Rachael Lampa

Rachael Lampa

I looooovvveee Rachael Lampa. Seriously. She’s been one of few singers that has influence on me. I like her voice, even more than I like Celine Dion (and I used to adore Celine so much!) and Charice.

A brief introduction for you who might not know Rachael, she’s a CCM (Christian Contemporary Music) singer, with an amazing voice. She’s definitely a soprano, and one of few singers that I’ve heard who mostly sing hip-hop or R&B songs that’ll make you move your body, yet they hardly ever dance. At least I hardly see them dance.

Anyway, aside from the fact that she’s a Christian icon, I’ll say it again: I LOOOVE her voice. Her song that I first heard was I Choose You, a Christmas song, about Mary, who was just being told that she would be pregnant, and the child inside her womb is actually the world’s savior, as what Christians mostly believe. The song, more or less, is actually an encouragement from God to Mary, that He’d always be by her side, so she shouldn’t be afraid of the pregnancy because God would protect her.

I remember laying on my bed lazily, day dreaming while listening to the tape, until suddenly I heard this song, and I suddenly got up. Her voice amazed me. I never forgot her name after that: Rachael Lampa.

I’m in love with her voice and the way she sang I Choose You, and I finally decided to hunt her albums. I bought her third album, Blur, at church, where I screamed the first time I saw the album.

Rachael's Third Album: Blur

A few months after that, I was chatting to a friend in Bandung, who turned out to have a cassette store (yeah, cassetes were still trending at that time), and I asked him whether he happened to have any Rachael’s album.

He helped me getting Rachael’s very first album, Live for You, which turned out to be an imported cassette, then delivered it to my house. He became a fan of Rachael because of me.

Rachael's First Album: Live for You

Not long after that, he contacted me again, telling me that he got Rachael’s second album, Kaleidoscope, and he’d send me the CD.

Rachael's Second Album: Kaleidoscope

So finally I got her first, second, and third album.

One day, my dad was visiting, and we went to a music store nearby. That was when I bought her fourth album, Rachael Lampa.

Rachael Lampa's Fourth Album: Rachael Lampa

And then time went by, days, months, years, and I stopped following the CCM trends and updates, began to listen to more secular music, and suddenly I remember Rachael.

I googled her, only to find out that she’s about to marry and had left the Word records, and about to make a new album.

So I waited patiently.

Rachael's Sixth Album: Human EP

Until Rachael finally announced her latest album, Human EP, on her blog, facebook and twitter, and googled everywhere to find it. But there’s very little chance that I could find her latest album here in Indonesia, and since the album is still quite new, I don’t think I could find any free downloadable version of the songs in the internet.

To order it through eBay would be very expensive for me.

Finally, best of the worse, Rachael announced on her facebook that we could get her song, Avalanche, taken from her latest album, Human, for free on the Bruegger’s Music Showcase.

Only one song. But for now that’d be enough for me.

It didn’t take long to download the song. And I sure listen to it right away once I got the song.

Know what? I loooovvvee it.

I still love her voice.

It’s a pretty mellow song to me, but her voice got me already, so I was so thrilled to get the song.

I googled the lyrics for Avalanche, and the best that I could get is taken from http://forums.ccmmagazine.com/Lyrics_help%3F/m_4703405/mpage_1/tm.htm

So I compared the lyrics I found there with the song, and I think it’s pretty accurate, and after I hear the lyrics, I like the song more. Hahaha. Just can’t get enough of Rachael’s, eh? Sorry, but I reaaally-really-really like her voice. I always want to have a voice like her. Serious.

Anyway, here’s the lyrics to Avalanche, and… tell me what you think ;) Who knows you’d get captivated by her voice as well.

AVALANCHE
Rachael Lampa

(I) Should have known the moment that we met
I was walking on the edge, I guess, I should’ve watched my step
I should have known it when I felt the rush
Never has a single touch ever meant so much.

If I would have paid more attention
Then I wouldn’t be in this condition

Chorus:
There’s an avalanche happening inside of me
Falling in love way too fast – way too deep
(so) Look out below – look out below
(cause) Once it gets started there’s no way to stop
An avalanche inside my heart
La la la – la la la – la…

Something must be shifting underneath
Just begun too late to run – no escape for me
I knew this was a possibility
Falling in love can be dangerous but it’s worth it all to me

I put myself in this position
Maybe you’ll want just what I’m getting

Repeat chorus

Bridge:
I never ever been this high – I don’t really know how to fly
As long as you’re falling with me, the sorrow leave

I don’t have to know how to land & I don’t have to understand
Too late to play it safe, too late to try to escape

Repeat chorus

Should have known the moment that we met…

A tribute to Jim (whoever you are, hahaha), thanks for the lyrics!

Some has been speculating that she’s moving genre to the more secular music, and if she is, indeed, I don’t care. Her voice captivated me (think I kinda exaggerate all these, but that’s because I really like her voice, haha) and she could sing any kind of genre she wants. I’m still gonna be her fan.

Rachael’s website — http://www.rachaellampa.com/

Rachael's Official Site

For more info on Rachael’s Human EP, click here.

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English + Technology = Teaching?

Lately, in Indonesia, more and more school has been using English to teach their students. For almost every subject, every teacher is encouraged to use English most of the time: to explain things, to ask question, to answer students’ answer, to give assignments, and also to instruct the students.

More and more parents demand English as the main language used in their children’s school, so every school tried their best to train their teacher and sent them to study English. As long as he/she can say, “Good morning, children,” or, “Any question?” or, “Understand?” the I-dunno-who-the-superior-one in the school will assume that the teacher has mastered English already. So, with all those good-morning-thingy, those teachers go back to their school and teach the students with whatever English they have learned in I-dunno-where.

Another thing that has been added alongside English is technology. The sophistication level, of course, depends on how much money the school could have. The bigger school with bigger funds (usually in big cities) got more facilities, and I’m not only talking about the quality, but also the quantity. As for smaller schools, with smaller funds… they got… well, whatever they could get. Serious.

The must-have one recently is of course laptop and LCD. No LCD? No probs, use whiteboard. No laptop? No probs, the school will provide, at least one. No electricity? Oops. Now that’s a problem.

Here’s two things to point out:

  1. English doesn’t rule everything.
    Yes, I know, with English, more doors are opened for you–(I have to cross that out considering some people that I know with bad English, yet they are the ones who got the scholarship ticket to the States)
    More and more people are seeking English, yes, I know. And I gotta admit, English has the prestige, especially for Indonesian. You can get a better job with English, and if you can speak English properly, people consider you as… educated. Serious.
    But I simply don’t see the point of trying to use English for teaching if you don’t even understand English. You hardly understand what you’re saying, and I’m not sure the students understand you either. Students with good English are confused with the messed-up English, and students who think they are bad in English don’t bother to listen to the English explanation. They already have the I-dun-understand-English-at-all-mindset.
    What’s the point of trying to compete with other school by using English, if your students don’t understand any of your explanations, and even worse, they get more and more confused?
  2. Technology is cool, but it’s not an angel sent from heaven.
    Every student teacher who is doing their micro-teaching now have to own a laptop. Or if you can’t own it, borrow it.
    Indeed, technology brings better education. Technology makes better AVAs. Technology helps. A LOT.
    But I’ve seen many friends (including teachers, sorry) who got used of technology, and they end up becoming more and more dependent on technology.
    Technology makes us look more sophisticated and… professional. I agree. But once a blackout happen, you’re doomed. Not so much sophisticated and professional anymore, aye?
    As more people rely everything on technology (so do I, actually), technology rules everything.
    Well, actually, electricity does.
    They end up feeling so left out in front of the class, looking puzzled, dunno what or how to explain the materials since everything is in flashdisk, or laptop, or computer.
    The bad news: if you’re a student teacher, you cannot runaway from that situation..
    The good news: if you’re a teacher already, you can always say, “I’m really-really sorry, but I would probably have to cancel the class today since everything that I have prepared is inside the computer/laptop, and due to technical problem, I can’t turn it on, so I have nothing for you right now.”
    That’s for the blackout case.
    The other thing I’ve noticed is that some teachers try to use technology while they actually know nothing about technology (a.k.a. “gaptek” in bahasa Indonesia). They don’t understand technology, they don’t know how to operate the gadgets, and they end up confused and puzzled in front of the class, struggling with the laptop. The file is 2007 Word Document (.docx), while the computer/laptop doesn’t have Microsoft Word 2007 in it. They thought it’s a virus. Or they simply stated, “I’m sorry, I can’t open the document.”
    Well, that’s just one example. One of the worst. Some are not that bad.
    I probably sounded like mocking those teachers, and I’m really sorry, I didn’t mean to.
    What I’m trying to say here is that teachers shouldn’t have rely everything on technology. We still have human resources. We can do many things without technology. Always prepare a backup plan in case the technology won’t cooperate with you. No electricity? So what? No computer/notebook? Doesn’t matter. Still got a pair of hands and feet, a mouth, two ears, two eyes, and complete body parts.

One more additional: if people insist on using English and technology more (well, they do, indeed), at least think of a real intensive training in both English and technology. Don’t get satisfied too fast with “Are you understand?” or the simple click on a desktop shortcut yet you can’t anywhere further from the desktop. If you wanna use English, at least learn some grammar! If you wanna use the technology, master the gadget first! For your own sakes, anyway. And it helps you gain more confidence and appreciation.

Indian Movies: What Makes It Indian?

I just watched Slumdog Millionare last night, a movie about Jamal Malik (the ‘slumdog’), who appeared in a reality show Who Wants to be A Millionare (the Indian version) and succeeded to bring back 20 million rupees with him. However, his background as a street child created controversy, and therefore, before he answered his final answer for the last question, the police brought him and arrested him. He was accused of fraud. It was really horrible, I mean, he was being tortured, and they even electrified him, to made him admit the fraud he never done. He finally told the police a long story of his childhood, which later explained why he could answer all questions.

You could either find the reviews and the plot in the internet, or watched the movie yourself. I’m not gonna explain everything here.

I wasn’t really interested watching this movie, at first. I heard this several times, but it didn’t really interest me. Until I got this movie from a friend, and then I thought, “Oh, well. Why not?”

Another reason why I then decided to watch this movie was because of Shahrukh Khan’s interview.

When My Name is Khan was just released, everybody around me seemed to talk about it, and hell yea, the movie’s worth-watching. And many people interviewed Shahrukh Khan due to this movie.

In the interview, people are comparing My Name is Khan and Slumdog Millionare. Perhaps because both are movies about Indian, with Indians in it as well.

They said, My Name is Khan is a more Indian movie compared to Slumdog Millionare, that Slumdog Millionare is not even a hit in India, one reason is because Slumdog Millionare is not really an Indian movie, but a British movie. Only that Danny Boyle (the producer) included Indians in it, because it’s a movie about Indian. So it’s an Indian movie, but based on British perspective, while My Name is Khan, is truly an Indian movie.

Well, something like that.

Since I’ve watched both movies now, I gotta say, I do feel the differences. The funny thing is that, My Name is Khan is an Indian movie with American setting, but they use Hindi most of the time, which doesn’t really make sense to me when the interlocutor replied in English and seemed to understand Hindi too, while Slumdog Millionare use India as the whole setting of the movie, yet they used mostly English. They really should switch places, don’t they?

Another thing that differentiate those two movies is, I think, Slumdog Millionare ‘lost’ its India sense.

Okay, let me point it out first: I’m not an Indian, and I’m not pretending like someone who know India. I’ve never been to India either, but I’ve watched several movies, and I just wanna point out some thing that I notice, based on my perspective, but, yea, I’m not an Indian, nor I ever been to India before.

In most Indian movies that I’ve watched (Kabhi Kushie Kabhie Gham, Dil Hai Tumhaara, 3 Idiots, Kal Ho Naa Ho, and some other that I can’t remember), the plot and nuance tend to be exaggerated at some points.

In Kabhi Kushie Kabhie Gham, all the casts seem to cry easily that I think I could just slap them and and they would cry again and again. I know, mostly they cry whenever they remember about their family (it IS, a story about family), but it’s not just that. There’s one occasion, when Shahrukh Khan (I forgot his name in the movie) and his family visit their son’s school for I-dunno-what-occasion, out of a sudden, his son along with the other children (who are all British), united as a choir, sang the Indian anthem, Jana Gana Mana, in a British school, along with British children! Seriously, it doesn’t seem to make sense to me.

Then in Dil Hai Tumhaara, well the plot is just so Indian, so considering that fact, I don’t really think there’s a problem with the plot. The dances are superb, haha, but yea, it’s a complicated love story which is just too… unreal and weird. Ironically, we could find similar plots (heaps of it)–even the worse versions, in Indonesian sitcom or what we called as ‘sinetron.’

I kinda forgot Kal Ho Naa Ho, cause I watched it long time ago, but I remember one scene when the lead actress (Pretty Zinta) said, “Because of him, I start to smile again.” Then the movie showed heaps pics of Pretty Zinta smiling. Suddenly I rewind the movie, and watched it from the very beginning again, and felt so weird right away, because even before she met the guy, she’s been smiling many many times. Wow, it doesn’t make sense at all.

In My Name is Khan (this is even weirder), most of the time the main characters (the Indians) are using Hindi as their conversational language, and surprisingly, they use it to everybody. One exception that I remember: when Khan got arrested by the security officers in the airport. But most of the time they use Hindi, to everybody, including the Americans. Well, there’s a possibility that those Americans understand Hindi, but they all replied in English, and then they got replied by the Indians in Hindi, and they replied in English again.

Those code-switching is indeed, possible in the reality, but they don’t happen again and again and again, I guess. It sometimes happen to me too, when I speak in English, then my friend replies in Indonesian (and sometimes my friend happens to be ‘bule’, which makes me think that we should actually switch places), and then I said something in English again, yet my friend still replied in Indonesian. Finally I switched to Indonesian.

But in the movie, it’s just so weird, why don’t they use English instead? That would perfectly make sense! They live in the US!

Then in 3 Idiots (this is a GOOD movie!), yea, they still have the exaggerating part, like, the dances and the singing, but that’s just Indian movies. That’s the culture, so it doesn’t feel really weird.

Now, those list above, are the things that Slumdog Millionare is lacking. They don’t do the dance during the movie (the dance is only available at the end of the movie, which make me realize now that Jai Ho is the movie’s soundtrack), and they don’t have the exaggerating parts. The story might be something that could only happen in books or movies, but the acting, the setting and the plot, are all perfectly make sense. Terrific.

But again, those are just my opinions, based on my perspective.

P.S. I gotta add one thing, India is full of good actors and actresses!

Nothing is Ever Permanent

There are three types of people who will come into your life: People for a Reason, People for a Season, and People for a Lifetime.

  • People for a Reason
    They say this kind of people come for a reason = to be a comfort in your times of trouble, to be an answer for your problems, to be the one by your sides in your times of need, etc. And when the reason has happened, his/her mission is fulfilled, accomplished, and it is very possible that he/she will walk out of your life forever. The person itself might not realize that he/she actually came with a mission, but God sent him/her to be your answer. They have a reason for staying by your side.
  • People for a Season
    This person is different with the previous one. This person might not come for a reason, and he/she might not be your answer for your problem, and might not comfort you in times of trouble, but this person enters your life for a season only, e. g. for a semester, because you two are classmates; for a holiday, because you met during holidays and spent a lot of time together; for a project, because you guys are in the same committee, doing the same stuff until your project is done, and many other possibilities. After his/her season passed, he/she might walk out of your life, too, or if they didn’t, you might not remained close to them anymore.
  • People for a Lifetime
    This type of people, are mostly believed by many, as someone who will become your soul mate, or your spouse. Mostly. But some also believe this kind of people to be your BFF, or your parents, and such people who is loyal enough to you, that they will never leave your side.

Okay, enough with the nonsense. I’m comin up with my own nonsense.

Nothing is Ever Permanent — the hypocrite, as you can also see in Another Nonsense on the sidebar next to the articles.

I’ve put that quotation in my status (both twitter and facebook) for days, and I meant what I wrote.

I do believe the thing such as People for a Reason and a Season, for I’ve had them too.

When my parents were about to divorce, I had my People for a Reason who comforted me, and stayed by my side to strengthen me.

From one semester to another semester, I met People for a Season, and they change every semester. Some may stay to two or more semesters, but some stay only for one semester.

Then they will graduate, and become busier than usual, and it is very possible to lose contact.

But no people for a Lifetime.

As I said, “Nothing is ever permanent.” Nothing stays forever in your life. Especially forever and ever (or ‘forever and a day’).

Not your spouse.

Not your current best friend who you thought will be your BFF.

Not even your parents.

There are very little cases of loyal marriage, whose wife and husband stay forever and forever loving the same person. I don’t think it’s impossible, but it’s very rare. Even when you saw a family who seem to love each other, it might not what it seems. You just haven’t dig deeper.

Your BFF? Even fewer cases of soul mates stay as soul mates till they die. One might leave sooner. Many things could happen. Fight, death, changes, etc, etc. Even BFF may last.

Your parents? Once you’re married, you’re not your parents’ anymore. You belong to your spouse. Or at least, that’s what I believe. And even if you stick with your parents, unless your parents are Greek god who came down to earth and disguise as mortals, I’m sorry, but they will die, sooner or later. They die, too.

So, yea, that’s what I’ve believed so far: nothing stays forever in your life.

Okay, there might be no one to stay forever in your life, but what about things around you?

Evolution came, trends are always come and go, never steady, even climate changes, and even everything around us (the so-called nature) change.

So, see? Nothing stays forever. “Nothing is ever permanent.”