Waking Up Before September Ends

After the torturing sixth semester and the barren life in Cilegon, seventh semester (even with its 22 credits that I take voluntarily) comes off as enjoyable. I’ve waken up even before September ends.

Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last

Green Day – Wake Me Up When September Ends

This week I’ve had a fair share of good times. Seventh semester has gone a bit jumpy and busy but I can safely say that I’m enjoying every minute of it. This, after all, is my last year as a college student, and I know perfectly well that I’m gonna miss my campus life badly. BADLY. Gotta make the best out of it.

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are the only three days full of classes. On Thursday and Friday I only have 2 hours each day. Isn’t it a yay-ness? After the torturing sixth semester and the barren life in Cilegon, seventh semester (even with its 22 credits that I take voluntarily) comes off as enjoyable. I’ve waken up even before September ends. Here are the few things that kept me occupied in these last days of September:

1. Research

Unlike other majors, Chemical Engineering students of ITB have 4 things to do to finish their undergraduate study: 1. Internship; 2. Research/Final Project (others usually call this skripsi or TA); 3. Plant Design, which, BTW, is super crazy and energy draining; 4. Comprehensive Exam. I’ve started the research (formulation of concept) since last semester. This week, my research has found some glittering lights, thank Allah SWT. At the beginning of this week I was freaked out because my main substrate which is breadfruit (or Sukun, in Bahasa) was nowhere to be found. Three traditional markets and none of it was sold. I panicked but eventually my grandma managed to find the breadfruit tree in the Al-Burhan Mosque’s garden. Maybe this is the sign that I should be more religious, hmm. The Mosque saves my research!! Because if I couldn’t find breadfruit then I had to change the substrate, meaning: I had to do fucking lots of literature reading again. BLAH.

Hello breadfruit, please be good to me.

My research title is Feasibility Study of Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) as a Novel Substrate for Production of Monascus purpureus Pigment Using Solid-State Fermentation. Pretty cool, eh? Now me and my partner have grown the mold using Potato Dextrose Agar (PDA). It has now grown well, giving red color to the agar. Soon it’s going to be inoculated to the sterilized breadfruit.

Meet my Monascus

My lecturer (the Yes-No old man, hehe) has been amazingly quite cooperative for his standard. I mean, he’s usually quite difficult to understand. Uh, he’s very smart senior lecturer, after all… Thing is, the path for my research is now finally clear, and I can’t wait for the variation of nitrogen source as we’re gonna do a bit fun by introducing MSG aka micin aka Ajinomoto and friends hahahaha! Let’s see if MSG can actually be a good nutrient for this mold. =)

We’re gonna start the whole research next week, so please pray for me and my partner! 🙂

2. Private Lessons

So my intelligent friend does good deeds. We’re now in a mutual symbiosis with each other. Because I don’t take Kapsel PP class, he voluntarily gives me a once-a-week lesson to understand HYSYS (an important process simulation software for ChE). In exchange for that, I give him also once-a-week free English conversation class. It’s fun teaching others, trust me! The private lessons have gone quite well and we even gave each other homework, just like real classes.

3. My First Music Gig

Yes I’m a young girl living in Bandung for 20 years and I haven’t even watched any music gig, at all. Call me lame. I have a strong determination to make my last college year memorable, and that also includes enjoying my hometown to the fullest before I finally leave. So when Archie texted me to watch this concert with some other StudentsxCEOs peeps, I instantly agreed. It was Salamander Big Band concert (repertoire by Peter Helbolzheimer) held in Bumi Sangkuriang. I didn’t even know who this Big Band was. I’m not really into music so maybe it’s just me being so out of date, but turns out that the concert was good. Jazzy tunes and superb performance to spark up a lonely Wednesday night. I especially liked the composition “Heartland” (if I remember it correctly) and I couldn’t help but wishing to watch this concert with someone special. Oh here it goes again, my galauness. (-___-)

Salamander Big Band Concert @Bumi Sangkuriang

4. GMUNC Meeting and HNMUN Training

Yes believe it or not, GMUNC meeting and HNMUN training are two of those things I wait for. It’s like going back to the safe ledge. I can totally picture one year ago: me being the trainer and those innocent faces fascinated by the photos of USA that I showed; how they looked the first time they were formed (and ‘teased’, badly :P) at The Kiosk Ciwalk; the 4.30pm-1am debate to choose the best delegates. For me, being able to watch HNMUN 2012 people “grow” and enjoy the whole journey as good as my batch did is a success of its own. They are like…I don’t know, more than trainees to me. Maybe the fact that their togetherness resembles much of my batch’s sense of family. Maybe the fact that I miss my HNMUN 2011 delegates too much but can’t gather around again because they’re pursuing their real lives out there. HNMUN delegates are those people that I love wholeheartedly. I haven’t fully waken up from Limbo, and HNMUN 2012 people bring me closer to those memories that I treasure.

Can we ever be this complete again?

That’s why it saddens me when it seems that they don’t really care about the trainings after the selection ends. I just want to assure that HNMUN 2013 people are going to be okay, as okay as 2011 and 2012. When I was selected to be the trainer of HNMUN 2012, I didn’t see that responsibility as a burden. I had this determination to make them better delegates than what my batch have been, to stress that I’ve done mistakes, now it’s your job not to repeat it, and I’m gonna teach you how. When they left for USA, it felt like releasing kids to the wildlife. I kept thinking whether or not they were safe, whether or not they were nervous, bored, exhausted, or performed well in the conference. I tracked their journey through Twitter and imagined me being there. Did they eat Osaka Express, or were they taken to fancy restaurants with some Latino girls. Maybe it’s kind of illogical, but I really wished them the best. I did. Is it too demanding if I ask them to have that sense of responsibility with the new delegates that they have selected?

5. A Wedding-slash-Festive Night Market

Okay so I’ve spent two Saturday nights in one month to attend weddings. Told ya I’m single and ready to mingle (errr…).  This time it’s one of mom’s colleagues so I didn’t meet any of my friend. It’s a garden party held somewhere North. Great view of course, but I just feel that it’s really not the type of wedding I want to have in the future. Anyway, this was what I wore to the wedding.

I honestly think that I look a lot like mom

Now, the wedding. It was one of the most peculiar weddings I’ve ever attended. I don’t know who was responsible for the seating, but the bride and the groom sat separately with their parents instead of doing that one line on stage. And it was the first time for me to see Padang food being served as the buffet. So fancy, but then again I didn’t see any rendang or ayam pop, which was a loss. The only protein served was pieces of meat seasoned with green chili. Hmm. The food stalls were also fancy. Instead of those usual caterer things (Zuppa-zuppa, siomay, Mongolian lamb, you name it), they hire tenants like Sushi xxx, Turkey something, Pasta something, Roti Jala, etc. Nevertheless, I’ll definitely use catering service for my wedding. Why? Well, they maybe are great restaurants, but they can’t serve many people at once especially when the guests keep on coming. They just don’t get used to the pace, I daresay. No wonder the slow service caused many unnecessary queues, and the quickly out-of-stock stalls gave a slight negative impression.

Yes, I trust you, catering service

Overall, for me the wedding felt more like a festive Night Market with smoking guests. Great idea for youngsters (there were even live dance performance: line dance, etc. on stage! Wow), but not-so-great for older people. I overheard some old men and women complaining. Personally I’d prefer a grande, glamorous wedding held in a proper hall with excessive amount of food so as to keep the guests being full.

One thing tho, they gave tree seedlings as souvenirs! I’d bet both the bride and the groom are happy environmentalists. Salute!

6. Projects!

Projects and organizational activities are those things I missed reaaallyyy baaddd during my internship days in Cilegon. Going back as “anak kampus” is as close as being alive.

I’m now the Head of Public Relations and Licensing aka PR Manager for Regional Future Energy Challenge 2013, the most anticipated Chemical Engineering competition in Indonesia for 12 consecutive years. Now we’d like to expand the scope of participation to South East Asia/regional level. As the PR Manager, it’s my responsibility to contact prospective overseas participants and ensure the involvement of overseas people in the event. Well basically that’s that lah ya, hahaha. Oh, in November I’ll also go to Bali with Monce and Hugi to promote the event and gain prospective speakers/juries in 19th Regional Symposium on Chemical Engineering. Wish us luck!

Help me to promote this event yaa, esp. for ChE students anywhere. Just hop in to http://rfec-itb.com. It’s gonna be awesome! 😉

RFEC 2013 Website

Besides RFEC, I’m currently involved in StudentsxCEOs Summit as Marketing Team. It’s the first national student-run business conference in Indonesia! Proudly organized by StudentsxCEOs. Woot woot. Go follow our twitter for more info! 🙂

Aaannd I’ve passed the first stage selection of NLA 2012. Really hope I can eventually be one of the selected participants! Another thing in my list is applying for a 3-month engineering project about marine current turbine. I knoww right it’s not directly related to ChE, but I just feel the need to sharpen my engineering skills before I have to work out there. I’m also keen on joining business plan competition or any other business-related thing, but I haven’t done that one yet. This may seem like a lot of stuffs, but trust me, I’m loving every minute of these activities!

7. Still Single As Ever

“Girls are taught a lot of stuff growing up. If a guy punches you he likes you. Never try to trim your own bangs and someday you will meet a wonderful guy and get your very own happy ending. Every movie we see, Every story we’re told implores us to wait for it, the third act twist, the unexpected declaration of love, the exception to the rule.

But sometimes we’re so focused on finding our happy ending we don’t learn how to read the signs.

How to tell from the ones who want us and the ones who don’t, the ones who will stay and the ones who will leave.

And maybe a happy ending doesn’t include a guy, maybe… it’s you, on your own, picking up the pieces and starting over, freeing yourself up for something better in the future.

Maybe the happy ending is… just… moving on.

Or maybe the happy ending is this, knowing after all the unreturned phone calls, broken-hearts, through the blunders and misread signals, through all the pain and embarrassment you never gave up hope. ”

Taken from the movie “He’s Just Not That Into You”

This is all I can say: I’ll never give up hope. 🙂

Wow it’s late at night and I’m still wide awake. Gotta go back to what I have to work on. Toodles! Have a great end of September. Wake up, everyone! 🙂


Author: mfaradina

An Indonesian. A reliable realist outside yet a romantic dreamer at heart.

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