We had a small party last night at our apartment. So many things to be celebrated. First, we partied to celebrate the birthday of our good friend, Gilang. He turns 19 (yea, so he is two years older than me…LoL). Gilang is our fellow Indonesian, an undergraduate student here at NIU.
Second, yesterday was the last day of school before the spring break. We have a one-week break, no classes, no readings…yay! Well, at least that’s the impression we have about the spring break…in fact I have a lot of readings to catch up with and other obligations. However, the first half of the semester went rather well, so we deserve a party…:-).
Third, two of our good friends just received very good news. My American friend, Jake, has been admitted to the Ph.D program in Political Science at Emory University in Atlanta. By May he will complete his Master’s program here and move to Atlanta to study. We are so happy for him.
He is also accepted by University of California at Irvine. Both universities flew him to their campuses last week, apparently hoping that he decides to join either one of them. Jake told us that UC Irvine is beautifully located near the beach so he could see dolphins. The idea of studying at such a beautiful campus is really tempting. He told us that if he has to study for five or six more years somewhere, he wants to make sure that the campus has all the reasons that will make him stay. He has a hard decision to make in the next few days, but I am pretty sure that he will decide to go to Emory. There is a well-known Thai expert at Emory. Jake is really into Thai studies, he speaks and writes Thai language like a native. He spent one full year in Thailand when he was in high school.
Another good news came from Ali, my fellow Fulbrighter from Indonesia (Lombok) who is also studying here. Ali has been accepted to the Ph.D program in Department of Education at our campus. Great! He received an informal confirmation from the Department of Education where he is now pursuing his Master’s degree. Like Jake, Ali will obtain his Master’s degree in May.
The thing is he has to wait until the formal acceptance letter comes out. By that time he will find out whether the admission to the Ph.D program also includes an assistantship/scholarship from his Department. The chance is there that he will get the assistantship. If not, he has to try hard to apply a scholarship from other sources within our campus since Fulbright only pays for his Master study. I hope he will get the scholarship to continue his study, he is such a good student. Personally, I feel that Ali is the most humble friend I have ever had. So, for all the good reasons I hope he will stay with us in Dekalb for the years to come. And we hope his wife and daughter will soon join us here too…
Our Indonesian, Malaysian, American and Canadian friends showed up last night. A friend brought the karaoke, so we had a singing contest: Dekalb Corn Idol…:-). It was fun, we shared good laughs. We had good foods, good friends, and a very good time.