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.

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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

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“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”

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“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.

Enjoying the china town …

To be honest, I always love China town…
It is like you can find everything in China town 😀

I have an intensive class in Suzukakedai area which is very far from my house in Tsukuba. So I took a week days off from my office and decide to stay in Yokohama. What a great decision, while I really love Yokohama so much.

Yokohama always makes my camera gives its big smile. Yesterday, I spent my night to go around the Yokohama China town. I really love the light of China town on the night

Also the artsy building


Oh Gosh! I really really love it… I think it is really refresh my mind, and remind me with my hometown in Bogor, where we also have “Suryakencana”as our China town.However, Chinatown in Japan (maybe) different from any other chinatown in another country. It is very clean and tidy and I guess not as crowded and noisy as any other Chinatown in your country.

I also love to found lots of unique shop around 😀


Hahaha…it is fun, but mmm… maybe as a person who always love cute stuff, it is considered not healthy enough for my wallet hahaaha.

“Smarter Indonesian marry faster”, really?

I don’t understand why but there is always random person who come to me and ask something or just do a random chit-chat. Except to my family and best friends, I am very quiet, so sometimes I am impressed by people who started conversation to me. But, I am not in a mood because I need to prepare my presentation, and as I told before I need to recover my health. I should cook healthy meal, have a healthy lifestyle, and warm my room so I can recover fast.

Tadaaaa… then I got a short chat from someone tonight. About what? About marriage. It is not my first and second time people talking about this thing with me.  So, he shows me a recent study that people in Indonesia, whom more educated, marry faster.
Mmm… so I am not really educated Indonesian because my only boyfriend is my fat fluffy yellow cat in my home (he has obesity problem now, so my brother always bring him to do some exercise :p I still love him). Because I am lazy to write about it so I simply made a comic strip to describe our conversation.

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It is worrisome about Indonesian health condition.
Whenever you go in Indonesia, they will be proud “We are so healthy and strong, although there are lots of street snacks mixed by textile dyes, formalin, borax, etc.”

I remember when my mom entered hospital, there was also foreigner from Japan who entered the ICU after ate meatballs :’D Of course, in Japan everything are clean and hygienic. I am not kidding, you can see me as an example, I feel good but I am sick inside. You should be very careful to choose street snack in Indonesia.

So, are Indonesian healthy and strong? Not really, our life expectancy rate only 65-67 years old. While in developed countries it is already 70-80 years old. Here in Japan, you can see elderly above 80 years old still healthy and do their activity as usual.

I don’t want to debate my nice friend but, I have another two points to criticize:
1. Making conclusion in scientific research is not easy, especially in social science. You need to consider every cause and probability. So, be mind about that.
2. I am not an expert, but marriage…. ah marriage. I think people should marry when they are ready, not because they are lonely, or because they afraid of sickness in the future. You want to make someone happier isn’t it? So, I think if then I decide to marry someone, it might be because he can persuade me that he can make me happier, and in the same time I am ready to make him in better off condition, it is about a long term commitment to be friend forever. I am not sure this “heart” things can be quantify by statistic or any quantitative research.

However, if you already love someone, you ready, kindly marry her/him, be happy. When you really in love sincerely with someone, you will have no reason to leave them 🙂 trust me…

 

Mens sana in corpore sano – My vision 2017

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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

 

When your teacher talks to you…

I think it is also unusual for us to talk heart by heart with our teacher, supervisor, professor, even maybe to our parent. But today I have quite deep conversation with my professor. Actually, it was a casual interview, at first he asked me about my part-time contract, whether I want to continue to work or not. Of course it is an absolute yes. Where else in Japan I can be a researcher, in very nice place, having very nice secretary, teachers, friends, and hey! they speak English very well (I don’t know it is a good side or not hahaha, it makes me lazy to learn Japanese).

But in the end of the interview, I almost cried….
not because my professor doing bad on me, but because he is very kind.

“… I know you will face lots of burden in your research, but you need to encounter it. No matter how hard it will be, you also will find your way to deal with it. I believe, someday you will become a very good researcher, you will work with wider research topics, working with lots of new people from diverse background. More than you know, I believe you are very keen researcher, you just need to meet a right and good team, that’s it. So, in my pray as your teacher and someday maybe your research partner, I always hope you will surrounded by very nice people. With your passion, I believe you can develop every single thing I told you someday. You can make your own achievements and it should be better than what we, your teacher, made

I am rarely hear that from my professor. To be precise… from Japanese.
Oh let me correct it, I never heard that from my teacher.
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When you read this, I don’t know the way your teachers treat you. But in this educational level, some people in my home country (well… of course not all) are more likely to see their student as “rival” rather than “friend” or just simply “student.”
I always appreciate my teacher as my teacher, I come from teacher-family so I know how to appreciate this noble occupation. But along with my higher education, I feel more and more distance with them. Personally, I am always a big fans of all my teachers. No matter how high my education will be, I will never beat something we call “experiences”

I know how poor my ability to show up my true feeling, what is it inside my heart. But, I really love my teacher. And until forever, they always be my teacher… I also hope, until forever they will recognize me as their student.

Cycling back to my home, I can’t forget what my professor said to me that day.
I think I will never be able to reply every kindness he made, so I made a decision….I will make every single hope he made on me become a reality.

 

My New Book log: A book diary for every bibliophile

I really love books, but while life getting more serious and busier, I can’t read as much as I want. Of course I am still reading, but reading academic journal, country’s data, my program syntax. That’s fun at first, but I get bored sometimes by that academic stuff.

So now, I utilize my 5-10 minutes to read every day whether in the morning or before sleep. The problem is, that time is too limited for me, because I am kind a person who love to make notes from every books I read. I love to leave some notes there to remind me which are the interesting or important part of the books.

Know that I really love books and making notes about it, my secretary in my office recommend me to have a “wanna do diary”. I know Japan really love diary and stuff, but “book’s diary”? it was my another “huh?” here. This book log is only sold in Japan Loft shop. And it is AWESOME at least for me hehe. So here is my new book log.

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I wonder it still not really famous outside Japan or between the foreigner, so mainly the content is in Japanese. But google translate will give some help :p
Inside you can write your short synopsis, interesting parts (and from which page), photo space,and you can make your own spider web so you can easily score your book. I love it! It will ease me to recommend books to my friends who love books (or give up to find a suit books for them from my book shelves).

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I will not talk too much today 🙂 I feel so excited to try my new book log 😀
So excited. While I also should prepare my day for working tomorrow.

Happy reading!
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