Sunday, February 19, 2012

Meningkatkan Kesepahaman antara Pembimbing-Mahasiswa

Ada kebiasaan baru yang patut kutiru dari supervisor keduaku, Chris Healy. Setelah selesai sesi bimbingan, beliau memintaku untuk mengirim email yang mencantum hal-hal di bawah ini:
- point-point yang kita diskusikan
- apa yang akan aku lakukan dalam jangka waktu tertentu sebelum sesi konsultasi mendatang.
- isu-isu apa yang menjadi bahan renungan

Tujuan dari email ini bukanlah semacam tugas, namun bagi Chris, ini akan memberikan 'a sense of understanding and certainty' dari kedua belah pihak. Beliau lakukan ini dengan semua mahasiswa bimbingannya. Selama ini, saat masih bimbingan dengan Fran, sebenarnya aku selalu mencatat apa saja yang dibahas dalam sesi konsultasi. Namun adanya 'tagihan' yang diinginkan Chris membuatku semakin awas dengan materi diskusi dan target yang disepakati bersama. Saat konsultasi kedua Kamis lalu, Chris menanyakan apakah tagihan seperti itu membantuku. Aku bilang ya, karena memang bisa menjadi pengingat bahwa ada target tertulis yang harus dicapai. Selain itu, cara komunikasi ini akan meningkatkan kesepahaman antara pembimbing dan mahasiswa. Bahkan aku bilang ke Chris bahwa cara ini akan aku ikuti nanti bila sudah kembali mengajar dan membimbing skripsi.

Ini contoh 'tagihan' yang aku copy-paste dari emailku setelah konsultasi pertama.

Thank you very much for the insights you gave me last week. The following is some points that I noted regarding our discussion.

What we discussed:
We discussed my latest introductory draft that I revised on the basis of my last consultation meeting with Fran. You reckoned that the draft was fine as a starting point, and might be used for confirmation. However, you saw the possibility of a different version of introduction. You suggested a different angle, such as talking more on the history of writing competition for Indonesian foreign domestic workers (IFDWs). For sure, writings produced by IFDWs didn’t come out of nothing. I had actually considered discussing this as part of production stage. There would be a separate chapter on this issue. Nevertheless, I found your suggestion more challenging. Starting out on the history of writing competition will reveal the power behind the writing phenomenon among IFDWs. This is an equally interesting topic and deserves more attention. Also, you suggested that there be no need to focus on specific authors and works. Textual analysis may be put aside, giving more room to ethnographic research.

What we decided to do next:
We decided that I would start to sketch out the history of writing competitions/festivals for IFDWs. In my mind, I had already pictured the following points to be discussed:
-       some Indonesian literary figures who have helped providing mentoring and setting 

        out writing competitions/auditions for IFDWs.
-       several communities/associations/agencies that have regularly held such events in 
        the past 5 years.
-       when the events were held.
-       where/in what countries they were held.
-       what  the prizes were.
-       how the result was.

The above points will reveal the literary infrastructure of writings by IFDWs, and will be useful to determine the next step.

Some issues I need to consider:
The decision we have agreed upon seems to take me to a different topic. I assume that there will be a twist of focus. What I previously considered a core issue will likely become a minor one, and vice versa. However, I’m sure that what I had previously written can still be helpful later. In the last few days after the meeting, I’ve been
thinking about it over and over again. This time I began to see a clearer picture and will want to discuss the literacy movement that has empowered IFDWs to write. This was previously a minor issue, but now I’d like to see the possibility of bringing this up as my main theme. I see this as a more challenging topic, since I will talk about IFDWs who have turned to writing, senior writers who have empowered IFDWs to write, literary communities as well as FDWs’ communities that have shaped and been shaped by the writing phenomenon among IFDWs. This change of focus, if it works well, will mean that I may no longer do an in-depth textual analysis of the works by IFDWs, and will use ethnographic approach instead. I will see to it how things work out down the road.

I’m still working on the list of writing competitions/festivals and will send the result by 14 February 2012. 
Thank you very much for the enlightenment.

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