thank God for this

a good sign

It was all started few months ago, late October – early November. I browsed for some available research projects and decided to randomly applied. Of course, I applied only the ones offered by reputable institutions. I don’t wanna downgrade my qualification (don’t mean to be rude, but yeah we’re not suppose to underestimate ourselves, are we?). When I applied for this particular project, I almost gave up. Why? Because this program has a very complicated application requirement. Imagine I should provide the authorized and translated copy of my high school diploma. I was still in NCL back then and didn’t have access to my high school certificate. I remember those days when I haunted my dad to send me the scanned copy of that document, as I needed it urgently. They also asked for my Master’s certificate, whilst I haven’t been graduated yet. Luckily they could wait until I got my certificate. When I was about to give up, I remember my friend told me : “You never know if this might be your only chance to get what you want. Just take it. If you don’t try, you’ll be regretful for the rest of your life.” Finally, I submitted everything on early December and in mid December (just before the Christmas holiday) I got an email saying that my application has passed the first round. Few minutes before that email came, there was an email from another institution (to whom I also applied for a project) saying that my application had to be rejected. That was just like “there’s a rainbow after the rain”. Haha.

After that email, I felt uncertain. As 2013 came, I checked my email twice or three times a day just to find whether there’s a good news coming. I’ve been accustomed to read  emails containing first sentence like this : “thank you very much for your application. however, regrettably we have to let you know that your application cannot get through the next step of admission process”. I received 5 or 6 emails with that tone, from different institutions.

Last Friday was special. I was about to go to sleep when I noticed there’s a red light blinking on my phone. Ah, there’s a new message. I read it and yes it’s a good news! My application got through the second phase and I need to attend the interview session before they decide whether I’m in or not. I was in my bedroom and my Dad was there as well, and I screamed happily : “Dad, I got it!!” He was so surprised, because he knows pretty well how hard I’m struggling for this. So, I’m going there next month!

I know that everything is still possible to happen after that interview. I still can’t believe this until now, honestly. If I got this, well it means I’m gonna stay in the research and academic field for the rest of my life (which I’ve been dreaming for these couple of years). If not, HE must have got better plans for me.

So what should I do now? preparing for the interview. I guess I should start reading papers again. 🙂

God, I can’t thank You enough. To my family, friends, and my former supervisors, thanks for your constant supports.

With a big hope in my heart and my faith in God, I’m sure everything’s gonna be fine.

new year, new spirit, new dreams

I know, it’s a little bit late for me to say “Merry Christmas 2012 & Happy New Year 2013”. We’re almost reach the second week in 2013. I was traveling during the holiday, so I only had limited access to the internet. Apologize!

What were you doing during the year-end holiday? I had a wonderful christmas, but only an ordinary new year. I don’t wanna talk about the celebration, now.

2012. To be honest, it was a hard year for me, but I tried to enjoy all of those hard times that I was facing. It wasn’t about living far away from my family. I don’t mind at all if I have to live in another country one (or many) more time(s). The hard thing was when I had to prove my self capacities to the people surrounds me – who are mostly from other countries. Being an international student is not an easy thing. I mean, local people are very welcome to us. Maybe this is just me, but I don’t wanna make they think that they’re more superior than me. Yups, that’s the point.

I remember, I started 2012 with no target, which was kinda unusual. I just had one wish to finish my Master. That’s all. But, the reality was, I accomplished quite many things. I completed my research, submitted my dissertation, presented my research project in that conference in Glasgow, got my research abstract published, and (of course) I graduated. My circle of friends were much expanding, as well. What a year!

2012 was also full of laughters. Yes, I was so stressed out but I conferred that with laughter so the level of stress could be a little bit degraded. There were tears, as well. I usually can hold my tears, even during the saddest moment. But, you know the quote : “you laugh when you like someone, you cry when you care about someone”. Yeah, that! Haha..sillyyyy!!!!

2012 was my year of traveling. I travelled to countless cities around UK and God also gave me opportunity to travel to Europe twice this year. HE’s so amazing.

And finally 2012 was also the year when I must leave UK for good. I must leave that person before I could say what I feel about him. Some people told me that it wasn’t love that I feel. But my heart said that it was. I’m not a type of person who can express that kind of feeling. So, well yeah. That’s life! Maybe we can meet again one day (haha..when is that “one day”?). Aufwiedersehen 2012. Overall, you’ve been great! I didn’t regret all of the things that has happened in 2012, including all of the mistakes that I’ve made.

2013. This gonna be a year of turning my dreams into realities. I will try my best to realize my dreams. I don’t know what will happen, but I’ll try my best. I got so many plans in my mind, but I don’t share it here. Just let them stay in my mind. The most important thing is, I wanna be a better person. I wanna be more mature. And I’ll try not to talk too much, but work more. Hopefully, some accomplishments are waiting ahead of me.

Wishing you a prosperous 2013, dear readers!

Graduation, et cetera

Finally I’m done with everything related to my Master’s degree. Last week, December 4th 2012, I officially obtained my degree. So, now I am Gabriella Febriana, BSc, MRes. Hopefully, I will soon find a job or a PhD position. Fingers crossed. I don’t know what’s gonna happen tomorrow or few months from now.

I want to share the story of my graduation day a little bit here. That day was very hectic for me. I went to the bank, late in the morning to close my bank account. Then I rushed to M&S to meet my mom (yes, my parents were coming to attend my graduation). After that, I went to the campus to take my gown. I didn’t expect before that actually we have to carry that long gown (without plastic bag), while after that I had to have my hair done. Whuaa..disaster! However, finally everything was going alright. Thankfully.

finally got my Master

finally got my Master

Well, UK graduation is very different if you want to compare with (for example) ITB graduation. My Master’s graduation, in my opinion, was so elegant. I felt a mixed feeling between happy and sad. Happy because finally I got this degree, after all of those hard works. Sad because, wow one year has passed. I, like it or not, must say goodbye to my friends who come from all part of the world. We used to do our activities together in the campus, and suddenly now all of us must go back to our own countries and continuing our lives in separate ways. My eyes were almost shed into tears when the pro vice-chancellor said this phrases in his speech : “I hope all of the graduates will always keep fond memories about their times spent in Newcastle University”

I’m already going back for good now. I’m in Indonesia, but sometimes my mind is still in Newcastle. Lots of things have happened to me there. And I’m now a different person compared to who I was last year. I’ve changed in a good way. I wasn’t just learn about scientific subjects, but I was also learn about life. And that was really a priceless experience for me!

Newcastle, I’m already missing you now. My last day in Newcastle, it was snowing heavily. I guess it was the way Newcastle said goodbye to me. The sweetest goodbye. And for that someone who once said to me : “I never thought you’ll leave so soon”, here is my answer : “There’s no reason for me to stay any longer in Newcastle. I also never thought you care that much to me. Thanks for everything. Goodbye. I hope you’ll never forget me, this clumsy girl from Indonesia”

Now that I’m already in Indonesia, honestly I have to re-adapt myself with this place. I feel like a stranger in my hometown, now. Have to compromise with everything.

L’Avenir

L’avenir, a French phrase for “future”. Today, finally I’ve submitted my dissertation, both the hard copy and the electronic version. I feel happy and sad in the same time, if you wanna know. All of my duties as a Master student have finished. Now it’s time to pray so that I can get a very good marks. Well, at least good enough for me to apply for a Ph.D. *please* But  gosh, another one year has passed by. That’s what make me sad. I’ve made so many friends here and in less than a month I have to say goodbye to them. Let’s not talk about goodbye. Back to the topic : FUTURE.

So, as aforementioned (oh that high-class word, reminds me of dissertation), yes I’m planning to do a Ph.D. Currently I’m still making an application for a particular program, which I have no idea whether I will be accepted or not. I just need to gently keep this hope deep down in my heart. A hope that, at the end of the day I will get the best one. This is a short-term goal for me.

Talking about future, most of my friends are recently got married. And here comes the question. Is that going to happen to me in the near future? Err..I’m afraid not. Last Sunday, I had a Skype conversation with my friend. I told her that I need to seriously think about my future. Then she asked whether I’m thinking about getting married. Why do people always associate future with married? I don’t know, but I think there’s a tendency for Indonesian people to get married in a quite young age. You’ll rarely find that kind of phenomenon in Europe. In UK, at least. Here, based on my (sotoy) observation, people tend to start settle-down (getting married) in the age of mid-30s (for women) and/or early 40s (for men) . Well, I don’t wanna wait that long to get married, of course. But, not in the near future, because I don’t have a boyfriend and I’m not planning to get one. So, people, when I talk about future, it means what I want to do next to accomplish my dreams while enjoying my twenties. Yeay!

Future, for me, also means exploring the world. It’s one of the reason why I prefer to (hopefully) do my Ph.D outside UK. I’m gonna travel to some parts of Europe which I’ve never been before. The only way to do that is by studying in one of the European countries. Imagine I will possess a Schengen visa valid for a couple of years, which automatically will be my “ticket” to travel around Europe. Hihi, I know that’s lame.

 And the long term goal of my future is having a good job in the field of science (of course!) with a good salary. Well, I believe the moment when I say “my life is complete” will be when I put smiles on my parents’ face because finally they realize that they can let me go live on my own feet. That moment will come someday, and that will be my most accomplishment ever.

I like talking about future. But, actually in the present, there are some things that I have to do from now on until the next few months. First, I wanna go for a Eurotrip with 3 of my friends. Then, I wanna travel around UK with my family. Next, another task is waiting. I’m gonna publish my work in an immunology conference. This is quite unexpected, really. That “conference” thing. I used to just attend some conferences here in UK. Well, I’ve presented my undergrad project 2 years ago. But it was in Indonesia and most of the audience was my friends and it was easy to explain my work in my native language. Next September is gonna be my first time to give a poster presentation here. I’m both excited and nervous, as always.

Okay, let’s enjoy the ride, then. Never expect anything, Ella. Cause life is always full of surprises.

Cheers. x

lesson learned today

Today was a very bad day for me. I was literally start doing my first experiment. Yeah, I’ve started my research since last week, but today is the first day for me to treat my samples. And I made one stupid fatal mistake that affect all of the samples. It means, tomorrow I have to do it all over again. I feel really stupid and useless, you know.

I still can take a moral of the story from this kinda “incident”, though. I need to be really really really careful next time. I mustn’t lose concentration even only for a second. It’s been almost 2 years I didn’t do a real lab project, so it’s normal that I need to adjust myself again in the laboratory. I hope everything goes well tomorrow and the days after.

And you know what, when I went home this afternoon, there was people from Christian Society having an event near the sports centre. They gave cakes to people (including me) who were passing by. They stick a little paper that contain a line from the Bible, on top of each cake. Accidentally, on the cake that I took, there was this line.

The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit

I feel like,  that was God Himself who is trying to speak directly to me not to be afraid because He always be with me, even in my darkest time. This evening I also had a chit-chat with my friend. Apparently, she had a problem with her research as well. Then she told me this, “you know what, it’s better that you made mistake today rather than you make mistake later when you’ve gone that far with your research. at least, you learn something today.”

Okay then. This seems to be a quick post for me. I was down, honestly. But now I feel much better.

2012!!

Yes..akhirnya sampai juga ya kita di tahun 2012. Tidak seperti tahun-tahun sebelumnya di mana saya menulis resolusi, tahun ini saya hanya akan mengikuti ke mana ritme hidup membawa saya. Bukan berarti saya puas terhadap segala pencapaian selama ini. Tapi, ada kalanya kita harus bersyukur buat apa yang sudah kita miliki. Bukan begitu? Kalau selama ini saya selalu request sama Tuhan untuk memberi saya sesuatu, tahun ini saya gak mau request apapun sama Tuhan, membiarkan Dia bekerja dalam hidup saya dan yakin bahwa Dia akan memberikan yang terbaik buat saya.

Tahun baru saya dibuka dengan merayakan pesta malam tahun baru di Edinburgh ditemani oleh cuaca yang super dingin, angin super kencang, dan hujan rintik-rintik yang menusuk badan. Yeah, that was my way to begin this so-called 2012. Hari-hari pertama 2012 diawali dengan menyelesaikan assignments! Kemudian, berlanjut dengan presentasi yang puji Tuhan lancar padahal sebelumnya saya udah deg-degan parah. Maklumlah sudah hampir 2 tahun (sejak lulus dari ITB) gak pernah presentasi lagi. Lalu, saya juga menerima 1 email balasan, yang saya harap adalah titik terang dari masa depan saya. Secercah harapan dari apa yang akan saya lakukan setelah saya menyelesaikan program Master di pertengahan tahun 2012 ini.

Dan awal tahun yang indah ini, akan ditutup dengan serangkaian ujian. Yap, 23 Januari-26 Januari akan menjadi hari-hari bersejarah buat saya. Yuk mari semangat!!

Selamat tahun baru, kawan di manapun kalian berada. Semangat selalu.

Happy weekend! 🙂

I Got It :)

Pagi itu, Rabu 6 Juli 2011. Saya baru bangun tidur dan seperti biasa langsung mengecek HP. Agak terkejut karena ada notification dari account Gmail saya yang tidak lain tidak bukan adalah email resmi yang selalu saya pergunakan untuk berkorespondensi dengan orang-orang penting di luar sana. Nah, begitu saya cek ternyata ada email terbaru dari student wellbeing service-nya NCL. Ah, pikir saya paling-paling itu adalah email pemberitahuan bahwa saya pada akhirnya tidak dapat scholarship, karena sekitar bulan Maret atau April yang lalu mereka bilang bahwa saya tidak lolos seleksi, sehingga dimasukkan ke list cadangan penerima beasiswa. Jadi, saya memang tidak terlalu berharap.

Ternyata oh ternyata, setelah saya benar-benar melek, barulah terbaca dengan jelas tulisan di email tersebut yang bunyinya seperti ini : “we are really interested with your application and we are glad to award you a scholarship

Apa coba namanya ini kalau bukan unexpected blessing? Masih gak percaya sih sebenarnya. Saya? Dapat beasiswa? Waow! Haha. Bahkan waktu di ITB aja, apply beasiswa peningkatan prestasi gak pernah lolos *pengakuan*.

Padahal, sehari sebelumnya saya ngobrol sama sahabat saya, Nona lewat yahoo messenger. Percakapan kami kurang lebih seperti ini :

Nona : “La, gimana tuh kabar scholarship loe?”

Saya : “Ah, gw sih udah gak berharap lah.”

Dan saya senang. Semoga saya bisa memberikan performa yang sangat baik ketika kuliah nanti sehingga pihak universitas tidak menyesal telah memberikan beasiswa ini buat saya.

Terima kasih, Tuhan karena telah membuat semua ini terjadi. Terima kasih buat orang tua dan para sahabat yang selalu memberikan support dan semangat. 🙂

one year ago

29 Juni 2010..

Saya datang ke kampus pagi-pagi. Detak jantung sudah tidak beraturan. Segera menuju ke ruang meeting dosen SITH lantai 4. Pembantaian dimulai jam 8 pagi. Jam 9.30 saya disuruh keluar setelah habis dibantai. 10 menit kemudian, masuk ke ruangan lagi. Dan, akhir pembantaian itu adalah : gelar S.Si di belakang nama saya.

Ketegangan itu berlangsung 1 tahun yg lalu lho. Tetapi, saya masih ingat kronologis kejadian hari itu secara detail.

and here I am now..

Seseorang yang pernah mencicipi menjalani pekerjaan sebagai seorang research assistant. Bersyukur sudah bisa share ilmu dengan orang lain. Dan sekarang tinggal menghitung waktu untuk merantau ke negeri yang nun jauh di sana demi melanjutkan studi. Ya, tahun ini saya akan kembali duduk di kelas menjadi mahasiswa.

Saya butuh doa kalian, teman-teman supaya bisa survive menjalani kehidupan 1 tahun ke depan.

Predictable Rejection

I got 2 rejection emails 2 days in a row. Gimana rasanya? Tentu saja ada sedikit penyesalan. Tapi, ya sudahlah. Yang penting saya sudah mencoba sehingga saya tidak akan dihantui oleh rasa penasaran seumur hidup. Toh, saya sudah diterima di satu universitas lain yang tidak kalah bagus kok.

Pada detik ini, semua frase yang berawalan “kalau saja” sedang berkecamuk di kepala saya. Kalau saja dulu nilai mata kuliah S1 saya straight A, pasti sekarang saya bisa dengan mudahnya mendapatkan beasiswa ya. Kalau saja dulu saya belajar lebih serius lagi, pasti saya bisa lulus dengan predikat cum laude dan pastinya sekarang akan mudah untuk diterima di berbagai universitas terbaik dunia. Dan sederet “kalau saja” yang lain, yang intinya adalah penyesalan. Penyesalan yang tidak berguna.

Jadi, ya diterima aja lah ya hasil akhir ini. Mungkin saya harus mencari sisi positif dari keadaan ini. Saya tidak perlu bimbang lagi antara mau melanjutkan kuliah di Prancis atau UK, karena yang di Prancis sudah jelas-jelas tidak diterima. So, sekarang benar-benar harus mengerahkan segala pikiran, mental, dan tenaga buat UK. Yeah keep fighting, Ella!!!

Memang sih, dulu saya pernah menggebu-gebu sekali untuk lanjut kuliah di Prancis sampai saya niat mengambil kursus Bahasa Prancis. Bahkan sekarang sedang mempersiapkan ujian DELF. Rasanya useless ya punya sertifikat DELF, tapi gak bisa lanjut kuliah di Prancis.  But for me, there’s no such things as a useless effort. Kalau belum bisa kuliah Master di Prancis, mungkin nanti saya malah bisa kuliah Doktoral di sana. Semoga!

Prancis adalah impian saya. UK adalah kenyataan yang akan segera saya jalani. Mari jalani kenyataan yang ada, sambil terus mengejar mimpi. Saya janji mau belajar dengan sangat serius dan lulus dengan memuaskan tahun depan. Kesalahan yang lalu tidak boleh terulang lagi.

Prancis, semoga kita bisa bertemu pada akhir tahun 2012 atau awal 2013 nanti ya! 🙂

Oiya, ternyata begini ya rasanya ditolak. Sakit! Haha..soalnya sejak beberapa bulan yang lalu saya selalu terima email yang isinya confirmation of acceptance gitu2 yang membuat saya merasa agak “di atas angin”. Lesson learned : jadi orang gak boleh greedy.

ps: saya gak terlalu shock, karena sudah memprediksi bahwa kemungkinan besar saya gak diterima. Saya mendaftar ke UPMC alias medical school-nya Sorbonne. Keputusan yang amat sangat nekad dan sejak awal saya berkeyakinan bahwa hanya keajaiban yang bisa membuat saya diterima di sana.

Lord knows dreams are hard to follow. But don’t let anyone tear them away. Hold on there will be tomorrow. In time you’ll find the way

New “Job”, New Experience

Hari ini tepat 2 minggu sudah saya magang di laboratorium suatu universitas swasta di Jakarta. Dan dengan suksesnya saya bolos hari ini, karena batuk yang tidak ada hentinya dan juga tadi siang mendadak badan saya demam. Jadi, saya putuskan untuk tidak masuk dulu untuk hari ini. Saya magang sebagai asisten peneliti di sana. Kenapa saya pilih magang dan bukannya melamar saja jadi staff/karyawan/dosen di sana? Mungkin sebagian dari teman-teman sudah mengetahui alasannya. Fokus utama saya pada saat ini adalah mempersiapkan segala hal yang berhubungan dengan rencana studi master saya di Eropa akhir tahun ini. Mulai dari mengurus akomodasi, visa pelajar, hingga persiapan mental. Alasan kedua adalah, saya tidak mau melepas aktivitas les Prancis saya yang sudah kepalang tanggung karena sekarang sudah berada di level teratas. Dengan status saya yang sebagai ‘anak magang’, jadwal kerja saya fleksibel. Saya bisa ke lab setelah selesai les. 🙂

Dua minggu berada di tempat ini, saya sudah berpindah ke 2 lab yang berbeda. Pertama kali masuk, saya bekerja di lab riset, membantu penelitian seorang dosen di sana. Penelitiannya cukup menarik, tentang mikroba perairan. Di lab tersebut, saya seakan dipaksa untuk me-refresh segala keterampilan yang telah saya dapatkan dulu selama masih berkuliah di Mikrobiologi ITB. Mulai dari membuat larutan stok, membuat medium pertumbuhan bakteri, menyeleksi keberadaan mikroba, hingga isolasi bakteri dan jamur. Di sini, saya punya tanggung jawab untuk tidak mempermalukan almamater saya. Hehe..

Berhubung penelitian dosen tersebut sudah berakhir dan beliau akan segera berangkat ke luar negeri untuk melanjutkan studi S3nya sekaligus melanjutkan penelitiannya tersebut, maka sejak hari Senin yang lalu, saya dipindahkan ke lab kultur jaringan tumbuhan. Bidang ini merupakan sesuatu yang sama sekali baru bagi saya. Saya yang selama ini selalu berkutat dengan bakteri, virus, ataupun jamur, tiba-tiba dihadapkan dengan tumbuhan. Ketika kuliah, saya hanya belajar tentang tumbuhan di tingkat 1 dan sudah pasti pengetahuan yang saya miliki tentang hal ini sangatlah minim. Oleh karena itu, di lab yang baru ini, setiap hari adalah pembelajaran bagi saya. Syukurlah supervisor saya di lab ini baik banget, dan kebetulan dia juga 1 almamater dengan saya di ITB, bahkan 1 pembimbing juga. Teknisi di lab ini juga baik.

Kalau ditanya tentang bagaimana perasaan saya bekerja di tempat ini, saya akan menjawab bahwa saya senang. Bidang pekerjaan seperti inilah yang saya rasa cocok dengan keinginan saya. Seperti yang pernah saya tulis di status BBM saya beberapa minggu lalu, I love doing research. Saya berkeinginan bahwa suatu saat nanti, entah kapan, hasil penelitian saya bisa dipublikasikan dan langsung diaplikasikan untuk kepentingan masyarakat dunia, bukan Indonesia saja. Menurut saya, jadi peneliti itu tidak boleh egois hanya mau meningkatkan kesejahteraan orang-orang di negara asalnya saja.

Di universitas tempat saya magang ini, sebagian besar dosennya masih muda, berusia 30an tahun, tapi sudah bergelar Doktor. Hal tersebut memacu semangat saya untuk mengikuti jejak mereka. Saya juga ingin bergelar doktor sebelum berusia 30 tahun. Kalau bisa, saya pengen sudah bergelar Doktor ketika berusia 28 tahun *amin, ya Tuhan!*

Di akhir tulisan ini, saya ingin berbagi hal-hal yang harus dimiliki oleh orang-orang yang baru masuk ke dunia kerja (saya rasa tidak spesifik di field pekerjaan saya saja, ini berlaku umum). Pertama, tunjukkan antusiasme kita terhadap pekerjaan apapun yang didelegasikan kepada kita. Kedua, jangan takut bertanya. Lebih baik bertanya, daripada salah mengoperasikan sesuatu. Dan jangan malu bertanya sama orang yang lebih muda. Saya sendiri sering bertanya dengan anak-anak mahasiswa yang sedang penelitian di lab saya. Ketiga, kalau kita memang sudah punya keahlian dalam suatu hal, ketika ditanya oleh supervisor kita  langsung jawab dengan pasti bahwa kita bisa. Jangan ragu-ragu menjawabnya dan kerjakan dengan sepenuh hati. Keempat, kalau kita belum punya pengalaman dalam mengerjakan sesuatu yang baru, bilang bahwa kita belum bisa tapi jangan hilangkan raut wajah antusias kita dan katakan bahwa kita akan belajar tentang hal itu.

Sekali lagi, saya ingin bilang bahwa saya menikmati pekerjaan baru saya. Saya bahagia karena waktu ‘senggang’ cukup lama yang saya miliki ini bisa dimanfaatkan untuk menjalankan aktivitas yang positif. Semoga hal ini bisa memperkaya pengalaman saya dan meningkatkan kapasitas diri saya sebagai seorang (calon) scientist hebat di masa depan *amin* (impian saya ‘gila’ banget ya? biarin!)

fyi, saya magang di salah satu universitas swasta yang berlokasi di daerah Semanggi. Tebak aja sendiri. 😉