29 Maret 2013

Assembling a Dream

I was asking my friend to bring me a map of London when she finished her research visit in that city. Why a map?
Firstly, I like geography. By exploring a map, I can make an imagination about the place. It's very interesting. When I was in junior high school I have an A0 size map of China. It was sent by Chinese Embassy as a reply to my mail for asking them to give me some materials about China. I was enjoying that map while playing "Three Kingdom" game in my computer. Every time I enter new stage, I checked the location in the real map, so I can imagine where did I play.

Secondly, as I said, map can help me imagine places. If you can vividly imagine one thing and have a passion to pursue that thing, then it will foster you to achieve that image/dream. By having this map, I hope I can step my foot in that city sometimes in the future. Do you know why I can be here in Tokyo? It was started from a dream and imagination about this city. By staring at a map of Tokyo in my room, I can saw my self strolling around the city.

So, looking at map and starting to imagine a future, is a first step to realize your dream. I hope I can be here someday... London.



Map of London


16 Maret 2013

Selamat Jalan

Masih terpatri dalam ingatan saya.

Malam hari di Jalan Ambon beberapa tahun silam, di dalam sebuah bus malam yang dipenuhi anak-anak SMA dengan pakaian dan topi OSIS serta jaket hitam yang merupakan setelan seragam malam sekolah mereka. Setelah melepas penat di waktu cuti mereka, akhirnya malam itu mereka harus kembali ke sekolah asrama mereka di jantung pulau Jawa. Saat sang supir sudah memasuki ruang kemudi, tiba-tiba ada seorang bapak-bapak dengan nada setengah membentak berbicara kepada sopir tersebut, "Pak! Inget, jangan ngantuk ya! Bapak ini membawa aset bangsa, masa depan negara ini!"

Sekarang sosok berkarakter tersebut sudah kembali kepada Sang Pencipta. Bagi saya pribadi, selama bersekolah di SMA TN, beliau banyak membantu kami, terutama siswa-siswi asal Panda Jawa Barat.

Selamat jalan Om Hazarmein. Semoga Allah SWT menempatkan beliau di tempat terbaik di sisi-Nya.

Semoga diberi kekuatan dan ketabahan atas cobaan ini: Gerry, Hasbi, Kemal, dan tante Tetty.


08 Maret 2013

HATTI-nya Jepang (1)

Saya pertama kali kenal JGS (Japanese Geotechnical Society) saat menggunakan buku standar uji lab JGS untuk pengujian properti tanah yang akan digunakan dalam eksperimen saya. Saat itu yang ada dalam benak saya tentang JGS adalah sama seperti asosiasi profesional di Indonesia seperti PII, HAKI, HATTI, dan sebagainya yang kegiatannya seputar sertifikasi profesi dan penyelenggaraan konferensi/ seminar. Sejujurnya saya tidak tahu terlalu banyak tentang organisasi profesi lainnya di Indonesia selain HATTI, dimana saya pernah berkesempatan mengikuti pertemuan ilmiah tahunannya.

Tapi bayangan saya tentang JGS ini berubah saat lab kami mengikuti Soil-Strucure Contest yang diadakan oleh JGS cabang Kanto (Tokyo dan sekitarnya). Kegiatan ini diikuti oleh perwakilan lab-lab geoteknik di universitas-universitas yang berada di daerah Kanto. Cukup unik bagi saya karena sebelumnya saya belum pernah melihat kompetisi yang betul-betul melingkupi bidang geoteknik. Saat saya mahasiswa dulu memang ada beberapa kompetisi teknik sipil seperti KJI (Kompetisi Jembatan Indonesia) yang diadakan di Jakarta dan kompetisi terkait perencanaan transportasi yang dulu pernah diselenggarakan oleh HMS ITB, tapi belum pernah saya temukan kompetisi tentang geoteknik.

Soil-Structure Contest ini terlihat sederhana, setiap tim diharuskan membuat sebuah simple beam (balok sederhana) dari beberapa jenis tanah dan geogrid yang disediakan oleh panitia. Dimensinya? Hanya memiliki panjang 30 cm!
Bayangkan KJI yang mengharuskan kita mendesain dan memfabrikasi jembatan yang skalanya boleh dikatakan jauh lebih besar dibandingkan simple beam dari tanah ini. Pada kompetisi Soil-Structure Contest ini tim yang menang adalah tim yang baloknya bisa menahan beban terbesar saat diberi point load test.

01 Maret 2013

My First Ski Experience

I know this sport probably when I played a mini game in the old version of Windows called Ski Free. At that time I was very exciting about computer and spent my time, if possible, in my dad's office to play it. It was quite easy to play, just move your hero left and right to avoid trees and dinosaur (or yetti?) who chased you.

Now, several years later I have a chance to try the real ski, here, in Japan. It was last weekend when my lab together with lab in IIS and Saitama University organizing ski trip to a ski resort in Daikurayama, Minami Aizu, Fukushima Prefecture. Previously my dormitory had organized this kind of trip with cheaper price, however the time wasn't convenience for me, I still had a class. This lab trip costs us ¥24,000 for 2 days and 1 night staying in nice hotel with delicious food. It was good opportunity for me as a beginner because all things already organized, including ski equipment rent, cable car ticket and ski practice. Later maybe I will go ski by myself because I already know what to do in ski resort.

We left from Komaba IIS at 22.30 on Saturday night to Saitama University to pick up other students, then the bus headed north to our destination. That night trip made us couldn't see the scenery along the road, however we can enjoy the scenery later in our way back to Tokyo. After six hours journey, we reached the resort in the morning. I think we could reached the place earlier if the bus driver drove the bus without stopping, because I realized that he stopped for a long time at one rest area in Tohoku Expressway. Whether he slept or not, we reached at the exact time as in the schedule: 5.00 a.m.!

We took a rest in a pub area of the hotel because our check-in time will be in the evening. During that waiting period, I offered Fajr prayer in the changing room.

Then, after breakfast we started picking our rented equipment and go outside. It was great to feel thick snow layer! Actually I had experienced a snowfall in Tokyo before, but it was only one day and not as thick as in the northern territory.
Wearing our rented equipments
Before ski lesson