“A man’s bookcase
will tell you everything you’ll ever need to know about him.”
Since it is nearly impossible for me to show my bookcase in details, I’d like to elaborate some samples of what’s on my bookcase. And I will let those books to speak about me. ^_^
The first one is Babad Tanah Jawi, or The History of The Land of Java. By looking at this book’s title, I am sure you bet me that I am a Javanese, don’t you? Do you want to know the truth? Infact, indeed, I am a Javanese, a truly Javanese, haha. Both my parents were Javanese. My four grandparents were Javanese aswell.
I was born in 1987. Twenty eight my age, somebody said (Vickinisasi, ed.). I was born in Magelang. Do you know where Magelang is? I’ll give you options just like in Duel Otak (^_^).
A. East Java;
C. Central Java;
D. None of these above.
Which one do you choose?
But, before I give the answer for this one, I’ll ask one more question. Do you know Borobudur Temple? In which Province is it located? Some people said Borobudur is in Jogja. Which is wrong. My childhood home, or my parent’s house was only 3 kms from Borobudur Temple. It was in Magelang, Central Java. So if you said Jogja, then you are not only wrong in the matter of city but also in the matter of province. Just like Bali, everybody knows Bali but not everyone knows where Indonesia is. That’s just ironic I think.
Speaking about location, I used to play around the temple. I was grown up in all Javanese village ambiences and cultures. Javanese is my mother tongue, which means I speak 3 languages since Javanese consist of three levels called Krama Inggil (high honorific), Ngoko Andap (medium), and Ngoko (low). Most of them are totally different words. Also, I still could write and read the Javanese script or the Javanese letters, called Hanacaraka. Whereas I began to learn Bahasa when I entered Elementary School or at 7 years old. How about English? That was the worse one: I had not known any single English word until I studied at Junior High School. And other than a book template sentence: “Hi, I want to introduce myself, my name is Darmawan”, I could not say anything in English. At that time, Javanese language was still used dominantly. We just spoke Bahasa in the class, to the teachers, not to friends. English? It would be only spoken in an English Class. If the teacher asked to do so. That was about my background.
The second book is this one: Intermediate Accounting by Kieso, Weygandt, and Warfield. For you who have an accounting background, I believe you have been familiar with this book. It is sort of one of the Bible for Accounting Student. This is only volume 1, surely there is another volume, which is volume 2, with the pretty same thickness. And this is only Intermediate, obviously there are Principle level and Advance level with the more or less have a same appearance. Heavy, thick, and boring sometimes. Not sometimes, but most of the time, to be more precise. Unfortunately, those heavy-thick-and-boring stuff is my world now. I am a lecturer in Accounting. So, this book is merely my main reference in the class. I’ve got a great interest in Accounting, either Financial or Public Sector and Taxation. So if you are eager to discuss more about accounting and tax, I could be your serious partner then. Special price for ToastMaster member. Haha. No, I just love to share everything that I know. Especially if it is a complex subject to discuss, or a most difficult concept to grasp. I like explaining it in a simple way. As simple as possible. It is really challenging for me. As a teacher, my greatest satisfaction was when the students nodding after my explanation. More over, if they combined it by said “Oooo…”, and their two eyeballs became bug-eyed, their eyes were wide open, and big smile on their faces. It’s just wow? I was over the moon! I just felt like having a… climax…as a teacher. Although, after the exams, when I graded them, their answer sheets just made me misty eyed. What kind of marks are these? What kind of numbers are these? Are these their parent’s age? 45? 56? Or even their age themselves? 21, 23, 19? I can’t believe it. Then I started to questioning, “Did they really understand when they nodded and said ‘Oooo’ in the class?”. At the end of the day, after much contemplation, I realised that it is just such a wonderful life of a teacher.
For the last book, it is still my future dream. Entrepreneurship. As I said before, I enjoy teaching. But, I still miss something in my life. I haven’t got real world business experience. This lack of experience just makes me feel like an incomplete person. I tell something that I only knew from the books, from other’s experiences, not from my own. On the other side, one day I’d got somebody sharing about his business to me, consulting his company’s problems. I am sure that with all the knowledge that I have, I could help him to be better. I could be a problem solver by mixing the theory from the books and the cases in real business. However, if I only stand in front of the classes, that will be only my forever dream. I need to go out, to explore this wild world. I want to be a business consultant. Running my own consultant company which will focus helping SMEs in Indonesia. That’s why in the near future, I have a dream to pursue an MBA overseas. I hope that it will become true pretty soon. Please say Amin for me.
To sum up, those three books represent my life from the past, the present, and the prospective future. I trust that you’ve already known me better by knowing what I read, because a man’s bookcase will tell you everything you’ll ever need to know about him.
This writing was originally the draft of my first speech at Jakarta Toastmaster Club: “The Ice Breaker”, on December 7th, 2015. As a lucky beginner, i was chosen as the best speaker at that meeting. After several adjustments, i posted it here.