Project 365

Welcome! This is my own 365 project of creating at least one post per day about the stuff that I learnt, achieved, and found, the stuff that made me happy, or the new thing I did every single day.

The project was started on 21 February 2010. It has stopped for few times but I am determined to continue!

This project is dedicated to myself. I want to feel grateful for every single thing I have. I want to be thankful for my own life. I just want to feel that I have enough.

Tag: education

Social Life Goes On…

Jessie, Uca, and me @ TU Delft

Though I’m busy with thesis, I don’t want to completely disappear from the world. Most of my friends do that and I don’t think I’ll be able to afford that. There needs to be a balance in everything. Thesis, social life, organization activities, and faith/religion. Ya Allah, I won’t be able to do this without You. Always guide and help me please :).

Changing Education Paradigms

Last March, I wrote about Sir Ken Robinson who is the world-renowned education and creativity expert. I watched his talks on TED and YouTube and I actually really like some of his brilliant views on education.

One thing he said about the current education system is that it is "modeled on the interests of industrialism and the image of it". For example, schools are still organized on factory lines: ringing bells, separate facilities, and specializations into separate subjects. Children are also educated by batches. They are put into the system by age group (a great analogy for products grouped by the date of manufacture), when in fact some children of the same age perform better than the rest of the group. Some of them are also flourished when they work in smaller groups, large groups, or even alone. Children are not like products, in which they are the same. They have different capabilities. When products do not pass the standardized tests, they are destroyed or be sold for cheaper price. But we can’t do the same thing to these children. Some children perform better in some disciplines than the others. And what’s the used of these tests or exams? Why is getting high grades the most important thing in this world? (I still see most of job advertisements in Indonesia requiring future employees to have certain minimum grades. How sad!)

Sir Robinson said: "if you are interested in the model of education, you don’t start from the production line mentality." ๐Ÿ™‚ We don’t need a reform in our education system. But we certainly need to transform the system.

A Visit To KAUST

I had been wanting to go to King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) for so long and I was so happy that today I had a chance to go there with my whole family!

It was such a HUGE campus! The moment we stepped in, I was already amazed by its size and the fact that it had its own golf course! Super cool!

Golf course!  The campus

Then there was a cozy library with its beautiful view of the Red Sea! The tall structure seen below was actually a lighthouse!

KAUST Library

Everything was so new, clean, shiny, and cozy!

at the building of Museum of Science and Technology in Islam   Student Center

Without the help of these Indonesian students who studied at KAUST, we wouldn’t be able to visit this campus! Thanks to them, I got to discover a lot of cool things about KAUST. I’ll write more about it in my primary blog! Stay tuned! ๐Ÿ™‚

with the Indonesian KAUST students

At least, there’s something to be grateful about with my flight being delayed! Hehehe.

Girls’ Education

I just finished watching a TED video presentation by Sheryl WuDunn titled Our Centuryโ€™s Greatest Injustice. Again, Iโ€™m not too keen on writing so Iโ€™m just going to write some interesting issues she made in bullet points.


  • More girls were discriminated to death than all the people killed on all battlefields in 20th century
  • Girls aged 1-5 die at 50% higher mortality rate than boys in all of India
  • Women and girls arenโ€™t the problem. They are the solution.

If youโ€™re not fully utilizing half the talent in the country, youโ€™re not going to get too close to the top ten

— Bill Gates, when he was in Saudi Arabia, referring to the Saudi women that were not fully utilized.

  • It may well be that the highest return on investment in the developing world is in girls’ education – Larry Summers
  • When you educate a girl, she tends to get married later on in life, she tends to have kids later on in life, she tends to have fewer kids, and those kids that she does have, she educates them in a more enlightened fashion. With economic opportunity, it can be transformative.
  • Research shows that once you have all of your material needs taken care of, there are very few things in life that can actually elevate your level of happiness. One of those things is contributing to a cause larger than yourself.
  • We have all won the lottery of life. And so the question becomes: how do we discharge that responsibility? So, here’s the cause. Join the movement. Feel happier and help save the world.

The presentation reminds me of a quote made by Queen Rania of Jordan:

If you educate the women, you educate the family. If you educate the girl, you educate the future.

So, are you ready to discharge that responsibility? ๐Ÿ™‚


Literacy unlocks the door to learning throughout life, is essential to the development and health, and opens the way for democratic participation and active citizenship.

— Kofi Annan

Working with a Dutch

In this semester, I got the opportunity to do group assignment with my Dutch classmate. This is the second time that I work with a Dutch. Most of the time, I always paired up with my “usual” friends who are international students, mainly from Romania, China, Korea, and Columbia. It’s convenient to work with somebody you know, because you know what to expect. You know how they work. You know how to handle problems with them if it ever occurs. It’s more to do with convenience and familiarity.

For this course that I take, the lecturer assigned us into groups of two people, mixing the Dutch with the non-Dutch speaking students. There’s one thing that concerns me the most about doing assignments with somebody you don’t know: what if my group partner doesn’t produce a satisfactory work that leads to the failure of the assignment (or leads to unfair amounts of work to be done between us). I’m quite flexible to work with anyone. I don’t mind working with somebody who has less knowledge about the course than me. But I’d expect that he/she to work harder in completing the work. And I normally become more open (especially to criticize and to be criticized) when it comes to group assignments. Even if my groupmate is my close friend, I’ll never hesitate to tell him/her if he/she does something wrong (for example, not coming to the meeting; or not replying emails; etc). I even almost kicked someone out of my group (even though she’s my close friend) because of her behavior that was quite unacceptable to the rest of the group members.

But anyway, I am lucky again that I team up with someone that matches my expectation. He even leads and manages the whole assignment and decides on how to proceed. I’m not trying to be arrogant or something; but I’m usually the one who leads (“voluntarily”) because no one is eager enough to step up; especially when it comes to taking the first step (which is actually just as simple as sending emails to make appointments for the first meeting!) and getting the project started. But this time my teammate leads everything and I’m the one who give ideas, etc. I enjoy it ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m kinda tired to be the project leader all the time.

One thing about working with Dutch people (whether at the university or at work) is that they’ll NEVER want to work during weekends or public holidays. Weekdays are the only time when they do assignments/work and many of them don’t even bring those assignments to be completed at home! I admire them for that because eventually they can still get the work done on time although they have to “waste” two days that can be spent on working on assignments. They work very effectively and they fully respect the need of having the time off. Life is not only about work, they say ๐Ÿ™‚


Damn, I’m proud to be the alumnae of the University of Queensland ๐Ÿ™‚

And I miss the delicious pizza at the campus…. ๐Ÿ™

Schools Kill Creativity

Ken Robinson gave an interesting and funny talk at TED. In his opinion, schools nowadays kill our creativity and the creativity of many children. But, in what way?

As all of us may know, kids are not frightened of being wrong. “If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original,” said Robinson. But the problem is that: how can they remain to be an “artist” as they grow up? Most children have lost their capacity as they grow older; and as a result, they have become so scared of being wrong. Because this is what schools nowadays teach us about.ร‚ย They have been teaching us that mistakes are the worst thing that we can do. That we can’t make mistakes. We are pressured. And therefore, we try so hard to avoid them. The result is that: schools educate us out of our creativity.

Education system around the world has been created and influenced to meet the needs of industrialism. The most useful subjects for work are definitely at the top: science, maths, etc. People are discouraged to take their path to music or arts merely because of the unpromising job that they would get. But the thing is that different people have different ability. They have different talents. Don’t they have to do something that they really like? Why do we have to kill their creativity and talents when those things are probably the only things they have?

Not to mention the so called “academic inflation” which indicates the whole structure of our education system is shifting beyond our ability and capacity. Years ago, having a high school diploma was enough to get a decent job. But this was quickly shifted to having a minimum of bachelor degree. Nowadays, masters degree is important and will become a necessity in few years time (even now!). I can imagine that there will be time when probably PhD is gonna take the lead. ๐Ÿ™

One interesting thing that Robinson said is this: we start to teach children from the waist up as they grow up. We teach them how to walk. Dance. Draw. Talk. Then we focus on their heads; and eventually to one side of the head. This is so true! Education has become sooooo focused on the brain, not creativity. High marks are important. But producing the most beautiful and creative work of art is less important. How come we don’t value creativity? How can we come up with something original and new when our education itself doesn’t support this? How can we see the future? ๐Ÿ™‚