Surabaya International School! I had an awesome experience here at SIS. I attended back in the late 1970s through 1980. I went through from 6th grade to 8th grade (I took 6th grade twice) then we moved for a year to the States. Then back to Indonesia but went to Jakarta International School where I graduated in 1986. We moved to Jakarta to go to JIS since SIS only went up to 8th grade at that time.
I heard that SIS moved back some time ago to another location in Surabaya, East Java. I haven’t been to that one yet nor have I visited the “old” school location. But I do have some cool pictures to help me remind me of some great times.
My folks were awesome and we had some great home schooling till up to 4th grade. So going into a school where there were others who were in my class was awe-inspiring to the point of being terrified. I wasn’t socially ready for this huge move so I took 6th grade two times. At the time I was hurt and disappointed but looking back it was one of the best decisions my folks did. Being a MK ( missionary kid) I didn’t have the social skills to be ready for 6th grade the first time. I spent my first 7 years on the island of Madura where we were, most of the time, the only white skin folks in an island of 2.5 plus Madurese. Plus, I was home schooled, which I sure appreciated, but still didn’t help me in the social department of my life. But alas, I made it and am so glad my folks had the courage to keep me back a year so I could catch up.
What do I remember at SIS? There are many and some first things in my life.
- Yes, this was the first time I kissed a girl. Heck, I had no idea what I was doing but that spin the bottle game made a lasting impression for me. I can’t imagine I was any good at my first kiss but I will leave that to that wonderful gal who put up with this guy for that kiss. I still remember her name. To honor her, I won’t name this fine young lady.
- We played a lot of football, non American football. For my American friends, we call it soccer here stateside. It was two Doug’s against the rest of the 6th to 8th graders. Doug Ladner was awesome and I was ok. It was great exercise. This was where I had my first broken bone. Somehow I fell on my left arm weird and pop, there I was crying like a big baby. Yes, I hate pain. Did I say I really hate pain? I do!! But thankfully I had great school admin and my folks took me to the Southern Baptist hospital, where I was born, to mend it. No surgery was needed I was told but still was a big pain. Imagine being in the tropics and itching like mad underneath the cast. Top it off, I write with my left hand.
- We had some great teachers. I can’t remember their names but still can remember their faces. A super math teacher who made math fun even though a chimney smoked less than him. An Indian teacher in 8th grade who made learning so much fun. I even remember realizing that I would not make a good Biologist teacher during the week of dissecting frogs.
- The trip to and from school was a bear. We lived about one and a half hours away in Waru (outside town connected to Surabaya). 2 taxis (nothing like the U.S.), a bike ride with a short walk to school 2x a day for a total of 3 hours a day five times a week. Yep, this is where I was woken up to be responsible taking me and my two younger brothers to school.
- Kind of funny, now. I heard my first swear words in my life. Most of my classmates were not MKs but kids from parents who worked at foreign embassies, oil and multinational companies. I usually had around 8-12 students in my grade. That was it! So it was a small group of folks where we had a blast. So one day I asked my mom what “x” and “x” meant (yep, they were serious four letter words). I still can’t remember what my mom said but it came down something like “if I ever hear that come from your mouth again I will have you wash your mouth out with soap.” No kidding, I knew what that was like because it seemed like every month without a missed beat that soap was cleaning my mouth. And folks, Indonesian soap back in the 1970s is uggy!
- I remember my buddy, my long time friend (I am visiting him this coming 2014 in Singapore), Carl Thong. He is such a wonderful guy! A beautiful family with two great kids and an amazing wife. Carl and I first met in 6th grade and we followed each other through school where we both graduated 12th grade at JIS (Jakarta International School) in 1986. I made great friends with Brett Callander. His folks where with the Salvation Army hospital in Surabaya. I even had an awesome time meeting up with Brett and his wonderful family for a couple days in Wellington, New Zealand back around 2006. Kim He Joon, from South Korea, is another great guy we palled around with. At this time, 2013, Carl and I and others have no idea where he is. There are many more classmates I remember and I sure appreciate each and everyone of them!
They were good times, those SIS years!! I have very fond memories. From puppy love, becoming more responsible, upgrading my social skills, and so many other things. Thank you teachers and admin folks at SIS for helping this guy become a better person! It is so very much appreciated!! Cheerio. Scuba Diving Doug