Mrs. Indra’s Angerness (Part Eight)

One day, when I was in seventh grade, Mrs. Indra provided a puzzle to us. She asked us a question in English instead of Bahasa.

“I have six legs when I’m walking, but I have four legs when I’m running. So, who am I ?.”

Thus the content of puzzle questions from Mrs. Indra. We all sat silent and thinking. What was the answer of Mrs. Indra’s puzzle question?.

The class was quiet for a moment. Minutes passed, and no one of us dared to raise hand to answer our beloved English teacher. Mrs. Indra waited and smiling on front of the class. Her face was covered with a triumph looking.

In the eerie silence, suddenly I giggled in a few seconds.

“Why are you laughing, Mit?,” asked Mrs. Indra to me.

“Do you know the answer of Mrs. Indra puzzle question?.” she continued.

“Maybe Ma’am.” I said not sure. I was afraid my answer would be wrong indeed.

“What’s your answer Mit ?,” asked Mrs. Indra to me. Her face seemed curious. I was increasingly pounding and awkwardly. Actually, I was not sure with my answer as well.

“Man riding a horse, Mrs. Indra.” I replied with a hesitant voice. Of course I answered with Bahasa instead of English as well. I was not clever enough to speak English indeed.

Afterwards, unexpectedly Mrs. Indra laughed and told the class,

“Mimit was right, the answer is a man riding a horse”, said Mrs. Indra giggled. I was shocked by the fact that my answer was correct. I chuckled at the end of Mrs. Indra’s statement. Then the class was sullen and grumbling to me because they could not answer Mrs. Indra’s question.

Then she moved to the blackboard and write the answer to her riddle herself. On the board immediately posted Mrs. Indra’s round and sweet handwriting, ‘A man riding a horse’. Then she left us out of class for a while.

Apparently she headed to the school office of Administration. She wanted to see my mother who had been a clerk of the school’s BP3. BP3 was the association of students parents on our school.

“Damn Mimit, Mrs Toha!.”

“What’s going on, Mrs. Indra?,” my mother responsed anxiously.

“I’ve questioned a puzzle for three classes students, none of them could answered my question except your boy, Mimit.”

“Damn that Toha’s son.”

“Aparently, Mimit’s so clever indeed,” she continued with a giggled.

Then Mrs. Indra return into our classroom and continued her lesson with us.

(pict by Iwan J Prasetyo)

Mrs. Indra’s Angerness (Part Five)

And thus, we brought spoons, forks, erasers, rulers, up umbrellas to school when attending English at the next session. Each student brought one item to all items requested. Some kids brought real umbrellas. But many kids carrying an umbrella image on a poster board, such as Mrs. Indra had been ordered before. Similarly, for watches. Watches were still a luxury for most of us.

The day for English lessons coming, our classrooms become as refugee camps. The sound of spoons and forks clinking in our bags, the students of Mrs. Indra. Many children carry large-sized umbrella belonging to his parents to the school. Hence the classroom to be like barracks of world’s war refugees.

The lesson had begun yet. Mrs. Indra unfurled a chart, bearing the image of the goods that we brought to school. We began singing with enthusiasm, she pointed to each picture with a wooden ruler presented in the classroom.

Boys and girls look at the chart, Can you tell me what these are? It’s a book, we show books we brought to Mrs. Indra. It’s a pen, we showed ballpoints we brought to Mrs. Indra. It’s a pencil, we showed our pencils. And a key, we brought assortments of keys. A friend of mine brought door’s padlock as well, apart from that there was a friend who bring a bike lock. It’s a watch, we held up watches we brougt to Mrs. Indra, there were also friends who simply show picture of watches which she or he made themselves at home on a piece of poster board. I belonged to students who brougt these images rather than bringing the original object. It’s a ruler and a comb, we showed the usual ruler we used at school and comb that we brought from home.

Of the comb I had brought, stormed several pieces of dandruff because I have not had time to wash the brush before I brought to school to fulfill Mrs. Indra’s asking to. It’s a brush, eraser, fox, we all demonstrated regular toothbrushes we used at home, and erasers that we used at the school to Mrs. Indra. Then we immediately issued a fork that we borrowed from our mothers at home.

picture by Denies Priantinah

Mrs. Indra’s Angerness (Part Four)

When taught the names of numbers, she invited us to sing like this,

One little two little three little Indians,
Four little five little six little Indians,
Seven little eight little nine little Indians,
Ten little Indian boys.

Sometimes we were asked to change the latest lyric to be,

Ten little Indian girls.

One day, she asked us to sing by counting backwards like this.

Ten little nine little eight little Indians,
Seven little six little five little Indians,
Four little three little two little Indians,
One little Indian boy.

We sang with enthusiasm. No need to get excited errands such as singing lessons with Granny Suryo. After finished singing, Mrs. Indra then laugh and blame us, she said, if we sang “one little Indians”, then it was wrong, should be “one little Indian”. We shouldn’t use the “s” because he was singular. Similarly, the “boys” to “boy”, also because he was singular.


We replied in unison in the classroom. Lyrics I wrote above was the version has been repaired by Mrs. Indra.

It was early in the morning, still bone-chilling cold. But that day, I would get excited about English lessons by Mrs. Indrawati. Apparently that morning, Mrs. Indra would like to introduce a few nouns to us. Soon she taught us to sing,

Boys and girls look at the chart,
Can you tell me what these are?
It’s a book, it’s a pen, it’s a pencil and a key,
It’s a watch, it’s a ruler and a comb,
It’s a brush, eraser, fork,
And a spoon,
The umbrella is the last.

We were repeating that song along with Mrs. Indra. We sang till memorized it wihout difficulties as if we were English native speakers. Mrs. Indra obliqued her lips left and right to give us an example of the correct pronunciation. At the end of class, Mrs. Indra assigned tasks to us to bring the items contained in the song. We should brought it at the next class. We got English twice a week.

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

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 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

Enemy Force’s Sudden Attact (Part Three)

“There are enemies, attaaaaaaaact !.”

The group of new students in white uniform shouted excitedly crossing the street toward us. They come out of the mouths imitating rifle being fired and cocked back. The position of their hands mimicked the hand position of soldiers who were shooting targets.




Our party became frightened to get a surprise attacks like that. We were all crying and gathering swarm onto the teachers. Dewi and Joshua were being pee in their pants with fear. The teachers was very surprised and looked livid. They both tried to calm us. Our group was a mess. Fortunately there was no traffic on the road.

“Irreverence,” hissed Mrs. Tutik slowly. Her face looked very upset.

Suddenly one of the students who dressed in a blue coat alma mater shouted to big kids in white uniforms. He was wearing a red slayer.

“You have what ?.”

“Attacking other groups without using guns.”

“Look at your hands, are there any weapons ?,” he continued.

“Use logic !.”

“Logic !,” he cried shout.

Hordes of big children with white uniforms were suddenly silent. We still crying howling at the roadside. Siska hugged Mrs. Yati thigh closely. She was very frightened. His eyes shed tears profusely. She cried silently.

” Get down all !,” ordered another big boy with purple slayer.

“You’re all lost.”

“You’re all dead,” said a big children’s with blue alma mater coat and red slayer.

Those big children suddenly were lying face down on the asphalt. In tears, I can still be surprised. How could the big kids feel disposed to face down on the pavement were full of dust ?. That’s where the heck why kindergarten stupid children coming from ?, so I thought at that time.

Dozens of big children were lying in front of us. We still bawling. In the chaos, Mrs. Tutik immediate made a decision.

“Come on kids, we go back to school.”

Our party moved left, return to school at Jalan Simpang Bogor. Some children had started silence. Some were still crying softly. We were all in shock. Our teacher no longer pay attention to our ranks. Anyway right back, back to school at Jalan Simpang Bogor. Immediately.

A long-haired female student follow us. She brought three laced drinking bottles of  left at the crime scene. She handed the bottle to Mrs. Yati while apologizing. Mrs. Yati receive the three laced bottles of  with a stiff face.

Arriving at the school, we were asked to enter the classroom by the teachers. The delegation of TK-2 and TK-3 had not returned to school yet. Mrs. Tutik took Dewi whom still crying. In her hand was a skirt inventories of the schools that was used for emergencies. She handed Dewi toward school bathroom. Mrs. Tutik would replace the Dewi’s wet skirt urinated.

Similarly, Mrs. Yati had picked out a large shorts for Joshua. Brown shorts. Joshua was bigger compared to other friends. He had not cried again. But his face still looked tired and frightened.

After that event, on that day, there was no singing lessons as before on Saturday. Our teachers let us play on the school yard. It was the most mess lesson of walking around the streets I’ve ever had.

pict by Emile Seno Aji

Enemy Force’s Sudden Attact (Part Two)

With hesitated voice then Mrs. Tutik told me, “Well Mimit, please sing.”

Then I sang out loud.

“Twice a day I have brushed my teeth

Twice a day I brush my teeth

White and clean teeth

Healthy teeth and strong

Because always use …..

Manfuuuuuul tothbrush”

Olala, .. I sang the ads of Manful toothbrush frequently heard from the television I’d seen from the neighbor’s house. I even mimicked the movements demonstrate commercial star child was brushing her teeth. At a moment the class became quiet and silent. No applause reverberated like applause for Vita could be heard. Moreover, a magnificent standing ovation for me. I looked at the teachers. Their faces stiff to bear from burst laughter. Finally, Mrs. Yati said to me shortly, “Sit Mimit”.

I returned to my seat with humiliation. Seeing both my teacher beared to laugh, some of my friends started giggling. Oath sure I believe that they did not understand what they were laughing about. You know how’s the children, they just could merely imitate.


It was Saturday, means that we had an agenda to walking around the streets on the first hour. After the ritual of “Hands up” to “Sit sweet” as usual, we were collected by the teacher on the classroom terrace. We were asked by the teacher to line up three by three. Then the teacher asked us to join hands each adjacent three children. I join hands with Meddie and Siska. On front of me seemed Sholeh coupled with Dewi and Daisy. I was jealous with Sholeh, I want to join hands with Dewi.

After had counted and called the roll of the students in TK-1 then Mrs. Yati and Mrs. Tutik allowed us to begin the journey. Entourage TK-2 and TK-3 was moved first. From a distance it looked they entered of Jalan Salatiga, meaning they will lead to IKIP Malang Campus as their route of walking around the street.

We chattered all along the way. Siska told me about her cat and dog who was always in harmony. They ate and drank together in the same plate. Never them fight, she said.

“Are they take a shower together too?” I asked curiously. Siska did not answer my question. She just glared at me. Meddie released his hand from me, take a drink case that hanging on his shoulders, and drink with pleasure. Sweat soaking from his neck and forehead. Meddie was sweaty easely. After that he went way through the group of three by three who had preceded him before and again took my hand.

We turned left along Jalan Bogor, and precisely when entering Jalan Veteran, Mrs. Yati and Mrs. Tutik asked us to stop. We pursuant to her and stopped walking, we waited to see what would be asked by Mrs. Tutik and Mrs. Yati. It turned out that Mrs. Tutik provided a little guidance to us.

“This time we will enter the big road , children.”

“Always walk on the sidewalk, do not let anyone walk in the middle of the road”.

“Got kids?,” asked Mrs. Tutik.

“Understand, Mrs. Tutik”, we replied in unison.

Then Mrs. Yati asked us to continue the journey. We are all happy because it was the first time we walked in a big street. Out of complex IKIP Malang. We passed a Heroes’ Cemetery and continued walked IKIP Malang Auditorium, Sasana Krida Building.

Occasionally, the teacher walked ahead of us on the side of the great road to make sure that we were not going to wade onto the middle of the road. Sometimes Mrs. Yati was in front of group, sometimes Mrs. Tutik was on the front. Sometimes they both were behind the group, talking and laughing when the situation allowed.

We approached Brawijaya University comlex nearby. There was a little crowd at the campus because it was new students orientation week. From a distance we saw the big kids in white uniforms were lined up in threes like us. They are accompanied by other children who wore a blue alma mater coat. They were across the street to us, so we might not passed the road with them.

“What’s that Mrs. Yati?,” asked Meddie to his teacher who happened to be walking beside him.

“Oh, that are new students doing orientation week, kid”, said Mrs. Yati.

Just when we were several few steps away from the new UB students group, suddenly one of them wearing an alma mater suit yelled, pointing us, the kindergarten children who wewe in walking on the streets session lesson.

pict by Denies Priantinah Senopranoto

My Mom’s Spell (Part Three)

Mrs. Tutik approached us with wide steps. Arriving in front of us, she cried fiercely.

“Who taught to sing like that?.”

We replied simultaneously, “Rudin, Mrs. Tutik.”

Mrs. Tutik pinched Rudin’s cheeck with exasperation. We did not understand why she get so angry. Rudin crying loudly. Mrs. Tutik seems to have lost patience.

“Who taught you to sing like that Rudin?.”

“Uncle Benny.”

“Who is Uncle Benny?.”

“My father’s brother.”

Mrs. Tutik sighed and then said, “It is, shut up!.” Rudin immediately stop crying. But inevitably he was sobbing too. This Rudin looeds miserable.

“Once again I hear you sing like that, you will be have my detention,” threatened Mrs. Tutik. Then Mrs. Tutik immediately turned and hurried back into the classroom. It looked Mrs. Yanizar, Mrs. Maryam Yusuf and Mrs. Yati welcome her. Apparently they’re want to discuss something.

After the departure of Mrs. Tutik from our front, Rudin startedcrying out loud again. He holded his cheek that had been pinched by Mrs. Tutik. We tried to calm Rudin and persuade hir to stop crying, but apparently we were less successful.

Vita ran from our presence and entered the classroom. Then she came back to us bringing in two pieces of cake of her school supplies. She exerted a piece to Rudin and eat the rest.

“Do not cry Rudin, eat the cake,” so said Vita.

Rudin stopped crying, he still short sobbing occasionally. He watched cake in his hands. But apparently Rudin yet tasteful meal. Cake, I thought. I draw near to Rudin and hoped he courage to share the cake with me.

“Let’s we play swing, Rudin,” I invited him. My eyes were not separated from the cake in Rudin hands.

Rudin shook his head slowly,

“Then, why don’t we play sliding,” I pleaded. Again. Rudin shook his head slowly.

After a long time passed and there was no sign that Rudin would share his cake, I immediately ran to my friends who were playing swinging. I play with them and forget Rudin’s cake.

The bell was pinged again by Mrs. Yanizar, that is to say, it’s time to get into the class back. Some children ran to class, which partly walked pretty slowly. I walked slowly toward the class. Wipe my left elbow with a grimace. Earlier I fell when playing chase with Joshua and Dewi.

I heard the sound of a child running behind. Then the noise stops right side. It happened that he was Rudi Siswandaru. He asked me,

“Mit, Why?.”

“Falling,” I replied shortly.

“Oh,” that was all out of the Rudi’s mouth. Then he running returned to class sticks.

Class was so quiet. I sat in my seat as usual. My seat was green. As usual these days anyway, I sat next to Dewi and Siska. That day Siska had ponytail her hair. Not braided as usual. Her attitude was still bitchy and like pinching. I do not like Siska’s pinched. Sore.

Mrs. Yati distributed colorful carton paper to all of the students. The carton were so width. Then it was my turn to get a piece of carton from Mrs. Yati. She gave me a piece of white cardboard. Actually I wanted to get a red or green carton. But I did not dare to protest to the teacher.

“Children,” said Mrs. Yati to the class, “I will share scissors to you all, I ask you to use it with caution, I did not want anything to be hurt,” said Mrs. Yati.

“Got kids?,”

“Understand Mrs. Yati,” I cried together with all my friends.

(to be continued)

photograph by Astungkara Wiguna

My Mom’s Spell (Part Two)

Vita and Tina seems to have tired of climbing. They descend from the climbing frame with sweat drenching their forehead. Then they sat down on the grass near the climbing frame and talk. I and Joshua joined sitting on the grass listening to their chatter.

“Let’s sing Tin?”, bargain Vita to Tina.

“Come on” replied Tina and Joshua together. I smiled just beside them. I scrathed my hair that did not itch.

“Tell me O carpenter

How do you hit a hammer?

See see my son

Here’s how to hit the hammer “

“Knock knock”, so said Joshua imitate the movement of people who are hammering nails.

Suddenly Rudin moved quickly down from the top of the climbing frame. He joined us in haste. I did not know what he wanted. Olala, … he apparently also wanted to sing. Soon he issued a shrill voice. Here’s singing.

“Tell me, O father’s mother

How do you make me?

See see my son

Here’s how to make you “

We burst out laughing. It was great to listen to songs that taught by the teacher could be modified a little bit. We all stood with enthusiasm and began to sing out loud.

“Tell me, O father’s mother

How do you make me?

See see my son

Here’s how to make you “

Our boisterous singing so that Dewi and Siska which were playing a round stopped playing and came join us.

Some teachers seem peered into their classroom door. Apparently they were confused with the hubbub caused by our singing.

Mrs. Tutik came toward us who are singing near the climbing frame. Strapping pace and in a hurry. We continue to sing.

“Tell me, O father’s mother

How do you make me?

See see my son

Here’s how to make you “

(to be continued)

photograph by Astungkara Wiguna