Wearing his blue uniform and boots, Teguh Tuparman walked proudly to the Grha Sabha Pramana hall, holding hands with his wife and child. That was a big day for him as he had the chance to witness his oldest daughter was inaugurated as a doctoral degree holder.
Retnaningtyas Susanti (Tyas) was born 33 years ago when Teguh started to work at UGM. He joined the security unit back then. He believed these moments were not a coincidence.
“I believe this is our destiny,” he said.
Teguh recounted the story of his daughter when he often brought her to the campus to accompany him when he worked during the weekend. Going from faculty to faculty, it occurred to him to one day see his children study at one of those campuses. Carrying this dream with him, Teguh fully supported Tyas that wanted to study Anthropology at UGM after completing high school, even though it was not easy for him to save money for her study in addition to their daily needs under his limited salary.
“We did all we could (to pay for the tuition), borrowing money and all. But I believed that if money was used for a good cause, there would be something else in return. And it turned out that we really survived and all of our four children could go to college,” he said.
The support from his parents and her own determination had made Tyas complete her undergraduate study in just 3 years and 7 months. After graduation, she worked as researcher at UGM’s Centre for Policy and Demography Studies. Later, she found the passion to work as lecturer, so she decided to pursue her graduate degree.
“My father fully supported me in my undergraduate, but for my graduate degree he could not do it any longer because my siblings also went to college,” she said,
Tyas was determined to finance her own studies, so she did anything to get additional income from working in a coffee shop to selling goods.
Her hard work finally paid off. In 2011 she brought home her master degree in tourism studies, which opened the way to start her career as lecturer at Universitas Andalas Padang. In 2013, it appeared Tyas returned to Jogja for her doctoral study under the scholarships from BPPDN Dikti.
For Tyas, the long journey had made her realise that it was not impossible for those that had sincere goal to study. Tyas expected her siblings who are still in college and anyone that hears her story to keep fighting to get the best education they want, because there are many ways to do it.
Seeing his daughter got inaugurated as scholar for the third time was already enough for Teguh. But for Tyas, her doctoral degree just added on to her dreams to fulfill for her parents.
“I want my father and mother to see me inaugurated as professor one day,” she said optimistically, hugging her father.