Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Matching Exercise: Vocabulary Power - 1b

Do this exercise and test your vocabulary power. Lol power
The words and phrases on the left can be found in the story "The Spell of Longing - An Elegy for Rose (republished)". Match those words or phrases on the left to the correct definition or meaning on the right.

NOTE:
By clicking the "DOWNLOAD" button below, you can download the interactive web version of this exercise and do it on your computer. You will be able to find out your score for the exercise. If you are a teacher, you may store it for use in your class provided that it's not for commercial use and anybody can have access to the file.
The exercise is a html file and should run well with modern browsers but please make sure that you "ALLOW" the active content to run. Otherwise, you will only see a blank page instead of the exercise on your browser.





Word/PhraseDefinition
  1. Carry on (verb)
  2. Drizzling, drizzle (verb)
  3. Cheerful (adjective)
  4. Demanded, demand (verb)
  5. Strolled, stroll (verb)
  6. Loosely (adverb)
  7. Glistened, glisten (verb)
  8. Dim (adjective)
  9. Reticent (adjective)
  10. Clammy (adjective)
  11. Curiosity (noun)
  12. Figure out (verb)
  13. Stared, stare (verb)
  14. Paraphrased, paraphrase (verb)
  15. Throbbed, throb (verb)
  16. Trembling, tremble (verb)
  17. Teasing, tease (verb)
  18. Shatter (verb)
  19. Scent (noun)
  20. Pledged, pledge (verb)
  21. Sight (noun)
  22. Adored, adore (verb)
  23. Ripping, rip (verb)
  24. Beneath (preposition)
  25. Hollow (noun)
  1. Pulsate or pound with abnormal force
  2. Temperamentally disinclined to talk; Cool and formal in manner
  3. In a relaxed manner; not rigid
  4. Express the same message in different words
  5. Vibrate slightly and irregularly; as e.g. with fear or cold
  6. Request urgently and forcefully
  7. Break into many pieces
  8. Arouse hope, desire, or curiosity without satisfying them
  9. Rain lightly
  10. Love intensely
  11. Lacking in light; not bright or harsh
  12. A distinctive odor that is pleasant
  13. Being full of or promoting cheer; having or showing good spirits
  14. Tear or be torn violently
  15. Unpleasantly cool and humid
  16. Keep or maintain in unaltered condition; cause to remain or last
  17. Find the solution to (a problem or question) or understand the meaning of
  18. At a position directly lower than
  19. Promise solemnly
  20. Walk leisurely and with no apparent aim
  21. A state in which you want to learn more about something
  22. A cavity or space in something
  23. Be shiny, as if wet
  24. Look at with fixed eyes
  25. An instance of visual perception; Anything that is seen

* End of Exercise*

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Wisata Pantai Bentar - Rekreasi Murah Meriah

Saya agak terkejut ketika anak saya yang kedua tiba-tiba meminta pergi ke Pantai Bentar Sabtu pagi kemarin. Dalam pemikiran saya, Pantai Bentar selama ini identik dengan pantai yang gersang dan panas, kira-kira 5 km ke arah timur dari pusat kota Probolinggo, tanpa ada apa-apa untuk dilihat selain laut Jawa di sebelah utara, serta bukit Bentar di sebelah selatan. Bahkan pada tahun 1980-an, pantai Bentar terkenal keangkerannya sebagai tempat pembuangan mayat yang ditembak oleh para "Petrus" (penembak misterius) pada waktu itu. Karena itu, dengan sedikit terpaksa saya turuti permintaan anak-anak.

Memasuki pintu gerbang lokasi dan belok kiri menuju area parkir, saya menjadi tambah terkejut lagi dengan apa yang saya temui. :surprised: Pantai Bentar sudah banyak berbenah. (Mungkin banyak warga Probolinggo yang sudah tahu ya?Huge Grin) Entah sudah berapa tahun yang lalu terakhir kali saya mengunjungi pantai Bentar dan yang saya lihat sekarang bukan lagi tempat yang gersang dan panas. Di sana-sini sudah banyak terdapat pepohonan (walau saya rasa masih kurang banyak), dan yang paling mengejutkan adalah tersedianya berbagai wahana rekreasi bagi anak-anak, mulai dari kereta wisata, sepeda air, perahu wisata, kolam renang, playground (taman bermain), hingga tempat untuk pentas seni serta outbound. Wah, salut bagi Pemerintah Kabupaten Probolinggo (lepas dari polemik yang sempat muncul sewaktu pembangunannya) yang sudah mampu mengelola pantai Bentar menjadi tempat rekreasi yang cukup mengasyikkan.:clap:

Setelah melalui loket masuk dengan tiket seharga Rp. 3,000.- per orang (murah, kan?Grin revamp), anak-anak langsung menyeret kami ke lokasi kereta api wisata. Saat itulah saya mengetahui bahwa kamera yang saya bawa tidak berisi baterai sama sekali. Baterai yang sedang saya charge tertinggal di rumah. Akhirnya, setelah bertanya ke sana kemari di stan-stan penjual di sekitar lokasi dan hanya menemukan baterai ABC biasa, saya terpaksa harus balik ke pasar Dringu yang berjarak kira-kira 2km untuk membeli baterai Alkaline yang saya cari. :sigh: (Semoga dalam waktu dekat, akan ada toko atau stan yang menyediakan barang-barang kebutuhan pengunjung dengan lebih lengkap)
Sekembalinya di lokasi, saya mendapatkan istri dan kedua anak saya sedang asyik menaiki sepeda air. Saya tertawa melihat wajah tegang Alya, anak saya yang masih berumur 3,5 tahun, yang sempat menangis ketakutan saat berada di tengah kolam. Cry emotePetugas yang saya ajak ngobrol mengatakan bahwa kolam itu hanya sedalam 1 meter (saat air laut tidak pasang) dan terhubung dengan laut melalui saluran kecil.
Puas dengan sepeda air, sekarang giliran kereta wisata yang berdekatan lokasinya. Dengan tiket yang juga Rp. 3,000.-per anak (lagi-lagi, murah kan?Grin revamp), pengunjung dibawa menyusuri jalur kereta mengelilingi kolam sepeda air yang berbatasan dengan laut Jawa. Kereta itu (termasuk jalurnya) adalah kereta pengangkut tebu (lorry) yang sudah dimodifikasi dan dihias sedemikian rupa sehingga menjadi kereta wisata yang sangat menyenangkan bagi anak-anak.Usai naik kereta, Aldo, anak saya yang berumur 7,5 tahun, mengajak saya bermain bola yang memang sudah dibawanya dari rumah. Tidak demikian dengan si Alya. Dia tidak mau ikut bermain bola dan lebih tertarik mengajak istri saya menemaninya bermain di taman bermain. (Wah, saya baru menyadari bahwa naluri perempuan yang tidak menyukai olah-raga ternyata sudah 'aktif' sejak usia dini.Oh Noes) Lapangan tempat kami bermain bola sebenarnya sangat ideal sebagai lokasi outbound. Hanya saja jumlah pohon rindang yang masih belum mencukupi, ditambah fasilitas outbound yang minim harus diperhatikan oleh Dinas Pariwisata Kabupaten Probolinggo sebagai pengelola.
Sekarang giliran urusan perut. Di lokasi banyak terdapat stan penjual bakso, rujak manis, kelapa muda, dan makanan/minuman lainnya. Bisa dibayangkan segarnya minum es kelapa muda langsung dari kelapanya di siang hari yang cukup panas.:yummy: Mohon maaf, hanya ada gambarnya.

Sebelum pulang, saya menyempatkan diri melihat dari dekat satwa-satwa liar yang ada di sana, di antaranya rusa, burung merak (Peacock), dan ular python. Saya sangat terkesan dengan burung merak biru atau nama lainnya adalah merak India (Pavo cristatus), yang semuanya berjumlah kira-kira 4 ekor. Saat itu, si merak jantan tengah menarik perhatian betinanya dengan mengembangkan ekornya. :omg: rvmp Betul-betul indah sekali.

Itulah sekilas tentang Pantai Bentar, pantai yang dulu terkesan angker, panas, dan gersang, namun sekarang telah berbenah diri dan bersolek sedemikian rupa sehingga masyarakat tidak lagi meragukan potensinya sebagai wahana wisata keluarga. Secara obyektif, Pantai Bentar tidak kalah jika dibandingkan dengan Pasir Putih di Situbondo. Bahkan, jika anda sedang mengadakan perjalanan ke Bali, pantai Bentar bisa menjadi tempat istirahat yang sangat ideal di tengah perjalanan.A Green Sleep

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Matching Exercise: Vocabulary Power - 1a

Do this exercise and test your vocabulary power. Lol power
The words and phrases on the left can be found in the story "The Spell of Longing - An Elegy for Rose (republished)". Match those words or phrases on the left to the correct definition or meaning on the right.

NOTE:
By clicking the "DOWNLOAD" button below, you can download the interactive web version of this exercise and do it on your computer. You will be able to find out your score for the exercise. If you are a teacher, you may store it for use in your class provided that it's not for commercial use and anybody can have access to the file.
The exercise is a html file and should run well with modern browsers but please make sure that you "ALLOW" the active content to run. Otherwise, you will only see a blank page instead of the exercise on your browser.





Word/PhraseDefinition
  1. Nodded, nod (verb)
  2. Forcing, force (verb)
  3. Digest (verb)
  4. Instead (adverb)
  5. Distraction (noun)
  6. Isolate (verb)
  7. Distance (noun)
  8. Fondness (noun)
  9. In common (adverb)
  10. Avoid (verb)
  11. Skip (verb)
  12. Sparkling (adjective)
  13. Blessed (adjective)
  14. Pretended, pretend (verb)
  15. Get over (verb)
  16. Chance (noun)
  17. Weeping, weep (verb)
  18. Shape (noun)
  19. Sighed, sigh (verb)
  20. Stabbed, stab (verb)
  21. Shelter (noun)
  22. Bitter (adjective)
  23. Comfort (verb)
  24. Wounded, wound (verb)
  25. Tight (adverb)
  1. Shining with brilliant points of light like stars.
  2. A possibility; A risk involving danger.
  3. The visual appearance of something or someone.
  4. The property created by the space between two objects or points
  5. In place of, or as an alternative to; On the contrary.
  6. Intentionally fail to attend; Bypass.
  7. Having or sharing equally with another or others.
  8. Stay clear from; Prevent the occurrence of.
  9. Give moral or emotional strength to; Lessen pain; Alleviate.
  10. Forget; To overcome; To deal with successfully.
  11. Make believe with the intent to deceive.
  12. Inflict an injury; Hurt.
  13. A structure that provides privacy and protection; The condition of being protected.
  14. Mental turmoil; An obstacle to attention.
  15. Set apart from others.
  16. Firmly or closely
    .
  17. Breathe deeply and heavily.
  18. Expressive of severe grief or regret.
  19. Lower and raise the head, as to indicate assent or agreement or confirmation.
  20. Arrange and integrate in the mind.
  21. Cry; Shed tears because of sadness, rage, or pain.
  22. A predisposition to like something.
  23. Urge (a person) to an action; Constrain or motivate.
  24. Highly favored or fortunate (as e.g. by divine grace)
  25. Poke or thrust abruptly.

End of Exercise

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Spell of Longing - An Elegy for Rose (republished)

It still feels like yesterday when I first saw you. You were late on your first day in campus! The class was having a lecture when you came. You stood there at the classroom door, smiled and nodded to the lecturer, asking for her permission to join in.

The whole French class seemed to be hypnotized by your beautiful smile and so did I. At the right back corner of the classroom, I watched as you walked in and sat down next to Eva, right in front of my seat!

Although the lecturer continued with her lesson, I just could not focus anymore. Sitting alone behind you, I was forcing myself to listen to and digest the lecturer’s explanation, instead of thinking about you. I agreed with most boys in the class at that time. You were a complete distraction!

From then on, you would start asking questions about English lessons to me, and I was always more than willing to explain anything to you. After some time, you moved over and sat next to me. Discussing lectures or common things, we would seem to isolate ourselves from the rest of the class.
Days passed, filled with togetherness. You would patiently accompany me to read in the library, or just to sit in the classroom waiting for the next lecturer to come. There was absolutely no day in campus that I didn’t spend with you. Even when the lecture was over, we used to spend some more time together to do our assignments or just to chat and listen to some music in my boarding house which was within a walking distance from the campus.

However, I didn’t want to misinterpret our closeness as anything more than friendship. I just told myself that it was due to our fondness of reading, soft music, and English. We did have much in common. We could discuss those things for hours without getting bored. What I liked most from being together with you was that you never tried to change me. You seemed to enjoy being with me as myself, not as anyone else. You could move me without having to touch me, and change me without having to teach me.
As time went by, there was absolutely too much for me to avoid a strange feeling for you to grow in my heart, a feeling that I had never felt before. The more often we got together, the stronger that feeling grew. Yet, for the sake of our friendship, it was never said and I decided to remain as a friend to you.

It was 5.30 pm. The class was free and noisy as the lecturer hadn’t come. At our desk, you told me, “Anto, the next lecture is French, right? What a bore! I want to skip it. Let’s go out for some fresh air.”

I had never expected you to give this kind of invitation. Hesitatingly, I asked, “Where to, Rose?”

“Anywhere. Just go with me and leave the class,” you answered.

I was still in doubt. “I won’t go unless we know where to go. Tell me.”

“How can I tell you? I myself don’t know where to go. Just go out with me and we can decide later on the way. I just want to have something to eat and spend this nice evening outside, rather than sit the evening away here to hear a boring lecture from a bored lecturer,” you replied with your sparkling beautiful eyes looking straight at me, begging me to agree with you.

Ten minutes later, we were riding on your motorcycle along the streets of downtown Malang to go window-shopping at the Plaza, and then uptown to eat at a nice and small Soto restaurant.

While eating, you told me that you actually had a boyfriend who was now studying in Surabaya, and that you would introduce me to him someday. It hurt me deep inside and I wanted to tell you it would not be necessary. Whoever that lucky guy was, he was blessed to have you. But I didn’t want to look silly in front of you. So, I decided to be nice and pretended to be happy with your plan. You also asked me whether I had a girlfriend. I had to tell you that there had been a girl in the past that I had loved very much, until she left without enough reasons for me to understand, and it had taken me long enough to get over her. I made it clear to you that I didn’t want to talk about it anymore.

That night, I realized that I shouldn’t have hoped much from our relationship. I had to forget all my dreams before they ever had a chance to grow. I would not be prepared to see my dreams fall apart just like what had happened years before. I just didn’t want to take a chance anymore!
One fine morning, you showed up at my boarding house. Your red eyes told me you had been weeping. Sitting next to me and crying, you told me that you had just broken up with your boyfriend. It did hurt to see you in that shape and I really didn’t have much to say. I just couldn’t understand how on earth a man could hurt such a sweet girl as you.

“What can I do for you?” I asked hesitatingly, not knowing what else to do.

You wiped your tears and sighed. “Nothing. Just be as you are now. Don’t change. Be my friend forever. OK?” You said in an uncertain voice. Your sad eyes stabbed mine, searching for a shelter. You smiled then, but it was a bitter smile. It was clear that you were just pretending to be strong.

I nodded, “You could always count on me, Rose. I’ll always be your friend.”

I could not describe how I wanted to comfort you at that time. If you had been a cute and lovely bird, you had surely been wounded. Your wings had broken for some reason, and I had never seen you as helpless as you were at that time. I took your hands softly and held them tight, hoping that I could give you a little strength to carry on.
A year of a beautiful friendship passed. It was drizzling when the lecture was over. The class had planned to throw a small party at Ray’s place that evening.

“Are we going to the party?” Your cheerful voice demanded my decision as we strolled along the lonely street. The rain was not hard enough to get us drenched walking home.

“In this kind of weather? I don’t think so. Besides, there are many assignments to do,” I replied, thinking that I always disliked staying among a crowd.

“You don’t like parties, crowds, and things like that,” you said.

I felt the conversation sounded more personal than usual, so I gave you a puzzled look. You looked back at me. Your beautiful black hair hanging loosely past your shoulder glistened with raindrops under the dim street lights.

“What do you mean?” I asked, pursuing an explanation of your directness.

“You seem different from other boys; reticent, remote and untouched. But I like you that way,” you replied.

You were almost right about that. But you were wrong about my being untouched, because you had actually touched inside me more than you thought you did. However, I decided to say nothing about it, and kept watching our feet stepping slowly on that dark and clammy asphalt.

“I like being together with you, Anto. You’re a nice person to be with,” you added softly.

“I like you, too, Rose,“ I said awkwardly. You didn’t know how I had to force myself to say it.

“Really? What do you like from me?” you asked. I could see your eyebrows raised in curiosity.

“Your personality maybe. You are so kind that I always feel comfortable around you,” I answered, trying to figure out why I liked her.

“We have been best friends for more than a year, Anto. I like you and I know much about you. But, I really don’t know what you actually feel for me.” My heart jumped at what you had just said.

I hoped I had not misunderstood you. I looked at you as I wanted to make sure that I was not dreaming. Your beautiful eyes stared back at me, waiting or maybe searching for a reply. Those starry eyes were sparkling.

“What do you hope from me, Anto?” This time you paraphrased the question.

“This is it!” I thought. “If I ever want to let her know my feelings, I should let her know now. Now, or I’ll have to wait until God knows when.” My mind urged me. My heart throbbed, and I suddenly felt difficult to breathe.

“Do I need to say it to you? Couldn’t you see it in my eyes all this time, Rose?” But those questions were never asked, and remained unsaid when your soft voice reminded me that you needed an answer.

“Tell me. I’m waiting”, you said.

“I don’t know what I feel for you. I’m not sure and I don’t really care about it. All that matters to me is that you’re always around and never leave me. That’s all I want to say.” I said in a trembling voice.

“Do you love me?” You asked. This time I felt you were either interrogating or teasing me.

“I don’t know, Rose. But, I know I care for you,” I said, still awkwardly.

“It means you love me,” you concluded, glancing and smiling at me teasingly. What a shy fool I was!

"Maybe. Now it’s your turn to tell me your feelings,” I replied, trying to escape from your further questions. Honestly, I was also relieved because now you knew about what I had always felt for you this far.

“You know it, Anto. I’ve never been as close to anyone as I am to you now, so close that I think you’re a part of me,” you added.

“But, does it seem right, Rose? Still remember our promise to be friends?” I wanted to tease her back.

Your lips formed another beautiful smile before you answered my question.

“Even a fool knows that friends can be lovers. We can be both friends and lovers at the same time, right?”

I couldn’t believe what I had just heard. I had never expected you would say those words to me. I wanted to hear more in order to be sure. “I have to say it that I have many dreams about us, Rose. But, I’m afraid. I just don’t want my dreams to shatter again. You have to understand that.”

You stopped walking and took my hand. You stared right at me and said, “Anto, let’s promise, we will be together and love each other as long as the stars burn in the sky. Promise me that you’ll never leave me.”

“I promise you, Rose. I will always love you,” my eyes pierced back into yours so that you knew that I meant what I had just said.

Then you hugged me. I could smell the sweet scent of your hair when you laid your head on my shoulder. I put my arms around you and held you tight, so that you knew I would never let you go. I didn’t want to lose you, Rose.

“I love you, Anto. You’ve always given me strength. I’d be a fool to leave you,” you whispered softly. From your voice, I could tell that you were crying.

I couldn’t describe how I felt at that moment. It was the happiness and comfort that I had been dreaming of for so long. It was too good to be true. I looked up to the sky, and I felt like flying among thousands of raindrops, leaving the dark clouds beneath us, into a new horizon of tomorrow which was painted with dreams and hopes of togetherness.
Since then, you and I would always be together. Days were filled with laughter and joy. We had it all and we were as happy as we could be, weaving every dream we had. Until that sad morning, a year after the moment we pledged our love, when a friend came rushing into my room, telling me that you had just had a traffic accident on your way to my boarding house. In a bitter voice, he said that you had been taken to the hospital. I was panicking and soon we hurried there on his motorcycle.

I was more than shocked to see you lying motionless on the bed in the hospital. It was a sight that I had never expected to see. Those beautiful eyes of yours that I had always adored were now closed. Those young lips which used to paint your lovely smile now shut and looked cold. There were no signs of life. And from the sorry eyes of the nurses there, I knew what had happened. You had lost too much blood, and it was too late. You had gone away. And I stood there alone. Why did it have to end so soon? Why did you leave me, Rose? Those questions were ripping my brain. I felt my world was falling apart, and the earth beneath me felt shaking. Everything around me seemed moving. My blood stopped flowing. My mouth was bitter. Then, everything went dark.
Rose, it’s drizzling tonight, just like five years ago before you went away. Yes, five long and lonely years have passed aimlessly without you. And I’m here alone, drowned helplessly in my longing for you. The glittering needles of rain only spell out our memories, one by one. At one time, they witnessed our happiness. But now they seem unfriendly and dumb. The sky they are falling from is jet black and saddened. There is no more color there to paint and add to my horizon. They're all cold and empty without you.

Rose, five long years have passed, but every piece of your memory still remains deeply engraved at a hollow of my heart. Let them live there forever. If there’s a missing piece in me, only you can make it complete.

But Rose, where can I find you?

(by PI - for an everlasting "Flower", 18 years ago)