If I Could Go Back

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If I could go back to the place and time in the past, I would go back to my senior high school period. I think I did not do anything in that period.  I just realized this after I went to the college and saw the other students had a lot of experience during their senior high school period. They had done many extracurricular activities and contributed more to the society instead of sat only in the class and became a geek.

As an example, my friend in college experienced in interchange student program. He lived in Australia for one year. He got priceless learning with different system, could learn another nation culture and of course he could improve his English significantly. My other friend had climbed most of the high mountains in the island, even he had succeeded in reaching top of Mountain Semeru, the highest mountain in Java and top of Mountain Rinjani, the 3rd highest mountain in Indonesia.

I am very envy to my wife. She had done so many extracurricular activities in her senior high school time. She joined Girl Scout and became the commander. She also became a member of art group, which actively produced and performed poems and dramas.  Furthermore she joined adventure club and marching group.

On the other hand, in my senior high school time, I just only concentrated to achieve good grade in all subjects. I went to school in 06.00 am and went back home in the afternoon. It was such a boring activities because I did it every day, six days a week.

All in all, if I could go back, I would join my senior high school football club, active in adventure club and doing something that have benefit to the society such as involved in student science research.

Breaking The Habits

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Here these are the messages conveyed by Mr Safuady, the chief of Human Resource Development Training Center  during the opening of SPIRIT III Pre Departure Program, January 14th  2013:

Character is the main key to build this country.

You are the creator of your destiny.

Education is not only to educate but also to prosper.

A ship anchored in port is safe, but it is not the purpose of ship be made. A ship is made to face the ferocity of the oceans.

Build character must be begun with coercion. Coercion => forced => used => habit

Throw away your snob!

Be the best you can be!

Set your dream and achieve success, work earlier before anyone else works, work longer than others, and reduce sleeping and leisure time!

Be diligent and persistent!

By reading, listening, and writing, each can only absorb 15% of information we received. By sharing with others and do it repeatedly, we will get 100%.

Countries I Want to Visit

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One of my dreaming countries to visit is England. Growing up, I am an England Premiere League fan. I have been watching this football league since 1996. My favorite club is Manchester United, one of the best football clubs in the world, which have won Champions League three times. In the future, I want to watch MU match directly in Old Trafford stadium. I want to feel the great atmosphere amid seventy thousand fans yell.

The other country I want to visit is Germany. I had studied German for three years in senior high school. Although I have already forgotten all the materials :D, the impressions of this country is still remained on my mind. It would be nice to live in this very tidy country.

Being a World Bank grantee drag me closer to the dream. I can choose any country to get my master degree. I have planned to choose European country so that I can visit those countries during my study. Thank God for giving me this opportunity.

How to Improve Our English?

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Some people take English course to improve their English. Others take particular English course such as TOEFL or IELTS course to pass those test. What we have to realize is that English is a language. It needs a process to be mastered. Furthermore, in order to fluent in English, we have to apply it in our daily life. The pattern I got from people who got high score in TOEFL test is that them usually one of these persons:

  1. movie lover;
  2. music lover; or
  3. novel lover.

No matter what they have taken English course or not, they have good English because of their habits to listen or read in English. For example, the daughter of my senior in college who got 112 in iBT TOEFL test have been reading English novels since she was in elementary school. Surprisingly, she has never taken English course before. Now she has been accepted in five top universities in America: University of Texas in Austin, University of Washington at Seattle, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of California at San Diego, and University of Illinois at Urbana-Campaign. Meanwhile, my friend who very fluent in English has habits to read English novels and watching western movies or TV series without bahasa Indonesia subtitles. The other example, my friends who got more than 600 in PBT score has managed to read English novels since junior high school. Even though in the beginning she had difficulties to comprehend the story in the novels and had to been helped by dictionary, recently she could read English novels without dictionary anymore.

To sum up, how to improve your English by using their method?

  1. Watching movie using English subtitles.
  2. Listening and singing music using lyrics (for example using “Minilyrics”), it will improve your pronunciation.
  3. Reading English novel; provide English dictionary on your side.

My Strategies to Get High Score in iBT TOEFL

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Some universities require more than 80 in iBT TOEFL for those who will apply for; even, most of European universities require more than 90. Since I got “only” 79 in my last iBT test, I have to strive to achieve more score in the next test. My target is to achieve 100, and here these are my strategies in achieving that score:

  1. I will ask my wife to give me minimal two questions a day, which I have to answer each question in one minute.
  2. I will write minimal one essay, journal/diary or article in English and post it to my blogs.
  3. I will read grammar material at least fifteen minutes per day.
  4. I will read one article/news in the morning and one article/news in the afternoon.
  5. I will memorize five new words every day.
  6. I will undergo test simulation for reading and listening section minimal one passage for each section.
  7. I will set tight schedule in go to bed and wake up.
  8. I will watch movies/documentary movies/TV series (optional)
  9. I will listen to the music/radio (optional).
Num. Description Time table
1 Wake up 04.30 am
2 Read news and collect new words 05.00 am
3 Rehearsal for reading and listening 05.30 – 07.00 am
4 Reading news 16.30 pm
5 Watching Movie 17.00 pm
6 Rehearsal for speaking 19.30 pm
7 Reading grammar material 20.30 pm
8 Rehearsal for writing 21.00 pm
9 Memorize new words 22.00 pm
10 Go to bed 22.30 pm
11 Test simulation in all sections: Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing at the weekend

I hope these strategies will help me to achieve my target. Furthermore, I can chase my dream to go to Europe.