It was Friday (10/05/2013). Again, I felt the time went so swiftly. It was near to the middle of May, and I felt I had done nothing for my PhD Journey. Today, I made a little but great change in my PhD life. You know what was it? I went to campus at 6 am in the morning. It was the most earliest time I was leaving for campus recorded so far. It was great. I felt so happy in the morning. The lab was still very quite and my mind was ultimately fresh. It was a perfect time to study, indeed. Really, I enjoyed to start my activities at the very early morning. Starting from that time on, I promised to my self to go to the campus very earlier in the morning.
Thanks God. I was quite encouraged and vigorous. The thing that reminded me to be fully encouraged was my memory of my childhood. This lonely tearful long PhD Journey rang me the bell of my childhood.
When I was at Elementary School i.e. SDN Plampangrejo 3, and Yunior High School i.e. SMP N 1 Cluring Banyuwangi, I was so simple, modest, lonely, very hard-working and extremely diligent student despite of all my limitations When I was Elementary school student, Every morning at 06.30 am I must go to the school on foot while majority of my friends went to the school by their bicycle. Still recorded in my mind, everyday I must walks through paddy field, in very terribly bad footpath to the school that was also located in the midlle of paddy field. When it was raining, my parent had no money to buy me even a very cheap umbrella. I just sheltered myself and more importantly my bag containing my hand-written note book from the rain under a banana leaf. When the rain was so very heavy, frequently my uniform and book were so wet.
The only learning resource I can access was my hand-written notebook. I wrote everything what my teachers taught in the class on my shabby thin, low quality paper notebooks. My parents had no money to buy me high quality paper notebooks such as “Sinar Dunia” books. The brand that I really wanted to because it was advertised too much on the Television. But I never had ones. I learnt solely from that book at night. My school had no library providing books, magazines, to be borrowed by the students. For sure, I had no text books. It was surely unaffordable for students from family in very rural village, where I was living. However, I was the only student who was very lucky. Because, one of my teachers, Bu Hariani, kindly borrowed me a textbook for Bahasa Indonesia subject.
That was the only textbook I had, when I was at 4th, 5th, and 6th Grade. I really owed a huge debt to her very much. Oh God, please give her full of your blessing in her life. Despite of the very bad learning facilities, I was very happy I had ever won a math competition at district level. Finally, I graduated from the elementary school with very excellent national examination mark. I got 43.54 of 50.00, while the average of my classmate mark was only 23.00. My elementary school tenure must be very painful, but I felt it was not. I never felt that what I had at that time was so phatetic.
When I was a Junior High school student the condition was even worse. I must went to the school located at the city from the village where I was living by bicycle for 15 km distance one way. In other words, I must travel for 30 km everyday. Since, the school started at 06.30 am, I must left my home at around 05.30 am in the morning. What a terribly too far distance to be traveled by bicycle, Indeed. Frequently, I had problem with my bike such as puncture and broken chain on my way to or from the school. If that happened, the situation became much more terrible, since I must walk with my bicycle.
I was in the class where all the students were very smart. It was an excellent class program, in which the students were 40 students with the highest mark selected quarterly from all students in the same level. It was really not easy for me to adapt, to make friend with my class mates. I was extremely inferior. I felt I was the most stupid student in the class. I felt I would never survive with them. Since, they were from rich family, the looked very smart in my eyes.
I felt very lucky with my new school. It was much better than my prior school in elementary level. The school provided quite self-contained a bunch of books collection that I can borrow for free. I also had excellent teachers who were very expert in their own expertise. My school also had very prominent laboratories such as English lab, Natural Sciences Lab, Computer Lab. as well as sport facilities.
In this school I was a very study oriented, self-centered student. I had no another life but to study. But, it was typical student in my class. Because if we had worse mark than the other students from other classes mark, we should be ready to be kicked out from the class. Fortunately, I did enjoy studying very hard at that time. In the school, I heavily owed debt with one of teachers namely Bu Mahmudah. She was the one who made me got scholarship from the government. I was so grateful.
It was so painful that finally paid off at the end I was at the school. When I graduated from the school, I achived the best result on the final national examination.
Remembering all those memory really gave me recharging energy to keep carry on my PhD journey. When I felt so sad and down, I told to my self that I used to dealing with those kind of feeling and you had proven that you were able to succeed.
In the morning, I was working on my First Year Review Report and reading the latest journal of the operational research society until Jum’at prayer time. I went to Protland building for Jumah prayer after wards. I really enjoyed this moment, to meet with my brothers in Islam. Seeing their sincere smiles, shaking their warm hands really could erase all sorrow and sadness in my heart and replacing them with genuine happiness.
Afterwards, I went to Hyson Green before finally I went back to the lab in the campus until at around 11 pm at Night. Thanks God, for the day.