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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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Cheery 2013!

Hello all!

First post in 2014, i will write about my 2013 review 🙂 Although it is a bit late since it is already the January the 12th. But, whatever, i have just came back from a family holiday to Bali and Surabaya 🙂

So 2013 was such as challenging year, let’s see what had happened 🙂

 

Experiencing Winter and Summer at Japan

One of the most exciting experience is to feel winter and spring in Japan. For Summer it was just hot, (really) hot, and i also did not have a chance to see any fireworks (due to my final report experiment). So I played ski with my laboratory, got bruises everywhere, but it was fun.

 

winter snow!

winter snow!

ski ski ski! :)

ski ski ski! 🙂

And during spring time, i had the chance to see Sakura in Kyoto and Osaka with my sister. Totally beautiful!

 

beautiful sakura at 大阪

beautiful sakura at 大阪

Not forget to mention visiting flower field near Fuji Mountain with my best friends. Totally astonishing!

キレイ!

キレイ!

 

Completing my Young Scientist Exchange Program

After a struggle, desperation, tears, and laughs finally I can complete my exchange program, Young Scientist Exchange Program at Tokyo Institute of Technology. It was a really good year with amazing new experiences, amazing friends from all of the world. I am really feeling blessed to be part of YSEP 2012-2013 🙂

 

with my Mom, Dad, little brother, host mother, and YSEP coordinator, Sato Sensei :)

it’s such a blessing to have my family on my graduation!

YSEP Certificate :)

YSEP Certificate 🙂

with my laboratory members :)

with my laboratory members 🙂

Oh, and I was selected to give a speech at the graduation ceremony 😀 unbelievable 😀

 

a Good and Brand New Musical Journey

2013, is a quite good year of music. I’ve lost something but i’ve learned so many new things and new experience. I am still inside Ammy Alternative String of course, which was fun. I also created Bandung String Trio II with my bestfriend, Syarif. We practically started everything from zero, and i think it is also a fruitful experience for me 🙂 Oh, he was also kind enough to put me inside his band, Posmodernisme dan Akhir Filsafat (it was cool to be the only girl :D)

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I also learn so many kind of new genres and new atmospheres of playing music, thanks to several bands that have collaborated with me. I had more music jobs, and i have started working as a regular musician in Fresco Restaurant Hilton Hotel Bandung 😀

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Well, there’s always a rainbow after the rain. Just play music with your heart 🙂

 

Examinations Year

This year I followed a lot of examinations and hopefully it all ended well 🙂 I followed JLPT N4, Grade 5 ABRSM Music Theory, and TOEFL iBT 🙂

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Scholarship Hunting Year

Well, this year is also a scholarship hunting year for Master and Doctoral Degree (probably altogether). I am right now in progress of 3 scholarship selections, and probably will apply for 2 more 😀

Of course I followed the selection of International Graduate Program A Tokyo Institute of Technology for Master and Doctoral Integrated Program, back there in Matsuda Laboratory, continuing my bachelor thesis. I have had the interview and apparently waiting for the good result to come 🙂 I hope i can get the MEXT Scholarship 🙂

I also followed selection of TOTAL Scholarship 2014 to study in France. I have passed until first interview and still waiting for a good result to come in February, whether i could go to the panel interview or not 😀

I followed Erasmus Mundus Lotus Unlimited Selection. My target was University of Groningen, studying biocatalysis and University of Ghent, studying human nutrition 😀 Up to now  I have been pre-academically accepted at Ghent, hope everything will go smoothly 🙂 For both the university and fellowship selections 🙂

 

Being a (little) English Teacher

I also had started to work as an english teacher in Private English Program. It was tough since I teach general english and conversation class. I had to put a lot of efforts to make the class lively and exciting. My grammar is also not good so i have to learn a lot as well.

But I love this job, generally speaking I always love teaching and I want to be a good English teacher like my old TBI teachers.

 

(almost) a Bachelor of Science

and I am almost bachelor of science (hopefully). I have completed 144 credits (6 were transferred from Tokyo Tech) and (almost) scores straight A the last semester (i’m still lacking two scores anyway). I have had my seminar, finished my publication draft, finished my skripsi and I am only waiting for my final defense day. Bismillah, go Acetophenone Reductase! 🙂

Good seminar, i hope it will also be a good final defense :)

Good seminar, i hope it will also be a good final defense 🙂

May God force be with you all guys in 2014! Have a wonderful journey ahead! Thank you for making my 2013 so colorful!!

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With Love,

 

Afifa Ayu Koesoema

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a Little Review about My Spring Music Life in Japan :)

Hello!

A very late post, yes, almost one month late 😀 anyway, i have not been writing for a long long time and since i have done my JLPT practice test today i guess it’s the time to relax a bit 🙂

So during this past month (May-June) i had 3 performances 😀

 

The first one was Orchestra Performance with Tokyo Tech Orchestra.

So, last May (18th of May, to be precise) i had my orchestra concert. My second one, and my last one for this YSEP term. this concert was very exciting because I could play all of the songs, my best YSEP friends came to the concert, and maybe because i could speak Japanese a bit now, I managed to enjoy the time at the backstage with my violin section friends more 😀

 

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girl's dressing room!

girl’s dressing room!

me and Hirukawa san, my lab member, former orchestra member as well!

me and Hirukawa san, my lab member, former orchestra member as well!

Anyway, we played 3 songs. The first one was Brahms Tragic Overturewhich was tragic for me, i don’t know why i always flunk this one (even i had violin 2 part, i didn’t know why i always fail!), second one Bizet Carmen Fantasy and i could play the violin I part well, magically! really enjoyed this song and the last one was Beethoven 5th Symphony and it was really tiring. really really tiring 50 minutes pieces! anyway, I made it! 😀

one of my dream fulfilled, playing in a symphony orchestra abroad :D

one of my dream fulfilled, playing in a symphony orchestra abroad 😀

see me? this picture was taken by Apichaya :)

see me? this picture was taken by Apichaya 🙂

 

Anyway, in the end my YSEP friends came. There were Apichaya, Jew, Richard, and Shuyin. And they give me huge and beautiful bouquet, i was really touched :’)

thankyou dear Apichaya :D

thankyou dear Apichaya 😀

beautiful bouquet :)

beautiful bouquet 🙂

みなさん!ありがとう!*grouphug

みなさん!ありがとう!*grouphug

 

The second and third one was with PPI Tokodai Angklung Team one for TISA Welcome Party and one for an alumni gathering, both in Kuramae Hall.

There were a lot of new comer member in Angklung Team so it was a whole loads of fun. We finally played a new repertoire which were Heavy Rotation by AKB 48, Sempurna by Andra and the Backbone and the last was Hero by Mariah Carey. I tried to rearrange the Hero to be more simple to be played by angklung 😀 It was my first angklung arrangement, so thrilled yet nervous 😀

it's like a big family ^^

it’s like a big family ^^

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the performance :)

the performance 🙂

TISA Welcome Party was really a bash like usual~

TISA Welcome Party was really a bash like usual~

During those two events the food provided was very delicious and nice 😀 and just as soon as we finished performing hurriedly we eat a lot xD

 

 

And now my YSEP time is almost finish. I really hope that i can go back here again for Master and PhD so that i can experience more musical moments here. I have not experienced any band life and freelance musician life here, maybe if i stay longer i could experience some. Or maybe i could join a professional orchestra if i work hard on my violin playing.

And also, i really want to teach music here to children, probably to international school student, after obtaining my grade 5 music theory certificate. And if my Japanese languange is good enough by that time, i could also apply to teach Japanese children~ they’re so kawaii 😀

I hope i can go back here again later 🙂

 

Love

 

Afifa Ayu Koesoema

 

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TOJ : Japan Companies and its Business Culture

Just copying my substitute report for today’s special lecture. But as always, i’m blurting too much it should be around 300 words, but i ended up with around 800, oh how i love to write! And writing things like this reminds me of my good old high school varsity debating time 😀

 

Japanese Companies and its Business Cultures

 

            As a country, Japan has a quite distinctive business cultures inside a company, especially compared with Western Countries. One of its most distinctive characteristic is about how they always do everything in full of respect to the others, especially the customer when they are doing business. For example, it is a common thing in Japan if you are being given a good service, being greet when you enter and get out from a shop because Japanese way to do business is service oriented. Service is a pillar of Japanese business culture and one of their main goals is to keep customer happy.

The same respectful attitude is also can be seen when doing business with the Japanese. There is a tradition called meishi kohan in the beginning of a meeting, when you have to exchange business card, read it carefully, and refers to it during the meeting. It might be a bit overdue compared to the Western Countries business culture, but this shows that you respect and value the meeting with that specific person. Still inside a meeting, it is also very common to direct one initial comment from the highest ranking person present. It means that Japanese working culture really value the wisdom and experience of more senior employee. In their business culture, the relation between coworkers in workplace are being kept formal and we also have to note that bowing to a person with highest position is a very common thing in Japan.

Japanese business culture tends to be a very structured. A very structured working style is implemented every day. There are strict working hour for the employee, zangyou (working overtime) is also a very common habit as well. Every morning you can see that employees are often gathered in a morning meeting where they shout out their company slogan. The purpose of this is to inspire each individual with working motivations to the company, keeping their loyalty to the company, and company’s goal everyday fresh in mind.

Another common characteristic of Japan business culture is they really try to keep the harmony among people. When dealing with a project, the role of individual contribution is important but in the end the whole group must succeed. Every employee is given the same basic rights inside the company regardless their position. Japan employs a principal called hourensou where information flow and collaboration is attempting to reach all of the employee. Japan also employs another principal called genchi genbutsu where regardless of their position, every employee must be involved in solving problems, even the leader is not exempted from this. Speaking about the rights of each employee to speak out their mind, Japan employs a principal called ringiseido to accommodate this idea. Ringiseido means that every employee can talk their idea to the manager of their group, and then each equal ranking manager have an equal opportunity to speak out their member’s idea in a meeting, so that every idea from every individual can be heard.

One of the interesting point in Japanese business culture is about the lifetime employment that they apply. Generally once a person submit a contract to work inside a Japanese companies, except some rare case happen they will work for that company for all of their life. To keep employees satisfied and working in a good environment, Japanese companies treat their employees like a family, giving them a lot of facilities, financial, health, child education and insurance supports. Good monetary rewards are also being given, the longer they stay the bigger salary that they will get.

The last two things that I want to underline about Japanese business culture are their risk-avoider and process-focusing nature. Japanese companies tend to be decisive and employ a lot of stage in their decision making. Japanese tends to avoid risk, instead of taking risk. Each of their decision making inside a group is being thought deeply and involves the ideas of every person inside that group. This is believed to minimize error, create a consistent, and cautious decision. Japanese companies also believe that process is an important thing. Japanese companies, for example they do not only want to get the ROI (return on investment) back but also focusing on how to get that ROI back.

However, there are some several negative things inside the Japanese business culture, for example sometimes employees are feeling very stressful, because they put work life as a more important aspect than their personal life. Bad work career mainly leads to a stress problem that occasionally leads to an attempt to do suicide. In Japan, suicide is a big problem and it is already known that mostly the people that do suicide is salary man. Apart from some bad impact that Japanese business culture give, we can still conclude, that being one of Asia’s economic giant, Japan’s business culture is one of the most exceptional among Asian countries.

 

Sources:

–  http://www.askmen.com/money/successful_100/134b_success.html

–  http://blog.btrax.com/en/2010/12/15/10-cultural-contrasts-between-us-and-japanese-companies-a-personal-view/

–  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_management_culture

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Spring trip with my Girls!

Hello all!

Tokyo and Yokohama has been quite hot lately, so i guess spring is almost over now! So that’s why now i want to write about one of my memorable spring moments!

So at May 10th, i went to a flower viewing tour with my dear girls from YSEP program, Apichaya, Shuyin, and Jew. The tour was organized by クラブツーリズマ. It was a very exciting trip, we followed a one day tour to go to some flower viewing spots. We were being picked up at Mizonokuchi Station at 7.30 AM and directly go to the place with a bus. At that time we were a bit surprise because almost all of the other tour member that day was… elderly :p

For this trip we had to pay 7000 Yen each person, but i think it was okay because we got the transportation, ticket, lunch box plus some sample food (omiyage) from the place that we would go to. So, during that day we did not only go to the flower viewing spot but we also went to another tourist attraction place 😀

On the way we stopped at the rest area, but it was so cool (the rest room was so huge) and from the parking lot we could see the sea! 😀

me and Apichaya, like sister? :D

me and Apichaya, like sister? 😀

 

First stop was Shibazakura Matsuri(芝桜祭り)at Kawaguchiko.

After about 2 hours journey from Mizonokuchi Station we arrived at this place. Please don’t confuse Zakura with Sakura here, because it’s a different kind of flower. This particular flower is small and so beautiful, if you are interested to go, this festival is open from 13th of April to 2nd of June 2013 (so chances is still there!) 🙂

So, it was such a vast area covered with petite flower in the color of pink, purple, and white. And the best part was it is located near to the Mount Fuji. So we can see Mount Fuji altogether with those beautiful flowers!! There are fifth particular kind of flower there (i will write those that i can read in katakana) スカーレット フレーム、マックダニエル クッシヨン、 オートムローズ、リトルドット、and another flower which is written in japanese and I cannot read LOL (and for the katakana please just guess what’s the english word because frankly i am also quite unsure :p)

小さい 花

小さい 花

かわいい

かわいい

リトルドット

リトルドット

They also had a viewing deck where you could see the whole park! So beautiful, let’s just see the pictures!

Finally 富士山!

Finally 富士山!

the girls and fuji san :D

the girls and fuji san 😀

view from the viewing deck :D

view from the viewing deck 😀

perfect!

perfect!

After that we went back to the bus and eat our lunch at the bus.

 

Our second stop was Wasabi House (わさび の 故郷)

Basically it just sell everything, every food with wasabi as its main ingredients. One of my biggest mistake was to try eating wasabi soft ice cream. Actually the ice cream itself not that bad, but then they give some wasabi salt sprinkle on top of it and it was just… so.. からい… >>.<<

wasabi plant :D

wasabi plant 😀

here it is.. wasabi soft cream!

here it is.. wasabi soft cream!

 

Third stop is つつじ。しゃくなげフェア (Tsutsuji) located at Hotel de Yama right beside Hakone Lake (Ashinoko Lake)

Actually we came to this place in not a very good timing. Because the weather was still a bit cold, so the flower hadn’t bloomed fully yet 😦 But the characteristic of this place was the (kind-of) round shape tree with colorful flowers blossoming on it. So cute! 😀

not fully bloomed yet :(

not fully bloomed yet 😦

Ashinoko lake from faraway!

Ashinoko lake from faraway!

Pink pink pink!

Pink pink pink!

Hiding between the bushes :D

Hiding between the bushes 😀

The flower and the lake :)

The flower and the lake 🙂

But the best part was also the Ashinoko Lake! The wind was strong but it was so beautiful and huge! 🙂 Let’s see some pictures 😀

yahooo! ^^

yahooo! ^^

Hey!

Hey!

Beside the lake :3

Beside the lake :3

 

Last stop was Suzuhiro Kamaboko Village, the place that i’ve visited for the SJCI tour also (please see here for more information) 😀

Fishes for Kamaboko:3

Fishes for Kamaboko:3

Kiss the fish!

Kiss the fish!

Suzuhiro Kamaboko Village ;)

Suzuhiro Kamaboko Village 😉

And the one day tour ended, we arrived around 5 PM at Mizonokuchi Station. We were so happy and satisfied with the tour! What a great short escape from the laboratory! 😀 Should do this again sometime with the girls :* Thank you so much, Apichaya, Shuyin, and Jew *hugs*

 

See you in next post! :3

 

 

Afifa Ayu Koesoema