastery has started their journey to expertise by feeling stupid. By feeling green, you know that you need to learn more. To read more. To exercise more.
And I know that, understand that very well.

But, as an ordinary human, I also think “Oh come on, why it took so long for me to master this?”

Then sometimes, I started to complain… to make a question to God “Why you didn’t bless me mmmmm…. more?”
Silently, become more and more ungrateful human being.

Now, in this point, I realize something…
To be success in studying, you are not only need to focus learn about any specific subject…
but also you need to learn about patience
also need to learn about time management
also need to cheer yourself up when you feel down
also need to smile
also need to…. accepting your self.

In the end, it is more like a process to be a humble person. To learn that “Hei, you are not such a super human”,
to learn that we are not perfect, we will always do some mistakes, we need other people to help, and we always have a chance to stand up again and again and again every time we fall.
In the end, it is about a process to develop our maturity.

In my life, I am already got 3 new year cards from my professor… it means I entered my third year working with him, learn from him. It is my third year to study far from home, just bringing a huge box of my family’s dreams and hopes.
In these period of time, I never forget every single words they already said to me.
I believe, in a certain point in the future, I will make them smile and proud of me 🙂

I know I can make it, it is my promise… witnessed by the snow
absorbed by the earth…
Hopefully, delivered and heard to the God.

Re-interpreting Rumi’s poem

In a book, I found one Rumi’s poet:

DSCN9930 (2).JPG

” In generosity and helping others, be like a river
In compassion and grace, be like the sun
In concealing others faults, be like the night
In anger and fury, be as if you have died
In modesty and humility, be like the earth
In tolerance, be like the sea
And either appear as you are, or be as you appear”

I don’t know whether it was truly spoken by Rumi, while from what I read it was presented in such oral tradition something. I read lots of books, including Rumi’s but as I remember, I never read that one (although it is everywhere in pinterest and internet). But, whatever… I think that’s sweet enough.

I was thinking, why I should be a river in the term of generosity?
why should be like the sun in term of compassion?
why?
why?
why?
I mean, lots of things in the world if you just want to make the poet beautiful you can put any world on it. Then, I believe there must be a “philosophical” insight on it. So I tried to re-read it again, and find another place to satisfy my curiosity.

I found a simple explanation from one Indonesian writer, Maman Suherman in his page:

1. In generosity and helping others, be like a river, flows endlessly and never expect back
2. In compassion and grace, be like the sun.Giving warmth to anyone, regardless.
3. In concealing others faults, be like the night. Covering tightly without ever leak any of it.
4. In anger and fury, be as if you have died. Silent, don’t do anything
5. In modesty and humility, be like the earth. Always put yourself “lower” and elevate others.
6. In tolerance, be like the sea. Be tolerant. Ready to accommodate the views of a different view
7. And either appear as you are, or be as you appear. Just be yourself, as authentic as you are. Consistent between inner and outer.

Well, I don’t know.
I believe that understanding Sufism is not such an easy work to do. It is like me reading the Odyssey, usually I sleep after read about 1-2 pages. It is more effective than a sleeping pills to make you feel tired and sleepy :p

But, just like any other forms of art and culture, I believe that Rumi’s works also try to give another advice and insight to the community in that period, and even for today’s people.
The main problem is, we… we already access every good quotes, poems, advice, and so on from everywhere. But do we getting better? Do we change?  Some yes… some nope.

I remember, once in Indonesia there was an ulema* who had a speech in a prostitution. He simply asked “Ok, everyone.. raise your hand if you don’t know that prostitution is prohibited”
No one raised their hand.
Then the ulema said “See? Then every bad things done by us mainly not because we don’t know it is bad, but more because ‘exogenous’ variables. It can be social, economics, or cultural factor”

Back to the Rumi’s sweet quote. Take for example:
” In anger and fury, be as if you have died.
Well, sorry Rumi… in fact, sometimes we should to show that we angry. There always people who will keep doing their mistakes again and again and again if we just do a silent. A mom should get mad sometimes to her kids when the kids do something bad or dangerous.
A best friend should get angry to her friends sometimes, to remind them if they are on the wrong track.
Sometimes, we need to get angry for someone we truly love. Just to make them getting better.
Although, personally I prefer anger as the last choice after you discuss and give your advise.

Well…
But no one from us can guess what really inside Rumi’s head. There always more than one commentary for every poet. That’s why it becomes one branch of art, because it become sweet and beautiful base on your own interpretation. It is like your read a good book and your imagination tried to figure out all of the situation and people in that book. Once there is a movie try to adapt that book, you will started to say about how bad that movie was… not really because the movie is bad, it just because it different with what you already imagined.

So, let this poet flows beautifully in our calm mind, soul, imagination, and interpretation.

=============================

ulema: Islamic scholar recognized as having specialist knowledge of Islamic sacred law and theology.

Is it”useless” to be a good reader [?]

Language is to be spoken not to be read. That’s what my friend said to me. Very “motivational”

Then it become the worst news for a person like me. I just learn new language because (at first) I really want to read books :’D
I get bored with my English and Indonesian books, then I started to buy French books…
then in Japan I found lots of interesting magazine and books, so I started to buy them and read them.
Am I able to speak Japanese or French fluently? no, not at all 😦

my lovely magazines and a nice electronic dictionary I got from second hand shop :p


And because I don’t really like speaking and very quiet, so at first I feel that’s not such a big deal. I mean, I have books I really want to read, everything are set, and perfect!
Until I am working in one research center in Japan, and I feel sad because I can’t communicate very well with them except by e-mail!
Yes I can read their e-mail… (well beside there is also very kind, nice, and handy google translate)
but when it comes to speaking? A…A….I….I….E….E….

Arrrghhhhhh~~~

It slaps me a lot when I failed on my Japanese proficiency test. I just got “A” in reading, but the other? pfffftt…..
And I just fail by ONE SCORE! Yes, one score!!! So I assumed, maybe…., I got perfect in reading but somehow die in listening and so on. But fail just by lack of one score is nothing but kill you so much.
So, if you want to learn a new language now, here… I will give you a very wise suggestion DO NOT START FROM READING!

No, no… close your novel now… go outside, and speak! speak! speak!
今から話しましょう!
読書は便利ですが、日常の中であまり役に立たない

The problem is, I am so afraid if I am talking in such not polite way hahhahhaa. Working as researcher makes me communicate with professors more often. And it is intimidate me so much, I can’t talk to them in such casual daily conversation 😱

To be honest sometimes I feel envy with my friends who have better auditory skill, that’s  more convenient if you want to learn language. I think I am very visual person, I can remember everything I see and read. I feel like avatar now, already learn 2 elements: wind and water, but still zero in mastering fire and earth.

Well, cheer up Marissa

Keep your head up…. In my office there is a “theme song” for us, it always sing by our choir club every year. The title is 何度でも(なんどでも).

The refrain part if the song is:

10000回(かい)だめでかっこ悪(わる)くても
10001回目(かいめ)は何(なに)か変(か)わるかもしれない

If I am not mistakenly translate it (and you always can doubt my translation 😋): even if you already fail for 10000 times, and it makes you look so bad, keep trying because in the 10001st trials, something will change and it will be better.

That’s my tafsir version hahhahaha. But it motivates me very much. 

I remember my dad told me “Kak, if someday you feel tired for what you already fight for, just try again before you decide to give up. Just try again and again until even God impressed with what you are doing”

World, good luck 🤗

 

 

Home sweet home stuff: Meeting my guitar again!

There is no place as beautiful as home. I thought a week went to Tokyo and enjoy my school life will be a good idea. In fact? Pfffffttt… I can’t endure crowd anymore. So many people… pollution…I still love the train and some beautiful shops I can’t find in Tsukuba. But to be honest, Tokyo made my condition worsen. I think get more stress here. It is weird, because I was living in Tokyo for 2 years.

I really miss home, I really want to back to Tsukuba. And it was a great relieve when I arrived home. Tsukuba is not as convenient as Tokyo, but it is so quiet and full with great park and open space. And for me that’s very beautiful.

Moreover, my friend realize I am a bit force my self too much recently and voluntary visited me. She really  surprised looking at my home was super messy “Marissa-san, this is not you!” Oh I know, and with her help we tidy up my beautiful home. I feel bad because she help me so much, so I ask her what should I do to “entertain” her. I mean, helping to tidy up my home is not such an entertaining activity you can do on Sunday.

ギターを弾いて… そして、歌を歌う” (please play guitar, then sing a song)
“Oh no… I never play it for such a long time”
聞きたい!” (I want to hear that)
“Oh… fine”

It is funny because in Tsukuba, my friends from the office are usually talking in Japanese but I answer them using English. I should stop my Passive Japanese Ability.

I really miss playing guitar, I was a vocalist for a band when I was sooo young hahahaha. But something happened I “retire” so early. I am not really good in guitar or any other musical instruments, but I know the basic of those.

//sendvid.com/embed/anx1wdka

We record my performance this year, I don’t know it is nice enough or not… but kindly enjoy it 🙂

” I never gonna stop the rain by complaining….” << my quote of the month 😀 hahhaa

Mens sana in corpore sano – My vision 2017

wp-1483669608516.jpeg

It was a shocking news when I receive my medical check up result from my university. It was clearly stated that I have a serious problem with my liver. Ok, I had a little problem with that, I admit that.. when I was in Indonesia. But they say it is not really serious, but here, I seems so serious.
Hah? What? Oh come on what kind of joke it is? Because personally, I feel good.
And you know Japan? They even get crazy by flu, of course this one make everyone lose their mind. What a total chaos.

In short, I need to meet a doctor.

I have two big problems:
1. I have a little “nosocomephobia” it is phobia to hospital, to be honest I am so scare  with hospital. Oh come on, have you see public hospital in Indonesia? It is… I don’t know how to describe it. You can see everyone, from the fit one until someone who (maybe) already face-to-face with the Death Angel. Maybe because there are lots of people and limited space.

I also have lots of bad experiences with hospitals. When my mom suffered by sudden stroke, several hospital rejected her. Maybe because I am alone, not look like such a rich person. Oh course, I have no time to change my clothes, bring all of my saving account, tidy up my messy wavy curly hair (I think I was look like a crazy person that time). In that time, I am just panic and alone, and I can’t think.
It is both scare and hatred in my heart about hospital. Once, I told to myself, it is better to die hypothermia in north pole and beaten by polar bear than I should  go to hospital. NO, thanks!

2. It is Japan, I need to find a doctor who able to speak Japanese very well. “Very well” or I should say “fluently” because I planed to ask many things. Or if possible, complain about everything! Hahahaha…

Luckily, I have very nice supervisor and friends here, they find me a good hospital and doctor. “Ok, Marissa you need good hospital and good doctor, we will make appointment with one professor in the university hospital. You will like him”that’s how Japan really “all-out” for everything

So, I went to that recommended hospital. And it was my first time to visit university hospital…. and it was COOL! hhahha…. it looks like research center more than a hospital. Wow! I am so impressed and forgot to take a photo :’D It is clean, wide, bright, and every nurse are smiling and greeting “Konnichiwa…” waaah, so great! I really want to bring my mom here :’D

I took my medcheck, and after that scheduled to meet my doctor… I am surprised when I met my doctor for the first time. Oh my Goodness, I wonder he already have students who already become today’s fresh-professor :’D I am never expect everyone in my office will listen my “request” this serious, so they search for the sensei of the sensei in that hospital for me? Ahahaha ok that’s great. However, my doctor is very nice, it is like you meet you grand father.

“Ok, Marissa-san, how do you feel?” said my grand-father-able doctor
“I feel perfect, Sensei…and don’t understand why I should meet you, to be honest. I come here because, you know, a bit ‘forced'”
“Haha… really?  Well, you should. Here, look your medical check up result. Ah…Marissa-san you should care about your health more”
“Really? But…But…? Whoa… lots of notes here. Sensei can you explain more?”
“Of course I will, but promise you will have regular meeting at least once every month. Until your condition better”
“Tell me first, I will deal it later”
“I spent almost all of my life as a doctor, and I know a patient like you who usually disappear when they feel good. You, I can say, in this type.”
“Ok, for my curiosity”
“Very  well, it is my last year before I retire. So, be good on me”

So tadaaa, then it was started a 30 minutes lecture about your liver and stuff :’D
My doctor in Indonesia never give explanation like that, so at first it was shocked me.

“It seems bad, Sensei. I never realize that… but wait… so, I will die or what? For this one let’s make it direct.”
“In the long run we are all dead, Marissa-san”
“Ahahhaa…. John Keynes! Oh seriously, Sensei”
“Wah! You know it! You are a true economist. No…you just need to take care you self more. I mean hmmm… it is already quite long, your health problem, but you really ignorant with it. So, if you don’t want to make it worse, you need to take a good care of yourself from now. If not, well… I can’t help.”

I choose alive for sure 😀

And another thing that make me happy is, he only give me one medicine….usually I flooded by bunch of medicine
“You only give me one type of medicine, really?”
“yes…why? Do you want more?”
“No, I mean… in Indonesia I drank lots of medicine”
“Not only in Indonesia, almost in every place. I have three reason: 1. I don’t like to give antibiotic for my patient, it makes them resistant with the disease. 2. Too much medicine will make your liver work harder, basically medicine is a poison in a small dose. so, better I limit it. 3. It is your effort to recover which important, not the medicine.”

I don’t know what do you think about my doctor, but I think he shouldn’t retire too fast. There are lots of medical students who will need his wise advises. Do you think so? But he said he really want to travel around the world after this hahahaha…. I can understand his feeling.
I am curious to meet him again next month. And seriously, you need to take care of yourself 🙂 sometimes you just feeling unwell and never care about that.
If I want to be a good researcher and good student, I think I should in fully fit condition.

じゃあ!元気なります!:D