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March 28, 2016

Book Review : Eleanor and Park


eleanor and park by rainbow rowell

The story is set around 1980s with Eleanor and Park as the main characters (of course they are). Eleanor is a quite unfortunate girl with big red hair and likes to dress in menswear.  Her life is a tough one. She shares a tiny house with 4 younger siblings, her mother, and an abusive step father that treat his family badly (how can a father calls his daughter a cunt?). She's also been bullied for the rest of her life because of her overweight body and physical appearance. Despite her horrible life, she finally find something that at least brighten up her days.

Her meeting with  Park Sheridan on the school bus is a life changing experience. Park is half-korean and unlike Eleanor, his life is more normal compare to hers. He comes from middle-class family just like the rest of the community in his neighborhood. He lives close to Eleanor's house with a veteran father, korean mom, and younger brother named Josh. Although it may seems that Park has a normal life, in fact, He struggles with the acceptance of his father. He feels like an outsider inside his own family. Park doesn't share a mutual interest with both of his father and Josh, instead He's only interested in comic and music.


The love between them sparks when Park gives a sit to Eleanor on the bus. At first they sit silently, no talk. Park actually cannot stand in this situation as they sit together almost everyday. He feels like he has to say something, like hello or something, but in the end they just keep quite. However, Park suddenly notice that Eleanor likes starring at his comic. They both develop their relationship since then.

Rowell gives the narrative from two different point of view, so we are able to see what Eleanor and Park think in the same scene. Unlike any other romance novels that emphasize only from one perspective. I am actually a fond of this type of narrative because it gives me feeling like I am inside the character's mind. Also, Rowell tells a very very realistic story!! She describes every events in a natural way. She puts word by word beautifully. This is why everyone who has read feels like they can personally relate to this book so much. And since it's about teenage life, it will inevitably bring our youth memory back. Like John Green said, "Eleanor and Park reminded me not just what it's like to be young and in love with a girl, but also what it's like to be young and in love with a book."

eleanor and park quote
my favorite part!

Truthfully I only enjoy the first half of this book despite the fact that their romance is heartwarming. As much as the conflict is emerged, the ambience gets darker. From an awkward conversartion, confessing each other's feeling to emotionally abusive relationship between a father and a daughter. Somehow it can be stressful and even worse I get annoyed by Eleanor. It's tiring to see her grievance as if she is the weakest person in the entire world.

All in all, this is still worth to read and even this book is going to be filmed. I give 5 stars to the beautiful writing but only 3 for the development of the characters.

March 9, 2016

Kerja, Kerja, Kerja


Ada pengalaman unik saat melakukan interview kemarin. Salah satu dari dua orang pewawancara bertanya tentang tugas akhir saya.

P : (sambil membaca cv saya) tugas akhir kamu itu tentang....
S : tentang rute sepeda 

Sesaat setelah mendengar jawaban saya, raut wajah pewawancarapun berubah seperti ingin tertawa tapi ditahan. Kedua pewawancara saling pandang dengan ekspresi spontan yang sama. Ekspresi tersebut seakan mengatakan

"what? rute sepeda?"
"ngapain bahas gituan buat skripsi?"
"emang ada gunanya?"

Kemudian sang pewawancara bertanya kembali, "Nanti tesisnya mau tentang apa?" dengan mantap saya menjawab bahwa saya akan melakukan penelitian tentang ojek daring yang sekarang lagi ngetren. Tanpa berkomentar, ekspresi yang sama seperti pertanyaan sebelumnyapun keluar dari pewawancara.

Mungkin terbilang aneh, tapi saya memang sempat terpikir untuk mengambil tema tersebut. Saya mau melihat perubahan pola travel behavior dari pengguna jasa tersebut, walaupun sebenarnya belum yakin juga sih. Ada beberapa topik lain yang sepertinya lebih menarik untuk dibahas.

Diakhir wawancara sayapun sempat merasa terintimidasi dengan dua pertanyaan tersebut. Tapi mungkin mereka tidak tahu bahwa sesungguhnya;

- At least, skripsi saya tidak menjadi onggokan kumpulan kertas berdebu di perpustakaan. Data dari skripsi rute sepeda tersebut dijadikan data rujukan untuk pengembangan stasiun bike sharing yang sedang dilakukan oleh pemkot Bandung dan salah satu komunitas sepeda di Bandung. Sayapun sempat terlibat dalam timnya walaupun hanya sebentar (cuma ngejelasin datanya haha tapi lumayan lah)

- Mahasiswa dari jurusan desain mengontak saya dan menanyakan kelanjutan dari penelitian tersebut. Dia mau menggunakan data saya untuk keperluan skripsinya. Katanya mau ngedesain stasiun sepeda dari data tersebut. (terharu ternyata ada sedikit manfaat dari pembuatan skripsi yang bikin nangis darah)

- Bahkan kota New Yorkpun sudah memiliki penelitian mengenai dampak Uber (sama lah ya konsepnya kaya ojek daring). Hasilnya ? Adanya Uber memiliki potensi menambah polusi dan merusak lingkungan. Jadi, penelitian mengenai ojek daring ga salah kan ?

Tapi apakah saya harus menjelaskan hal itu semua ? Rasanya tidak. Adakalanya hal seperti ini tidak perlu dijawab dengan panjang lebar dan tidak perlu juga dijadikan alasan untuk rendah diri. Kalau kata Jokowi sih, kerja, kerja, kerja. Only action can prove that you're worth it.