Post a Week 2011?

And lo, considering the lack of posts for the past few months I have decided to withdraw from the Post a Week 2011 program which I signed up at the beginning of this year.

Apparently, I still can’t write as much because I’m a badass procrastinator.

But I haven’t given up on blogging, though. I might post many things in the future about my life and my thoughts.


Tim Independen Pemilihan Ketua Gemasi 2011 (or the Coffee Lovers’ Club): A Personal Retrospect

Note: I posted this in my personal opinion. I won’t get too technical as to explain the organizational hierarchy or more detailed issues. Oh, and this post is awfully long.

After the event Andromeda was finished, I was offered by a friend to join a committee named Tim Independen Pemilihan Ketua Gemasi 2011, an independent team—or committee—formed by Gemasi, the student organization in the English Department in my campus for the purpose of selecting and electing candidates for the Gemasi president 2011–2012 term. Initially, I was somewhat unsure to say yes or no; I had doubts whether I could contribute something to the committee and I was afraid of not getting along with the members well. But then I thought, “Ah, fuck that” and decided to go ahead and accepted the offer anyway.

The committee consisted of only eight members—nine including myself. I was appointed into the publication and documentation department. Sometimes I felt guilty because they only ask me to create design drafts for posters and banners while they were running around the campus vicinity looking for property authorizations when not busy with the event planning.

I met with Raha, Syami, and Icha from the same year as I was. Teh Yomi, Teh Nadia (I’d met them before in the Creative Writing class that I took) and Teh Dita from the year 2009. Teh Shela and Teh Tirena from the year 2008. None of them were bossy or a pain in the ass, in fact, they were all friendly and fun to work with.

As time goes by, I got closer with the members with each meeting we held. We once we held a meeting in a cozy hangout place in Cihampelas, while at the same time refreshing the hectic planning for the election. The internal atmosphere was nice and friendly, and everyone always got the chance to talk. We talked and laughed, mocked and gossiped about each other. As the only males in the group, Raha and I were easy laughingstock among us, but none of us were offended at all.

From what I’d heard, organizational teamwork sometimes were faced with internal conflicts and battle of the minds, but I didn’t seem to encounter any of them while working with TI. That’s a good thing, I guess, because I’m the kind of person who’d rather avoid trouble and conflicts. But not that there were no conflicts at all, though. We had to face pressure from the English Department students and lecturers regarding many aspects of our plans. And many of the plans were changed mid way through. This kind of damaged our morale a bit and we even joked about abandoning the committee. We assured each other that this committee is only temporary and we would live our normal lives again once the job was done.

And so it was. Last Thursday, the knock of the presidium’s gavel in the final day of the congress marked the end of the Gemasi president election process with Teh April from the year 2009 substituted Jeje from the year 2008 as the president of Gemasi term 2011–2012. On one side, this was relieving for us because our worries and anxieties had finally came to an end. But we were so down in the dumps realizing the truth that the Tim Independen was officially disbanded. After that, we held the final meeting evaluating our performance as Tim Independen. At the end of the meeting, Kang Teguh (the last year’s presidium), gave us some pep talks about being talked behind our backs and being underdogs among other people. I couldn’t forget it when he said that, “manusia itu cuma punya dua hal: kemauan dan kemampuan.” (lit. a man has only two things: willingness and ability).

Previously in the congress, Teh Dita asked the presidium about whether there would be another Tim Independen for next year’s president election, but the answer was heartbreaking: Gemasi would not assemble independent committee unless the students of the English Department holds a forum which decides otherwise. Of course that fact was rather depressing and we moaned because we felt that we didn’t want to be separated. But Teh Shela said that it was nothing new because the smaller the organization was, the closer the members would be. She couldn’t be truer.

We decided to hold a “committee disassembly” event soon, but we don’t dare calling it that because we really don’t want to be “disassembled,” we don’t want to say goodbye. Kind of funny because we are all in the same faculty and surely will see each other again. I’m not surprised because I guess goodbyes are never nice, after all.

The story of Tim Independen kind of reminds me to one of the history lessons I learned in my junior high school. In 1945, there was committee that was formed by BPUPKI (Indonesian Independence Effort Exploratory Committee) which purpose was to formulate the constitution of Indonesia. In June of that year, the committee produced the Jakarta Charter, which two months after that became the Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia. The committee was known as the Panitia Sembilan (or Committee Nine) and was led by Ir. Sukarno, who would later be the first President of Indonesia. It consisted of nine members.

L–R: Teh Dita, Teh Nadia, Teh Yomi, Teh Shela, Me, Raha, Icha, and Teh Tirena (Syami wasn't present at the time this picture was taken)

Raha, Icha, Syami, Teh Nadia, Teh Yomi, Teh Dita, Teh Iren, and Teh Shela, I know it sounds kind of WTF but I fucking think you guys are the best! Need proof? What about if I tell you that I chose to write this 933-word post instead of working on my 3,000-word essay?

Looking Back at Andromeda

I wasn’t able to write anything about Andromeda last night because I got home at like 2 in the morning and my eyes were as heavy as an elephant, so I decided to go straight to bed instead. To make do, I’m writing about it right now.

(To give you the big picture, Andromeda stands for An English Department Omni-Gathering Day (despite being held at night); a gathering for English department students in my faculty. I’m one of the publication and documentation department guys and I’ve been busy thinking about it for the last four weeks.)

A photocopied poster for Andromeda.

The event was divided into two phases. I call the first phase “The Ground” because it focused on get-together activities, and the second, “The Stage” because it focused on the audience watching people perform. The Ground began at four. But since only a few people came, the games were mostly played by the committee themselves. One of us even called that the makrab for the committee.

Tug-o-war, one of The Ground activities.

It was getting more crowded after the maghrib break at six o’clock. At seven, The Stage began, and I think this was where the real Andromeda began. The surroundings was awfully dark, but the lighting was sufficient to illuminate the stage. By the time the performance from Class E began, all the seats were filled and some of us even had to stand up. We laid down the carpets so that they can sit down on them. After that, Pak Ari and his wife featuring another lecturer took the stage, performing “Lucky” by Jason Mraz on the acoustics. This received positive feedbacks from the audiences and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.

At 8 o’clock, The Stage continued with an electronic gig from a lecturer (Pak Sandya) with his laptop and his sidekick (his student, actually) with the guitar. They played some weird psychedelic stuff and told us to do some weird psychedelic moves but the audience seemed awkward with it, so their part ended with him saying, “Thank you. It’s psychedelic without psychedelia.”

“Psychedelic without psychedelia.”

The air began to get colder by eight-thirty, when Saturday Night Karaoke went on stage. But the cold didn’t seem to affect the audiences; in fact, a bunch of new people started to come, adding warmth the chilly atmosphere. At nine, Adel and a Friend (not the actual band name) sang a few soft songs fitting to the melancholic mood of the night.

The acoustic performance from Adel.

It was about nine-thirty when Rayhan came. Into the stage he walked, bringing with him two briefcases to the carpet below the stage, unfolding a smorgasbord of effects and pedals for his electric guitar. We were expectant during the lengthy time he took to set up his thingamajigs. However, when he began the first melodic strums in his guitar and began his first song, it stunned us all. We watched in awe as he played around with his guitar effects along with his bandmate, Deon, who mans the computers, creating beautiful loopy, IDM/ambient-esque sounds. It was until this “hyperactive” guy (no offense intended) went on stage and did hilarious things, making a unique funny “visualizer” combined with the music that Rayhan was playing. I realized that the night was cloudless and we could see the starry skies up there, adding a really good atmosphere to the event. His final track, which, quite interestingly titled “Andromeda”, was really a punch in the gut. It was nothing short of beautiful. By this time, we were totally enjoying ourselves—we were sucked into the event, forgetting about the coldness of the Jatinangor air at night.

Reyhan and Deon comes from the band Slylab, a Bandung-based electronic band.

And the night was ten o’clock, leading to the final performance by the GIGOLOS. They closed Andromeda to a very satisfying punchline. We were wondering what GIGOLOS was until they came; by the name some of us thought that they were perhaps an indie band or something. But then found out that they were, in fact, an all-boys Saman dancer. Not regular Tari Saman, though, it was an improvised version of it. They changed the lyrics for the accompanying song and the moves into an extremely amusing comedy-dance hybrid. It was really fun watching them—a really entertaining closing performance.

A hilarious dance from GIGOLOS (no, it’s not that male prostitute sense of the word).

After they left the stage, there it was: Andromeda was finally over. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, and despite the exhaustion and drowsiness that could clearly be seen on the faces of the committee, were very happy that the event went as planned. What really made us happy was there was the rain that we worried about at first didn’t fall at all.

The audiences went home, and the committee officially closed the event by having “nasi bungkus” dinner on the carpet together. Having fulfilled our hunger, we had to do another hard work, which was the stage-cleanup. Lights were turned off; speakers, control systems, and other electronic stuff were plugged off.

After everything was cleaned up, some of us went home and the other decided to spend the night there, while keeping the stage safe until its breakdown the next morning.

All photographs taken by me. Full set of Andromeda photos here.

Note: Rayhan came with Deon as two-thirds of Slylab, which Deon—in a comment conversation—preferred the duo to be called “Raydeon”.