This was a delightful visit to a private high school, where there are students in the tourism and retail pathway. The students are articulate in their English language skills. They prepared a wonderful presentation of local snacks and foods. We also had the opportunity to visit their student run store.
So my guiding questions for this trip were the following: 1. What is your dream? 2. What and who do you need to achieve those dreams? 3. What and who will keep you from achieving these dreams? So I began interviewing some of the students these questions. Many of them are very ambitious, and believe that they can achieve them with their family and self-confidence.
Being of Chinese descent myself, I find it fascinating to meet other Chinese people around the world. I met a number of Chinese students at this school, and it was neat to learn about their lives and family histories in Indonesia.
This school was very musical. The students prepared a lovely opening ceremony with song. Then we were able to tour some of the music rooms, where we tinkered with drums and wind instruments. It was so much fun!
Today we had the enormous honor of meeting the Dean and her Education Department at the Atmajaya University. The dean spoke to us about the the Indonesian education structure, along with the processes of becoming a teacher in the country. There were faculty members, school administrators, teachers and new teachers. There were fascinating exchanges about the differing educational systems between our two countries, and why we all became teachers. It was all so heartwarming to hear how we all want to make education better for all our students.
One of the most inspiring part of the meeting was hearing this new teacher, Aditya Pradipta Wardhana, reflect on his past education and how it will affect his pedagogy in his classroom. I will not elaborate too much more, as he was so articulate and eloquent.
Learning about the built environment of a city is always the most thrilling part of my travels. We visited the Istiqial Mosque of Jarkarta, the largest religious building in the city. This is where the Indonesians leaders worship, as it is also the site of where foreign diplomats would come visit.
On the exterior, it is seemingly a brut, concrete building. It was constructed over the course of 17 years. Since completed in 1978, the building accommodates at least 50,000 people outside, and over 150,000 more in the interior. The building is massive, as it is composed of at least four levels. With wide halls and giant staircases, it moves their barefoot occupants safely and efficiently throughout the day of prayers.
The most impressive architectural features are the perforated screens throughout the building. I was always impressed with the contemporary architect Steven Holl, but these are just incredibly textured walls of the mosque. The majority of the walls are perforated for not only cooling and filtering the hot humid air, but also to allow the prayer echoes to resonate throughout the city. The prayers are led with an extensive microphone and audio system, and it beacons to all the worshipers the priorities of life.