Sabtu, April 03, 2010

Analyzing a problem

Dear Annie,
I'm a senior high school graduate. Because of financial problems, I chose to work right after I finished school. Luckily for me, through the help of a family member, I was able to get a job at an expedition company. I have been working with the company for two years now. My job is difficult. I have to deliver mail and other documents to almost every part of the city. Heat, rain, dirt, and smoke are all part of my daily life. Sometimes I feel that I'm always on the road and never really get anywhere. I am getting tired and bored with my routine, and I feel like quitting. I don't want to be a courier all my life! Should I try applying for another job? Even if I do, is it possible to get a higher position and better pay with just my high school diploma? Please advise!



In the Minangkabau matrilineage, the mother is the head of the family. The children receive their clan name and inheritance from their mother’s family. Usually, the mother’s brother called mamak, is responsible for his sister’s well-being. He is supposed to give guidance and advice to his sister(s), nieces and nephews. If the mamak can afford it, he is expected to support them financially as well. When he passes away, his mother’s ancestral inheritance will go to the family of his sister(s), too. However, they will not inherit the wealth that he himself acquired on his own.

The father, of course is a respected member of the family. His opinion and suggestions are taken into consideration, although they are not decisive. For instance, he does not have a say in his children’s marriage. On the other hand, he does not need to worry about the expenses of the wedding ceremony because his children will be taken care of by his wife’s brothers and sisters.

In a certain area, part of the wedding ceremony is fetching the room from his house by the bride’s aunts and uncles. In this area, the delegation of elders presents a dowry to the groom and performs a recital of poems and proverbs. This is the way to persuade the groom’s family to release him. If all goes well, the delegation then escorts the groom to the bride’s house. On some occasions, the bride’s family have to negotiate a hard bargain, particularly if the groom is rich, well educated, and handsome. They have to be able to recite catchy, witty poems and proverbs in addition to presenting expensive gifts to the groom.

A Minangkabau household consists of one big extended family who lives in a family house called Rumah Gadang. A married man is not expected to take charge of this group of people into which he is married. He is not supposed to stay at his wife’s house during the day. He may spend his time at his mother’s household, at the mosque or at his place of business and he is not expected to be back home before the sun sets.

However, this tradition is gradually gaining less importance, particularly among the educated living in big cities. A married couple may decide to move to another city, far away from the couple’s parents. When separation from the elder females occurs, the main breadwinner of the household, usually the husband, will assume a more decisive say in family matters.

Web, anyone ?

While sending messages by fax was trendy in the early nineties and fax machines are still popular, more people are sending e - mail (electronic mail) which can be transmitted through the Internet system. They also use the internet to shop, study, and do research and business.

The internet is a powerful network which consists of millions of computers connected together. Information on the internet comes from around the world and is gathered from many subjects. For example, there is complete information on literature, banking, medicine, law, engineering, etc. Once one has access to the system, he/she may copy information from internet data bases for free.

Many people are excited about the use of internet in the classroom. But there are advantages and disadvantages in using a computer this way for learning.

Watch out!

Recent studies have revealed that our approach to life determines the state of our health. Our diet, habits, personality, as well as our environment, are some important factors that can influence our health positively or negatively.

We know that our everyday choice of food is vital to our health. A poor diet of fatty foods such as red meat, dairy products, cakes, biscuits, ice cream and food containing artificial preservatives, like canned food, may cause health problems.

Eating too much can result in obesity. The more overweight a person is the more likely he or she will suffer from illness among others, high blood pressure. People who lead an inactive life and don’t like exercising regularly are also more apt to become obese than those who like to jog, take brisk walks, climb stairs, or even go disco dancing.

Bad habits such as smoking and heavy drinking can also lead to many health problems. A smoker’s chances of developing heart disease are at least twice those of a non-smoker. Smoking can also cause other serious illnesses, especially lung cancer. For those who choose to drink alcohol, a little amount can do no harm. But a person who drinks excessively could be prone to high blood pressure and strokes.

Much worse than smoking and drinking is an addiction to drugs. Since addicts tend to become preoccupied with the daily ritual of obtaining and taking drugs, they often do not take care of themselves and may suffer from depression, malnutrition, infections, and diseases or injuries. Drug addiction can ruin a person’s life, both physically and mentally.

Researchers also say that our personal character can have a significant effect on the way we live. Having an impatient, bad-tempered, or hard-driving personality can generate a lot of stress. On the other hand, a calm, patient nature will lessen the tensions of life.

My home

My house is probably the most important place for me. It’s the place where we live. It gives me shelter and protects me from harsh weather. It’s the place where I sleep, eat, study, rest, and do lots of other things.

A house is made up of different parts, like doors and windows, and it is divided into rooms, each of which has a different function. It can have a fence to keep out intruders, and usually a yard for the children to play in and a garden to grow plants and flowers.