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Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018

Hello good people!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Today is the last day of winter holiday. I really just want to spend it lazily. Well, we (me and Mas Yu) will have afternoon tea double date together with my bestfriend and her husband 🙂 But; in the morning I am free, I almost finished my abstract for March conference so I decide to wake up late and spend the morning writing about 2017. A dramatic year full of drama, I guess. What happened in 2017? Let me just give me a quick review!

 

2017 started with mega drama number one. Since everything is over now and I have made peace with the main actor, I really cannot mention the content of the drama here (however, I have a little review about that here).

That time everything was quite blurred I guess. I would not make it without my best friend and in total four times visit from my parent and my sister. During spring and summer, I had a little stolen holiday to Kyoto and Osaka, as well as Izu and Nagoya with good friends.

 

In terms of academic, actually nothing changed much. I am right now Doctoral Second year student, first semester. This year I managed to attend 3 conferences (2 national (Chemical Society of Japan and Biocatalysis Symposium) and 1 international, Biotrans at Hungary). I also try to speak about science in Science なう event! I also found myself a new interesting topic about synthesizing drug derivatives.

In lab? It is getting more complicated but still very fun, as one of the oldest right now I have 12 kouhai in total with 2 directly under my supervision. Challenging but still happy! I wish we all can do research with love and dedication, and I can somehow be a good role model 🙂

My focus next year will be more of computational study (crystal structure refinement) and docking study; plus writing my publication! I will have to start thinking as well about my future career, meaning searching for a faculty position or post-doctoral position in Japanese university.

 

This year I tried also to post more on my youtube channel and do vlogging (which I found to be quite fun!). I know what I am doing in youtube is not that “trending” or so called eye-catching, I am just doing it for fun (but with my heart into it). Ah, I also learn to wear hijab more often, trying to incorporate it with my own style 🙂

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All of these things happened together with mega drama number two and mega drama number three. Really cannot mention the content of the mega drama number two however I have a little snippet here and there. I guess I am quite content with the problem solving of mega drama number two right now.

 

And mega drama number three? Finally I am completely releasing myself from my toxic love relationship for 4 years! Here is the snippet, yes, Mas Yu found me 😀 together with wonderful friends from Kanagawa International Student Music Festival!!

 

although we are so far away from settling down. We need gazillion works to be done to face our huge barriers. But to be honest, I am completely at peace. We learn something new everyday, kudos for him for his patience and willingness to learn.

 

In the end, I wrap up this year with a peaceful state of mind.

What are the keys?

 

  1. Self acceptance

I am accepting myself right now, I am not the smartest and I am slow at doing things. But whatever, I keep moving forward slowly everyday. I mean, my dear family, bf, and best friends, they are all able to accept me with my strength and especially, weakness. Why should I be reluctant to accept myself?

  1. Not trying to please everyone

I learned the hard way this year no matter how hard you try to make someone like you; they will not do that if they do not feel that way! So don’t try to please people, be yourself. They will love you if they love you.

  1. Listen and care only to those who really love you

Not all things should be heard and be put into the deepest core of our heart. Follow your heart, listen only to those who matters the most.

Critic will always come to your life. If they come and bother you, just ask yourself two questions. 1) Have I put my heart while doing it? Have I done my best? 2) Do I have good intention on doing this? If the answers are yes, just proceed. It’s the right thing for you.

(Yu, 2017)

Actually actually, those beautiful words in point number 1 to 3 is not mine. I should put some reference…. thank you Yu Teguh golden ways, lol.

 

 

So that is all for my 2017.

I do not have big and detailed resolution for 2018. I am only taking baby steps cherishing everyday and be grateful to Allah for all of His blessings.

Well, I have to publish a paper and search for job this year, hopefully postdoc or academic position in Japan. These are the only focus.

 

Goodbye, 2017.

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Bismillahirrahmanirrahim welcome 2018 ❤

 

 

With loads of love,

 

Afifa Ayu Koesoema

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May Allah leads us all the way

Hello everyone!

 

How was life? Here in Japan, it’s getting colder and colder because it’s already in the end of November. However, lately things are getting better and better, in my opinion. Nothing change much in the terms of academic, instead I found myself a new (quite cool) topic of synthesizing cool drugs. But in the case of my heart? Dramatic change happened.

 

So i guess i found myself in a wrong relationship for 4 years, idk. For long. And to be honest i was kinda losing myself and my grip, and even my trust to everyone during those times. Imagine?

But finally I have the courage to let go of what’s not good for me.

Start fresh and suddenly unexpectedly God has turned my faith and gave me a leap of destiny *okay exaggerating mode of talking : on*

 

Honestly i never felt this better in life. Finally i have got the contentment of life, like, finally be able to love myself and think that I am good enough. Finally feeling that I am being loved by so many people, my family, my best friends, my lab mates, and everyone. World is of course not perfect, but it is so wonderful right now.

And more wonderfully, I think I have developed a better connection and relation with God, Allah SWT.

I was put in a situation where I have to combine my favorite activity (teaching) with Islam. And yes, as always, to be able to teach someone, the thing that you should do is to learn more about the things. Just like teaching enzymology or how to do experiment 🙂 So I am trying hard to fix my Salah (more punctual and so on, especially now someone is somehow reminding me to do it, although he’s not yet doing it), improve my understanding about the basic principle of Islam as well as reading Al Quran more studiously.

Trying to put it together, explaining how Islamic principle is wonderful and very applicable in the modern life. And of course how it can be explained in the scientific way #becausewearePhDcandidates #nerdleague

 

So I would like to put my utmost gratitude from God to send me a catalyst that can make me see myself as a better person, pursue my career to be better, fixing my relation with everyone, and at the same time make me try to know God better 🙂

To put it simple, make me happy, thank you Nerd and Mr. Nerd (the violin).

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Are we out of the woods yet?

Of course not, this is a big and serious challenge. We have no intention to hide or avoid it, the difference that we have. Kudos for him to put himself in this situation and his willingness to try, fight, and learn. Baby steps everyday, it will be okay.

 

May Allah leads us all the way.

 

 

With loads of love,

 

 

Afifa Ayu Koesoema

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IKuburan : Cinta Bom Waktu

Hello all ❤

I begin to become more productive in this blog writing now i guess 😀 so, last week i had a performance again with Kuburan, if you don’t remember them, they are the scariest band in Indonesia, as mentioned in this post.

This time it was for their new single promotion, Cinta Bom Waktu! This single was funny, energetic and catchy like usual. The keyboard/synth part really brought the atmosphere of tokusatsu, at least in my opinion~

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Official Photograph of Cinta Bom Waktu

So i had two performances with them on 4 June 2014, one in Oz Radio and one in Rase FM. The performance in Oz Radio was a Ozclusive performance and it was hilarious because they brought up the theme of Agnes Monica. They are making a tribute to Agnes Monica. I think that their performance always consist of some surprise elements 😀

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The second performance, Rase FM was done at Festival Citylink for a Rase Cinta Indonesia Tampil event 😀 it was a usual single promotion performance.

 

RCI Tampil

RCI Tampil

If in the last performance i dressed up as a Cinderella and as a matador princess, in this opportunity i dressed up as a CAT! ^^ Okay, i wore a two pieces cat-suit, tights with shocking color, cat headband, and cat make-up, unfortunately i did not have the gut to paint whisker and cat nose on my face, so it was just cat-eye make-up, a very heavy smokey eyes, very long fake eye lashes, and super red lipstick.

Cat Invasion to Oz Radio!

Cat Invasion to Oz Radio!


<img class="size-medium wp-image-813" src="https://afifaayukoesoema.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/20140604_165602.jpg?w=225" alt="The make-up detail The make-up detail ❤ 

So the performance in Oz Radio was really fun. We played 3 Agnes Monica’s songs and of course their newest single, Cinta Bom Waktu. First we played Rindu, which was okay and serious, it was really identical to the real song. After that was Bilang Saja, although we made a new arrangement but it did still sound normal. But the most epic part was Tak Ada Logika, in which they include a solo sundanese violin opening part, nembang part, reggae rhythm as well as jazzy piano solo. What a combination ❤

prayers :D

prayers 😀


The performance :D

The performance 😀


After The Show!

After The Show!

 

The performance in RCI Tampil Rase FM was also nice and we only played Kuburan’s song. We played Euis, Fatamorgana (the lyric of this song is incredible, you should hear it), the legendary Lupa-Lupa Ingat, and of course Cinta Bom Waktu. This performance was like a live performance and many people watched us with high enthusiasm. And as you know, for a musician, high energy from the audience could really lift up our spirit and enabling us to play music better! ❤

<img class="size-medium wp-image-820" src="https://afifaayukoesoema.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/2014-06-05-16-35-04_deco.jpg?w=300" alt="we play music and we have fun we play music and we have fun ❤
<img class="size-medium wp-image-821" src="https://afifaayukoesoema.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/1401898192226.jpg?w=300" alt="we're like a big family! we’re like a big family! ❤

After the show !

After the show !

 

and i also baked them some cupcake 😀

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well, i hope that i can still have performance again with them before i depart to Japan! and folks, don’t forget to request their single Cinta Bom Waktu at local radio!

 

With loads of love,

 

 

Afifa Ayu Koesoema

 

 

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Goodbye Ganesha 10! <3

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Now, I’m Officially Afifa Ayu, S.Si. Sarjana Sains. Bachelor of Science. Let’s do some flash back.

Before you begin reading, pardon me for this EXTRA LONG post, it’s really hard to contain all of your feeling for 4,5 years in one blog post.

 

First year, Tahap Persiapan Bersama.

This year I was faced with the dilemma of entering biology versus microbiology. Adjusting to the harsh education rhythm in ITB that really gave me a shock (I mean who would not be shock if their first quiz score was 30s). Being rejected in two units because the lack of attendance (LOL), but whatever, I prefer to do activities outside school, anyway. Found close friends (Hilda, Irly, Helen, Febe, and Uti). I had Hilda’s farewell to Japan which was teary because I really need her and I had my leg broken (again).

Hilda's Farewell Party!

Hilda’s Farewell Party!

The most hated subject of all time, P.E.

The most hated subject of all time, P.E.

Struggling for my P.E. but I ended up with B, which was astonishing. Struggling for tons of examination and experiment, but after two semesters everything turned out to be fine and I had a good GPA, Alhamdulillah. After that, during the holiday was Ospek Jurusan. And after that I ended up in Microbiology Major (and I am grateful for that).

 

Second year,  Microbiology ITB First Year.

Getting to know more about Microbiology for the first time and I really loved it. Did my first laboratory work related to Microbiology, Microbiology project, with Helen, Astrid, Cita, and Galang. I got really close with Astrid from that moment. I had an ambition of finishing my study for 3,5 years so I was busy taking extra class. Flunking biophysics! Busy doing music thing still in the middle of my hectic laboratory works. I also had first independent group project which was Penelitian Kecil about Ekstrak Kunyit.

My first Research Project!

My first Research Project!

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I also had a subject that I really loved biochemistry and also had the guts to take biosafety (a subject for fourth grader).  I ended this year also with amazing GPA, Alhamdulillah.

 

Third year, Microbiology ITB Second Year. More and more laboratory works which came from Molecular Genetic Projects. I also had my most inspiring and mesmerizing subject this semester, Enzymology and Food Microbiology. So I really had my thought split on my final project, whether I would want to work with enzyme or work with fermentation. Finally at my 5th semester I could get rid of my first love (tee-hee) and finding new love. I also had my first band album ever through the hectic semester and opening an online cake shop. 6th Semester was truly amazing, breaking up with my second boyfriend and get my third one LOL. 6th Semester was the most extreme semester with huge independent laboratory works (+ its overnight stay) from Prinsip Teknik Fermentasi and Mikrobiologi Analitik. And my class also went to China for the excursion.

with my 'date' in Beijing, LOL <3

with my ‘date’ in Beijing, LOL ❤

I also got accepted until last selection of a student exchange selection to Tokyo Tech Japan. I started teaching violin and I got selected as Mahasiswa Berprestasi from my faculty, SITH and got to participate in ITB-level competition! (Unbelievable! I don’t really think they ever had a band-member Mapres, that often went home at 2 AM after show).

Receiving the Award, it was like dream!

Receiving the Award, it was like dream!

This is it, 12th best of ITB batch of 2009 (why am i there LOL)

This is it, 12th best of ITB batch of 2009 (why am i there LOL)

 

To made the semester more incredible, I had several really wonderful performances at television and even (with my ex band) got nominated in Anugerah Musik Indonesia. And in the end of the summer holiday, I got the news that I was accepted in Young Scientist Exchange Program Tokyo Institute of Techonology!

 

Fourth Year, YSEP Tokyo Tech. I spent one year at Japan with this exchange program. Although I had a loads of consideration (like graduating late and leaving all my jobs behind for one year), eventually I departed to Japan. Days were nice, a loads of ups and downs but I learned really lot here. I learned how to stop being a crybaby and take care of all my problems by myself. I learned how to take care of myself without 24/7 driver and housemaid. I learned how to live alone. First it was really tough with all of the language barriers and home-sick thingy. But I’ve managed to nail everything. Despite of my retardation on my research project I guess I still did fine, because on the first time since forever I got straight A ^^ I found new boyfriend.

I also managed to slip inside the school’s orchestra, PPI’s Angklung Team, and even got part time job as a research assistant. I had two amazing symphony orchestra concert with school’s orchestra.

Angklung Team!

Angklung Team!

Orchestra!

Orchestra!

I got many friends with golden hearts (Apichaya, Shuyin, Jew, Richard, Danielle, Mika, I miss you guys!) and very nice host family.

Dears <3

Dears ❤

Beloved YSEP!

Beloved YSEP!

 

I traveled to amazing place with friends and family. I even passed JLPT N4. In the end I could finish my research and wrapped it home as my final project. In the completion ceremony I was asked to give valedictorian speech.

Matsuda Ken!

Matsuda Ken!

Officially a YSEP Alumni!

Officially a YSEP Alumni!

My first Valedictorian Speech!

My first Valedictorian Speech!

Everything was so heavenly, it was really hard to leave for Indonesia, because I was already too comfortable with all of the things in Japan >.<

 

Fifth Year, Bachelor Final Year. Starting again in Indonesia was not as easy as I thought. I had to go inside unfamiliar class with my junior and this creepy feeling of being left out by my batch’s friends was raging. I mean everyone else was graduating except me and 3 other friends (2 were exchange participant as well and 1 was still working with the final project). To made things worse I was being kicked out by my long-term band without any explanation. I spent quite a lot of time grieving but well, life must go on.

Eventually I think with all the struggles, everything started to get better. I got along quite well with my new classmate, and the study was not horrendous at all.  I made a clean start over at music and started playing jazz and everything. I started teaching English as a part time job. I applied to 3 master program (IGP A Tokyo Tech, Erasmus Mundus Lotus Unlimited, and TOTAL Scholarship). I got accepted in IGP (A) and half accepted on the rest (I mean I’ve stopped the selection process of the rest due to my acceptance in IGP (A) Tokyo Tech). I wrote my final thesis pretty well and somewhat somehow I succeeded in my bachelor seminal and final defense, and graduated with cum-laude title ^^ and again a valedictorian speech, but this time, spontaneous! 😀

S.Si!

S.Si!

my cum-laude medal!

my cum-laude medal!

 

Thank you very much for all of those who had helped me through this bachelor chapter of my life! My wonderful family, my siblings, my besties from ITB, outside ITB and YSEP, SITH ITB 2009, Mikrobiologi ITB 2009, and all of my lecturers, especially my supervisors. Without the support of everyone I definitely would not pass this chapter of life with flying colors. I certainly had learned a lot and I hope this learning process could further be beneficial for my life ^^

Now it’s time to take a little rest before starting my new chapter of life as a graduate student in my dream university, Tokyo Institute of Technology!

Probably, some people’s dream universities are as high as MIT or Harvard or Oxford but I’m grateful for what I have. And surely I don’t have the guts nor has adequate intelligent to follow the rigorous graduate education of those world top 5 Universities. But whatever, in some world-ranking, Tokyo Tech is 11th and in case you really want to enter MIT or Harvard or Oxford, you can always try exchange program ^^

 

Embrace your last months in Indonesia, Afifa! You will surely miss it!

Thank you Institut Teknologi Bandung! Bakti kami, untukmu Tuhan, Bangsa, dan Almamater! Merdeka!

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Love

 

Afifa Ayu Koesoema, B.Sc. (LOL)

 

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Margo Friday Jazz!

Hello everyone, haven’t posted for such a long time!

In this post I will talk about Margo Friday Jazz!

Margo Friday Jazz!

Margo Friday Jazz!

 

Anyway, last friday me and Bandung String Trio had performance at Margo Friday Jazz. Margo Friday Jazz is an event held regularly by Margo City, Depok and pioneered by Benny Likumahuwa. We were performing under Klabjazz, Klabjazz had performed several times at this event and this time Klabjazz brought 5 bands. Bandung String Trio, Isola Jazz, E.I.P., Jazzy Juice, and Out of Seven.

Since Jalu could not make it, Me and Syarif were helped by Mbak Arnie from Jazzy Juice. She has helped us a lot, thank you Mbak Arnie! It was really interesting and challenging.In addition of only having this trio concept (without drum), we knew perfectly well that me and Syarif were relatively new in this jazz world.

And you know, my improvisation is not all jazzy, it still contains my sweet-pop style. I am not very keen on difficult scale, nor i’m good at doing that 😀

 

For overall, i really enjoyed the performance 😀 The sound was really good, although we was a bit rushing since we were departing late from Bandung. BST performed fat 9 PM but at 9 PM the bus were still sort of stuck at traffic near Margonda City ^^ We departed at 5 PM (which was way too late) although i was a bit worried we still could take selfie inside the bus hahaha 😀

Cheers!

Cheers!

We were late and there was not time for make-up. But due to that I’ve managed to put on my make-up on a pitch darkness inside a rocking bus without ended up looking like lady-Frankenstein or something 😀 I even put the eye liner correct, without mirror 😀 And it matched my sailor blouse in attempt to look like JKT 48 (which was later a TOTAL REGRET because it was too thick for Depok weather, even at 9 PM)

 

Photo from jazzuality.com, courtesy of Dwi Cahya Yuniman, Klabjazz

Photo from jazzuality.com, courtesy of Dwi Cahya Yuniman

BST performance was quite decent, i think. Despite the fact that we were a bit panicking and i made up half of One Note Samba‘s lyric by myself i think the other part was more than passable.

We had Saint Thomas by Sonny Rollins, which was really enjoyable and i think me and Syarif now really had much better connection through the solos. You can see the video here.

After that was Barbizone Blues. Quite decent I guess, the thing was i’m not so into Blues so i don’t really know whether my improvisation sounds really right or not. And then my favorite Isn’t She Lovely which was really fiery and for the last piece was Panon Hideung 😀

For overall i think it was quite well done, despite the fact that we were lacking of practice. And I am really happy to be invited there 😀 Based on the review that we had on jazzuality.com, i think we have nailed it! You can see the positive review and encouragement here. I really adore Mas Riady’s writing, very few website could report their event as good as this in English! 😀 and for more photos of BST and other performers you can just go to the photo stream here.

After performance, I've got rid of my sailor blouse :D

After performance, I’ve got rid of my sailor blouse 😀

 

For other band’s performance. I will do a short simple review, based on my own memory. After our performances, we stayed there and watched the other 4 performances. E.I.P was up next, I could recall that they sounds a bit rock-ish and edgy. Isola Jazz followed E.I.P, this group was from UPI majoring music l 😀 I really like the saxophone, though since I always want to learn an alto 😀 Their performance was fiery in most of the songs but still could be relaxing at the same time.

Next up was Jazzy Juice, i always love their performance and now they even had made their own song. Each of the personnel made a song. Their first song was enchanting, with a bit of classical touch on the piano (way to go Kak Dyah) PLUS a sundanese poem read by Mbak Arnie. Surprisingly the title of the song was Pohaci, it made me laugh so hard 😀 So funny!

The last performer was Out of Seven and they collaborated with Sherly O singing All of Me and I could notice that their drummer was really young, probably a high school student. Way to go! After Out of Seven was jamming session and everything finally ended up at 2 AM. Plus photo session with Benny Likumahuwa, geez, he was really friendly!

Dead tired but feeling over the moon!

 

So, my conclusion? It was really really interesting to go to other jazz community and play music there. Since I am new in this jazz world (and soon will leave it too), I am grateful that I am able to participate in this kind of events. I can see many new things, meet new friends, hear a really cool and proper jazz solos, and everything! And I could see that every band had their own influences inserted into their jazz. Like BST, probably we still brought classical-influence and sweet-pop style. Like E.I.P they certainly had some rock inside. It was so interesting to see the blend, to see each band has its own distinctive characteristic.

And I like it that although we stayed until 2 AM, only some people smoke and none of them drink alcohol. Really mature and different from Indie Band atmosphere which was full of toxic fumes intoxicating you and sometimes free-flowing alcohol is present.

And of course, I am certain that my musical skill raised 100%, LOL. Inside my former so-called-famous-indie band, I really only have to repeat same part for every performance, no improvisation, no spontaneity, at all.

 

Although i still love girl bands, techno musics and other stuffs (you know, stuffs that Syarif always believes should be ban in this world, LOL).

But hey, I’m not as lame as I was before, I’ve began to like jazz and hey I’m a jazz player and bossa-nova singer as well! ❤

 

No matter what color you are, you are a part of our jazz community.

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I’ve dedicated this amorous writing for  Klabjazz, Margo Friday Jazz, and Jazzuality ❤ Also loads of thanks goes to my BST, E.I.P., Isola Jazz, Out of Seven and Jazzy Juice!

 

With love

 

Afifa Ayu Koesoema