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home : news : this week's news August 16, 2017

4/19/2017 8:04:00 AM
Indonesian exchange student not sitting idle in year away from home

When Alyssa Widijanto returns to her home in Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia, next month, she'll have plenty to tell her family and friends.

Indeed, Widijanto has been an extremely busy 17-year-old during her more than eight-month stay in Windom, much of it spent with the Steve and Brenda Muller family. Check out her list of activities during her tenure as a Windom exchange student: Eagle Concert Choir, fall musical, winter play, Knowledge Bowl, robotics, speech and she's running middle distance events in track and field this spring.

And when she's in the classroom, she's taking such college level courses as calculus, psychology and economics.

It might be one thing if she were only participating, but she's doing much more than that. She was heavily involved in the robotics team's work this winter and she finished as one of the top discussion competitors (fifth place) in the Section 3A meet earlier this month.

"During the first month of school, we had this debate on government in Mr. Joyce's social studies class. We were talking about John Locke and Thomas Hobbes theory and how it contradicts," says the bubbly teen, who's quick with a big smile. "We were just having a fun debate and after class, Mr. Joyce is like (in a serious tone), 'Alyssa, you need to join speech.' I told him I can't speak English that well and he's like, 'You should join speech. You are going to be good at this.'

"Then, later I had musical practice and a senior, John Irwin, came to me and said, 'Alyssa, I heard that you just devoured the whole class in social. You should be in speech.'  "

Irwin, who competed in discussion, convinced Alyssa that she would be perfect for the category. Needless to say, both Joyce and Irwin were right.

Moreover, Alyssa later revealed that she was captain of her debate team in Indonesia. Little wonder she excelled in discussion.

For much more on Alyssa, see the story on the Faith & Family page in the April 19 issue of the Cottonwood County Citizen on newsstands today.


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