In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Make Note!
  • Rita Matu Mona (bio)
    Translated by Cobina Gillitt (bio)

Cast of Characters


Agus’s Father

Agus’s Mother

Prof. Djumawa, college director

Dr. Santini, lecturer

Syeni, student

Bonggo, student

Mr. Dar, instructor

Mr. Tedjo, instructor

Mr. Mus, instructor

Mrs. Atika, instructor

Sarman, caretaker

Pleki, student

Ciping, student

Fredrik, student

Bujel, student

Other Instructors and Board of Trustees

Opening Scene

Isolation room in a psychiatric hospital. Agus sits shackled to a chair. Her eyes are vacant, without expression. Everything that has happened passes silently through her mind. There are only the following lyrics:


Nightmares of that dark prison
Whenever roaming in the darkest of night
Without illumination, without a spot of light
There’s a bit of air, but no sky
The banished know not when the door will be opened
Feeling stifled
My hands reach out looking for something to hold on to
If I miss my target I will strike and claw at the air
I don’t know where I am…
I don’t know where I am… [End Page 209]

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Jogja Expo Center, Yogyakarta, 2013. Kurniadi Widodo

[End Page 210]

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Malioboro Street, Yogyakarta, 2011. Kurniadi Widodo

[End Page 211]

Scene One

Agus reads a psychology book in her room. Suddenly, the figures of Father and Mother move in a portrait hanging on the wall. This portrait exists only in her imagination.


So you want to become a psychologist. To take care of others. You think it’s easy? We can’t even take care of our own problems—and they’re getting worse all the time. Never ending. Even statesmen can’t take care of their citizens’ problems. And we’re just small folk.


What’s the point of taking care of other people’s problems? To be a psychologist, you have to have a strong mental constitution and physical stamina. Does that sound like you?


Not at all; you’ve been sickly since you were small. Not only that, you’re a girl. This isn’t a gender issue, but reality. There’s no way you could succeed at facing other people’s problems on your own.


You’re still young, and you still have a lot of opportunities for a career. After you’ve grown up, graduated from a business school chosen by your father, and worked at a multinational company with a decent salary, then you can continue your schooling in psychology, just as you like.


What’s wrong with becoming an economist? We’re the descendants of merchants. Any job we do has to bring in money. There has to be profit and gain. In this era of globalization, the country needs good economists to put our sadly disorganized economy back into shape.

Agus is nervous.


Why don’t you comply with your father’s wishes? I think it’s the best thing to do at this time. We’ve planned out your future to be this way ever since you were a baby.


Don’t disregard our good intentions. [The lights start to fade on the portrait.]


Think positively. Hey, where are you going? We haven’t finished talking, Agus. Don’t leave. Agus! Agus! [The lights on the portrait continue to fade.]


So stubborn. Only thinking of herself!


Like father, like daughter!

The lights on the portrait fade to black. Agus gazes at the empty frame. [End Page 212]

Scene Two

Graduation ceremony. Solemn atmosphere. Graduates are receiving their diplomas. Both the dean and the university president are present. Agus is the last graduate to receive her diploma. Once the ceremony is over, Agus and the other graduates throw their hats up into the air and happily strip off their graduation attire. The atmosphere becomes boisterous. Dancing and singing fill the hall.


After graduation that has been so long in coming
From Chandradimuka’s cauldron
Young warriors are born
Fighting to realize their hopes
Long Live Academia
Long Live Academia
The world will become ours
The world will become ours

Scene Three

College classroom. Dr. Santini is lecturing to a...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 209-236
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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