A Sick Day

2 days ago, my runny and stuffy nose got so bad, that all the handkerchiefs I brought got wet in less than 10 minutes. A good of friend of mine told me, “Oh, you should go to Medical and have a full bed rest.” But I replied, “Oh, no, my postdoc is coming back from Stanford tomorrow and I have to run an XRD* data analysis with him in the morning; we made an appointment with the Center of Material Science Engineering expert.”

*X-Ray Diffraction. Debye rings. Bragg’s condition. Fun stuff, you should Google them if you have time! It’s one of many methods for characterization, and it’s like material’s fingerprints. So if you have an unknown material and do XRD on them, you can tell the composition of the material based on how the material reflects the X-Ray. Fun fun!

So, yesterday, I woke up early as usual. Went to campus, met my postdoc in the morning before heading to our appointment. He looked at me and said, “Wow, you look really really sick. Are you OK?” I replied shortly, “Yeah, I’m fine, probably will have a quick run to the Medical.”

He was okay with that, until 10 minutes later, pitying over me sneezing. At the end of our appointment, he told me, “Go to Medical. And get a lot of rest (yeah, he sounded like he was underlining those words). I am planning to do XPS at Center for Nanoscale Systems this afternoon, but don’t force yourself. Take a day off tomorrow. I need to work on my paper anyway.”

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Tax Return Drama

I am not an American by passport (as of now), nor a permanent resident (green card holder).

However, it struck me when I was filling out my tax return this year. The tax software was telling me, basically, “Hey, you’re no longer a non-resident alien*. You’re officially a resident alien* (hooray!). Fill the same tax return form as the Americans instead, girl.”

*A side note: alien means non-American and non-American green card holder. I am an alien in the US, basically.

That means, I have lived in the USA for long enough, that now I am a resident of the USA for tax purpose. Although I was away from the States between June 2014-August 2015, all the number of days have accumulated for the past 4 years. That may also mean, the tax treaty benefit between Indonesia-USA which states, an Indonesian student living in the USA funded by a scholarship/ fellowship for the first 5 years may be tax exempted, is no longer available for me.

Uh-oh, what should I do?

tax-docs
What should I do with all of these?

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Musim (Badai) Salju

Setelah IAP yang luar biasa, spring semester akhirnya resmi dimulai. Saat post ini di-publish, resmi sudah satu minggu sejak semester keduaku sebagai seorang mahasiswa S2 dimulai.

Musim dingin tahun lalu benar-benar mild, bahkan the Institvte (a.k.a. MIT) tidak menggunakan jatah snow day-nya sama sekali. Tetapi tahun ini berbeda. Apalagi setelah musim dingin tahun 2014-2015 aku kabur ke Inggris, tepatnya University of Cambridge, untuk pertukaran mahasiswa. Sudah sekian lama aku tidak merasakan badai salju sebenar-benarnya badai.

Hingga tiba hari Kamis minggu kemarin.

Pelajaran pertama: kalau kampus ditutup karena badai salju, jangan sekali-kali nekat berangkat ke kampus.
Pelajaran pertama: kalau kampus ditutup karena badai salju, jangan sekali-kali nekat berangkat ke kampus.

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(Very Basic) Molecular Gastronomy

*I feel like writing in English today. If you prefer reading my blog in Indonesian, please bear with me this one time 🙂

So, this is IAP. And IAP is always a great time of the year, when I actually feel like at MIT, the place with endless knowledge and quirkiness waiting to be pursued. This year, besides taking several writing classes (2, actually: 1. Because I didn’t pass my Graduate Writing Exam 2. Because there is this cool class about graduate student blog which I am excited about, I also took “Learning Science through Cooking”.

Liquid nitrogen ice cream!
Liquid nitrogen ice cream!

Oh boy, that was an amazing class. I got to taste liquid nitrogen ice cream (again), (so much) chocolate -including chocolate caviar, and vauquelin.

 

Let’s start with something easy, shall we? Continue reading “(Very Basic) Molecular Gastronomy”

Cerita: Sepatu

Masih ingat seri cerita J yang kutulis beberapa bulan lalu? Karena aku ingin kembali menulis sesuatu yang menyenangkan (dan semoga saja cukup ringan/ tidak terlalu abstrak), musim panas kali ini aku ingin meluncurkan seri cerita baru: Cerita. Cerita-cerita yang diunggah akan berpusat pada satu tema, dan aku akan menulis segala hal dengan satu benang merah tersebut.Semoga saja hal ini cukup menarik untuk rekan-rekan pembaca sekalian.

Sepatu.

Apa memori tertua kalian soal sepatu?

Setelah mengulik sekian dalam, mungkin memori tertuaku soal sepatu bermuara di Homyped. Atau Carvil. Entahlah. Antara dua itu yang jelas.

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4 Pelajaran dari 2016

Selamat Tahun Baru 2017! Setelah ‘telat’ selama 12 jam dibandingkan WIB, akhirnya Boston pun juga berada di tahun yang sama, di tahun 2017.

Sebuah komentar di Instagram milikku, membangunkanku dari tidurku. Salah satu foto yang kupost dari tahun lalu berisi sketsa sederhana tentang tahun 2016.

photo_2017-01-01_19-43-09
Betul, gambarku memang kekanak-kanakan. Maafkan aku, ya! Haha.

Sudah ada berapa hal yang kucapai di tahun 2016?

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The Old Days When I Was Doing Liesegang Experiment

Time passes by really fast. Before I have a full grasp of what is going on this year, the year has come to an end.

Ritual akhir tahunku dimulai dengan membersihkan Google Driveku yang sudah merah dan minta diselamatkan. Tinggal tunggu waktu hingga akhirnya dia menyerah dan bilang, “Bayar extra storage sekarang, atau kamu tidak bisa menyimpan hasil kerjamu!”

Mumpung semester musim dingin belum mulai dan aku belum disibukkan oleh kelas Learning Science through Cooking yang akan kuambil (kabarnya, di kelas terakhir kami akan pergi ke pabrik cokelat!), dan dengan mengumpulkan niat yang menguap ditiup aroma liburan, akhirnya aku mulai menyortir Google Driveku juga.

Aku pun mengklik “Sort files by last modified”. Tak dinyana, aku menemukan banyak kejutan, terutama di tahun pertama aku berada di UWC.

Continue reading “The Old Days When I Was Doing Liesegang Experiment”