Selamat tahun baru,

Kemarin sambil liyer-liyer (karena beberapa hari ini kurang tidur) aku menikmati presentasi musik klasik di museum Chazen yang pertama tahun 2007 ini [Sunday Afternoon Life from the Chazen]. Siang itu Prometheus Trio dari Milwaukee, WI [violin, cello dan piano] memainkan tiga komposisi gubahan Hayden, Martinu dan Brahms dengan performance yang meyakinkan. Sungguh jelegur.



Selesai acara aku buru-buru turun ngantri kopi dan kue-kue [sumbangan dari cafe
seberang jalan]. Lagi asyik nyruput kopi panas, Lori, pembawa acara mingguan
yang juga disiarkan langsung via radio ini, tiba-tiba muncul di depanku. Sebelum
dia buka mulut aku sudah bisa menebak pertanyaannya. [She's a great friend, a
good listener, and always interested in what I do]

+Where have you been [sudah 8 minggu aku absen]. What's your new year's
resolutions?

Well, that's a long story [tetapi aku mencoba menjawab sesingkat mungkin, karena
banyak orang yang antri mau bicara sama Lori] but I think I am on something big,
something really big ... like finding the answer to one of those
six-million-dollar questions. As for question #2, it's related to answer to
question #1: I'm going to teach Spanish!

+You're kidding, aren't you? [dia tahu persis kalau aku ini tidak bicara Spanish
sedikitpun].

Nope, I'm dead serious ... I've been recruiting friends to participate in my
science experiment, a linguistic experiment to be exact, that will "guarantee"
them to speak Spanish with confidence in three months flat, just by spending an
hour a day ... more or less.

+Wow that sounds radical ... but how are you going to teach them ... I assume
you're the uh ... "el profesor"?

Not exactly, since I'm going to learn too, at the same time [just to be fair and
I also need monitor their progress]. I will function as a "facilitator," or more
like the "principal investigator" -- self-appointed PI [lha wong duit risetnya
dari kantong dhewek], just so that everyone listens to what I say. [And believe
me, you don't want to mess with the PI ;-]

This method [mutual teaching-learning] is not really a new concept. Language
learning or acquisition is a collective effort, every member of the group
(community, tribe, nation, etc) each hold some pieces of information -- call it
"the language elements" -- and they keep trading their pieces with each other.
Eventually everyone got enough pieces, or even the whole set, that constitutes
the complete functioning language. I don't know if this help to explain the idea
better, but the whole thing reminds me of BitTorrent, a peer-to-peer (P2P) file
distribution protocol created by programmer Bram Cohen. More than half of
cable-media company distribution is now done that way.

[The protocol is designed to distribute large amounts of data widely without
incurring the corresponding consumption in costly server and bandwidth
resources. Data (document, sound, movie, etc) is chopped into small parts or
pieces (hundreds or thousands, . size of the data). The server only need to send
each piece of the data once and the let the "clients" trade the pieces among
each other.]

+ BitTorrent and language acquisition, eh ... that's an interesting connection.
But how on earth you came up with that idea of teaching everyone Spanish in
three month?

Well ... it began around 6 weeks ago. Hmm, it actually began long long time ago,
in a place far far away ...

[Aku musti potong ceritanya sampai disini dulu karena kulihat banyak yang sudah
menunggu giliran mau omong sama Lori. To be continued next Sunday -- mungkin
lebih awal lagi untuk pembaca forum apakabar ... and I promise it will be mostly
in Bahasa :-]

bersambung ....