A gloomy afternoon, something usual during these days in Yogyakarta. You couldn’t expect the sun shone brightly until evening because the rain had threatened to engulf it with its mischievous clouds. Wearing white shirt and faded blue jeans, Esthi, that’s how her friends call her, looked calm and confident. Tired as she might be after the classes, she answered the questions with an assured poise. Excerpt:
Question (Q): Are you born Javanese?
Esthi (E): Yes, I am originally Solonese. I was born 21 years ago.
Q: What made you attend Sanata Dharma University?
E: Honestly, attending this University was a monumental for me. It was a hard struggle for me to get in here. I had to go against some odds which initially doubted me of what I would become if I study literature.
Q: Your parents didn’t agree with your decision?
E: In the beginning, yes. But then, as time goes, they softened a little bit and let me pursue my dreams here.
Q: I can understand that. Are you a hard-headed girl?
E: To some extent, yes. Once I have a will, I’ll try all the way to get it done. I spent a year to figure out what I really want in this life. And when I’m sure of what it is, I got an opposition. However, I managed to be here.
Q: How do you find it here? Does it meet your expectation?
E: Excellent! I found what I expect. Although recently I had my first disappointment here.
Q: What is that?
E: Actually I want to take TEFL instead of IT as my elective subject. But it was not offered this semester.
Q: Do you have any other activities beside studying?
E: Yes. But, I don’t join extra-curricular activities offered by the University. Honestly, I don’t like to be tied up for, let’s say, one semester to have an obligation in that activity. I prefer ad-hoc activities.
Q: You mention a lot about “finding passions”. What’s your passion actually?
E: My passion is education. I really love education. I want to be an educator, not teacher.
Q: What do you mean?
E: For me, an educator is larger than a teacher. I see ‘teacher’ is a kind of profession, like you do something which you have to do because it is your profession. Educator is not just doing because we have to do, but because he have passion to do it.
Q: Are you interested in politics?
E: Not a single bit.
But when she was asked about the Indonesian politic outlook, Esthi fluently put forward her opinion. She expressed her concern about the segregation practice in education. The segregation is based on the students’ belief. The practice flourishes especially in public schools. She exemplified from her experience in high school in which the students were grouped based on their beliefs and separated during the morning prayer. She also believed that for Indonesia to excel, it must put a heavy concern on education. Education matters, it is the life and death of a nation.
Q: But you must have a political figure you admire, right?
E: Anies Baswedan.
E: He’s concerned very much with education. He founded Indonesia Mengajar, which outreaches people who are marginalized in terms of their education.
Q: Do you have a plan to join Indonesia Mengajar?
Q: If you are so keen about education, why didn’t you take PBI instead?
E: Well, in my opinion, being a Sastra student, I can be a diaspora.
Q: How did you feel when you won the Award?
E: I felt relief in a way that to some extent I can prove that what I chose is not a mistake.
Q: It seems you are a very wise girl at your age. Your friends see that, too?
E: They see me that way, I guess. I’m a determined girl, that’s for sure.
Q: Your philosophy of life?
E: Push yourself to be the best. I got the phrase from Book Report… hehehhe. And in Bahasa Indonesia I like this saying, “Jika Anda keras pada kehidupan, dia akan lunak pada Anda. Tapi jika Anda lunak pada kehidupan, ia akan keras pada Anda.”
Q: Wow, that’s really something. What’s your hobby?
E: Reading, swimming.
Q: Your favorite subject?
E: Structure. I love it so much. I write my blog belajarstructrure.blogspot.com to help my friends overcome their problems in structure.
Q: What is the blogspot for?
E: It helps my friends who are now studying structure to survive. I give some simple tips to understand Structure.
Q: Wow, that’s good. Your plan after graduate?
E: I want to be a lecturer.
Q: How do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
E: I see myself as an educator.
Q: Your wildest dream?
E: I want to establish a foundation which helps people to study abroad.
Me and my friends facing what may come confidently!