Slower Brain

Hello guys! I have started my Japanese classes and today is lesson 2. After 2 weeks of lessons, I wonder if my brain is slower because I am older. It's hard to accept that so I thought perhaps it's because it's been awhile since I conditioned myself to learn something and study, so my brain is just slow because it hasn't been used for a long time. It has been more than 1 year since I quit french class. However, today I just felt that perhaps it's really because I am older. I'm not the oldest in the class. Last week there was a couple, husband and wife, but today they didn't come. I wonder if they quit. The rest of the classmates are like in their 20s which reminded me of me when I learned Italian. I was pretty much the youngest and my brain worked really well. With this Japanese lesson, I practically forget everything taught in class when I leave the class and somehow nothing stuck. I remember during my student days, sometime I didn't have to force myself to learn because I could just remember information like I remember a picture, for example I could remember what the page of the book looked like and where the information was written. This time around, I have none of that and I do feel like the stupid one in class which is even more frustrating with me because people who knows me back when I was a young student would say that I'm pretty smart. I just feel really slow. Then there's the whole writing thing. We're learning hiragana now, which I'm not sure why it's hiragana, I wonder if we'll learn kanji too. The teacher doesn't really speak English and there's no explanation on the different writing systems in Japanese and why we're focusing on hiragana. I thought my writing is bad and not as correct as the examples, but when I saw the writing of my classmates on the board today, I felt better. Though it's perhaps because they're writing on the board, it's looking rather ugly. So far in each of the week, we're only learning 10 syllables and as I told you before, I pretty much forget what I learn in class today. The only way I could manage the dictation this week was by spending last week rote learning the 10 syllables, writing over and over. With more things coming, I'm not sure how I am going to cope. You perhaps can notice I'm so pessimistic. I am rather demoralized just because this is not easy for me :( Pronunciation wise, initially I felt like it's rather easy, but it turned out it's not so easy after all. I am bad at discerning sounds. It was a problem when I was learning English and a major problem when learning French. Perhaps the only time it was pretty easy for me was when I was learning Italians. All in all, classes haven't been something that make me bounce out of bed on a Saturday morning. In fact, I think I was dreading class yesterday. I don't think I should quit, but I begin to question how long I can do this.

So since I have class now, I haven't been going to the movies. Nothing to update there. I did complete watching the first season of True Detective and I thought it is as good as the critics say. Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey both are awesome in it. Woody Harrelson with hair and a cleaned up Matthew McConaughey are handsome. Matthew McConaughey was still looking rather skinny in this series, I really really hope he's putting more weight so he'll look healthier. I have also fallen in love with the korean reality tv series Dad! Where Are We Going?. I'm not one who watches Korean things. The only korean tv drama that I have ever watched was Princess Hours and I did love it a lot and I really do want to visit the teddy bear museum featured in this tv series. It is perhaps really addictive these Korean things. I love Dad! Where Are We Going? because the kids are cute :D

On Indonesian news, it's reckoning day on Tuesday, 22 July. I feel we're all waiting in bated breath who our next president will be. It's all because Prabowo Subianto, one of the candidates, is ruining it all for our nation by not accepting reality. So what happened was for you guys non-Indonesians who's not following the news, after the election, many organizations were doing a quick count. The credible organizations who's been doing this for past elections released results at around 47% - 52% in favor of presidential candidate number 2, Joko Widodo, whom I voted for. These organizations have around 1-2% margin error. He declared victory I think around 3 pm. I do have to say that the announcement kinda made me disappointed a bit. It was a group announcement and I think he didn't even speak first, so he didn't seem to be fully in charge for me, which is one of the criticism people have of him that he'll just be a puppet president. Anyway after that, Prabowo, presidential candidate number 1, also declared his victory because based on the organizations he followed, he's winning. Mind you the organizations he's basing his information are not credible. The tv station that's obviously on his side and published this result had been ridiculed by many people. They're seriously in denial and I am getting embarrassed watching news about this in Channel News Asia and reading articles from oversea newspapers. 2 candidates declaring victory make it sound like Indonesian don't know how to count. So that's why we're in limbo now. What supposed to be a happy occasion is now making people on the edge. Prabowo seems adamant he's winning and that make people worry that when official result is announced this Tuesday there'll be riots from his disappointed supporters. I actually had a dream a few days back that Jakarta is having a riot again like 1998 and I felt scared in my dream. I saw black smoke plume in my dream. When I googled the 1998 Indonesian riot this week, the rape cases of Indonesian Chinese was really so traumatic and I thank God that He kept our family safe at that time. Anyway, the way Prabowo has been reacting in this past 1.5 weeks should be eye opening for people supporting him, unless they're all as delusional and in denial as him. It's seriously embarrassing for our nation. I read a newspaper that the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, called our president asking if Indonesia is alright. Embarrassing no? Just because of one person who couldn't let go. I admire his commitment to fight until the end, but to be a good leader you should put the nation first before yourself and right now he's putting himself first.

Come 22 July, I am expecting that the result is the same as what the independent organizations have been declaring, that Jokowi is the winner. Seriously if it's not, I will be shocked. Due to this quick count saga, Indonesian is like educated on what quick count is. My first understanding of it was wrong. I thought quick count results are the results from all the polling stations after the on the spot counting. Yes in Indonesia and I am very proud of this, after the polling station is closed, the votes are counted immediately and everyone can just come to watch the counting and make sure it's okay. Anyway, apparently a quick count is not from all the polling stations, but it's just a sample and this is where I am so amazed that it can be accurate with only 1-2% margin of error. I thought you would need a big sample size to be accurate, but apparently the sample size is small. You see, there are more than half a million polling stations in all over Indonesia, in places far and remote. The sample size these organization used are about 2000-4000 polling stations which is very small compared to the total numbers, not even 1%, but if you put it into perspective that these organizations needed 2000-4000 people to be watching the vote counting and reporting the result, it's still quite an effort to do this. I am seriously curious how the statistic works that they can accurately predict the result. Googling so far just told me that as long as the random sampling is done correctly, the result should be representative of the actual result. Another thing I learn was that, I always thought after the result is counted on the spot, these boxes of votes would just be brought to Jakarta to be re-counted again, apparently it's not so. It's being brought to a district and then a bigger district to be re-counted and again this is an open event, so if you're free you could just come to the election office and watch the counting, which is what all the supporters and volunteers have been doing. They're making sure that the result is the same since it's counted on the polling station. I am also very proud that our election committee is very transparent that they're posting all the scanned voting reports from all the polling stations online. Even though many people have reported that some of these reports had been altered, the election committee is putting this out openly and this should be applauded. Anyone who want to see it and compare it and use it to count can do so. In fact there's already a site done by just common citizens who pulled these scanned reports and tabulate the results. This site also shows similar results, around 47%-52% in favor of Jokowi. Despite everything, I am proud with the election process, I am very proud that everyone can vote and that the results have been transparent and open. Yes there's irregularity, but such things also happen in country like USA. Also while many people including me are worried waiting for July 22, no conflicts have broken out so far and so I am thankful for supporters who are restraining themselves and all the military and police who are guarding the situation. Oshie said it's a good thing this election is during Ramadhan and I do hope next week people would just be busy with their holiday travel back to celebrate the end of Ramadhan that they wouldn't have the time and energy to incite riots.

:) eKa @ 6:05:00 PM •

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