Every now and then I got reminded how lucky I have been. Yesterday, as I dug into my files I came across my photos collection. It triggered my memory to one of those luckiest moments in 2012 when I got a chance to visit so many interesting places in the US as part of International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). I got the program on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, so I got great opportunities to learn how STEM education are done in the US.
Within 6 weeks I visited Washington D.C., Boston, Chicago, and San Fransisco.At that time, I was so overwhelmed with all the experience so I did not immediately write it down. So bad of me 😦
I tried to recollect those memories. For Boston, it was quite easy since I still remembered the thrilled and excitement that I felt when we visited Faculty of Engineering at Massachuset Institute of Technology. Yes, MIT! During my studies I read a lot of publication from professors at MIT. So, it was a real thrill to see the place and feel the atmosphere.
Entering the building
We talked to the Dean of Faculty of Engineering who told us how MIT tried to strengthen STEM education. Then we also met Prof. Cynthia Barrar. It was pretty fascinating to me to hear how at MIT they tried to encourage more women academics. According to her, women lecturer were given longer period to get their tenure so these staffs have options to pursue their career and to also raise a family. Though, facing different rules in Indonesia, her words at least give me assurance that being a good a lecturer and a mother at the same time are not mutually exclusive. Then we moved on to the Boston…
We also had a chance to roam around Boston market. The last piece of memory was when we walked around Boston Memorial..it was a bright autumn/spring afternoon. Cherry Blossoms started blooming while some trees were still in autumn leaves. What a memory.
Once upon a time in 2012, I got an opportunity to visit Chicago as part of International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). During our free time we were taken for a Chicago Architectural Boat Tour, which enables us to admire Chicago’s architecture.
We set off from Navy Pier, which offer great view.
Chicago Navy Pier
And here are the building and architecture pictures. The tour guide explained each famous building and land mark, but I was too busy taking pictures so I did not remember any of it.
All these pictures were taken with my old Sony Cybershot digital camera. Looking at the pictures again, the neck pain that I got after looking up to take them is all worth it.
Ahead of Oscar 2014 which will be held in a few hours, the cable TV showed some of the Best Movies from the Oscar last year. This has enabled me to watch Lincoln for the second time. What? Only the second? Considering how I love Daniel Day-Lewis, it is a surprise to me too 😀
If on the first viewing I focused more on how DD-L totally immersed into the role (as always!) this time around I enjoyed the movie as a whole. The story itself is quite heavy for me because obviously I am not familiar with the history of that period. But, the fact that the movie can turn such heavy subject into something interesting was really good. The movie can make the politics and lobbying for votes as gripping as an action movie is really awesome.
Of course nothing is more central than the man himself. Watching this movie I really got to see the characters of a great leader.
Here are some that I noted:
Clearly some of the great leaders of our time will envision great things beyond their time.
Great Communicator and Mover
Lincoln can articulate his idea well and thus moved people to follow him.
I got to see his visionary thinking and some of his ideas written in Lincoln memorial.
I also visited a house where Lincoln slept in 1856 in Sterling Illinois.
Great sense of humor
The movie also portray Lincoln as someone with a great sense of humor. I particularly loved the scene where he told a story of why the British like to hang a picture of George Washington in their bathroom.
One of the best things about traveling to a new place is that you can get a lot of surprises. That’s exactly how I felt during my visit to Chicago, United States. Prior to my visit I heard Chicago as Windy City. I was also quite familiar with the city because of Michael Jordan played for the Chicago Bulls. Then, during several meetings that I had in Washington D.C. a couple of people praised Chicago as a very nice city. It’s hip and cultural they say. Well, it was hip indeed.
With that in my mind, I was pleasantly surprised as I strolled a long the busy pedestrian walk a long the city to see so many colorful Tulips in full bloom! Yes, TULIPS 🙂 yeah, we all know that Tulips are the national flower of the Netherlands. And I have seen a lot of Tulips in England. But, never in such coordinated fashion as those that I saw a long the road in Chicago.
Check these out and judge for yourself. Aren’t they gorgeous!!!
As a person who comes from a tropical country like Indonesia, where there are only dry and rainy season, Spring is always very interesting. When I was studying in England, I always love Spring. The temperature is getting warmer, the bulb starts to grow and the flowers start to bloom.
I am fortunate enough to be able to experience Spring again here in Washington D.C. Hmmm, technically I also spent a day of Spring in Japan. Unfortunately, in both places I missed one of the mosty famous spring flower: the Cherry Blossom or Sakura. Yup, I was too early to see it in Japan – they say this year the Sakura is late to bloom. But, here in Washington D.C., I was late 😦 The Cherry Blossom festival, which I can only imagine the beauty have passed.
Any ways, there are still a few cherry blossom here and there…And there are still plenty of color.