IAP Daily Reflection 2

Reading time: 4-5 minutes 
Language: English
Part 1 can be found here

As a part of our Cross-cultural Collaboration class (which I talked about in previous post), we have to write a daily reflection. For some people, it might be hard to keep in track and not slack off. For me, I was really happy to get this assignment. As you probably know by now, I love writing, but I have been slacking off and finding ‘busy’ as a strong excuse not to write more.

Just a quick recap: this IAP (Independent Activities Period, MIT term for 1-month long winter term), besides taking Cross-cultural Collaboration (CCC), I am also doing a UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunity) with MIT Urban Risk Lab. The rest of the time? I am just learning how to cook, bake, and going to different museums, haha.

So, this is what I have done so far in the second week of January (which is taken from my assignment).


I was talking to my parents for a few hours today. The last time I talked to them directly was in December, so it has been a while. They were asking me about what I am up to these days, and if the weather is too cold for me. We also went over their plan of coming for my graduation in June. As a middle-income family in Indonesia, we can afford most of basic necessities. However, when I mentioned the options of where to stay during their trip to Boston, they were so surprised that even the cheapest hotel is too expensive for them. This might not be cultural, since this difference comes from a large gap of GDP and average income. This reminds me of the first few weeks when I was in the United States: everything seemed so expensive, and I tried not to spend too much on food. However, after sometime, my perception of how much is considered to be expensive has changed into similar perception that people around me have.


I really love a dish from a fast-food chain, and I find the recipe online. I think I will try it, but first, I need to find which store has Panko Breadcrumbs. I thought only Asian supermarket would have one, but Trader Joe’s does!

I was interested in the book you recommended: Quiet. So, I got the book yesterday from BLC (Boston Library Consortium) because every copy at MIT Libraries are currently borrowed. It has been a good read. I thought being introvert was wrong, and I would not succeed with that attitude. I have been constantly tried to ‘push myself out there’, even though sometimes I regret it because it makes me uncomfortable. Now, I have the theoretical answer: finding the balance of when I can have a ‘me time’, and when I should go out and socialize.


This is my second week doing UROP at MIT Urban Risk Lab. It has been great so far, but I am the only undergraduate working there. I always hesitate to start conversation or ask something, but during lunch break, I finally could start talking without being asked first.

I asked my Indian-American friend on the conflict between India and Pakistan. I thought as neighboring countries, they should not have conflicts, and instead, they could have a strong bilateral relation. However, it was not as simple as I thought, and she told me a little bit about the history behind it.


I was talking (and partly complaining) about money management to my boyfriend. Since I only receive the part of scholarship at the beginning of fall and spring terms, I need to wait until February now. Unfortunately, it is still 3 weeks away. He suggested that I should start to keep track my expenses, which is a good idea.

Last night, six suicide bombs exploded and gunmen were shooting people in the middle of the road in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia. All of my social networks were flooded with different information. One of them was about how it was going to affect Indonesian economy. I believed that at first, but then I started questioning it, “Is it really going to be this way?” I asked my friend who is majoring in economics, and she told me that the information was not making any sense.


I usually prefer to eat dinner with close friends, but today I joined the dinner sponsored by TBP (honors society), with people I have not met before. It was really fun.

I feel annoyed whenever I walk behind a group of people who takes the whole sidewalk. Today, I tried to see it differently: maybe this whole group cannot walk faster? Maybe, few of them have their legs hurt?

Today was my UROP day. I continuously asked something and found the answer by looking through different literatures, papers, or even quick Google searches. One thing that I found to be interesting today: Pentek water filters, can be quite cheap, and they can be combined depending on the source water quality.


I went to MFA for the first time after 1.5 years, even though the weather was really cold (and it was snowing, for a little bit).

I always thought that the green line always takes a long time to come. However, it is not necessarily the case, if I carefully plan my trip.

I was looking at different exhibitions at MFA, and I am personally not an artistic person. I played a game of ‘guessing what the art piece means’, and looked for the explanation on the side. For instance, I figured out that chairs in colonial periods have different origins which can be known based on the chairs’ features.


I signed up to be a tutor in my department for this spring. Hopefully, they will accept me! I am excited to help underclassmen with the class I really enjoyed. 

My friend recommended me a movie to watch, but I have been refusing to watch it because it was old. I tried to watch the first 10 minutes, and it was interesting.

I asked the other Indonesians on how much financial aid they receive, and it was surprising how consistent MIT live up its ‘need-based’ financial aid spirit.

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