Pesona Abadi Jakarta di Mata Pengangguran

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Ia baru saja lulus sekolah teknik menengah. Kepalanya gundul bak gundu. Rambut tak tersisa. Kulit gelap. Tingginya rata-rata. Wajahnya masih polos. Ah, aku terjebak menjelaskan anak itu seperti stereotip pemuda kampung yang baru masuk peradaban. Tapi begitulah anak itu terlihat sekilas. Tak banyak bicara. Entah karena malu atau segan atau acuh atau semuanya. Dialah salah satu warga baru ibukota tercinta. Anak itu adik penunggu kos. Ia sengaja ikut ke Jakarta setelah lulus sekolah di Gombong, Kebumen. Hari-hari berikutnya kulihat ia sibuk memasukkan lamaran dibantu sang kakak yang juga pontang panting mencarikan lowongan kerja. Sempat kudengar kata ‘Cikarang’ ,sebuah kawasan industri tampaknya. Aku juga tak paham benar. Ia baru saja melamar di sana dan ditolak. Alasan? Mungkin karena mereka mencari yang penampilannya lebih resik,kata kakaknya blak-blakan. Tetangga kampung datang berkunjung dan ikut berbincang membahas kegagalannya menembus ujian wawancara kerja. “Makanya kalau punya luka mending ditunggu aja mpe kering,” kata si tetangga nimbrung ikut menghakimi si pemuda malang. Wajahnya ada luka dan anak itu gatal ingin mengelupas bekas luka yang sudah agak mengering. Ternyata belum sembuh benar. Dan alhasil terlihat lebih merah dan menjijikkan. Pantas saja ditolak. Malamnya kusadari anak itu tak sendirian. Tak kurang 3 orang menanyakan lowongan kerja padaku di Facebook. Mereka rata-rata fresh graduate. Ada yang berkeluh kesah cemas jika ijasahnya tak diterima bekerja. Ada yang sedang bekerja mengetik siang malam jaga warnet dan sudah mati bosan di sana ingin pekerjaan baru. Dan ada teman SMA yang beranak dua dan akan memiliki satu bayi lagi tetapi mengaku menganggur. Ia membombardirku dengan banyak pertanyaan di facebook messenger lalu meminta nomor ponsel dan sesi pertanyaan dan jawaban berlanjut via pesan pendek. Sejumlah pertanyaan tentang prospek dan gaji ia ajukan secara agresif. Aku hafal tipe orang seperti ini. Mereka berputar putar hingga satu saat terkuak pula tujuan utamanya. Ternyata itu untuk menanyakan tawaran kerja yang diberikan pada saudaranya. Entah benar atau tidak. Kujawab sekadarnya. Aku tak pernah merasa wajib menolong orang orang seperti ini dengan sepenuh hati. Mereka penuh agenda tersembunyi. Dan itu memuakkan. Kujawab sekenanya saja agar ia cepat puas dan selesai percakapan itu segera. Kembali lagi pada para penganggur ini. Aku cuma ingin memberikan simpatiku yang terdalam dan mendoakan agar mereka jangan sampai cepat menyerah. I can feel you, folks.

Bencana, Ada tuk Ingatkan Mereka yang Lupa

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Tak ada yang menyukai suasana rumah sakit, termasuk aku. Tetapi malam itu aku menemukan diriku tergeletak di sebuah tempat berseprai putih dengan pencahayaan yang bahkan remang-remang untuk ukuran sebuah fasilitas umum.

Beberapa orang tengah berbicara saat aku terbangun. Aku tak tahu apa yang mereka bicarakan karena otakku sibuk merekonstruksi kejadian sebelum aku tergolek tak berdaya di rumah sakit ini.

Sore itu aku hanya ingat akan pulang ke kota asal dari Rembang dengan menaiki bus bersama paman dan saudara perempuan dan sepupu. Aku tak tahu nasib mereka.

Sesaat aku mencoba membangkitkan kesadaran di sekujur tubuh. Entah karena tertidur atau pingsan, aku baru sadar pada malam hari, dengan kaki kanan terbalut perban dan dikokohkan dengan papan. Kakiku patah. Tepatnya tulang paha kanan. Mungkin akibat terjepit jok bus yang terguling menghantam pohon akibat menghindari pengendara motor sore naas itu.

Sebagai seorang anak sekolah dasar kelas 5, yang terpikirkan olehku saat mengetahui kenyataan pahit itu adalah bagaimana aku menghadapi dunia setelah itu. Aku bayangkan harus pindah ke sekolah luar biasa karena kakiku sudah cacat. Saat itu aku belum tahu bahwa patah tulang ini bisa disembuhkan. Jadi imajinasiku membuatku merancang rencana antisipatif yang lumayan aneh.

Tak ada harapan untuk berjalan normal lagi, pikirku dengan pedih. Aku hanya bisa memandang pilu. Dan berkat pilu itu, aku bahkan tak sadar serpihan kaca jendela bus menancap di punggung ini. Seharusnya aku bisa merasakan tajamnya kaca yang menyanyat tubuh, tetapi ternyata kepiluan akan nasib kaki itu menyedot semua kesadaran di ragaku. Akhirnya aku kembali tertidur. Berharap semua baik-baik saja setelah terbangun.

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Pengalaman naas itu memang belum sepenuhnya hilang dari ingatan. Dan aku patut bersyukur karena itu. Bersyukur karena banyak hal, misalnya karena kaca itu menancap di punggung, bukan di nadi tanganku atau di leher atau di mataku atau di dada; karena aku masih tertidur saat kecelakaan itu,tidak dalam keadaan terjaga dan menyaksikan orang lain terluka dan mengalami kesakitan. Belum lagi karena aku masih diijinkan berjalan normal dan hidup.

Sebenarnya bukannya aku menyukai bencana, tetapi bencana terjadi dengan sebuah maksud. Dan sering bencana yang mengingatkan lebih diperlukan manusia daripada kenikmatan yang membuat lupa daratan.

Karena itulah, aku merasa doa manusia untuk dijauhkan dari bencana seperti kecelakaan lalu lintas, misalnya apa yang kualami dan apa yang baru-baru ini menimpa pesawat Sukhoi di Cijeruk Gunung Salak itu, terdengar konyol. “..Berdoa agar kecelakaan seperti itu tidak terulang kembali…”, begitu kata reporter TV. Naif sekali. Seperti doa seorang anak kecil yang sedang sakit yang ingin dokternya besok tak lagi memberinya obat yang pahit padahal tanpa obat itu justru ia lebih sukar sembuh.

Ah, itulah kenapa aku tak suka mendikte kehendak Tuhan melalui doa yang lebih mirip “wishlist” karena sering manusia tidak paham yang terbaik untuk dirinya. God knows best. Cukuplah kita menginginkan kehidupan yang selalu diberkatiNya. Detilnya? Jangan terlalu dipikirkan, asal akhirnya happy ending.

Menulis Lebih Giat dengan Instagram

Jumat (6 April) kemarin menjadi tonggak ‘bersejarah’ bagi pengguna handset Android yang sudah begitu lama menanti dengan sabar kelahiran Instagram for Android. Saya masih ingat pernah menulis tentang bakal datangnya Instagram di Android lebaran 2011 lalu dan baru sekarang terwujud. Sungguh penantian yang cukup lama.

Pertengahan tahun 2011 saya sempat saksikan pernyataan seorang geek di depan panggung acara publik yang dengan bangganya memproklamasikan kegandrungannya bermain Instagram sampai kuota Internet bulanannya habis sebelum batas waktu yang seharusnya. Ah, kupikir itu semacam kegilaan jejaring sosial layaknya Friendster pertama kali menyita perhatian kita dulu. Sayang aku tak begitu merasakan kegilaan berjejaring di Friendster.

Dalam 4 hari terhitung sejak mengunduh Instagram for Android Jumat pagi itu, aku sudah mencatatkan statistik: 57 foto, 10 pengikut,134 mengikuti.

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Dua teman pengguna Instagram yang kutemui saat social media course Januari kemarin yakni Babab Dito dan Nukman Luthfie. Mungkin bisa dikatakan mereka early adopter dan experienced user dalam hal Instagram. Babab Dito bahkan mengabadikan gambar-gambar dengan iPhonenya yang dilengkapi lensa makro tambahan dan sebuah tripod mini. Sementara om Nukman sangat konsisten mengunggah dan memamerkan jepretan candidnya yang bertema embun dan kopi. Ia bahkan sudah lupa memperbarui status Facebook dengan teks karena terlampau asyik mengunggah foto-foto via Instagram yang ia juga tautkan ke akun Twitter dan Facebooknya.

Untukku sendiri, Instagram lebih berguna sebagai pemicu inspirasi menulis. Memotret benda, orang, peristiwa yang sehari-hari bisa ditemui tetapi kita tak pernah cermati tiba-tiba menjadi amat mengasyikkan dan inspiratif karena bisa memicu aliran ide yang tak terbendung. Keinginan untuk menceritakan kisah di balik objek dalam gambar Instagram yang berefek menarik itu berhasil menjadi pelatuk yang memicu peluru kreativitas menulis kreatif dalam diriku.

Dan ini amat adiktif. Pertama, karena bisa dilakukan dalam perangkat, dan Instagram memang hanya bisa diakses via perangkat ponsel cerdas. Tak seperti Facebook dan Twitter, versi web Instagram tidak ada. Kupikir itu merupakan taktik nan jitu dari tim Instagram untuk cegah isu hak cipta dan pengunduhan tak berijin gambar yang sudah diunggah di dalamnya. Tapi tetap saja bisa dilihat dan diunduh via tautan yang ditampilkan di dinding Facebook dan linimasa Twitter.

Satu hal yang menggembirakan di Instagram ialah Instagram handle-ku yang lebih ringkas. Di jejaring sosial lain aku harus gunakan user name atau handle yang lebih panjang dengan menyertakan nama kedua. Tetapi di sini tidak. Handle @akhlis masih tersedia.

Begitulah pengalamanku beberapa hari ini bereksperimen dengan Instagram. Bagaimana denganmu?

6 Frequently Asked Questions about Phrases in English

Strong Island- the most annoying LI phrase!

I don’t know why I’ve lately received several questions related to English (again and again). Some are more inclined to teaching (which I almost know nothing of) ; whereas the rest are more of general English. But I’m absolutely pleased to share some key points anyone studying English out there. And tonight let’s talk about several basic questions related to phrases in English. Here we go.

 

Question 1: What is a phrase?
A phrase is a functional word group. This type of word group acts grammatically just as single  words do, serving as nouns and modifiers. They’re of the utmost importance in composition; no one can write well who can’t handle the various types of phrases and clauses.

A phrase is therefore a word group that does NOT contain a finite verb. In other words, a phrase is NOT limited as to number, person, or tense. Despite that, a phrase may have a nonfinite one which, in turn, may even have a subject and complement.

 

Question 2: How many types of phrases are there in English?
There’re actually 4 types of phrases. They’re prepositional, participial, infinitive, and gerundive. There’s also a verb phrase in fact. It’s a main verb plus one or more auxiliaries. A verb phrase, however, functions ONLY as a finite verb form and need not be included in this discussion. Yet we still need to know a little bit.

 

Question 3: What is a prepositional phrase?

A prepositional phrase consists of a preposition (of, to, by, in, and so on). The object may be a noun (with or without modifiers) or one of the other functional word groups acting as a noun.

We are in the house. ( in: preposition; the house: noun)

We were curious about what was said. (about: preposition; what was said: dependent clause)

He asked about how to get downtown. (about: preposition; how to get downtown infinitive phrase)

They approved of his going to college. (of: preposition; his going to college: gerundive phrase)

 

Question 4: What is a participial phrase?

A participial phrase comprises a participal, usually the present or the past, plus one or more words associated with it as modifiers or complement:

Tiptoeing past the sentry, they entered the castle. (Tiptoeing: participal;  past the sentry: modifier)

 

Question 5: What is an infinitive phrase?

An infinitive phrase is built around an infinitive, usually the present active form, plus one or more words, which may function as a subject of the infinitive, as a complement, or as a modifier.

They asked me to go. (me: subject of an infinitive phrase; to go: infinitive)

 

Question 6: What is a gerundive phrase?

It is a phrase that is constructed by a gerund (the -ing verbal acting as a noun) and other words. The other words may relate to the gerund as a subject, complement, or modifier.

The king’s abrupt dropping of Raleigh was no surprise.

(The king’s: subject;  abrupt: modifier;  dropping : gerund; of Raleigh: modifier)

 

(reference: The Oxford Guide to Writing by Thomas S. Kane)

The Mysterious Stranger (A Short Story by Mark Twain)

Once upon a time an artist who had painted a small and very beautiful picture placed it so that he could see it in the mirror. He said, “This doubles the distance and softens it, and it is twice as lovely as it was before.”

The animals out in the woods heard of this through the housecat, who was greatly admired by them because he was so learned, and so refined and civilized, and so polite and high-bred, and could tell them so much which they didn’t know before, and were not certain about afterward. They were much excited about this new piece of gossip, and they asked questions, so as to get at a full understanding of it. They asked what a picture was, and the cat explained.
“It is a flat thing,” he said; “wonderfully flat, marvelously flat, enchantingly flat and elegant. And, oh, so beautiful!”
That excited them almost to a frenzy, and they said they would give the world to see it. Then the bear asked:
“What is it that makes it so beautiful?”
“It is the looks of it,” said the cat.
This filled them with admiration and uncertainty, and they were more excited than ever. Then the cow asked:
“What is a mirror?”
“It is a hole in the wall,” said the cat. “You look in it, and there you see the picture, and it is so dainty and charming and ethereal and inspiring in its unimaginable beauty that your head turns round and round, and you almost swoon with ecstasy.”
The ass had not said anything as yet; he now began to throw doubts. He said there had never been anything as beautiful as this before, and probably wasn’t now. He said that when it took a whole basketful of sesquipedalian adjectives to whoop up a thing of beauty, it was time for suspicion.
It was easy to see that these doubts were having an effect upon the animals, so the cat went off offended. The subject was dropped for a couple of days, but in the meantime curiosity was taking a fresh start, aid there was a revival of interest perceptible. Then the animals assailed the ass for spoiling what could possibly have been a pleasure to them, on a mere suspicion that the picture was not beautiful, without any evidence that such was the case. The ass was not, troubled; he was calm, and said there was one way to find out who was in the right, himself or the cat: he would go and look in that hole, and come back and tell what he found there. The animals felt relieved and grateful, and asked him to go at once–which he did.
But he did not know where he ought to stand; and so, through error, he stood between the picture and the mirror. The result was that the picture had no chance, and didn’t show up. He returned home and said:
“The cat lied. There was nothing in that hole but an ass. There wasn’t a sign of a flat thing visible. It was a handsome ass, and friendly, but just an ass, and nothing more.”
The elephant asked:
“Did you see it good and clear? Were you close to it?”
“I saw it good and clear, O Hathi, King of Beasts. I was so close that I touched noses with it.”
“This is very strange,” said the elephant; “the cat was always truthful before–as far as we could make out. Let another witness try. Go, Baloo, look in the hole, and come and report.”
So the bear went. When he came back, he said:
“Both the cat and the ass have lied; there was nothing in the hole but a bear.”
Great was the surprise and puzzlement of the animals. Each was now anxious to make the test himself and get at the straight truth. The elephant sent them one at a time.
First, the cow. She found nothing in the hole but a cow.
The tiger found nothing in it but a tiger.
The lion found nothing in it but a lion.
The leopard found nothing in it but a leopard.
The camel found a camel, and nothing more.
Then Hathi was wroth, and said he would have the truth, if he had to go and fetch it himself. When he returned, he abused his whole subjectry for liars, and was in an unappeasable fury with the moral and mental blindness of the cat. He said that anybody but a near-sighted fool could see that there was nothing in the hole but an elephant.
MORAL, BY THE CAT
You can find in a text whatever you bring, if you will stand between it and the mirror of your imagination. You may not see your ears, but they will be there.

SENTENCE CONNECTORS

Molex female connector.
Sentence connectors connect an idea with another.

Sentence connectors are used to express relationships between ideas and to combine sentences.

Type of Connector Connector(s) Examples
Subordinating conjunctions if, unless, only if, even if If you consider the financial rewards of high level positions, the stressful nature of these positions becomes less important.
Conjunctive adverb otherwise You should remember the financial rewards of high level positions; otherwise, you might find the stressful nature of these positions too demanding.
Types of sentence connectors are:
  1. Sentence Connectors: Opposition
  2. Sentence Connectors: Cause / Effect
  3. Sentence Connectors: Comparison
  4. Sentence Connectors: Contrast
  5. Sentence Connectors: Condition

Verb as Complement

What is a verb complement?

A verb complement is the arrangement of one verb as the object of another verb. This happens 4 ways in English:

1. With infinitives

Examples:

I asked her to leave.

I wanted to leave.

I helped him to leave.

I stopped for the child to cross the street.

 

2. With gerunds

Examples:

I considered leaving the job.

I regretted his leaving the job.

They decided on leaving.

Continue reading “Verb as Complement”