Titan Is Now on Radio!

Quantum leap, begitu pikirku. Semua diawali dengan wawancara program Berburu Beasiswa sekitar 2 bulan yang lalu oleh SS (Sobat Siar) Astari dari Jepang, di Radio PPI Dunia. Berbekal pengalaman minimum soal public speaking, tawaran itu kuiyakan.

Sebelumnya, aku pernah juga menjadi narasumber di Seminar Indonesia Mengglobal di @america, yang bisa kalian saksikan di sini. Bisa kalian lihat dengan jelas, betapa kaku dan tidak luwesnya aku dalam menjawab pertanyaan-pertanyaan yang muncul. Setelah dari acara itu, rasa menyesal tetap mengendap di dasar hati, dan aku berjanji pada diri sendiri, kalau ada kesempatan sharing dengan khalayak luas seperti itu lagi, tak akan kusia-siakan.

Aku tahu, pengalaman kurang maksimal bersama Indonesia Mengglobal itu 75%-nya muncul dari ketidaksiapanku. Aku tidak tahu apa saja hal-hal penting yang harus kusampaikan, pesan apa yang aku ingin audiens ingat setelah pulang, dan sebagainya.

Keeping that at the back of my mind saat persiapan untuk wawancara di Radio PPI Dunia, aku mempersiapkan sebisa mungkin. Aku sengaja bangun lebih pagi (siarannya waktu itu pukul 10:00 waktu Boston, atau 21:00 Waktu Indonesia Barat), dan siap-siap supaya kepalaku tidak berpikir macam-macam, atau perutku tidak kelaparan.

It went well. Rasanya senang sekali ‘melihat’ antusiasme teman-teman yang mendengarkan cerita hidupku yang mungkin tidak ada apa-apanya dibandingkan orang lain. Bahkan, aku mendapat beberapa kenalan baru.

Apa aku harus mencoba menjadi penyiar di radio ini supaya aku bisa ‘melatih’ kemampuan public speaking-ku, yang mana, sangat susah kulatih?

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Menggeluti Hobi Baru: ‘Memasak’

Dengan tanda kutip. Betul sekali, kalian tidak salah lihat. Aku pun belum jago-jago amat, soalnya, haha.

Meskipun aku tetap melanjutkan S2-ku di kampus yang sama dengan S1-ku dulu, tidak semua hal terasa sama. Mulai dari kuliah mata kuliahnya jauh lebih sulit, hingga mulai riset beneran. Selain itu, asramaku lebih jauh dari kampus, dan tidak ada dining hall di sini. Artinya, mau tidak mau aku harus masak sendiri.

Bagaimana transisiku dari yang dulunya jarang masak, hingga sekarang yang jadi (lebih) sering masak?

Burger
Tuna burger buatanku sendiri. Burger patty-nya aku buat sendiri, lho!

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Aku Muslim, dan Tak Ada yang Salah denganku

Aku bukan mencari simpati; aku hanya ingin bercerita. Apa yang kuterima mungkin tidak sepadan dibandingkan teman-teman lainnya di daerah lain di dunia. Mungkin wanita muslim di Perancis yang sedang berjemur di pantai dengan burkini (baju renang seluruh tubuh, tertutup) merasa lebih tersakiti, ketika dua orang polisi mendekatinya dan menyuruhnya membuka baju renangnya agar ‘tidak terlalu tertutup’ atau ‘menunjukkan simbol agama’.

Apa yang salah dengan Amerika (dan mungkin negara-negara barat lainnya, atau kalau kita extrapolate, negara-negara timur, bahkan timur tengah)?

Continue reading “Aku Muslim, dan Tak Ada yang Salah denganku”

Kota Penyihir: Salem, Massachusetts

Setelah sekian lamanya ogah-ogahan berangkat ke Salem, rata-rata karena menyalahkan tugas yang banyak, akhirnya aku berangkat ke Salem hari Sabtu kemarin. Ditambah lagi, di sana ada Festival Halloween selama bulan Oktober ini.

2016-10-15-09-07-25
Akhirnya pergi juga ke Salem!

Bagi yang penasaran ada apa di Salem, sejarahnya cukup kelam sebenarnya. Pada tahun 1692, 20 orang yang diduga melakukan sihir, akhirnya dihukum mati. 19 orang di antaranya digantung, dan 1 orang lainnya dipukul hingga mati. Mengapa sampai seperti itu?

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Mencari Sepi di Maine

Akhir minggu yang lalu, bersama teman-teman mahasiswa, teknis, professor, dan saintis di labku, kami berdelapan belas pergi ke Maine untuk melakukan Lab Retreat musim gugur. Dalam Bahasa Indonesia, kata ‘retreat’ sendiri punya asosiasi yang kuat dengan agama tertentu (KBBI: khalwat mengundurkan diri dari dunia ramai untuk mencari ketenangan batin). Meskipun begitu, Lab Retreat ini tidak ada hubungannya dengan religi. Tujuannya sederhana: mendekatkan diri dengan anggota lab lainnya, menyelesaikan masalah personal intralab, dan juga bersenang-senang!

PV Lab, credit: Marius
MIT PV Lab, credit: Marius.

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Bertemu Asisten Ahok: Menyiapkan Diri untuk Kembali

Salah satu asisten Gubernur Jakarta Pak Ahok, yang bernama Michael Sianipar, beberapa hari lalu mengunjungi komunitas Indonesia di Boston. Setelah hari Rabu (14/9) kemarin mengisi acara berbagi pengalaman dengan Permias Massachusetts, hari Kamis (15/9) kemarin anak-anak AIS-MIT (Association of Indonesian Students at MIT) juga makan malam dengannya dan berbicara lebih lanjut soal masa depan sains dan teknologi di Jakarta khususnya, dan Indonesia secara umumnya.

Ada beberapa poin menarik yang didiskusikan oleh kami. Akan kusampaikan dengan singkat, ya.

Disclaimer: Mungkin teman-teman pembaca akan berpikir bahwa ada unsur politik di postingan kali ini, yang akan saya bantah. Saya bukan warga Jakarta, dan ini bukan kali pertama politisi datang ke MIT. Sebelumnya, Menteri Kelautan, Ibu Susi, dan Walikota Bandung, Pak Ridwan Kamil, bahkan Wakil Menteri Pendidikan pernah ke sini.

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2.009 Wrap-up: It’s All about a Team

On Monday, December 7th last week, we finally got a chance to show our product on 2.009 Final Presentation (or, Product Launch, you may say). When Studio125 started to install all the lights, projectors, decorations, the day before, I knew that this capstone engineering course finally came to an end. I was both excited and nervous at the same time. We were still debugging on our code until last minute, about 5 hours before the presentation started.

Our little baby, Orion, did well on the presentation!

When the moment arrived, when I sat down on my seat, and they showed us this video, I knew that what I have learned so far, all the time I spent on this project (on last week, I spent almost 50 hours/ week for this class only), was all worthwhile. This video also made me cry, haha. Somehow, it reminded me that I only had 1 semester left in my undergraduate…

(Ps. I know you can’t access Vimeo if you are in Indonesia. I would encourage you to use VPN or other magic tricks to open the videos I am posting here, to understand what this whole long post is all about. Also, all the pictures I post here are from 2.009 website, which were taken by 2.009 TAs.)

https://player.vimeo.com/video/148371360?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0
2015 Countdown from 2.009 @ MIT on Vimeo.
If you watched the webcast (or actually came to the presentation), you might notice that Kresge was really pretty on that night. You are welcome to watch the webcast.

Everyone got an LED wristband, which was programmable to glow in a certain color.
There was also a live band, in addition to a live organ.
Kresge was fully packed with people! Every single seat was taken. To get the ticket, you need to enter a lottery.
Not only inside, but Kresge was also really beautiful outside.

My team, pink, was the 6th team that presented. Our product, Orion, consists of 4 anchors and 1 tag that can be connected to motorized light with DMX protocol to automate the follow spot. Sounds too complicated? Basically, we automated the movement of any professional motorized light. So, we no longer need a person behind a huge, hot spotlight to follow a performer/ a presenter for the whole 3 hours.

My team mates who presented: Eurah, Lauren, Katie, and Sammi. Conrad and Alana also came up for Q & A sessions.

The other teams also launched interesting products, that you might not think before. It ranged from a game for children, to a tool to empower people.

Blue team presented Laser Kites, a kite with laser tag game embedded in it.
Yellow team presented Petra: a device that can stop you from falling during climbing (I don’t know a better way to explain it), and can function as an ascender too.
Red team presented Trellis: an IV pole that can follow you and reduce the hassle of walking around with IV pole.
Orang team presented Vantage: a product for kids, using combination of VR and camera, to give immersive experience of exploring anything that is not reachable by their hands.
Green team presented LetterBug: a product that helps people to learn Braille for the first time.
Silver team presented SleepTight: a product for scoliosis back brace to make the person feels more comfortable wearing it.
Purple team presented TouchLess: an automatic lock for bathroom stall, so you don’t need to touch the door full of germs.

What do you think about all the products? I personally feel that every product is amazing, and it’s unbelievable that we only worked on them for 3 months. It also feels rewarding when experts in a specific field contact the teams and say, “Your product is what we really need right now. Can we further develop it with you?”

What did we do on this class actually? I have been waiting to share it with you, but I need to wait until the TAs released all the videos and pictures, haha. Don’t forget to say hi to me, if you see me on the video!

https://player.vimeo.com/video/148371361 2015 Class Activites from 2.009 @ MIT on Vimeo.
I really love Prof. Wallace’s lectures. As you can see, there are so many activities during the lectures, and we can relate to them really well. I remember one day, when we learnt about specifications and requirement for a product, each team got different fruits and we had to write specifications (like, technical specifications, such as boiling point, hardness, amount of seeds, and so on) for each fruits!

There was also one time when we had a Team Challenge. Within one hour, we had to assemble a device to transport us to the little island to get the potion and save the princess. Then, all the teams competed to be the first one to save the princess. Confused? You can watch the video below.

https://player.vimeo.com/video/148382362
2015 Build Challenge
from 2.009 @ MIT on Vimeo.

The whole Product Launch ended with a surprise for Prof. Wallace. It was his 20th time teaching this course (basically, he started in 1995)! Imagine how many student he has thought about Product Engineering Process, and how to work in a big team with time-constraint.

I hope you can teach for 20 more years!

After presentation, when we returned all the presentation props to Pappalardo Lab, our home for the past few months, we got a little bit sentimental. Everyone has worked really hard for this class, and I could not ask for a better team. Even though we struggled in the middle in comparison to other teams, we had a great team dynamic, and no one had to be told to help other members of the team.

Post-presentation group hug!

In addition to product engineering process itself, I also learnt how to work in such a big team, of 20 people, and got to know so many people from different background. Thanks pink team, good luck on your journey after graduation. I will miss you, and all the late-nights with 2 truths and 1 lie game.