To think of it, I’ll be forever grateful to both of my supervisors.
I really thought the thesis experience would be so dreadful that they could have rejected my proposal in the first meeting. But no. Instead they showed the same enthusiasm as I did when I first wrote my thesis. They showed support that I might not have gotten from other professors; Prof Ari with her solutions, earful, and fruitful discussions, always giving back constructive comments and suggestions, yet always managed to include fun stories or invitations to a cup of coffee to make sure that we enjoyed working with our thesis, meeting her regularly, and sharing our thoughts, perspectives, and hardships during this difficult moments. I really thought she would be so intimidating because based on the survey in UNS, she is voted as the most intimidating lecturer there and because she is a professor, but we became closer because we conquered Mount Andong together last year. And, Pak Tony with his affirmative words after every discussion, with his “Good job De” “You did well” or “Excellent work”, his green lights in every dead-end I encountered, his supportive feedback, and just simple compliments that could end my anxiety and light up my mood.
I never thought that they would be the first ones watching me achieve all this because the last 2 years, they were just mere names that I saw on UGM website or just some lecturers that I knew during my winter course. Now their names and signs are so important to me that I had to ask six times to be able to graduate. When Prof Ari took a picture of me with my Master of Public Health scarf, when Pak Tony took a picture of my research poster, or when they announced me as the 2nd winner of the competition and he clapped so hard with a big smile on his face, I could see that they are proud of me meskipun rambutku lepek atau ngembang kayak roti. At least, that is what I wished for. I really wish I made them as proud as I made my parents proud too.
Now I understand when the examiner said during my thesis defense, “Congratulations to the supervisors also”, maybe without the regular “you did really well” with a simple nod and smile or the “let’s have a coffee together in a café and discuss there”, I could not get an A for my thesis project. When Pak Tony said it was easy for him to supervise me during my thesis project, it was also the same for me. He also made things easy, they made things easier.
Maybe I will meet other supervisors or professors in the future later on and they will also meet other students with their own version of mixed feelings of confusion and anxiety like me during thesis year and they could even forget the experience of supervising me in 2022 to 2023 or I could be the one forgetting how happy I was when I received a “you did really well”, but I really want to embrace all the things that they have done to me, simple yet important things.