Sunday, April 5, 2015

Selamat Jalan, Pak

Selama saya jadi mahasiswa ngawur di Jurusan Sastra Inggris, Fakultas Bahasa dan Seni, UNY, salah satu dosen yang betul-betul saya kagumi adalah Pak Asih Sigit Padmanugraha.
Dari beliau saya mula-mula belajar, dan kemudian dibikin jatuh cinta pada Creative Writing. Kelas-kelas yang diampu beliau berkesan sekali, yang masih saya ingat sampai sekarang kelas Menulis di semester III dan VI. 

Di kelas Menulis, setiap minggunya kami diminta untuk membuat esai satu halaman berupa ulasan kritis mengenai karya sastra Amerika tertentu. Kami mengulas karya-karya penulis perempuan Amerika seperti Amy Tan dan Anne Bradstreet, elemen horor dalam karya Edgar Allan Poe, fiksi ilmiahnya H.G. Wells, dan lain-lain. 

Sempat dibikin gemas sebab saya selalu mendapat nilai 6- atau mentok di angka 7- untuk tulisan-tulisan yang saya pikir sudah keren sekali itu. Sampai suatu hari akhirnya tulisan saya dinilai 9 oleh beliau. Rasanya kepengin saya bingkai dan pajang tulisan saya itu, satu-satunya yang mendapat nilai 9 selama satu semester kuliah Menulis. Memang saya tidak sampai membingkai lalu memajang tulisan itu di dinding tetapi tetap saya simpan sampai sekarang. 


Pak Asih Sigit yang saya ingat, sering memakai kemeja flanel, celana jeans biru, dan sepatu kets. Barangkali saat itu aturan di kampus masih longgar sehingga selain penampilan yang santai, kadang-kadang saya juga memergoki beliau sedang merokok. Barangkali memang Pak Asih Sigit terlanjur bandel. Saya ingat cara berjalannya yang istimewa dan potongan rambutnya yang kelewat pendek.

Bicaranya pelan dan pasti saat menyampaikan materi perkuliahan. Beliau selalu mendorong kami untuk memberikan pendapat, juga menemukan hal-hal yang menarik untuk didiskusikan dari sebuah karya sastra. Karena itu, bagi saya, kelas beliau tak pernah membosankan. 

Di luar kelas, beliau tidak banyak omong. Meski sekali waktu saya sempat dikejutkan sebab beliau menyapa saya terlebih dulu. Sekali lagi saya katakan, saya ini cuma mahasiswa ngawur dengan prestasi akademik yang biasa-biasa saja, tetapi kenyataan bahwa beliau mengingat saya betul-betul berkesan. 

Berikut saya sertakan tulisan bernilai 9 dari tahun 2007 yang akan selalu saya simpan baik-baik itu.



ON NATIVE AMERICAN LITERATURE


Black Elk, N. Scott Momaday and Sherman Alexei shares one similarity; they are all Indians. What distinguish them one to another is their times; they live and produce their works in different times. Furthermore, this difference of times would effects their woks in themes and styles.
Indians are strongly attached to their environments; the land, the earth and sky. Indians love the land; it is reflected in their stories and songs. Momaday explained this in “A First American Views His Land” where he included some Indian songs that celebrate the beauty of the nature as well as tales that belong in the oral tradition of Indian family as the indications of something essential about their attitude toward the land. Here Momaday compared the way of thinking of the land between Indian and the society as a whole. For anyone else but Indian, land means ownership, we can buy and sell and use the land as we like because the context of ownership is that we can use it as we will. For Indian, they live on the land, they take their living from it, but they do not destroy it. The way Momaday compared Indian to the society as a whole implicitly indicates how Indian consider themselves different from the others. In short, Indian’s love upon the nature is what Momaday’s “A First American Views His Land” all about. 
Black Elk, who lived long before Momaday and Alexei, also involved the concept of the nature, “The earth is our mother. The sky is our father”, as the center of the Indian world view. Though the story, as told by Elk to John Neihardt, is about his participation in the Battle of Little Big Horn, still there are some details about the strong attachment of Indian toward the nature. As in this line; then I got off my horse and rubbed earth on myself, to show the Powers that I was nothing without their help.
In “Superman and Me” and “Why Indian Men Fall in Love with White Women”, Sherman Alexei was no longer talking about the nature. He’s still talking about how Indian cope with his environments but in a broader sense. In “Superman and Me”, Alexei revealed his childhood experience which later would effects his later life. “Why Indian Men Fall in Love with White Women” shows Alexei ability in creating such a contemporary story. How the title uses the word ‘Indian men’ and ‘White women’ underlines the understanding that somehow Indian is different from the others, including the White. No matter in what era, from Momaday to Alexei, it seems hard to erase this particular understanding. However, one thing that needs to be questioned is whether the center of the Indian world views that “The earth is our mother. The sky is our father” has changed through the times? Since Alexei is no longer talking about it, has it somehow evolves and becomes less important in Indian life? Clearly it is not appropriate for me to make any priori conclusions, not until I’ve read all Alexei works. However a priori assumption may arose that it is indeed becoming less important and no longer taking part as the center of the Indian world views as for Alexei what matter now is to save Indian lives by giving them a proper education.


Hari ini saya mendapat kabar bahwa beliau telah mengakhiri masa panjang perjuangan melawan kanker otak. Beliau telah meninggal dunia dengan tenang. Rasanya tidak percaya. Seperti baru kemarin saya melihat beliau berjalan di lorong Gedung G. 

Selamat jalan, Pak.
Terima kasih untuk waktu-waktu yang sungguh berkesan dan ajaran-ajaran yang sungguh berharga. Terima kasih karena telah menjadi seorang guru yang baik. 

Innalillahi wa inna ilaihi raaji'un.


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