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Deny Setiyadi in Siberia

Diary of a Mathemusician

I chose to travel

“Travelling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta

About 30 months ago I decided to leave the university. First, my best friend committed suicide and it ruined everything. Second, I was very unhappy with it because I didn’t have a passion for what I was studying. Long before I went to uni, I always knew it really wasn’t for me. (more…)

Shut up and write

A few weeks ago a student came to me and asked genuinely, “Teacher Deny, why do you write so often? Aren’t there better things to do?” It wasn’t the first time I got asked that question, yet I still can’t figure out a short answer. So, for the sake of writing, these are the three main reasons why I write and how it helps me become a better person. (more…)

Leaving on a jetplane

Distance of time and place generally cure what they seem to aggravate; and taking leave of our friends resembles taking leave of the world, of which it has been said, that it is not death, but dying, which is terrible. Today, I close the door to my past… Open the door to the future, take a deep breath and step on through to start the next chapter of life. I don’t know where the journey will end, but I know where to start.

A photo posted by Deny Setiyadi (@dgsetiyadi) on

Goodbye, Batam and hello, Beijing!

The trash bin incident

We all experience getting extremely angry some time in our lives. Two days ago I had a talk with my two Filipina neighbours. They asked me why their trash bin had always been full of domestic waste and stinky dirts lately, even though they never disposed anything in it in the past few weeks. I had completely no idea about it. I mean WHY ON EARTH would I scrap my rejectamenta in my neighbour’s trash bin? That’s just ridiculous. (more…)

Going on a cruise

Saturday we went on a one-day cruise around the island and its surroundings. We had the opportunity to go round the outermost part of Indonesia, which is absolutely stunning. I never knew there was a plenty of tropical islands, where wild and exotic creatures live in the lush, untouched tropical jungle, just a few kilometers away from the city. We also passed by the first and second Barelang Bridge that connect the islands of Batam, Tonton, and Nipah. (more…)

Teachers are dangerous

So Cambridge Primary Progression Tests started on Monday, with the first subject being English. They’re pretty much comparable to final exams, which measure the students’ progress, basically what they have learned in the past 2 semesters. Each test consists of Paper 1 and Paper 2 for English and science, and Paper 1 to Paper 3 for maths, quite enough to scare and stress them out. The students will have 2.5 hours to work out those papers, which means a lot of sitting and proctoring for the teachers, and then marking. Well, life is fair, indeed. (more…)

It’s glorious

It’s been more than two months since my latest email and I’m finally back with blogging! Three weeks ago we went to Singapore and Malaysia for the weekend. It was Friday after school, we gathered at Batam’s Harbour Front ferry terminal and there were five of us. We arrived in Singapore at 20:00 and continuously took the train and buses all the way to Johor Bahru, Malaysia, which took about 45-60 minutes.

The next day we went to Legoland! I’ve been to Legoland before but this time was different because we spent like 7 hours there, from 10 to 5:30 and we went to the water park as well. It was super tiring but really fun! Sunday we crossed the immigration checkpoint and travelled back to Singapore to do some shopping and yesh, everybody shopped crazily! We were pretty careful though, and I still managed to haggle somehow so that was great. Everything runs extremely fast in Singapore but I love this city. It’s super clean!

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Independence Day #RI70

It’s Monday, at last, and a lot of things have happened these past days.

Last week our head of administration, Ms V, had an issue with the internet connection at one of the teachers’ houses and she didn’t have time for it because she is such a busy woman! So I helped her fix it. What happened next might get you jealous! She brought me some pizzas and nachos! What a lovely day! I LOVE PIZZAS SO MUCH! (more…)

First email from Batammm 2.0

Today marks my third week of teaching at Kallista in Batam and I’m loving it! The school is amazing. I actually planned to write every Sunday but it just seems impossible due to the amount of time I have to spend for teaching and preparing the curriculum materials. Oh I wish I had more hours on a day! I’ll be teaching 37 hours of Science and an hour of German (or two, still unclear), means I’ve got about 38 hours a week in total, and so far it’s been industriously fun! (more…)