August 1, 2011
I am texting in my flight back from U.S. to Indonesia. I frequently check my monitor in front of my seat to track where I have been through.
I have the most spectacular Summer in my life. I spent five weeks studying New Media in Journalism in Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, sponsored by U.S. Department of State. With other 19 amazing people from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Philippines, I experienced U.S. media and culture both to study journalism and to extend mutual understanding amongst people.
As an immersion program to deeply experience U.S. media and culture, in the last week, we travel eastward to the Eastern Coast of United States. We visited Gettysburg in Pennsylvania to learn about American Civil War, the bloodiest battle in American history, right from the battlefield. We jumped to New York: visited The New York Times headquarter, United Nations Headquarter, and Central Park, watched “How to Succeed in Business without Even Trying” starred by Daniel Radcliffe in Broadway, and shopped till drop in Times Square! In the last couple days, we enjoyed our time in Washington D.C. We went to Voice of America office and U.S. National Public Radio, presented our culture and be recognized officially by U.S. Department of State, and finally explored the National Mall: the Smithsonian Museums, Abraham Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial, and Washington Memorial.
Wrapping all the thought-provoking experience in only a paragraph reminding me to all my folks in U.S. I said good bye with my friends in Hilton Hotel in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. We flew from Reagan National Airport, Washington D.C. to Detroit very early in the morning. I had about six hours before my next flight to Narita, Tokyo. I checked the monitor tracking the arrival and departure schedules, hoping that I can at least greet our Philippinos friend here in Detroit Airport, since they also transited there from Washington D.C. before flying right throughNagoya to Manila.
Gate A40, Nagoya-Manila, 3:50 PM.
“Yes! There will not be far from my gate. I am in A34.” I said to myself.
“Well… let’s check their arrival from Washington D.C… A51! 2:32. Right now! Let’s meet them.”
The farewell was heartbreaking in the hotel. But here, having a chance to meet them once again was a really grateful experience. We chatted, we laughed, and we sang our songs together. We all will miss every single time we’ve been together. We finally had to say good bye. Well…not really a good bye, since I believe somehow we’ll meet again.
I again check my fight monitor in front of my seat. My plane has passed Taipei. It goes southward and finally passed Manila. Umh.. How are my Philippinos friends doing? Have they arrived home already, to Manila?
I have been to Malaysia and Singapore, but not Philippines. So, having those amazing people from Philippines giving me deep feeling. We figure out that although our languages are way far different,we share several words that have similar, if not the same, meaning and pronunciations. That is just a piece of best moment. We spent a lot of time together, “wow”ing this and that, from Indianapolis Motor Speedway to Washington Memorial.
Then I started to see a spot named Kuala Lumpur in my flight monitor. Malaysia! Hey, what about my Malaysian friends? Sean How, J.R., Joanne, Mei Mei, Atikah, and Nicole. Too bad that we did not meet again after the farewell in the hotel. Well, J.R. has promised me that we will meet again soon in Singapore while I am studying in NUS for Fall Semester 2011. He will intern in a law firm in Singapore. We’ll meet Angel as from Philippines as well, since she got the same scholarship with me from Temasek Foundation. She will study in Singapore Management University.
A lot of things to remember. I still remember in detail when Suzy “Big Momma” Smith, our professor, chocked up when we finally left, including, Marry and Mike Spillman,Terry Heifetz, Shawna Pierson. I have been thinking, if I studied for a regular school year in U.S., not a hurry quick 5 weeks leadership summer program, I would never meet a pack of faculty member like this with all of discipline, cares, and love. Think about it, will your “regular professor” accompany you until your last step in U.S. and cry for you? It should be a very special moment and relationship to make it happen. It is. And I am really grateful for this blessing.
My life then continues. People laugh and cry. Some say hi and some say bye.
I have one day to hug all my family in Cirebon before departing back to Singapore for next study.
It is a strategic future, thing that I am always dreaming of. Yet, I will always miss my family.
That is why I keep up my dream, fighting forward, and living passionately.
That is how The Pusparaniology continues.Tags: SUSI, SUSI BSU, USA