“Really? You wanna move?” My English teacher replied. She seemed surprised with me.
“Yes, I do.”
“You never reconsider it back?”
“I’ll never change it. I’ve been certain that I want to pursue International Studies.”
I have been thinking about it for a very, very, very long time. It took almost 7 months to rack my brain regarding to the decision whether to move to Science Class – commonly conceived by parents as ‘headquarters of the geniuses or at least the not-so-bad buddies’ – or Social Class – of which majority of the students are conceived by majority of the teachers as ‘helpless’. That happens in my school (to make it more convincing, I’ll just write down the name of it), SMA Sutomo 1 Medan. I am not really sure about other schools, because so far, the truth is undeniable that majority of the parents (I hope that your parents are not primarily included, especially those in my hometown), still have tendencies to underestimate students from Social Class and regard them as ‘lethargic’ (that is: students from Social Class do not need to learn anymore about the complicating formula in Physics and Chemistry so there won’t be any additional tuitions about them, or the higgledy-piggledies about the trigonometric equations in Mathematics, but they do still learn Civics, Geography, Economy, History, Sociology, and whatsoever). That is not uncommon; there are frequent negative sentiments whenever parents or teachers hear about students from ‘Social Class’. Whether this sentiment is contagiously spread nationwide, I am not much clear about it.
Or am I just too sensitive?
In the past, I had a dream of becoming an architect. I don’t know where that will-o’-the-wisp came from, but as soon as I saw the pictures of the skyscrapers gleaming over the big cities on the postcards my grandmother and my auntie, I had that much interest on it. I aspired to design as many skyscrapers as I like. And until now, I still have that interest on it.
The problem is: I am not as much mastering well in mathematics as I think I could. The latest Semester examination in the long run proved that. I performed, perhaps, the worst, all the time. Out of 30 queries given from the paper, I did not have adequate time to answer the remaining 3 questions (all of these unanswered questions were about ‘three-dimensional structures’, the one that requires your imagination and a mess of architectural crinkum-crankums to comprehend it); when I tried to match all the answers I had written on another piece of paper with my friend (so far, only him and only him), there were slightly 14 differences between his and my answers. All right, that is my first reason.
Before that, I had also researched deeper about what fields of knowledge I am much more dominant in. I was firstly introduced to a local-made encyclopedia of countries in a Gramedia bookstore in 2004. All of a sudden, it seems that I had fallen in love with it. Not only for the first time, but the second time, as well. The book may have been dog-eared and severely torn, but I would not simply trash it away. I was nuts on the population, about the history, about the ethnic composition, about their ideologies and their forms of governments and percentage of religions represented by the populations, and a long list to go on. I can tell you, honestly, I prefer spelling the names of countries or capitals than all these obnoxious elements over the chemical table.
Almost nobody has a hint of what ‘ethnography’ is all about. A few have even never heard about that. But this is another field that I have a deep interest in. More or less there are thousands and thousands of ethnicities and communities scattered worldwide through diasporas, and it does really help me in understanding about the ‘true colors’ of the world.
I also fell in love with writing. Thanks to Microsoft Word (once again, I had no intention to promote the product and I am under nobody’s pressure to advertise it), typing really makes me look like a ‘grown-up’. Or there have been ‘writing genes’ deeply coded in my DNA composition? Okay, just let the curiosity kills the cat. My mother told me that she liked writing when she was in her early childhood years, but slowly vanished as she became more matured.
Despite the fact that I will be moving to Social Class next month, I have not completely lost in touch with Sciences. I like Sciences, but that does not imply that ‘I love sciences’. In harnessing knowledge, I don’t want to differentiate what it is and where it comes from. Whether it is about nuclear science, or chemistry (altogether with these obnoxious elements), or global economy, or ecology, or motivation, or countries, I am always open to devour all of them, as long as I am able to comprehend in my own sense.
This is what life has shown me for. When I was a small child, I had never had such dreams. I did more use to visualize myself as ‘having been a professional architect’, but now, I have completely given up that to pursue for another. As if life had many intersections, and we are the ones who sojourn them. One thing that I learn from life is it has its own mysterious ways to show us which path suits us the best. One who aspired to be a professional physicist instead became a professional businessman within an interval of 20 years. Or a graduate of Faculty of Physics in a world-class university ends up as a Buddhist monk. Or a Wall Street investment banker ends up as a dancer. Or a graduate of Engineering Faculty became one of the most respected bankers nationwide 50 years later. We may have set our certain goals for our lives in the future, but sometimes life has its own unusual formula.
Perhaps, in certain times, you began to feel bored of what you are right now doing. Not simply bored, but you may be totally unhappy in doing it. You are doing the daily accounting duties. You are being faced with the similar burdens whenever you are in business meetings. You spin your brain many times whenever someone shows you your company’s financial graphs. You see patients and you examine their bodies vividly. You take care of the business your parents had worked to grindstones to succeed. You give tuitions for your students everyday. You are filled in humdrums, and you do really aspire to do something different. Then just do it! Whenever life begins to knock your heart, and says, “Well, it seems that my excitement rate has diminshed.”, take any actions. Find some time to relax, at first. Do what you like. Write. Blog. Visit a new restaurant and review all the dishes you eat. Watch a movie and make a review of what you think about it. Spend more time with your beloved pet. Create some cupcakes. Picnic to a jungle. Learn organic farming. Learn a new language. Read more critically-acclaimed novels. Taste a new kind of music. Paint some pictures. Play with your beloved children. Get to know a local vendor around you. Browse a new, unique website (porn sites are not recommended). Get involved in charities. Play a guitar. Help someone arranges his or her messy room. Backpack to a country you have been wanting to visit the most. Learn diving. Know more about dinosaurs. Take a salsa course. Taste the wine. Learn to meditate. Make some noodles of your own, cook them, and let all your family eat your self-made dishes. Cook and stew vegetables. Play badminton. Watch inspiring videos on Internet. Write a story. Know more about types of fish. Volunteer yourself in a local NGO. Watch a theatre drama. Get to know more about English’s longest words. Learn to do belly-dancing. Take some pictures. Enroll in a photography class. Collect chocolate products. Collect stamps. Collect wine bottles. And still, a long list to go on (continue it yourself). Weekends are always the best moments to do things that increase ‘excitement rate’ in your life.
Also, you can afford to make use of hobbies as sources to provide increment for your income. As told by one of our country’s most respected real-estate moguls, Ciputra: entrepreneurship is about turning dirts and scraps into gold. You may have your book published as soon as you have completed it. Sell some paintings, earn a few bucks. Innovate your methods in playing guitar, make an album, and release it. Take some pictures, and set up a little gallery, or a photography studio. Or, here is a weird concept of mine: collect some chocolates, don’t trash the wrapping paper into the dustbin, but instead collect them, and build what you soi-disant as ‘chocolate museum’. Whenever you think you are happier with it than the job you previously held in, just resign. Start an entirely new life, learn to obey more on what your life desires, not on others’ expectations.
And now, I am no longer part of the Science Class. Let’s see 50 years later. Who knows I am going to be organic-farming specialist, who knows?