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.

Mrs. Indra’s Angerness (Part Three)

In the fourth grade, we started getting Book Keeping and Trade Calculating lessons. The teachers is Mr. Isgianto. We call him Mr. Is only. I was starting felt a difficulties about this lesson. Whereas my math’s mark was always great indeed. I was usually confused to distinguish between Debit and Credit. Usually I made mistakes when I load Debit and Credit columns. Every time when getting Book Keeping and Trade Calculating lesson, we always calculate profit and loss balance point of Stall “Somewhat” and Shop “That” with Mr. Isgianto. Complete with it’s ledgers and journals as well.

Anyway, science lesson was split into two. Namely Phisics with Mrs. Fauziah and Biology with Mr. Wartono. Mr. Wartono was very patient when teaching, we all take seriously when he was teaching. We also started to memorize the Carolus Linnaeus’s Binomial Nomenclature at this time. I love this lesson. I always remember that the Latin name for teak tree is Tectona grandis, and the Latin name for the protected Sumatran tiger is Panthera tigris sumatrae.

I also remember that Mr. Wartono said that the Latin name for domestic cats are Felis domesticus. I had asked Mr. Wartono on the Latin name for the chicken. He replied that the it was Gallus domesticus. I am easily memorize the Latin names for the Animal Kingdom and the Plantae Kingdom with this Mr. Wartono. I liked him very much. Biology always amusing indeed.

Above all, we also get English lessons starting from this fourth grade. We were taught by Mrs. Indrawati. We called her Mrs. Indra. She was my favorite teacher besides Mrs. Etty Ratnawaty, my homeroom teacher on second grade. She was similar to Mrs. Etty in terms of rigor and discipline. Our lessons were very enjoyable. Like the kindergarten children, Mrs. Indra taught us to sing a few children’s songs of. The difference was, now we sing in English instead of Bahasa.

When taught names of the day in English, Mrs. Indra taught us to sing like this,

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday
Wednesday and Thursday,
Friday, Saturday
Oh, those are the days of the week.

photograph by Astungkara Wiguna

Mrs. Indra’s Angerness (Part One)

Chapter VI

Mrs. Indra’s Angerness

As I told you before, in this the second grade, we moved to Jalan Magelang number four.It was still inside Malang Teachers’ Training College’s complex. Neighborhood the school was campus campus and college’s staff housing of Malang Teachers’ Training College. Stepping on the second grade, I became an avid reader because we had a library in this school’s local. There is no library on our previous school’s local on Simpang Bogor Street.

Our school’s library were very spacious and comfortable. It was filled with hundreds of titles. Start from scientific books to fiction’s books. Of course that was suitable for our age, the students here. Because of our library was large enough, then the school puts three librarian there. They were Mrs. Darti, Mr. Gatot and Mr. Sa’ie. Mr. Sa’ie was placed as a school library clerk after graduating his education which equivalent to D-II, if I was not wrong. D-II in Indonesia’s diploma school is taken over two years. He is no longer a school janitor as before. Yes, Mr. Sa’ie was a school janitor before gaduated from his diploma.

Every time we borrowed a library book, then we are required by the school library to collect a synopsis of the book that we have read. Therefore, in addition to having a notebook to attend the daily lessons, we also have a notebook to make a synopsis for reading books’ activity on the library. Should we collected it’s synopsis when we returned the books we had borrowed. If we failed to collect a synopsis of the book we had read, we were not allowed to borrow more books.

I’d always been the first champion or rank on the library’s books reading from first entered the second grade at this school’s complex at Magelang Street number four and got to know the school’s library, to graduate school in the eighth grade later. Other generation or lifting might be had alternated champion’s reading quarterly or semester, but especially for my lifting, I was the one who had always been a first champion for books reading’s activity on the library. But, I had only twice perceived to be the first rank or champion in the class. Once when with Mrs. Etty in second grade, and once another at the fourth grade when Mr. Kanang become my homeroom teacher.

Pict had given by my friend

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 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)

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

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

Enemy Force’s Sudden Attact (Part One)

Chapter III

Enemy Force’s Sudden Attact

As the months passed after my first day of school. I enjoyed my school, my teacher friendliness, and joy to play with my friends. I’ve forgotten my desire to be a crushed gauge driver. However, how dashing were that profession. Back and forth running the cylinder hardening the street.

That time was the rainy season. Some of my friends wear jackets, some wearing sweater for warmth. At that time the city of Malang was still relatively so cold compared with other tropical town. It placed on mountain area. Often I saw the mist when went to school with Mas Tahal.

The atmosphere in the classroom was so glum. Some of my friends sneezing due to colds. The rainy season was so cold this time. We had all frozen in the classroom. In the gloomy atmosphere, suddenly Mrs. Tutik shouted.

“Small zero and big zero”.

We were all ready to listen to the next command from Mrs. Tutik. At the other end of the class seemed Mrs. Yati stood with folded hands which were frozen from the cold. I wore my mother had made knitted sweaters.

“Hands up”. We lift up the hands as Mrs. Tutik demanded. “Hands to the side”. We stretched out our arms to the side of the body, cold burst in my armpits. “Hands forward”, Mrs. Tutik continue. We all were pursuanted to. “Sitting sweet”, and that were her end series of commands. We folded hands on a bench right in front of our chest. We want to know what the next teacher wanted to us.

“Who wants to sing in front of the class?,” pleaded Mrs. Tutik next. We all froze on the bench. Of course we were embarrassed to get this kind of offering by our teacher.

“Did we both have taught enough song to you children?,” said Mrs. Yati. We all, zero small and big zero classes did not dare to move from where we were sitting. Mrs. Yati and Mrs. Tutik has much to teach the song to us. Among them is the “The Rainbow”, “The Fire Ship”, “Riding The Train”, and many more. Especially written by AT Mahmud and Mrs. Sud. The well known children song writer in Indonesia. But singing alone in front of the class was a different matter.

“If no one feel pursuant to sing on front of the class, I will point one of you, children”, said Mrs. Tutik. We were increasingly freezing and fear about.

“Well, I will point one of you then,” said Mrs. Tutik.

“Okay Vita, move forward on front of the class.”

Vita who did not imagine she was going to be called by Mrs. Tutik looked very surprised. Her cheeks flushed like boiled shrimp. Slowly she stood and shuffled forward on front of the class to follow order of Mrs. Tutik. She took place beside Mrs. Tutik.

“What is the song you want to sing, sweety?,” asked Mrs. Yati precede her colleagues.

“The Fire Ship”, Vita said hoarsely.

“Please Vita”, Mrs. Tutik commanded.

Vita sang “The Fire Ship” with timid voice. Her eyes wander sweep the walls of the classroom. She did not dare to look into the eyes of friends who watch in front of her.

“Look at a distant point on the high seas

Increasingly clear shape apparently.

That steamer sailing

White smoke is billowing on the air “

Vitariana has completed the song on front of the class succesfully. Mrs. Tutik asked the audience to clap along. Mrs. Yati looked clapped excitedly. The atmosphere began to change excited. This time Mrs. Yati turned raise voices.

I immediately raised my hand high on the air. I wanted to receive the applause of the class such as Vita. This time I was going to sing a song that had never been taught by our teacher in our classroom. Apparently I would get more lively applause than Vita had. Lest I would even get a magnificent standing ovation.

“Yes Mimit, move forward,” cried Mrs. Tuti with a friendly smile.

“What song are you want to sing , Mit,?” asked Mrs. Tutik.

“Brushing Teeth”, I replied simply. I actually did not know what was the title of the song.

Mrs. Tutik exchanged glances with Mrs. Yati. They had never heard the title of that song before. Moreover had taught the song to their kindegarten students. Their faces looked confused. Similarlywith all my friends, they were equally confused as both of my teacher.

(to be continued)

photograph by Denies Prihantinah Senopranoto

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