My Essay for NWCCI Essay Contest

Hallo Guys, how are you doing? It has been long I do not update any post in my blog. This time, I want to share my essay I made for Northwest Community College Initiative Essay Competition. I have not got any information yet about the result but I hope this essay will win ^_^ Wish me luck

Thanks and good luck. Have a splendid success for you all ^_^

Lakewood, February 8th 2012,


Astroboy in front of Mbak Liberty ^_^

Winter Break Backpacking and Insightful Experiences

Winter break 2011 was my first winter break in United States and I am glad that I made it incredible and adventurous. I had never been a backpacker before and I decided to be one during my stay in NWCCI program. My friends and I, four of us are Indonesian CCI Students from two different consortiums, agreed to backpack for our winter break and to be economical we rode buses all the way from West Coast to East Coast. Demographically, we saw a lot of states passing through all the way to East Coast, butexperientially we visit-explored Portland (OR), Sacramento (CA), San Francisco (CA), Los Angeles (CA), Las Vegas (NV), Flagstaff (AZ), Grand Canyon (AZ), Phoenix (AZ), Miami (FL), New York (NY), Washington (DC) and Virginia (VA) where we flew back to Seattle. I got many insightful experiences that I will share in this essay.

The first one is dare to take an initiative. The birth of this backpacking idea initially came to my mind and then I tried to share it with NWCCI students in Pierce College. This idea attracted temporary approvals from some students but when the time was approaching only two of us were consistent. Considering the number of people still consistent, I almost gave up and tried find another idea about winter break. Then, it was a sudden that some of my CCI students from the other consortium heard about this plan and finally two people were interested to join. And yes we got a team of four people to “backpack” United States. Here, I learnt a good initiative must be taken at any moment and we must be consistent in what we have decided. Do not let condition control us because literally we are the controller of our environment.

Second, I found that going in group was harder than I thought and I needed more patience to understand other people in group. Wishes and perceptions about surrounding are completely different person to person. It is obvious that communication problem does occur in any group activities and it did occur during our backpacking vacation. Some occasions we said “yes” together but we sometimes found dual-responses “yes” and “no” come at the same time too. I learnt that dealing with people means dealing with different thoughts, culture and behaviors that need more and more of my understanding.

Third, United States is unique in terms of its people from state to state. This is not a general judgment but merely an impression I got during the trip. It is obvious based on my five months experience living in West Coast (Lakewood) that people are here very “polite” they speak their mind indirectly as polite manner as possible even in a tense situation. But it was contrast to what I found when in East Coast. Some people I met were speaking directly which is very different with my experience with people in Lakewood. I learn that it is a matter of communication, direct or indirect, and for that situation we cannot put labels “good or bad” or “polite or impolite” because people in a particular society has their own agreement on how they conduct speaking style each other.

In short, those experiences enriched me personally and for sure they are great lessons which will help me to move better and better in my personal or professional dimensions in the future. And, I got all those experiences in North West Community College Initiative Program. Thank you!

Mami Beach, Miami Florida

Grand Canyon

Las Vegas

Golden Bridge, San Francisco


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