My year-and-a-half anniversary here passed quietly by in the midst of the last week of classes. In truth, I didn’t even realize that the day had come and gone until several days after the fact, once I had finished my work for the week and sat down to take a breath. When I did realize I’d passed yet another milestone, I tried to forget it and just move on. Lately, my to-do lists have always included “don’t freak out.”
But I am freaking out a little bit. I have about five months left in Indonesia with Shansi and then I don’t know what’s going to happen. I know that I want to stay here longer, but that’s still not definite.
The other night, I was eating dinner after a wayang wong performance along with my Shansi mentor and his wife. She and I were discussing the prices of airplane tickets and I was speculating that if you bought a ticket now to fly in June, it would probably still be cheap. At which point my Shansi mentor chimed in to say that I wasn’t going to be around in June.
“Don’t say that!” I exclaimed in (slightly garbled) Indonesian.
My don’t freak out action item wasn’t really accomplished that night.
It’s the same thing with the UKJGS people. One person will ask me about my plans and I’ll try to take deep breaths and explain. Which leads to other people asking more questions and saying, “Jangan pulang!” and pretty soon I’m failing at the don’t freak out thing again.
But, over these next five months, what I do I want to accomplish? Here’s an incomplete list covering the basic large sections of my life:
- Teaching: Get better at long-term planning. Make better syllabi. Don’t be afraid to do big projects. They can happen.
- Language: Speak more Indonesian. Study more Javanese. Speak more Javanese (even if people laugh at you). Read things in Indonesian. Try to find translation jobs.
- Environment: Explore Jogja more. Take day trips. Go to Solo and actually do things. Eat in new places.
- Dance: Get better (at makeup, at costumes, at actually dancing). Be more disciplined. Do sit-ups.
- Gamelan: Peking.1 You like it, so do it.
- Relationships: Spend more time with the people you like and less time with the people you only tolerate. Be appreciative. If you can and if you have time, branch out. Don’t be too reliant.
- The Future: Don’t freak out. Network.
1More on this later.