“I’m DocMart rocking the Docmart (boots)”

IMG_6090.JPGAda apa dengan Docmarts?

Epilog: One day after I defended my dissertation and officially declared as “Doctor Martin” by my adviser (May 11, 2017), I was suggested, ” Now Nelly, you should buy yourself Docmart boots! It will be cool to have Docmart teaching with Docmart boots.” Not only did my adviser suggest it, but also other professors.

I was just smiling and laughing at their nice jokes. I did not take it seriously until some friends also suggested me to buy those shoes. Lesky did too. He was excited and offered to give me present of those boots (which I eventually declined because I wanted them to be my self-rewarding present). Then, I started to internalize the idea. I was thinking, “Ehm, I think it will be awesome if I am actually using those boots as a means to introduce myself when teaching my students:  Hello, I am Docmart and am wearing Docmarts.” I found it astonishing that the name of the boots is in rhyme with my name.

… and that’s when I took those suggestions seriously which eventually brought me to past life, about twenty years ago… masa putih abu-abu..

To my first encounter with Docmart boots…

Growing up, I admired some friends who could wear and rock those cool shoes. I remember back in the days, high school time, Docmart was in the season, and some friends were crazy with those shoes that were resulted in two major poles: those who could afford the original ones, surely have spent a fortune (their parents’, to be precise) to buy those or alternatively, they bought the knock off! ;),  while of course, the rest was other students like myself who did neither. I was enjoying my friends’ proud and ecstatic expressions while wearing those shoes. Truly happy for them, without any other sentiment.

That was my first encounter with Docmart. Nothing was really personal. It was only a fashion trend during our teenaged life.

Growing up, I was fully aware that my family was living within our means: we are not poor, but not rich either. My parents taught me to be self-sufficient. Bapak, an elementary school teacher, taught me to save some money if I ever wanted to buy some stuff. As a teenager, of course, I had my desire to rock those cool shoes (or other cool stuff) but I also knew that if I had to buy those shoes, I would not be able to pay my LIA course. And I didn’t have the heart to see some disappointment in the eyes of my father who had worked so hard to provide for me and my sister. So, I knew my place. I should not complain about any tertiary or luxury needs because, in fact, my parents provided and clothed us just fine. We did not live in poverty. We just did not have any extra money for anything beyond the basic needs. And I was okay with that. My sister and I grew up happily. We were not complainers.

Thanks to my parents that my sister and I have lived our lives within our own measures: We don’t envy those who are living more luxuriously than we are, and are happy for whatever our parents have provided for us. In other words, Bapak and Ibu taught us to be thankful. Bersyukur. Tidak kecil hati, tapi juga tidak sombong.

And now, after twenty years graduating from senior high school, here I am upon getting the higher degree in one of the public ivy-league universities in the US: I bought myself a pair of red cherry and a pair of green Docmart boots! Woot woot! And I felt truly rewarded because, for one, I bought them out of my own pockets! 🙂

And it surely feels good and accomplished to buy these Docmarts upon earning the degree and being DocMart myself 🙂

These Docmart boots truly symbolize my parents’ prayers and fights that have shaped what I am now. These Docmarts, not only make a fashion statement but also a statement of my long fights, efforts, struggles, and perseverance of my Ph.D. journey. Truly self-rewarding.

Put it simply, it all started with some simple suggestive jokes followed by some nostalgic memories that ended up as the self-rewarding gifts. Indeed, self-rewarding is satisfying.

These are the representations of a long journey of pain and vain abilities. Education is a soft yet powerful weapon.

And yes, I will soon rock those shoes and my students will call me: “Hey, that is Docmart wearing Docmart!” 🙂



A note from a sojourn, an in-betweener, a third spacer

Spaces. Boundaries.

There are different understanding and perception of spaces and boundaries perceived by many people coming from so-called “Eastern countries” and “Western countries.”

The former appreciates togetherness and communal events so much to the point personal space and boundaries are virtually non-existent. The latter group, on the other hand, highly regards their personal spaces and boundaries (One of the most tangible examples I have observed so far while being here, some people in some states I have lived in will not sit beside the empty seat next to you in the bus or train, and choose to stand up. In my understanding, the invisible personal space is important, for them while they may be respecting other people’s spaces by doing so). On the other hand, it is very common for the “Easterners” to blur the boundaries in our life (well, it is also our cope of surviving right? Kalo mau nunggu kereta kosong, kapan sampe kantor?). Other daily encounters that I can think of is about personal spaces in our daily interactions. It is very common to ask some private questions such as marriage life, personal plan which I used to find okay but not anymore…. (and I truly know why…)

And problems often arise for a sojourn, one who was born and raised into a whole different cultural system from the place she is currently residing…

And I happen to be one of the sojourns.

So, how do I navigate this, as an in-betweneer coming from one cultural point of view to living in a total different world? Yes, surely I have experienced -many times in fact- the cultural shock. I have repeatedly found myself shocked and dumbfounded reacting to the differences in the way of conduct, thinking, deliverance of opinion, among others. I surely took some amount of time to adapt to the new whole system.

While cultural shock is a challenge, a reverse cultural shock is not a joke either. Often it is much harder for some people. What is the reverse cultural shock? It is when one going back to their old place upon living in the second or other country after some years.
It is more challenging because we have had a different set of eyes, a new way of thinking, and a new way of life…..

We may have changed, but other people may have too, only to a different direction– so it makes it even more challenging to meet in the middle ground…

And here I am, trying to renavigate, readapt and relearn the rope of my Indonesian ties. Often I found some questions and attitudes from my fellow friends and colleagues back home that are too scrutinizing and felt too personal now. To my own judgement, they are stepping my personal boundaries. I often remind myself to keep myself courteous and respectful even to the behaviors and questions that are too intimidating. Thankfully, I am able to use the lenses – the old and the new- to judge the situation. But some time, I can also lose to myself, to my logical self that often results in being emotionally hurtful.

As a human being who is both social and personal individual, I surely have picked up some ways of thinking, behaving, which I consciously and subconsciously mix them together with my old and existing self. In the process, some old values may have long gone. The same is true with the new values that I disagree with, they may have already escaped even before my very eyes. Yet, this whole process of deconstruction and reconstruction has definitely shaped a new me, a new Nelly.

Going back to the old place is surely another ride of challenges. While I know I am expected to be the one adapting and accepting to their conventions, it is surely one whole new set of disputes, compromises, efforts, self-fights, and tryings which is still an evolving process anc surely can be very exhausting and daunting 😀😀😀😀😀😀

In this note, I just politely hope others to respect my boundaries because I will to others.

The bottom line is crystal clear: I respect other people’s boundaries so I beg the mutual understanding from others as well.


*A note from an in-betweener 😀😀😀
A sojourn of ten years and (maybe) counting ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

… Those old days!

Tiba-tiba Youtube menyarankan untuk menonton kembali serial Felicity. Ah, ya, Felicity.  This series holds special place in my heart because it is not only about the series itself, but also about Hawaii.

It was back in 2006 when I first started the very beginning of my life adventure and Manoa, Hawaii is the special, and beautiful place that I was destined to be. Being the first timer as a sojourn, I encountered many new things that life had to offer at that time- too many to mention and Felicity is one of them.

I don’t exactly remember how I got to know Felicity for the first time, maybe it was via my dorm friends or other means, I can’t recall. Yet, I do remember that I was a huge addict of Netflix, so much different from the today’s Netflix. Streaming a movie at that time was yet to be a norm, so I was subscribed to the Netflix program that offered me a send-your-favorite-movies or series-to-your-mailbox plan. As a student relying herself on the limited stipend, I chose the basic plan: to have one DVD on one delivery. Long story short, I got hooked on these Felicity & Ben series so I always rushed myself to finish the DVD, send it back via the closest USPS mailbox in front of Hale Kuahine and could not wait until I opened my mailbox for the next series. One time I enjoyed the series while sipping the hot tea in my tiny yet comfy room overlooking the Manoa hill. Another time, I’d watch it covering my body with some soft blanket because the rain falling in Manoa hill brought some chills with it.  Ah those old days!

Now so much has changed with all the internet culture and Netflix plan and program, yet Felicity & Ben, the Old Netflix, Hale Kuahine, and Manoa will forever have some soft spots in this heart of mine.