Icha Sarwono’s eleven!


There’s this new project going on in ELT world called ‘Tagged 11’. I know I’m fairly late in doing it, but hey better late than never, right? 😀
I’ve read many of the posts and loving the fact that I get to learn about my PLN. I do hope mine will let my PLN know a bit about me too.

When you’re tagged, these are what you have to do:

•. Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
•. Share 11 random facts about yourself.
•. Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
•. List 11 bloggers.
•. Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer, and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. Don’t nominate a blogger who has nominated you.

This isn’t mandatory, so when  you’re tagged by me but you can’t find time to do it, then it’s not a problem at all. And I try to tag those who haven’t been tagged by others ( though it’s hard for most bloggers I know have been tagged), but I see some of the people on my list have got at least one tag. Oh well, I’ve tried 🙂

Okay, here we go………

So, 5 bloggers have tagged me. They are:
1 . Vicky Loras
2 . Josette Leblanc
3 . Malu Sciamarelli
4 . Ika Sari
5 . Pravita Indriyatie

Time to learn about this purple geek!

11 random facts about Icha:

1 . I’m a band geek! I joined marching band when I was 14, and until now I’m still involved in some ways; I coach a small primary school drumb band near my house. I’m a percussionist, I play snare, bass drum, cymbal, conga and marching bells.

2 . Yitzha is actually a boy’s name! When my mama conceived me, everyone believed that I’d be a boy. So my papa prepared ‘Yitzhak’ which is a boy name. When it turned out that my mama gave birth to a boy-looking baldy little baby girl a.k.a me, he didn’t want to lose the name, so he just dumped the ‘k’ and voila……….. We’ve got ‘Yitzha’! Unusual name here but I’ve grown to loving it! During my band year, a lot of senior members used my name to ‘torture’ the new members! They had to find out my complete name (Yitzha sheilla elmeira sarasati sarwono) or they had to commit a punishment like hitting the high note with trumpet for a minute or doing paradiddle on a snare drum or spin the batton for a while.

3 . I’m a ‘rebel’ in my family! My papa was in a pharmaceutical business, my mama was a surgent nurse, and my sister has just been promoted as a head of medical record in the hospital where she works. So, yeah I dont take their footstep, working in hospital business 😀 😀 😀

4 . I’m afraid of Clown!!!!! I don’t even want to go to Mc donald if I see Ronald’s sitting in front of it! I can’t figure out why Clown is related to children and birthday party! But I am good at hiding my fear when my students are celebrating their birthday where clown is part of the party. Just dont go asking me to talk to them.

5 . I love Cats! To the point where a caretaker in safari park once yelled at me for wanting to kiss one of their Lion cub in the baby zoo. And yes, my family talk to them! In my house, we humanize our cats. My papa addresses them as ‘The children’! Where me and my sister are simply  Yitzha and Jilly. I even pray that in my after life, I could be reunited with not only people I love but also all of our cats.

6 . 11 is my favourite number for soccer player! Most of soccer players that I love also hold number 11 on their shirt: Marc Overmars, Robert Pires, Ryan Giggs (not an MU fan AT ALL, but Giggs was okay), Arjen Robben, Miroslav Klose are some of my favourite players who own that number.

7 . I used to collect fruit’s label! You know, when you buy fruit, there’s a sticker of label or brand attach to it? Yup! I collected them. Back then in my high school year me and my friend, Bastian would travel to supermarket and spent time at the fruits section just to peel the label off them to complete my collection. What we did was a bit stupid and silly, but I could swear to you that we’ve never ruined our stolen any fruits.

8 . Growing up, I had secretly wanted to be Veruca Salt, a character in Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory. Simply because she could have all the pets that she could ever want! She has pony horse, parrots, cats, dogs, etc. A life of dream for me as when I was a kid, my family didn’t have a lot. Recently I wish to be Charlie Ashanty from The Lion Boy, because he could talk to all kind of cats! That………… to me is the ultimate power!

9 . In 2010, I applied for a position in UNESCO. I had a 3 weeks probation working as a personal assistant for an HIV/AIDS & school health consultant’s Chief for Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, Philippine and Timor Leste. During that time I had to learn how to campaign a safe sex awareness so, yeah I had to work with D**l*o and condom because I had to show people how to use them. Yup! Not a comfortable experience for a moslem girl, though I did embrace the works given to me happily. In the end, I didn’t get the job because to them, sending a girl like me to educate truck drivers and sexual commercial workers about safe sex isn’t a good idea at all. Yeah, go figure! Hahahaha

10. I talk to my self! Especially when I’m working on something. I could even have a conversation playing in my head. I also make up song that I sing to myself when I’m trying to stay calm during panic moment or just want to feel good or when I walk alone.


11. I have a laugh of Wilma Flintstones from The Flintstones! Sometimes I also sound like Betty Rubble when I laugh out loud. Yup, I’m that geeky and goofy!

Since you’ve learnt a bit about me, now let’s start by answering 11 questions from Vicky (@vickyloras):


1 . If you were not an educator, what line of work would you imagine yourself in? I’d love to be a pastry chef! Or a caretaker of Lion’s and Tiger’s cub! (Wow that made my heart feel so warm!)
2 . Which person in ELT would you like to meet in person and why? Vicky loras, James Taylor and Ania Musielak Kubecka! Sorry that it has to be three person, but these three people have a big influence in my ELT career and have helped me get through a lot professionally and personally.
3 . What new activity / hobby would you like to start? I’d like to ride a horse. Very difficult for there isn’t any stable here and I can’t afford a horse, but would love the chance so much!
4 . Which is the best book you have recently read? Why? Maybe a bit silly, but I’ve just finished reading ‘ The complete Cat book’ by Paddy Cutts. Why? Well because I’m trying to decide between having a british shorthair or russian blue. Love the book because it gives me (and my sister) all the info that we need


5 . If you could change one thing in the world, what would they be? Global warming. I’d love to have it stopped, so all these disasters over it could be avoided. I can’t stand knowing that it is so difficult for Polar bear to find a prey. And how some islands with animals in them are drowned by the rise of the sea water level. Yeah I know I’m being childish and silly here, but that’s the first thing on my mind.
6 . Which is the nicest destination you have visited so far and why? In Indonesia, I’d say Blitar. I was stationed there for a month and love the friendliness of the people, the small city ambience and the food. Outside Indonesia I’d vote Singapore simply because it is accessible to go everywhere and it’s like little asia there, you’d find a bit of every country of asia there.
7 . If you decided to write a book, what would it be about? Icha’s 20 minutes’ meal! Indonesian-Italian fussion! Cookbook for sure! Hahahaha
8 . What is your favourite song this period? Probably ‘Radioactive’ by Imagine Dragon and ‘Happy’ by Pharell Williams.
Happy-Pharrel Williams
9 . What is your favourite and least favourite food? Favourite food? That’s tough! I love eating, but I’d say Rendang (Indonesian beef in hot spicy coconut milk gravy), chocolate and cheesecake. My least favourite is Indian curry, I love spicy food but something in the curry always kick me too hard 😦
10. Which is the next conference you plan to attend? TEFLIN in Indonesia, KOTESOL (crossing my fingers here) and JALT (working hard for it).
11. Who whom from the PLN was your first meeting in person? What was it like?
Barbara Sakamoto! It was amazing! From the moment I picked her up at the airport to the time we had to say farewell, we had a blast. I learn a lot from her and she was there on my very first presentation ever! 🙂

Here’s what Josette (@josetteLB) had asked me:


1 . Why did you start blogging? Because I want to have a journal of what I’ve done professionally. And I want to speak my mind.
2 . What keeps you teaching every year? The thought of improving what I’ve taught before, learning about my class and (honestly) new menu I’d try in my class.
3 . Do you have a pet peeve? If so, what is it? If not, have you ever had one, and how did you get over it? Tell me something about pet peeves. 😉
I don’t know if it’s a pet peeve but my students know that they’re not allowed to speak when their mouth is full with food and I’d make this gesture of zipping mouth or even hold their hand when they do it.
4 . Do you prefer planes, trains, or auto mobiles when travelling? Trains! Especially in Indonesia, you could see the gorgeous rice padi fields to the beach on the train ride. 🙂
5 . What’s your favourite movie? Wall-E!! It’s so simple, not many lines at all yet so beautiful in term of story and theme.
6 . Has a complete stranger ever showed you kindness? What happened? I’ve had few experiences of it. The recent one was when I was in Seoul, I was struggling with my suitcase on the stairs through the Seoul station (though I didn’t show it), a young lady suddenly held the wheels’ part of my case so we could carry it together all through the high stairs! To me it’s such a surprise since I tried so hard not to show that I was in need of any help. And if you know me, you’d know that I don’t show weakness easily in public 😉 . 2 weeks ago I was on my way home from teaching and it was raining, and I was standing at the bus stop trying to find taxi with a foggy wet glasses that made me hard to see. Suddenly a man called me and opened up a door to an empty taxi for me to ride home! He just said, “Here’s your blue bird”. (Blue bird is the brand of taxi that I’d always use since it’s pretty safe for women). I didn’t have the chance to say anything since as soon as I got inside it, he closed the door and ran to the building I was teaching at. My friends said that he might just be some guys hitting on me, but I’d say that’s kindness 🙂 .
7 . Tea or coffee? Coffee! Unless it’s macha then I’ll go with tea 😉 .
8 . What was the sweetest moments that ever happened in class – between you and students, or between students and students? Too many sweet moments really. But before holiday, my students Jascy and Cherise came to me and gave me their handmade bracelets. Another one recently was when my graduated K2 class this year suddenly asked me to have a reunion! So here we were, 3 months after they left the school, meeting up! My students, me and the parents! I was so happy!
9 . You have the whole day to yourself. What are you going to do? Actually this is a difficult question! What would I do? Probably watching a marathon of ‘House’ while baking and not doing house chores! Hahahaha
10. If you could spend a year focusing on research, what would you research? Why? I want to research on the different between children who spend their kindergarten going on Montessori school, bilingual school and public kindergarten. How they are different in term of their attitude towards learning and how the type of school could benefit their multiple intelligences or the other way around. Why? Because I believe many parents here still think that practical life activity has nothing to do with their reading, writing and learning process. Also I want to stop the parents’ obsession here of having 4-5 years old kid who is already capable of reading, writing, and counting.
11. What’s your favourite word? Yes! Because it leads to many possibilities and chances.

Now, here are 11 questions from Malu (@malusciamarelli) :


1 . What do you have on your bedroom wall? Nothing! In my teen years, I liked to hang posters of my favourite bands, but these past 10 years I’ve had nothing on my wall. No specific reason why, maybe I just don’t have any sense of art in me 😀
2 . What’s the first thing you do when you get up? Going to the kitchen and say good morning to my mama (and see what I’d have for my lunch box 😀 )
3 . Do you have a pet? Always! We always have at least one cat at home if not more. I have three now; Ninoy (baby), Pipin and Uung.
4 . What’s your favourite food from your childhood? A traditional cake called Rangi. That and somay always take me back to when I was in primary school, staying over at my grandpa’s house in matraman.
5 . What do you like most about teaching? The ability to give my students a voice!
6 . What’s the best thing about going to a conference? Meeting your PLN, especially those you haven’t met in person and new ideas to bring to your class. I always feel rejuvenated after a good conference.
7 . Do you read two or more books at the same time? I used to. Been trying not to since I’ve been trying to slow down a bit in my life and enjoying the moment.
8. Who is your hero? My late grandfathers who have forced me to learn english, bought me my very first Charles Dickens’ novel and spent time reading my writing. Both of them were the force behind me.
9 . What’s your favourite country to visit and why? Japan! Because I have sweet tooth and I was pampered by the delicacies there. And I was fascinated by all the technology there.
10. What’s making you smile at this moment? Thinking about my late grandfathers. Remembering the humming of my mbah kakung and the way my datuk always kissed my forehead. (Okay, smiling and a bit crying now).
11. Life is too short to…….. Not trying new things! Whether it’s a new recipe, new hobby or just new route to get to your work, you should never miss out on the chance.

Then…here are Ika’s (@Chieka_slw06) 11 questions for me;


What’s your first word to describe LIFE ? Roller coaster! Not a one word but that’s how I see it 🙂
What’s your hobby that really makes you ‘crazy’ doing it? Probably baking, because I’ve experienced failure in baking bread where the skin is just too crusty. Baking requires a lot of effort more than regular cooking simply because you really can’t mess with the measurement and ingredients. And that could be both fun but also frustrating to me.
Where did you go for your last holiday? To finish 2013 I’m spending my new year going to a conference in Purwokerto then taking a few days off in Jogja.
Have you ever done ‘something funny’ in public? What’s that? I may be afraid of clown, but I’m sort of a clown myself. I won’t mind acting goofy when necessary. Once our centre had to perform something for school’s anniversary, so we made a spin of the three little pigs and I chose to become the first little pig from India who loved silly Indian dancing and had a house made of sari. I believed we’ve created a new disease called tummy tuck because everyone was laughing until their stomach hurt.
Are you allergic from some foods or other things? What’s that? Not food, but i’m allergic to sulphur. It makes my skin red and peeled off. I’m also allergic to a medicine called Neuralgine. It literally makes my eyes popped out and swollen like a goldfish.
What makes you afraid of? What I’m afraid of? Losing self control! That’s why I’m so afraid of passing out and why I don’t get drunk. I just can’t bear the thought of not having control over my own body and mind.
What’s the best movie you’ve ever watched? Why? Too many! I love ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’ because they have cat in it 😀 , I love the ‘Ocean’ trilogy (eleven, twelve, & thirteen) because they have amazing cast. And I love ‘The sixth sense’ because of the surprised ending.
Who’s your ‘idol’? Why do you like him/her? I have several but lately since I’m into baking, Anna Olson is my idol. She’s just such an amazing baker and I love her shows. I wish I could afford her ticket when she came here last september, but it was just too expensive.
What colors do you like and why? I think it’s no secret that I love purple. Simply because it’s a mixture of red and blue. Red is a colour of determination, spirit and warmness while blue is the colour of calmness, love and the sky. It represents all the feeling of a warm embrace. And that’s why I love purple hugs.
When did you start your life as a teacher? Why do you want to be a teacher? Teaching as in professional life started in 2001. But teaching in general had started since junior high when I tutored my classmates in english. Why teaching? Because I love being in control (remember my biggest fear?). Teaching to me started of as the ability to control and determine other’s knowledge in a way and pace that I wanted them to be. But over the years I’ve realized that teaching is my way to give myself away in a meaningful path. Everyone is destined to do greatness and to do that you must prepare to let a part of you given and shared. Okay I’m not making sense here and being ‘deep’ isn’t me at all, but that’s the way I see it.
What things you haven’t done in 2013 and you will do in 2014? In personal life, I want to go diving again. Haven’t been able to do it at all this year. In professional life, I want to help more Indonesian teachers to grow, something I haven’t been able to do also for I was too preoccupied with my own journey.

Now to answer Indri’s (@indriepravita) eleven:


1 . What place do you really want to be at this moment? Why? On a boat, in the ocean, around Raja Ampat, ready to dive! Why? I miss diving so much and I’ve been dreaming of going diving in Raja Ampat for quite a while now.
2 . If you were reborn, what do you want to be? A cat living in my house! 😀 . Because they are pampered here and I get to be my parents’ child still hehehehe
3 . Where did you travel the furthest? For personal purpose was to Srilanka for 2 weeks of diving. For conference was to Japan for a week.
4 . If you have the chance to meet your favourite actor/actress/singer, who would that be and what will the first thing you say to him/her? Sting and Mike Shinoda! What I’d say? Probably “What do you think of ‘selfie’ and ‘twerking’ ?” Hahahaha
5 . What is the craziest thing you like to do? Crazy thing that I like to do is riding roller coaster more than once! I once ride the ‘Halilintar’ a rollercoaster in jakarta for 8 times nonstop and went home with a bruise along my spine! And when I was in Kuala lumpur I rode the roller coaster in Berjaya times square 3 times in a row! But the craziest thing I’d like to try at least once before I die is Skydiving! Because it’s not a control chaos, it’s dare devil kind of thing.
6 . What fruit do you like most and hate most? I love orange! I don’t hate it, but jackfruit is never my 1st choice.
7 . What is the best book you read and recommend? Dickens’ “A tale of two cities” & Clive Barker’s “Abarat”. But for teachers I recommend reading “Totto-Chan, the little girl at the window” by Tetsuko Kuroyagi, I dare you not to cry by the end of it and makes you happy that you’re a teacher.
8 . What is your favourite movie of all time? Most Pixar movies, but I adore Wall-E
9 . What was your favourite childhood experience? Playing news’ anchor with my mbah Kakung (grandpa). He’d write me a story to read and we took our turn in reading it, just like real TV anchors!
10. Appetiser, main course or dessert? Dessert girl for sure! Especially cheesecake!
11. What is your typical Sunday morning? Well, I (have to!) Get up at least at 4.30 because in my house no matter what day it’ll be (holiday or workday) we’re an early risers. So after praying, I either have a walk around my housing complex with my mom or join my sister for 2 sessions of yawning yoga! Yawning yoga is my term of my sis’ yoga because she does it at 5am in the morning! You can’t help but yawning while posing 😀

Now, please be ready for my 11 questions 😉

1 . Do you bring music to your classroom? In what way?
2 . Writing or reading?
3 . Who could change your mind once you’ve decided something?
4 . Music or movie?
5 . What was the weirdest food you’ve ever eaten and how was your reaction to it?
6 . During school year, who were you? A jock, a brain, a rebel, a teacher’s pet or …….?
7 . Which do you prefer, in term of number of students, a small or a big class? Why?
8 . What’s your biggest obstacle in teaching?
9 . If you could hold a dinner party of five, who would they be? But, the guests have to be one of the cartoon character, one world leader, one famous people (actor our singer) and one member of your family.
10. What is your favourite scent?
11. Please describe what you think of me in one word!

Here are 11 bloggers I’d like to tag :
1 . Lizzie Pinard @lizziepinard
2 . Andrea Wade @worldteacher
3 . Sandy Millin @sandymillin
4 . Alex Grevett @breathyvowel
5 . Alex Walsh @AlexSWalsh
6 . Anne Hodgson @annehod
7 . Naomi Epstein @naomishema
8 . Carol Goodey @cgoodey
9 . Roseli Serra @SerraRoseli
10. Retno Sofyaniek @NenoNeno
11. Abdul Rahman @_kangguru_

So, I hope you guys will take on my so called challenge and have fun in learning more about our PLN! Aza aza Blogging!


4 thoughts on “Icha Sarwono’s eleven!

    • So you do agree that I laugh like Wilma then? 😀
      Was going to mention about the Benjamin Button’s curious case that I might be infected by but I don’t think it’s appropriate 😛

  1. What a delightful read! Though not surprising from such a special person like yourself! Your students are so lucky that you decided not to follow in your parents footsteps!
    Apologies, but I”m done with my “tagged” posts. So glad you didn’t miss doing yours!

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