Happy Valentine

ga terasa
sudah hampir setahun
sejak posting terakhir

apa lagi yang baru?
tampilan blog ini, hari ini diperbaharui

maklum, berhubung katanya ga boleh berpesta palentin
jadi waktunya dipakai untuk utak-atik blog saja
mudah-mudahan dengan tampilan baru, semangat nulis juga jadi baru

"Math is like love -- a simple idea, but it can get complicated"
--R. Drabek

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penciled by -rino @ 8:00 PM

what's new

we've passed two months of the "new" year 2007
and I've started to wonder whether I've acted
on all those things planned at the end of last year

what do people say about new year?
oh, yea,
"many people look forward to the new year for a new start on old habits"
is that my case too?

what's new for me in 2007?
two new research students,
three new research grants,
an editor-in-chief position in a math journal,
some endless administrative works (same old, same old),
a new choir to sing with,
and, I hope, a new stage of relationship with the Almighty

and, oh,
I have a new photo album at Yahoo!
and a new video account at Vimeo

ITB Choir sings Water Night from rino and Vimeo.

For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
~T.S. Eliot, "Little Gidding"

penciled by -rino @ 3:14 PM

and His name shall be called wonderful, counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Piece

for unto us a Child is born
unto us a Son is given

may the Son resides in our heart from this day on
and may He leads us through a blessed 2007

Merry Christmas, dear friends!


penciled by -rino @ 6:15 PM

handling a Handel

it was a first for ITB Choir in many ways
first major work
first baroque piece
first being conducted by a Maestro

and we were brave enough to start practice on 11 November
only 6 weeks and 10 sessions before the concert

His yoke easy, His burthen is light

four sessions with the Maestro
was it enough?
with half of the choir coming late after a full-day work
and half a dozen commuting between Bandung and Jakarta
(4-5 full hours in highways per day)
and misunderstandings which lead to tensions floating in the air

and He shall purify the sons of Levi
that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness

so it was such a blessing
when we actually sing in joy
and by heart
and with such a good quality (in my standard, anyway)

Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth

thank you, Mr. Handel, for a beautifully written piece
thank you, Mr. Listiyanto, for a depth insight into baroque music
and thank you, Mr. Hollerung, for your patience, candid critics, and extraordinary leadership (and, oh, I love your puns, Maestro :-))

For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth

with the Maestro, Gabor Hollerung

group photo with the chair of IA PSM-ITB (and his brother), Aida Swenson, and Indra Listiyanto
[mas indra dan tante aida kok biru-biru sih, janjian yah??? hehe]

several media reviews (in Bahasa Indonesia):
Koran Tempo: Oratorio Monumental
Suara Pembaruan: Oratorio "The Messiah" Semarakkan Natal
Sinar Harapan: Hanyut dalam Suasana Natal
Gloria Cyber Ministeries: Kado Natal yang Indah

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penciled by -rino @ 3:12 PM

“Udah ga ada”: Selamat jalan Ompung, Mama, Nantulang Ita, dan Tulang Merlin

Udah ga ada (or Sudah tidak ada): literally means ”Doesn’t exist anymore”, a phrase used when someone passed away
Selamat jalan
: a farewell
: a Batak word for grandparent; Ompung Doli is granddad and Ompung Boru grandma
: our mother’s brother; his wife is Nantulang. The Tulangs are considered as mora, the most important, respected, and influential people in a Batak family

Ompung Loide Lenggana Harahap br. Siregar
(Sipirok, 1 May 1917 – Jakarta, 15 June 2006)

15 June 2006, P2MS ITB,
It was 3 pm when my phone rang,
I was inputting students’ final marks
My cousin Harry was on the other side of the line
He said Ompung’s condition was getting worst
The doctors decided to take off all the life-assisting equipments, except for the food

Ompung, my mama’s mother, was the only grandparent I know well
Both granddads already passed away before I was born
and grandma from papa’s side when I was 10
When I was 9 months old, my dad went to study in Australia
Since then I lived with Ompung until I was 4 years old,
the time when I was reunited with my parents in Armidale
Ompung had became a role model for me since my very young age
I still remember how she taught me to English words, songs, and prayers
I couldn’t recall when I started to tell people
that I wanted to be a teacher just like her,
but I did became one,
and the words “I’m very proud of you” that she said
keeps ringing inside my head

It was 15 minutes later when Harry called back
Ompung udah ga ada, Ri

*****Mama Rinelda Rosmita Simanjuntak br. Harahap
(Jakarta, 4 June 1944 – Bandung, 22 July 2006)

22 July 2006, J Inn,
It was 1 am when my phone rang
My youngest sister was on the other side of the line
She said mama lost her consciousness and was taken to the High Care Unit
Ten minutes later my granddad (a younger brother of Ompung) rang
and asked me to come home

I just didn’t know what to do
Ira, my roommate, texted her husband in Jakarta asking him to change my flight itinerary,
and she told me to get some sleep

Mama was diagnosed with an acute leukemia just days after Ompung’s funeral
The doctors said that it might occurred long before
but they couldn’t tell exactly when

It was 5 am when my phone rang again
My sister was crying on the other side of the line
Mama udah ga ada, Ri


Nantulang Sri Elita Harahap binti M. Said
(Lubuk Sikaping, 8 December 1956 – Penang, 27 September 2006)

27 September 2006, P2MS ITB, Bandung
It was 4 pm when my phone rang,
I was getting ready to go home
My cousin Harry was again on the other side of the line
He said that he hates being the one always breaking bad news
I couldn’t say anything, I thought of the worse

Nantulang Ita, the wife of mama’s younger brother Tulang Ucok,
was diagnosed with a lupus disorder in 1997
There was some times when it was considered non-active,
but not long before Mama’s funeral, some of the symptoms started to reappear
Early September, Nantulang, Tulang, and their two daughters
went to a Penang for treatments

I told myself that this cannot be
when Harry finally said, “Nantulang udah ga ada, Ri

*****Tulang Merlin Alexander Harahap
(Jakarta, 20 August 1940 – Jakarta, 12 October 2006)

12 October 2006, Home,
It was 4.30 am when my sister Intan’s phone rang
We were all asleep
My second sister Vera, who lives and works in Jakarta was on the other side of the line
Intan woke me up and said
Ri, Tulang Merlin udah ga ada

Tulang Merlin, Mama’s eldest brother, had asthma for years
We often saw him out of breath after a not-so-long walk
but we never really thought much of this
However, on the day of Nantulang Ita’s funeral,
Tulang told my sister Vera a surprising story,
that he dreamed of meeting Mama a couple of days earlier
She talked to him and hugged him
and he was full of tears when waking up
That Thursday morning, when watching soccer on TV,
Tulang got another asthma attack
He tried to use his oxygen tube,
but out of the ordinary, he couldn’t feel the air flow anymore
His sons then run him to the nearest hospital,
but it seems that we already lost him on the way there

Everyone: relatives, friends, and colleagues,
all seemed to ask the very same question, “How come? Four in a row?”
My cousin Freddy, Tulang Merlin’s second son,
hoped this his dad would be the last one in our family for a long years to come

We might never know the answers for those
But one thing I know is that no matter what the future holds,
no matter uncertainties tomorrow will bring,
I believe that everything happens for a reason
and somehow we are given the strength
to go through any kind of clouds and rains and storms

Sure, there are memories that cannot be erased
I still remember the last trip we had,
I can go all teary when laying my eyes on Mama’s garden
Sure, things will be affected
I hasn’t done any individual research for months,
all I did was correcting and approving students’ works
I missed numerous deadlines
I kept on forgetting doing things that I should have,
things like contacting people and sending thank you notes
Sure, nothing will ever stay the same
Home is just a different place without Mama

However, on these days
I realize that we as a family grew closer to each other
I realize that when I’m not able to think and do anything,
I can be certain that people around me will make sure everything’s OK
I realize that I constantly hope for and am grateful for other’s help and prayers
And I realize that there is Someone who really, I mean really, watch over me

Joy is not a matter of good fortune and pleasant circumstances
Joy is a decision, and God is the focus
-- taken from 19th October 2006 daily devotional of "Daily Discipleship" published by NavPress

for more photos click here


penciled by -rino @ 7:13 PM