Healing Pieter (Part Seven)




The second question is given by our beloved teacher, Mrs. Etty Ratnawaty. This time Dian Sushanti answered correctly. She shouted and clenched her hands in front of her body. “Yes!”, she exclaimed excitedly. Dian then quietly exit the classroom after greeted Mrs. Etty politely. As a child, Dian was polite and friendly as well.

Then, Mrs. Etty exclaimed her third question, I almost did not believe on my ears.

“Seven times eight.”

Several small hands outstretched onto the air. I was late a split second after Utje’s. Mrs. Etty invited Utje to answer her question. Utje answered with a stutter. Apparently, she was so nervous, so that her answer was incorrect.

“Unfortunately your answer was wrong my dear, you are not allowed to answer the next question, do you understand Utje?” said the teacher repeated the rules in this game.

Then the eyes of my beloved Mrs Etty switched to me. I was so pounding.

“You had I see raised hands after Utje, Mimit,” she said.

“How many is seven multiplied by eight?.”

Of course I had already knew the answer without any difficulties. That was the only item that I knew by heart from a multiplication table given by Mrs. Etty.

“Fifty-six, Mrs. Etty,” I couldn’t hiding my excitement.

“It’s correct, Mit, you are allowed to go home”.

I screamed and ran out of the classroom. Turns out that I did the same with the others, happy to be out of class at the early chances. It feels so manly that time. I included was the earlier to answer the multiplication tables’ question by Mrs. Etty, thus I allowed to go home. But, the more important things to me was, my reputation as the smart kid beside Mrs. Etty Ratnawaty was saved. She was my dearest teacher along the time.




photograph by Emile Seno Aji

Healing Pieter (Part Six)




Mrs. Etty ever told my classmates in front of the class, “If Mimit is a smart kid, it does not mean that his brain is more like it,” she said, putting her fist above his forehead, so that seems like Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat’s blangkon worn in reverse, “But because Mimit is very keen studious,” said Mrs. Etty Ratnawaty.

Blangkon is sort of a traditional hat made of batik which arranged in such a way. Yogyakartanese’s blangkon had a lump in tow, people refer to this bump as ‘mondolan’. Of course I did not like the presumed studious by Mrs. Etty.

That afternoon was the last hours of lessons in the Mrs. Etty’s classroom. We’re getting out Math from her. It was very hot. The sun was scorching-hot in the dry season on our country. Even the birds were reluctant to twit at the trees branches covered up the schoolyards. Suddenly the bell tolls means the time to went home. Abruptly, I and my friends packed up our textbooks.

“Just wait kids,” Mrs. Etty suddenly interrupted.

“Mrs. Etty will test your memorization of multiplication tables,”

The class was murmuring in the long complaint. Our teacher would test us by asking us the multiplication tables. We should answered questions with rote manner. We were not allowed to see the records of our multiplication tables.

I was silently sluggish. I felt my reputation as a “clever boy” in front of Mrs. Etty would soon be over. I have not memorized the multiplication tables as requested by her two weeks ago. The only thing that I knew by heart from that multiplication tables was just only barely seven times eight equals fifty six. A cold sweat of grain corn started off my brow slowly. I was so scared.

Already imagined I would be standing in front of the teacher’s desk was scolded for being lazy learning. Later, at the end of this Math session. Mrs. Etty would be very angry because I ignored her ordered to memorize the multiplication tables. Had I not strong enough to hold back, I would had cried screaming out loud because it really scared.

Mrs. Etty delivered her first question. Some of the children raised their hands. Zainul chosen to answer first because he was the fastest show of hand. Zainul then answered Mrs. Etty’s questions exactly right, so that he allowed to go home first. Zainul cheered and rushed out of the classroom, grabbing her shoulder bag.




photograph by Emile Seno Aji

Healing Pieter (Part Five)




Mrs Martinus Migu shouting angrily and immediately pulled my hand as well. I sprawled on the ground.

“Irreverence boy.”

“Watch out if you’ll playing here again.”

I still hearing shouting and cursing of Yanto’s mothers. I quickly ran home in tears. I’m scared of Mrs Martinus Migu.

“What’s up Mit ?,” asked my mother when she saw me home in tears. Immediately I told my mother about what had happened to me in the afternoon. Also about the anger of Mrs Martinus Migu on me. Mother just smiled and went back to her sewing. She was sewing my clothes.

No longer after, Mrs. Migu come to our house, her face still seemed upset. Mother invited Mrs Migu to sit in the living room. When her eyes catch my reflection, she snorted angrily. My mother sat down and listened to Mrs Migu complaint’s about my spells at her youngest son. Mother just quietly listened and occasionally apologized to her.
Once Mrs Migu satisfied to express her complaints, she immediately asked to leave. She suggested my mother to educate me properly, so that I had appropriate behavior. Mother thanked Mrs Migu and once again apologized about me as well. Mrs Migu went home soon. Mother continued the seams on my shirt. A smile on her face etched.

The next year, I went up to the second grade. In my report book, Mrs Harsih only give a small note, Preserve accomplishments, Second Rank. Note in the previous report book written also from Mrs Harsih, Still like erratic, but his confidence is very helpful, Third Rank. Mrs Harsih indeed very concerned about the development of all of her students.

In the second grade of elementary school, I and my friends moved to another school complex in Magelang Street Number Four. In this second class, my homeroom teacher was Mrs Etty Ratnawaty. She was very strict and disciplined. I felt that Mrs Etty was very care about me, more than with others.




photograph by Astungkara Wiguna

Healing Pieter (Part Four)




“Of course I can,” I replied.

I wiped my hands to the ground, then stroked Pieter’s sprained ankle. Not to forget I cast a spell incantations that I had learned from my mother.

”Hocus pocus

I treat you with dog droppings

Get well soon

If it isn’t, it’s up”

Pieter stop crying. It’s work as well. Spell that my mother taught me was powerful indeed. Yanto look at the wound of his brother and said, “Why it even swollen, Mit?”

Again I stroke my hands on the ground and spell Pieter sprained ankle.

”Hocus pocus

I treat you with dog droppings

Get well soon

If it isn’t, it’s up”

It was a magic. Pieter smiled and stood up. Then he walked limped to follow us on the way home.

We arrived at the house of Mr Martinus Migu, parents of Yanto. Evening was approaching. Mrs. Migu was sweeping the yard of dry leaves. The voice of sweeped leaves was rustled splitting the sunny afternoon. In front of their house there was indeed a guava tree. The leaves often fall, so Mrs. Migu diligently sweep it regularly.

“Mommyyyyyyy,” called Pieter to his mother. He walked toward her with hobbled. His ankle was still swollen.

“Why are you Pieter?,” cried Mrs. Migu saw his son surprisingly worried.

“He was falling Mommy,” said Yanto ahead of his brother.

“But now it is not really hurt, Mommy,” said Peter to his mother.

“Mimit has treated him,” said Yanto.

“What treated?,” cried Mrs. Martinus Migu. Her face still looked shocked.

“He spells my twisted ankle,” said Pieter cheerfully

“Charm spells what?,” cried Mrs. Migu getting impatient.

I stoke the ground squatting for the three times, then back I rubbed Pieter sprained ankle. This third spell was bound making the swelling on Pieter’s ankle subsided.

”Hocus pocus

I treat you with dog droppings

Get well soon

If it isn’t, it’s up”




(photograph by Astungkara Wiguna)

Healing Pieter (Part Three)




The next day I asked Amil, “Amil, who is our friend which most beautiful?” Amil just turned to me at a glance, and then he continued to enjoy the supplies school cake and answered not care, “Dewi is.” At recess I then asked Galih, my friend which was always the class star since kindergarten, “Lih, who is our prettiest friend ?.” Galih looked at me surprised, but then answered as well, “Dewi, do you fancy at Dewi, Mit?”

“Nope,” I said as I ran to see Joshua who had just come out of the class. Joshua has just completed his task, he was not allowed to play because he has not completed his work earlier during the lesson. I am sad. How many rivals I’ve got, if I want to get the Dewi as my girlfriend. I also wonder why were my friends have the same taste with me?.

It’s a Sunday. There’s no school at Sundays. I was playing in the fields with Yanto and his younger brother, Pieter. We watch the men who were fishing using accumulators. The accumulator was connected with a cable and tipped with a pole. At the end of the pole was fitted with an electrode to an electric current. Fish was made drunk with the electric current.

Sparrows squeak along the way we followed those who fished. There are three men with their pole being absorbed for fished in the river near the fields. Gurgling streams provide a different scenery with an atmosphere that usually I got in school. Grains of rice nodding followed the gentle breeze that hit our small bodies.

“Let’s going home, Mit,” said Yanto suddenly. Apparently he was getting bored.

“Come on,” I said. I also started to saturate.

We immediately took the road home. We hurried down the rice fields on the way back. Pieter who was in kindergarten up the rear. I jumped over an embankment, followed by Yanto. Then we turned towards the main road.

At the middle of our journey, suddenly Pieter screaming, “Ouch.” We were surprised and looked back towards Pieter. Apparently Pieter slip. He wisted his ankle. Pieter started crying with noise. We spontaneously tried to keep him quiet. Suddenly I remember the incantation spell my mother taught me.

“Come Pieter, I give you incantations for healing,” I persuaded him between his crying.

“Can you, Mit ?,” asked Yanto, apparently he was less confident in my abilities.




pict by Fermy Nurhidayat

Healing Pieter (Part Two)




Mrs. Dewi taught memorizing Al-Fatihah and short surahs. She also taught us reading Tahiyyat Awwal and the Akhir. It’s been used when we were praying five times a day as muslims. Tahiyyat reading was written in a colorful buffalo by Mrs. Dewi’s handwritting herself, one piece for one student. One side for Tahiyyat Awwal reading, and another side for Tahiyyat Akhir reading.

Moeliarta Roekiandari, or commonly called Utje, get cardboard red buffalo, while I get the green. Mrs. Dewi write Tahiyyat reading with her handwriting which was neat and beautiful. Of course we were very happy to get those piece of paper from Mrs. Dewi.

Mrs Dewi Setomi asked us to laminate the buffalo paper. Utje, my friend bench, laminate it with beautiful arches pattern. My mother brought my own to town and get a simple and plain laminating motive. My laminating motive was straight, like most belong to my other friends.

Mrs. Dewi also taught us to pray. She told us to bring prayer rugs and other prayer paraphernalia. After that, she took us to the Masjid Al Falah at Bandung Street, close to our school. Of course, at that time we did not know that prayer mats and prayer gear we brought could be used as a dowry when we got married. Years later after we grew up.

One day, I entered the classroom when my friends were playing on the school yard. In the classroom I met a stranger. The girl was wearing the same uniform as mine and my friends. But we had never met before.

”Are you a new student here,?” I asked.

“Yes,” replied the little girl. The little girl had beautiful eyes. Not round like the eyes of my friend Dewi, but gleaming like a morning star. I immediately liked this timid little girl..

“What’s your name?” I asked as I reached her hand acquainted. “Fiva,”s he replied with a welcoming hand.

“Let’s we play outside,” I invited the timid girl.

Fiva followed my steps out of the classroom. Outside the classroom, she became acquainted with my other friends ther. Apparently she’s also willing to play with the other comrades.

One day at recess, I asked my friend, Bayu. “Bayu, who do you think the prettiest among our friends?.” “Dewi,” said Bayu without hesitation. Then he asked, “Who do you think, Mit?” I was just short retorted, “The same.”

On the other day, I asked Nanda, “Nan, who is the most beautiful of our friends?.” Nanda thought a moment and replied with hesitation, “Dewi.” Then he asked with a view wonder, “Why, Mit?.” I’m just responding shortly, “Nothing.”




(photograph by Emile Seno Aji)

Healing Pieter ( Part One)

Chapter V

Healing Pieter




I have entered the first grade of my elementary school. Therefore, my uniform has changed. Now, I was wearing a beige shirt and dark green shorts. Other schools mostly weared red and white uniforms. My mother, too, who sewed my second uniform. As usual.

My homeroom teacher named Mrs. Sunarsih Subianto. She was the table tennis athlete on Malang municipality level. I heard she has also followed the selection to be a ping pong player in the National Games to represent East Java Province. But I did not know the rest of the story afterward.

As classroom teachers in other elementary schools, Mrs. Harsih also taught almost all subjects. Subjects that were not taught by Mrs. Harsih only a few subjects. Among them was the subjects of Sports. Sports teacher was Mr Bambang Basuki. In addition, there were two further subjects that are not held by Mrs. Harsih. That was the Islamic Religion lesson by Mrs. Dewi Setomi, and the subjects to sing.

Singing lessons taught by Mrs. Suryo. Unlike most of other teacher who wore a blouse when teaching, Mrs. Suryo always wear kebaya, a Javanese traditional wearing, and Batik when went to school. She was good at playing several instruments. Among them were the piano and harmonica. We often carries to IKIP Malang Auditorium, Sasana Krida, to sing there. That’s because there was available a Grand Piano. Mrs. Suryo accompanied us to sing with that piano.

When not being in front of Mrs. Suryo, we’re all the students often refer her as Granny Suryo. The lessons of Granny Suryo were very tiring. She always told us to sing out loud and excited. Of course, students have become very tired when singing lessons take place. It certainly was annoying us all. Granny Suryo’s students.

Mrs. Dewi Setomi became the idol teacher among my friends soon. That’s because Mrs. Dewi like storytelling in front of the class, if the Islamic Religion lesson have been held. The students who were not Muslims played in the school yard. They deserved religion lessons in accordance with his or her belief on the other day of school.

Cain and Abel story to be different in Mrs. Dewi Setomi’s version. In Mrs. Dewi’s storytelling, Abel became woman. Mrs. Dewi never told us that in the original version, they were actually seizuring of wife. But it was not problem with us, her students. The most important thing were, we enjoyed Mrs. Dewi’s fairytale.




(photograph by Emile Seno Aji)