My First Championship (Part Six)




Now, in big zero grade, I started to get a reading lesson. Unlike most other children which were learning to read using “Ini Budi”s book, we in IKIP Malang Laboratory Kindegarten were using the book to learn to read which titled “Iin and Aan”. The book was authored by Mrs. Prof. Dr. Sapartinah Pakasi. She was the one who founded our school.

At home, learning to read by “Iin and Aan” was again taught by my father. My father was the Deputy Principal in PPSP IKIP Malang Elementary and Junior High School. My sister who was still sitting at small zero grade were learning with me. Dad taught my sister to read so that his daughter was able to pass the qualify to start learning on the elementary school. She could directly jump from small zero to first-grade in the PPSP IKIP Malang Elementary School. Without passing a big zero grade at kindegarten as me.

In the past, in our school to implement an integrated basic education for eight years. That is, in basic education PPSP, we get an education from grade one to grade eight. After graduation, we can go on to high school. If the other school children to get an education from elementary school to junior high school for nine years, we implement enough for eight years.

My sister became prominent during small zero class. She was able to sang songs that has not been taught by the teacher to the children of small zero because often heard me sang at home. In addition, she also quickly learned to read because my father taught her to read at home with me either.

Finally, the ambition of my father actually happened in reality. My sister raised to the same elementary school class with me. My sister entered the first grade at the age of five years. I myself entered the first grade when I was six years old. I entered the I-B class whether she was on I-A class.




pict by Emile Seno Aji

My First Championship (Part Five)




We still did not understand fully what was said by Mrs. Yati. But we did not know anymore, what should we ask to Mrs. Tutik and Mrs. Yati, therefore we were all felt silent with their description.

Lessons were ongoing as usual. Small zero singing taught by their teacher Mrs. Tutik. Occasionally we sang along with them while we were preoccupied with drawing lessons. Nothing special that day, except for the news of Rudin we had received from Irvin and Nenen, Nur Aini Hidayati, who lives in a same residential complex with Rudin.

After school I was invited by Nenen to play to her house. Her house was in IKIP Malang lecturers residential complex. Nenen’s father was a lecturer there. I told Mas Tahal to pick me up from Nenen’s house after the afternoon. Mas Tahal only grin and nodded. He was often asked by Nenen’s mother to clean up his yard. So he knew where Nenen lived.

My sister Hany, already went home first. She had had ridden by bicycles by Mas Toha, Mas Tahal’s younger brother. Earlier in the class, Hany sang “Carpenter” alone in front of the class. She memorized the song because I used to sing it at home. The whole class clapped their hands for Hany’s repertoire.

“Let’s play,” said Nenen on me, Meddie and Siska.

We certainly joyed at Nenen’s house. We disassembled the entire Nenen’s tools game and play it together. When lunch time had come, Nenen’s mother told us to had lunch at her home.

Day shortly become after afternoon when Mas Tahal picked me up from Nenen’s house. I still wanted to stay because Siska and Meddie has not picked up to go to their home. But Mas Tahal forced me to return home. Suddenly, household assistant at Nenen’s home screamed, clutching her head.

“Oh, what a mess.”

“This house like a shipwreck.”

“It is a house or a moved kindergarten ?,” she exclaimed angrily.

The environment of Nenen’s house barely was a mess. The whole games equipment was issued and the game was have been played. A small piano laid on the coffee table. Broom fibers perched in Nenen’s grandma rocking chair. Everything was chaotic and jumbled.

Nenen’s mother appeared and asked Ms. household assistant to clean the house that we had been messed. Similarly, she told us to help to clean up the tools that we used to play.

“You are all playing, then you must take them of,” said Nenen’s mother.

Finally, Mas Tahal was waiting me to participating on the game instrument clearing at Nenen’s house. On the road, while pedaling slowly, he still scolded me for making a mess to someone else’s home.

“It’s OK if you play, but you shouldn’t do like that again.”




(photograph by Astungkara Wiguna)

My First Championship (Part Four)




“The first person in the Oppenheimer Project was Robert Oppenheimer, Albert Einstein was the second and the third person in the project was Enrico Fermi.”

I began to understand my mother’s conversation.

“Enrico Fermi was an Italian nuclear physicist.” then she continued. “He graduated PhD from University of Pisa at the age of twenty-six years.”

“From his name was your name taken by Eyang Kakung, Mit.” so says my mother. Eyang Kakung are a common way to call grandfather in Javan family like us. There is something to prop my heart of this story.

“Why not be chosen the first man, Mom ?,” I asked the mother, “Why he chose the third person ?.”

Mother laughed at my silly question.

“So, are you always want to be the number one,aren’t you Mit ?.”

“The name of Fermy is really strange, do you want Oppenheimer name,” she said with a chuckle.

“Therr … therr,” the pedicab driver honking his rickshaw bell. He wanted a grannie who cross the road did it quickly in order not to get hit immediately with his pedicab. How embarrassed when up getting hit by a pedicab, more prestigious when hit by Mercy. Even though the consequences might be more severe if until hit by a Mercy.

After a holiday for two weeks, I entered the school again. This time, I was not alone. I accompanied by my number two sister. She entered the small zero this year. She attended TK-1 as me. I myself certainly have gone up to big zero class. Bu Tutik now taught small zero, while I in big zero returned held by Mrs. Yati.

There a bit noisy at the class that day because from Irvin and Nenen, we’ve got a story that Rudin had died due to his illness. At that time, we only have a vague concept of death. Friends grieving over the Rudin’s passed away, as well as me. Pictured in my eyes lame horse image made by Rudin when drawing lessons long time ago.

Mrs. Tutik and Mrs. Yati catched a different impression of us at that time. They tried to calm us. Bu Tutik talk to Siska and Vita, trying to explain as best as she could about where was Rudin. Siska could not understand how she could no longer possible to meet Rudin.

Mrs. Tutik told us to calm down and take the sweet posture. This was done without going through the ritual which we normally did. We all like an enchanted and followed Mrs. Tutik’s order. We sit tight and wait.

Mrs. Yati then spoke.

“Children, Rudin has been called by the Lord.”

“Rudin is no longer sick.”

“Rudin is already happy beside God.” said Mrs. Yati to us.




pict by Emile Seno Aji

My First Championship (Part Three)




It was Saturday. No lessons walking on the streets that day, because it was the day of the distribution of our report. We, the students, playing in the school yard. Our parents came and had social time with the teachers. Rudin did not go to school, he reportedly ill. From Siska and Dian, I got the news that Rudin was hospitalized. I wonder what was Rudin illness.

We immediately huddled in front of the classroom door as report were distributed. Name called by the teacher one by one. The parents sat on the bench which very small for them. I saw my mother was among the parents who sit on the small bench. She sat on the Zainul’s bench.

“Fermy Nurhidayat.”

The name was not familiar to me. I never knew my friend named thus name. I had had not lost my astonishment yet, but it was my mother who went to the front of the class and receive report from Mrs. Yati. Then they chatted briefly and shook hands.

Then she went out of the classroom and called, “Come on Mit, we go home.” I felt strange with that name. Who was Fermy Nurhidayat?. I was only knew that my name was Mimit.

We then trooped out of the school complex. I was just with my mother at that time because my brother and sisters were deposited at a neighboring home. My mother and I met the a pedicab driver who has been ordered by the mother to wait on us. Mother raised me with care for the pedicab’s bench. At that time the pedicab’s passenger seat were still too high for me. The pedicab driver turned down the front part of his rickshaw so I and mother could more easily get in it.

On the way to the house, I guess, who the Fermy Nurhidayat ?. As far as I knew, my name was just Mimit. But, aha, I suddenly remembered something. Nenen once told me that her full name was Nur Aini Hidayati, Nenen was his nickname. Perhaps Fermy Nurhidayat was my long name, Mimit was my nickname. Perhaps.

I asked my mother, “Is my full name Fermy Nurhidayat, Mom ?.”

“Yes, your grandfather gave it to you.”

I furrowed my brow. Apparently the mother aware of my astonishment. My name did not like the name of Indonesian children in general. Above rickshaws that were walking on the pretty bumpy road, then my mother told me.

“In the past, when the Second World War raging, the Allies wanted to create a weapon of mass destruction that may soon put an end to the Second World War.”

I frowned again. I’m trying to understand what the meaning of the Second World War and Mass Destruction Weapons. But I had not managed to understand it. But I became interested in the story of my mother.

“Since then the United States decided to establish the Manhattan Project, or by another name was Oppenheimer Project, to examine the possibilities of making nuclear weapons and use it for the purpose of war.”

I was getting more interested. I know that the United States is a developed country, far away. My mother then continued.




(photograph by Astungkara Wiguna)

My First Championship (Part Two)




I was surprised and watched my crackers. Mrs. Maryam was true, my cracker’s piece seemed smaller than crackers cut by my other friends. I immediate assault my cracker’s piece with malignant. It was like toying me. Moving to the left and to the right made it hard to bite and eat. Sometimes it moved upward as well. Depending on the movement of my mouth and my friend’s mouth movements nearby if they grabbed their crackers with their mouths.

Mrs. Maryam Yusuf shouting encouraging me.

“Come on, Mimit, you can do it.”

From a distance I saw my homeroom teacher Mrs. Yati clapped and shouted encouraging. I’m more eager crackers crashed into me. One small bite left, I jump up and bite my last piece crackers eagerly. That small piece of it apart from the thread that tied it, then I chewed with a rush. Mrs. Maryam Yusuf shouted again, this time louder than ever before.

“Hurraaaaayyyyy, Mimit win, Mimit is a champion.”

Mrs. Maryam took my hand and put me aside from my friends who are still preoccupied with their crackers. The race was still held to find second winners and the third champions.

On the afternoon I had a fever. Therefore, the next morning my mother took me to IKIP Malang Polyclinic in Ambarawa Street for treatment. Doctor Dini and doctor Aswin were a married couple who served in the Polyclinic. Both worked as a doctor. Doctor Dini gave my mother some medicine for drunk regularly for three days. She also gave her a letter to give to the teacher, so I can be absent from school.

I felt sad because it was the day of giving prize winners of the eating crackers contest. I protested to my mother.

“But, today is the day of giving prizes, Mother.”

“Your prize is kept out by the teacher,” my mother replied sympathetically. But I still worried that the teacher forgot to give my first prize winner eating crackers contest that I won.

When I went back to school, Mrs. Yati gave a gift wrapped in brown paper cover to me. I opened the package and was disappointed. The prize turned out to be the same as the prize for the runner-up and champion three cracker eating contest, held the day before yesterday. Equally a pencil box. The difference was, mine are green, while Rudi who won the champion two get a pencils box of red, Joshua as third winner had gift blue pencil box. The three gift of us were exactly the same at the shape and style.

I told my disappointment to my mother. She giggled.

“Whatever the prize should be appreciated and accepted with gratitude.” So the advice of my mother

“Damn it.” I said irritably. Pursed mouth in front of my mother. My mother laughed again and hit my mouth gently with the palm of her hand. I still feel very annoyed.




(photograph by Denies Priantinah)

My First Championship (Part One)

Chapter IV

My First Championship




The next day, so did my school also held an event to welcome the anniversary of independence. The teacher organized the sack race event and the eating crackers race for us, the kindegarten students. I include those participating in a race and eliminated in the early rounds, when the sack race was done.

After that, the teacher helped by the school janitor laid several rows of thread in the school yard. The yarn longways length. Then the longways threads was being connected by other shorter. Of the latter is then tied a piece of crackers for each shorter thread. Sound system of schools pounding sound of children’s songs which played in moderate volume.

The teacher turn off the sound system of the school. The atmosphere became so quiet. The morning was so bright. The sun emitted a warm light. Sparrows and church bird chasing above the branches and on the ground. They ate the bread crumbs from my friends brunch. Then, Mrs. Yanizar called us all. TK-1, TK-2 and TK-3 students.

“Come on kids, we gathered on the yard.”

We burst onto the courtyard in front of the school obediently. The teacher set our position so that every child confronted with a chip of crackers. Unforgettable, the teacher set the position of crackers soit was in accordance with our height.

Joshua grinning in front of his white crackers. He was lenghtening his tongue to lick it. Mrs. Yanizar who was adjusting the height of his cracker pulled the thread so it was steeper-high and Joshua’s tongue could not reach. Then they both laughed patter. The whole school affected in a happy feeling.

When all the preparations had been completed, Mrs. Maryam Yusuf gave a brief introduction.

“Children, today we’re going to hold an eat crackers contest. Hands clasped behind your back all. Violators will be disqualified. The winner is the fastest use up his or her crackers .”

She sighed briefly and then move on.

“Are you all ready, kids?.”

“Ready, Ma’am,” we replied bluntly. Daisy frowned and sniffed her crackers. None knew what was in her mind.

“Let’s start now, kids” cried Mrs. Maryam Yusuf ordered to us.

We all start eating our crackers eagerly. The voice of the teachers and the school janitors laughing was heard. They were laughing watching our attitude. The crackers were moving that cause hard to be bitten. I was joking with Meddie and Vita, they were adjacent to me. I did not care whether I will win or not in this contest. So, I just calm down.

The teacher wandered surround us while occasionally clapping or giving spirit. From the side, I saw Mrs. Maryam approached my place nearby. I was not so close to Mrs. Maryam because she taught in TK-2, whereas I was TK-1 students. As I told you before, TK stands for Kindergarten.

“Mimit, your cracker is almost run out. Come Mimit, you could be the first champion,” so screamed Mrs. Maryam startled me out.




pict by Astungkara Wiguna