For half a decade of teaching at universities, I get the chance to meet countless of young people whose talents brim so much that I can imagine how far can they get later in life. One of my ambitions is that my students do something with their talents which their community might benefit.
I am deeply saddened to learn that Benedict Anderson, the author of Imagined Communities, has passed away on Sunday, December 13, 2015. I caught wind of the news on the same day through Evan Laksamana, moderator of Indonesian Political Science Research Group. At the time, I was attending a lecture at Universitas Muhammadiyah Malang some 10 kilometres away from where Anderson drew his last breath.
Apa yang membuat seseorang disebut sebagai orang Indonesia? Saya, Mick Basa, berasal dari Filipina, dan sekarang pindah ke Indonesia. Ini adalah sebuah keputusan yang diawali kisah dan penemuan pribadi yang sangat menyentuh, beberapa tahun yang lampau.
Never in my history I have I worn medium-sized shirts. I wore one last Tuesday, a grey Terra Nova polo shirt. I gave up more than 70 pounds of my body weight to lifestyle change. They all ask me what secret pill it was. There is no pill, I would always say; only hard work and determination to sustain what took me a year to solve my weight problem. Hard work meant constant 1000-metre swimming laps at the pool every other day, 20-minute run every single day, and conscious resistance to high-calorie food. When the same questions are thrown again and again, I get irritated.