Saturday, December 31, 2016

How To Make Stir-Fried Water Spinach (Tumis Kangkung)

Tumis Kangkung is one of my favorite Indonesian food. Here, I would like to share how to make it.

First of all, you have to prepare the ingredient.

1) One small tomato

2) Three green chilies

3) Three shallots

4) Galangal

5) One piece of garlic

6) Salt

7) One glass of water
8) Shrimp paste
9) Coconut oil

10) Of course, don't forget the water spinach itself as the main ingredient!

1) Slice the tomato, green chilies, shallots, galangal, and garlic.

2) Prepare the frying pan, heat the coconut oil.

3) Add the sliced tomato, green chilies, shallots, galangal, garlic, and also the shrimp paste and salt sufficiently. Then, cook them well.

4) After it is cooked, you can add the water spinach and one glass of water. Stir it well. In this step, you may add a little of flavoring.

5) Cover the frying pan with its cover. Wait for about 15 minutes or until it is cooked.

6) Finally, the stir-fried water spinach is ready to be served!

That's all. Happy cooking!
Thanks for visiting my blog :)

Saturday, December 24, 2016

LPDP Scholarship Journey #2

[Picture Source: Toga MBA Consulting]

In this post, I would like to explain about the substantial selection which is the next selection after you successfully pass the administrative selection. All the things about the administrative selection, you can visit here. The substantial selection is the crucial factor in deciding whether you are qualified or not to be the awardee, so you have to prepare a lot for this last selection. There are 3 kinds of substantial selection, they are on the spot essay writing, leaderless group discussion, and interview session. All of the types of the selections are using English. 

Either on the spot essay writing or leaderless group discussion, you have to be aware of the hot topic at that time. If you don't know the topic you won't be able to write the essay and you won't be able to speak during the leaderless group discussion. The topic will be given directly on the spot and you will not have time to do research about it. LPDP considers you that you have known about the topic, if you are not knowing about it, it will be a disaster for you, you may not get any high score and it can impact whether you will be considered to get the scholarship awardee or not. In other words, you have to be literate, you have to know every hot topic every day.

To be literate, I always read every news in and watch the news on the television every day. Besides that, the writing skill also has to be sharpened. You have to practice writing the essay. After you read or watch a news, try to write your opinion either in your blog or your other social media. If you practice it for several times, you will be adapted to write the essay spontaneously as you have learned the pattern in delivering your idea into a collection of the words. In the end, you will not feel difficult when writing the essay on the spot as you have practiced it a lot. 

The leaderless group discussion is the selection to know how well you involve in a group discussion. Since, it's a leaderless group discussion, the psychologist who assesses your performance just let the group flow by the group member's own will without any direction. There may be around 8-10 people in the group, try not to dominate, try also not to be passive. Be active but in the better way by knowing the ethics when you involve in the group like respecting a member who is delivering his/her idea by not cutting him/her or not arguing him/her aggressively. Try to deliver your idea in well structured, audibly, and easy to be understood. It's okay to agree or not agree, at the time when you disagree with someone opinion, please never hurting him/her by not looking down his/her ideas, try to give your appreciation toward his/her opinion and explain why you disagree so what your thinking is. 

Having no direction doesn't mean that the discussion run carelessly. Your group has to decide how the discussion will run. For example, at my time, we decided one person to be the moderator to control the discussion. We also decided that every member is obligated to speak, to deliver his/her ideas/opinion toward the topics in the same quantity of the time so there will be no dominant member who will talk so much than the others and also there will be no passive member who may speak lesser than the others. Hence, the discussion ran like this, the moderator introduced the topic and delivered his/her idea, then let the members one by one to deliver their own idea. After every member had their own time to speak, the moderator started to let every member give the response toward each member's idea. In the end, the moderator gave the conclusion and everybody had approved the conclusion. If I wasn't wrong, the time for the leaderless group discussion provided is only about 30 minutes, so if there are 10 people, it means that one person may only have the opportunity to speak 3 minutes in total. 

If you are a person who is quite clumsy every time you have to speak in promptly, why don't you practice? Since practice makes perfect. Try to find your friends who are also striving to apply for the LPDP scholarship. Create a group and practice the leaderless group discussion at a certain day when all of you are able to attend. By practicing together, all of you can know which part of each other has to be improved. In the next-next meeting, all of you can master the discussion. 

The last, the interview session. This is the part that is the most decisive whether you are eligible or not to be the awardee. Interview session is the time when you can explain about your study plan and convince them that you are qualified to be the awardee and potential to give a big contribution in the future for the society and the nation. Of course, you have to be your own self and be honest. There will be 3 interviewers, 1 of them is a psychologist, while 2 of them are well understood about your study interest. Since it's about yourself, you must know really well for the answer, but sometimes you may not give the best answer, so I suggest you also to practice. By practicing, you will be more prepared and give your best answer during the real interview. The interview will spend for about 30 minutes. 

I practiced with not only 1 friend, but also my other friends, since every person may have their opinion. They can help you to assess whether you have given the best answer or not. They also can assess your performance. Being nervous has to be avoided, by practicing you can get rid of your nervousness. During the practice, I have prepared around 50 questions and the answers that may be asked during the interview. If you would like to see the list of the questions and how I try to answer it, you can contact me by giving your email address in the comment column below. 

Actually, there is like a passing grade, every applicant is being assessed and given a score. For example, if the passing grade is 700 and your total score is not reaching the passing grade you are not considered to be accepted. If you can reach the passing grade, you have the opportunity to be considered as the awardee, there will be other factors whether you are able to be accepted or not, one of the factors is whether you are recommended by the interviewers or not. If not, even though you are reaching the passing grade, you may not be able to be accepted. So, after you have tried your best during the substantial selection, it's time for you to keep praying, may God touches the LPDP committee's heart to let you become the awardee. 

Just for your information, the comparison of the score for the on the spot essay writing, leaderless group discussion, and interview session respectively are about 1:1:5. So, the interview session truly takes the big part in your total score. So, pay attention more to it, but it doesn't mean you pay less attention to other parts, you have to pay attention to them also. 

That's all about the explanation of substantial selection in order to get the LPDP scholarship. If you are in the state of undergoing this selection, give your best efforts, never give up, and keep praying. Thanks for visiting my blog. I felt sorry if there are any mistakes. See you in LPDP awardee big-family.

LPDP Scholarship Journey #1

[Picture Source:]

A good news for every student in Indonesia who is eager to continue the study either to a master degree or doctoral degree, based on the mandate of UUD 1945, at least 20% from The Indonesian Budget (APBN) is used for education function. Some of the fund from the allocation of education function is managed by an institution which is Indonesian Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP). Ministry of Finance of The Republic of Indonesia through LPDP gives a full scholarship to the students. The students can choose to study either domestic or overseas. In my post, I may focus more on how to prepare for applying the LPDP scholarship for the student who would like to continue the study overseas. 

I am still standing to the selection system applied at my time, because, of course, they may create some modifications to the system in the following years ahead to make the system better and better. At my time, there are 2 kinds of selection, administrative selection, and substantial selection. You have to pass the administrative selection first, then you can continue to the substantial selection. 

In this post #1, I only talk about administrative selection, while the substantial selection will be talked in the post #2.

Firstly, the administrative selection. You are not allowed to underrate the administrative selection. Even though they only ask you to submit some documents, but if you fail to meet all of the documents required, you will totally fail. It's no joke if you fail from a very first selection, isn't it? Every information about what kind of documents required to be submitted can be accessed directly from LPDP website (http:/*, replace * with /. From my point of view, here are the most crucial and usually difficult to be obtained by the deadliner student (a student who usually do all the task in the very last minutes):
  1. Health certificate that certifies you that you are healthy, free from tuberculosis disease, and free from narcotics and psychotropics substance.
  2. Recommendation letter. 
  3. Three essays about your study plan, your biggest achievement, and your contribution.
  4. Certificate of Police Record aka SKCK.
  5. English proficiency: minimum TOEFL ITP 550/TOEFL iBT 79/IELTS 6.5/TOEIC 750.
Obtaining health certificate for those three conditions is not a one day service. At least you have to spare for about 5 days to get the examination result. Let me explain this through my experience. I went to a government hospital around Pasar Minggu on the weekday at 09:00. I did the registration and went to a doctor. She asked me to fill a form to know about my health history. She asked me some questions to confirm about what I had filled in the form. After listening to what I have said during the interview, she was able to consider whether I am healthy or not. To examine whether I am free from tuberculosis disease and free from narcotics and psychotropics substance, the doctor asked me to go to the laboratory to give the sample. In the laboratory, the analyst took my blood and sputum, I also was asked to give the urine sample. Then, the analyst asked me to go to the radiology department to have a roentgen examination, she also asked me to come back again to the laboratory in the next day to give a sputum sample taken directly after waking up. The result was able to be obtained after 3 days of analysis, so that's why it requires at least 5 days to obtain the health certificate, from registration, examination, until the release of the examination result.

If you are a full-time student or a person who is really busy every weekday from the morning until the afternoon by your own business, you have to plan to go to the hospital long before it. You have to set the date when you can have a free time to go to the hospital that from what I have experienced, you have to be free for 3 days. The first day to do the registration and do some examinations, the second day to give another sample required, and the last day to take the examination result. One more thing you have to pay attention is that you have to register yourself before the hospital closes the registration. Some hospital closes the registration at 12:00. It means that if you come around 13:00, you will be asked to go home and come again next day. 

About how much you have to pay for the examination, I spent around 500k to obtain the certificate for those three conditions. My friends spent around 1 million, my another friend spent around 300k, so it depends on what hospital you visit. What I have explained before was what I have just experienced to make you able to get the overview of the process, of course, it may be different from a different hospital and different time. Therefore, it's better for you to ask all of the information, for example about the fee, the schedule, the duration, or other things you would like to ask by calling the hospital customer service number. Hence, you can set a plan about how, where, and when you visit the hospital.

Getting recommendation letter depends on who is the person whom you would like to ask. A busy person must be approached far-far away before the deadline. So many unexpected things may happen to constrain you getting the recommendation letter quickly. For example, the person is taking a leave during her pregnancy until labor, the person is having a business trip for 1 month, the person is taking a research activity abroad for 2 months, or other things that may happen unexpectedly. Therefore, at least you have contacted the person 2 months before the deadline to know whether it is possible or not having the recommendation letter from him/her.

LPDP obligates you to have a recommendation letter from a person who is the leader in your institution or your companies. For a fresh graduate or a student, generally, you have to ask your research supervisor or your Faculty Dean. At my time, LPDP didn't tell how many recommendation letters the applicant should get. At first, I only thought to ask my research supervisor to give me the recommendation letter. Then, I asked to my senior who was the LPDP awardee, she said that she got more than 1 recommendation letter. Being confused about how many recommendation letter really required by LPDP, I asked other LPDP awardees, they answered the same, they got 2 recommendation letters, so I quickly asked my Faculty Dean to give me the recommendation letter. My Faculty Dean didn't know me really well, different with my research supervisor who knew me better, you may experience the same thing, as long as you can make sure your Faculty Dean that you are good enough to apply for the scholarship, your Faculty Dean may give you the recommendation letter. So, finally, you will have 2 recommendation letter. 

Writing essays have to be perfect. You shouldn't write your essays carelessly to point out that you are better than other applicants. An essay about your study plan is the most important essay you have to give attention more. Through this essay, the reviewer can see how big is your intention to continue your study. The more detail you write in your essay, the better. It means that you have explored all of the things about your future study including how many credits you will take, what your research plan is, who your research supervisor will be, until what student organization you will join. 

To know how many credits that you will take, you can know it directly in your prospective university website if it's available. If it's not, you can send an e-mail to the e-mail contact provided. To know about your research plan, you can ask your own self, what is your passion? what is the impact of your research to the society? how big is the impact? Is it feasible to be done or not? While, to know who your supervisor will be, you can search some research journal fit to your research interest, then you can see who the author is, after that you can contact the author and ask him/her to be your research supervisor. There is another way to find your research supervisor like what I have done. 

I went to an event named ACBI (Asian Chemical Biology Initiative). The missions of Asian Chemical Biology Initiative are (1) to speed up Asian chemical biology research by fostering international collaborations and by sharing research resource among Japan, Korea, China (the mainland and Hong Kong), Singapore, UAE, New Zealand, and India, and (2) to promote chemical biology in emerging Asian countries (e.g. Vietnam, The Phillippines, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia) by recruiting and training brightest graduate students from those countries). Specifically, this newly established initiative organizes annual meetings over five years in Hanoi, Manila, Bangkok, Jakarta, and other major cities in Southeast Asia where Asian chemical biology will get together to foster mutually beneficial collaborations and to interview local student candidates (ACBI, 2016).

I came to the ACBI in Jakarta, in January 2015. There are more than 30 professors who came from a various university, various country, and various research field. The committee had set up every student to be interviewed by some professors who is fit to the student's research interest. I was interviewed by 8 professors. All of them were very nice and warm. From those professors, I can determine some professors who were really fit to my research interest. So, if you would like to find your prospective research supervisor, you can come to ACBI. Since it's an annual event, you have to check the schedule, when and where it will be conducted, and don't miss it. 

The essay about your biggest achievement and your contribution is your own self that understand well what you should write. The essay about your biggest achievement is all about your past, while your contribution is not only about your past, what contribution that you have given to the society, but also about your future, what contribution that you will give to the society. Therefore, if you are still a freshman in a college and dreaming of continuing your study after finishing your bachelor degree, you can set a plan, what kind of achievements that you would like to achieve and what kind of contribution you would like to give to the society during your 4 years in the college. So, you can have the materials to be told in your essay.

My suggestion to make your essay perfect is being reviewed by your friends or seniors for several times, revise it for so many times until all of the reviewers said that it is flawless. Every person may have their own opinion, from my point of view and my reviewers, all of three my essays was close to perfect, at least it was not written carelessly. I spared for about 1 month to finish it. I'm not saying that my essays were extremely perfect, I was just trying to make it perfect. If you would like to see my essays, you can ask me through the comment column below and give me your e-mail address. I said sorry in front if the essay doesn't meet your expectation. I believe you can do better than me. Absolutely, you have to write it better than me. 

Certificate of Police Record aka SKCK must be obtained in your origin area. If you are a student who studies far away from your home, you have to come back home to take care your certificate of police record. That's why it is difficult to be taken care for a deadliner student since you have to set a plan when you can have a free time to go back to your home. The police station usually open only in the weekday so you may have to take a permission from your institution to have a leave one day or if you are lucky, you indeed have a free time in the weekday. Other than that, you have to pay attention to what documents that you have to prepare before visiting the police station so they will accept all of your documents not asking you to go back again due to lack of any documents. You can search through the internet to know what kind of documents needed. 

English proficiency must be taking you to spend for several months according to your capability to prepare it. If you are good enough in English and have already had the certificate of English proficiency, congratulation! you don't need to take a long preparation to apply for the scholarship because from what I have experienced, getting the English proficiency certificate was the longest time to prepare among all of the document required. I spent about 3 months to be ready facing the English proficiency test in order to get the certificate. I was taking TOEFL. Before I start to prepare, I took the TOEFL prediction, and it was about 477, so below the target (550). I had to learn more to win the TOEFL, so I decided to learn TOEFL by buying Barron TOEFL books, downloading TOEFL practices and exercises application, watching movies or drama using English subtitle. I learned all of them by my own self without joining any courses. I believe I can prepare it by my own self since I acknowledged some of my friends who were successfully done it also by their own self. I truly prepared for the English proficiency in a full day every day, without being active in the institution or working in a company. I couldn't imagine if I was a full-time worker whether I would be able to prepare for TOEFL or not. In other words, I was truly unemployed, at that time when most of my friends had already sat in a company or institution. You do have to sacrifice something in order to get something more precious. 

If you study for TOEFL carefully and diligently, you may find the formula how to answer each question in TOEFL test. After I thought that I was ready to face the TOEFL test, I tried my first attempt to win it. As I felt not confident enough during the test, I couldn't adapt well to the test situation, I was only able to get the TOEFL score for about 546 which means I was lacking 4 points to reach the target. I didn't give up, I evaluated myself what I have to do better in order to reach the target so I started again to learn. My second attempt, I felt better, I felt more confident. The result never betrays the effort. I was able to reach the target because my TOEFL score was 567. I felt so relieved and grateful. 

There are so many forms to verify your English proficiency, not only TOEFL ITP, but also iBT, IELTS, or TOEIC. To apply for LPDP, LPDP allows you to choose which one is more suit with you. Nevertheless, I suggest you, choose the form that is also asked by the university you would like to enter. Most of the universities in Europe don't accept TOEFL ITP, while some universities in Asia still accept TOEFL ITP, so you have to be aware with this. 

In conclusion, if you can prepare well those 5 crucial things which are the health certificate, recommendation letter, essays, certificate of police record, and English proficiency certificate, you may feel relieved. There are other documents needed to be submitted but they are not too difficult to be collected from my point of view. So, you can take a breath for a while after finishing all these five crucial documents. 

I hope what I told about the administrative selection to apply for LPDP scholarship can be useful for you, visit my second post about the substantial selection. I'm sorry if there are any mistakes. If you would like to discuss more about the scholarship, don't hesitate to contact me by leaving your comments. Thank you very much for your visiting. Hope you succeed in obtaining the scholarship. Keep striving and praying!