For the eight-year-old Ratu M. Sumampow, the word ‘unattainable’ is not in her dictionary. She shares with Aulia R. Sungkar about her perception of learning.
While showing her cozy room, Ratu M. Sumampow excitingly pinpoints her collection of dolls. However, there is only one that she likes the most. It’s ‘Meow.’
is a female cat doll and has been with her since Ratu was six months old, she recalls saying that, “I always take ‘Meow’ whenever I go even when going abroad. I want to have a real cat, but with my tight daily timetable I don’t think I can take good care of it.”
The older daughter of Hendro Sumampow and Mila Winata always tries to keep her spirit up in learning many subjects including those beyond what she studies at school. She accelerates her time in taking an array of extracurricular lessons such as singing, ballet, drum, piano, creative writing, French, drawing and swimming. “And I’m about starting an ice-skating lesson.”
All of these activities must fill her daily agenda to the brim. Nevertheless, the get-up-and-go Ratu seems to enjoy her daily activities. Indeed, the active girl who has been taking ballet lesson since she was two years old keeps holding up to race in her learning achievement.
So, it is no wonder the smart Ratu has collected an array of trophies and certificates of achievements; ranging from being the winners of colouring competitions by the Jakarta International Club and Global Art to attending summer course in leadership and character building at John Robert Powers.
With her charming voice, she says that learning is of great importance as it is a stepping-stone for her independent future life. For that reason, Ratu always holds the belief that learning should not only be limited to schooling.
Born in Jakarta on August 29, 2000, Ratu is now in the third grade at El-Shaddai International School taking homeschooling program. “Precisely, it’s semi-homeschooling program since I still have to go to school thrice a week while spending my Tuesdays and Thursdays for self-studying at home.”
Among her favourite subjects are Science, English and Social Studies. ”Although I’m into science so much, if you ask what I like best among the three…hmm…I’d say it’s English!”
Ratu prefers to use English as her daily conversation language as well as reading and written expressions. “Both Indonesian and English are very crucial languages to me; but since I aim to further higher education in the United States upon completing my high school, the latter is the more important one.
“Not only is English an international language, many of my family members and relatives are overseas graduates and they keep telling me how importance English is when studying abroad. I have thus far been gearing up for more reading and writing practices. Also, I love writing my diary and typing short stories in my laptop.”
It is not surprising, therefore, that despite her young age, she has managed her daily schedule well. “Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to stay on track with my school and other extracurricular activities,” says Ratu, who takes her mom as a role model.
“Notwithstanding the fact that I often make my mom upset with my whiningly kiddy act, I do believe that whatever advices she gives are indeed worth of seeds that are potential to grow my future dream.”
Asked what she wanted to be when she grows up, Ratu exclaims in delight, “a model and pediatrician!”
Ratu is indeed a fashionista girl for she has different taste of high-quality clothing. The stylish girl who likes wearing 70’s style of jeans says that Zara kids and Guess are her most favourite fashion labels. “I also like wearing skirt and tank-top when doing outdoor activities,” says Ratu, who adores the colours of pink, purple and light blue.
Her interest in fashion has truly an inspiration for Ratu to become a model. Malls like Grand Indonesia, Taman Anggrek and Senayan City are among her favourite shopping destinations. No less important, she has participated in a number of children choir activities at Plaza Senayan and Taman Anggrek malls during events of Independence Day and Christmas.
“Modeling is a profession that I’d like to pursue as a side job. Becoming a pediatrician is what actually I have in mind, as I’m always motivated with the occupation’s noble deeds of helping children recovering from diseases and how to maintain their health,” Ratu says.
It is too early to say whether Ratu will change her future goal. But at least she has shown her interest in science, especially with subjects related to human body; a good start to hit the road toward achieving her future destination.
Ratu has also got herself down to engage in some social activities like visiting orphanages and old folk house where she has performed singing as well as donated used clothes and toys.
Amidst her busy agenda, Ratu is still able to spare time reading books, magazines, comics and watching TV at her leisure. Her favourite TV channels are Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Travel & Living, Discovery and Animal Planet. “Aside from being keen on reading, I’m a movie buff and into a bunch of movies from cartoon series like the Powerpuff Girls to classical cartoons of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty.”
Kidzania is her favourite entertainment center. Dining-out with her family is as well one of her routine activities. Sushi and pizza are her most favourite food. “Spending an evening with my family along with my younger sister Ayu dining at either Sushi Tei or Pizza Marciano really puts me in a jovial mood,” Ratu asserts.
Published in Tatler Bambini, special edition, January 2009.