A Writing on Istano Basa Pagaruyuang – Minangkabau

Pengabdian pada Masyarakat 2016
Pengabdian pada Masyarakat 2016

I still remember when I for the first time came to see a traditional house of Minangkabau tribe in the West Sumatera province of Indonesia.  People of Minangkabau tribe used to call their traditional house as Rumah Gadang, which means a Big House. The one that I visited when I was ten years old was known as Istano Basa Pagaruyuang, or Minangkabau people call it as the Palace of Pagaruyuang Kingdom. When I was a kid, I admired how the house was constructed. Even today, after I went together with my students to see the house for the second time, my salutation for the architecture of the palace is still there. Perhaps, by understanding the rich historical context and how the palace came into being, we can find it as one of the wanderers of the world?

On April 30, 2016, my students and I, along with other ten colleagues from STKIP PGRI Sumatera Barat, went to the Istano Basa Pagaruyuang in Batusangkar to have a Study Tour. As I teach English writing to the students registered in 2015 academic year, I thought that it might be a wiser idea to have a field trip and study course to one of the historical and cultural sites in the province of West Sumatera. We decided to go to Pagaruyuang because of its richness on cultural heritage.

For about 161 students joined the event and eleven colleagues joined as well. When we arrived there, we felt great to see it. The air at that time was good. The sun shone brightly although three hours later rain fell, no more than twenty minutes, the rain stopped. We started our trip at 8.30 am and we finished at 8.30 pm. All students came home safely. At last, the event was ended successfully. Although few people viewed it from different lenses, however, against all odds, this study tour for the students is worth doing in the upcoming years. Maybe, the students want to go to some other good places, why not?

(This note is written as the expression of my thank-you to all students of 2015 academic years and seniors who repeat the Writing 1 course. To Sesmiyanti, Belinda Analido, Edwar Kemal, Okri Ronaldo, Ahmad Nusi, Herfyna Asty, Siska, Hevriani Sevrika, and bu Riny D Sani, thank you very much for all your support. On top of that, I also thank bu Armilia Riza as the Chair of English Education Study Program for the support and encouragement for me and the students)


For students who will write about Istano Basa Pagaruyuang, please download the file by clicking this link: Template Final Project Istana Pagaruyung .doc

Edwardsville – Glen Carbon, Illinois, the United States

Edwardsville-Glen Carbon in Illinois, the United States

Life in Edwardsville – Glen Carbon, Illinois, the United States:

First of all, this post is not intended or even created as a tourist guide. This post is written as a way for me to express what I thought about Edwardsville and Glen-Carbon in the United States. There might be some other good places in the United States, but, since I am only a student here; therefore, this is what I could tell so far from what I see and from what I read from the above magazine.

City of Edwardsville is the third old city in Illinois, a state in the United States. Based on the information written in the above magazine, this city was pioneered, or, let’s say, started by Bejamin Stephenson and Ninian Edwards from Kentucky. From 1809 until 1865, this city is becoming to be expanded. The name of Edwardsville is taken from the name of one of governors in Illinois. It was Edwards. “Edwards then served as governor of the state of Illinois from 1826 to 1830” (Price 6). He was the one who then influenced the naming of this city.

A remarkable historical data from this magazine indicates that several external factors had influenced the development of this city. One of the influences is from N. O. Nelson. “Around 1890, industrialist N.O. Nelson began a project of progressive vision and effective action that would forever enhance the fabric of Edwardsville” (Price 9). From that time until today, this city seems to develop in various ways. In the 20th century, as the information presented, there were a lot of business activities growing and expanding. This seems to make this city is going to be emerged in a lot of senses in the near future.

As someone who comes from outside Edwardsville, even from outside the United States, I view this city to be pretty and beautiful. I arrived in this city after “flying” for about five flights from Padang, Indonesia, to St. Louis, Missouri, at the end of August 2011. It was my first time to be on board internationally. Anyway, alhamdulillah, I arrived at my destination safely. At that time, it was at night. In the following day after my arrival, though I still had a jet-lag, I tried to see the scenery outside my apartment. Days and days have passed since that time and I am not bored. This city has something unique. Something which I could not know how to express it in words. For some people, it was common to go to crowded places, but, for me, having a nice and calm place to live is a big deal, especially I do realize that my purpose to come to the United States is to study.

In this city, there is a well-known university in which I am, at the time I write this post, studying at it. This university seems to bring a new notion and dynamics of this city. The university is known worldwide as SIUE. SIUE stands for Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. I am fortunate enough to be able to study at this university. From what I read in the website of SIUE, this university looks excellent. For sharing purposes, I copied the information about SIUE in the following quotation:

For the third consecutive year, SIUE is cited by its peers and reported in U.S.News & World Report Best Colleges of 2012 as an “up-and-coming school.” SIUE is listed as one of seven Midwestern regional universities—one of only three public institutions—for recently making “innovative changes in the areas of academics, faculty, student life, campus life and facilities.” The “up-and-coming” category includes a total listing of 46 colleges and universities (only 17 public institutions) throughout the country.

U.S.News & World Report Best Colleges of 2012 lists SIUE among the top 15 public universities in the best Regional Universities Midwest (master’s granting) category for the eighth consecutive year. The overall scores are based on the academic preparedness of students, graduation rates, faculty characteristics and the reputation of SIUE in higher education.

For the second consecutive year, Washington Monthly, a national magazine, ranks SIUE among the Top 50 master’s granting colleges and universities in the nation; SIUE is 13th among public institutions on that list. Ratings are based on institutions’ commitment to the public good in three broad categories: Social Mobility, Research and Service. Under the service category, SIUE was ranked first again in the percent of federal work study funds dedicated to students employed in community service programs. The University placed sixth in expenditures for research—up from eighth last year.

The Corporation for National and Community Service named SIUE to the annual President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the second consecutive year. The University is listed in the Distinction category for the first time. The list recognizes colleges and universities that demonstrate a commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.

The nationally recognized online news magazine, The Daily Beast, ranks SIUE 21st in the nation among its Top 50 Safest Colleges. SIUE police officers are academy trained and engaged in a Community Policing program. Under the SIUE Campus Violence Prevention Plan, there are more than 80 emergency phones on campus.

If you want to know more about SIUE, you can click this link. SIUE. (For SIUE, keep making great efforts! I am happy to be here in SIUE).

Well, as days gone by, and, again, at the time I write this post  and post this post in this blog, I have been staying in Edwardsville almost seven months, Edwardsville is still a nice place to stay and study, especially for me, someone who never went out to see the world through his own eyes. However, despite many beautiful places to see, the friendliness of the people in this city is the highest reason of why I would dare to say that this city is beautiful.


Syayid Sandi Sukandi (A graduate student at SIUE – wishing to continue his study further to Ph.D for his students)


Edwardsville and Some Miscellaneous Pictures of Nature (Fall 2011)

I have always loved nature and the beauty of it. Since I am studying in the United States, especially in SIUE, I found that some scenes of the nature around Edwardsville are somehow unique and interesting.

The standing tall trees with the cloudy sky


Trees and their "smile" to me
The Cougar Lake (Another side of beauty) But, is it human made? I am not sure..
The sun hiding in the cloudy sky looks shy to me
These geese lining up forming a friendship. It's interesting, isn't it? We should learn from them though ^_^
A house - it's a symbol of piece and silent to me. Oh, I really admire silent. Weird, huh?
A pattern of a tree - artistic dimension of how this tree is created. Amazing!
It's so peace and calm.. What a wonderful place to read books and write.. ^_^

Looking at how nature is formed naturally is always interesting to me. Well, I do not mean to say that life in big cities are not interesting but being in hectic situation, for me, is such a boring life. Now, I feel so peaceful and calm.

Well, I would love to see what are the pictures of the nature in Spring 2012. I can’t wait how does it look to be in Spring. For your information, all pictures above are taken in Edwardsville, Illinois, the United States.

Thanks for viewing! Have a great day!








Fulbright: Trip to French Colonial – Ste. Genevive

This trip was provided by Fulbright chapter in Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC) together with Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE). It was in October 8, 2011.

In front of historical house in St. Gnevive


Standing in a wall of historical house in St. Gnevive


Smile.. ^_^


Me and beautiful flowers


In front of a shop in St. Gnevive


In front of a shop in St. Gnevive


Me and Ruth Sumule. We are both Fulbrighters from Indonesia.
With Mas Tugi from Papua (Indonesia)



Smile in front of the bus of SIUC


On a ship to St. Gnevive


At the door of the office in St. Gnevive


The name of the place that I visit in 2011


Smile... ^_^


The leaflet about the trip


I like this piece of work hanging on that tree!


Want some ice cream?


One a ship to St. Gnevive


In a historical place in St. Gnevive


Smile... but feeling tired!


After the trip, end up in Chinese restaurant with friends


Thank you mas Tugi for your ride and Ruth Sumule for your help in taking my pictures!



Fulbright: The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri

Trip to The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri

Pictures taken in the Gateway Arch, St. Louis, Missouri

Inside the Gateway Arch (after 630 feet)
Before getting inside the building of the Gateway Arch
Welcome to the Gateway Arch in St. Louis
Welcome to the Gateway Arch - Jefferson National Expansion to the West
In front of the Gateway Arch, St. Louis
With Jaouad Naji (from Morrocco) and Jenje Olayhemmie (from Nigeria) in the Peak of the Gateway Arch 2011
Inside the Gateway Arch (at the Basemet) - From left to right: Jaouad Naji (from Morrocco), me, Jenje Olayhemmie and Kola Tubosun (from Nigeria). We are all Fulbrighters in SIUE!