Coming home


Vice Admiral
Hey guys,
it's been a while since I've actively participated in the forums.

Some of you might remember me years ago when I open a nice thread titled 'Wing Commander affected our lives' (

Nevertheless, I want to inform you that after years of praying, struggling, asking around and investigating, I'm setting my mind to study in USA.

Currently I'm in a SE Asian country called Indonesia. Some may know it as the archipelago country containing 13,000+ islands, few might know that our east to west borders stretches the same length as California to New York. Regardless, much like America, Indonesia is a very multicultural country, with hundreds of tribes and ethnic groups. We had our share of problems, political as well economical.

I was born in Indonesia, but had a six years of my childhood formative years in USA. My last vivid memory of America was going to Timothy Christian School in Lombard, Illinois. I left America in 1988, and never returned since then. Since then (21 years ago), I've felt a piece of me missing. My return to Indonesia was a real shock, meeting so many strange people and seeing strange places, but after many years I've finally adapted to living here (with a slight 'foreign accent when speaking the local language').

Now, after 21 years living in Indonesia, I am blessed with many friends, teachers and most important of all, a beautiful wife whom I love with all my heart. Together, finally made up our mind to continue our studies in America. I'm setting my aim on a well known university in Virginia, taking Master of Arts in Communications (specializing in Critical Studies for Cinema and Television)

I've got a GRE test this Tuesday as one of the requirements for entering the university, and I'm so nervous about it.

Please wish me luck.

-Long live the Confederation-
Good luck man! Hope it all goes well!

Unfortunately, things didn't went according to my original plans.

Here's a direct copy of my blog at


I've got some weird experiences these past two months. Rather than summing it up here, I'll just quote word-by-word what I've written to my Regent University admissions counselor.

Dear Elinor,

I have some shocking news for you.

1. First, I've discovered my wife to be pregnant some two weeks ago. Last night we went to a family clinic near our home and discovered the fetus is already 1.7cm long and is 7 weeks old. If this wasn't enough to bug my mind,

2. Second, I was denied entrance to my GRE test, because the test official saw my ID name didn't match my registration name. I registered ARVIN NATHANAEL CHANDRA for the test, and in the computers it appeared as ARVIN CHANDRA. Now, because of past government strange policy of not including family names in the birth certificates, all of my official documents, passports and ID cards lack my CHANDRA family name. Only my marriage certificate fully contains ARVIN NATHANAEL CHANDRA married to [redacted].
When I conducted my TOEFL test last year (which I took in a different test center) this name problem wasn't a big issue for them and I was allowed to take the test and achieved a score of 108.
Yet, this GRE test center which is ran by Prometrics, didn't allow me to take it! The test official tried his best to be polite, and he sincerely believed I am Arvin Chandra, and I tried my best to withheld my anger and emotions, and in the end I realize I couldn't force him to allow me inside, since Prometrics have a strict policy regarding this identification. Apparently there was a bulletin that stated only National ID cards, driver's license and Passport (which all contains the testee's photos and signature) are considered valid proof. Credit card are considered secondary proof (as they usually contain no photos). But the bulletin explicitly state that 'Birth certificates' and other documents are NOT considered VALID.
Funny how that bulletin never reached my email inbox. Nevertheless, I'm going to the proper steps necessary to legally rectify this 'name problem' of mine.

3. Third, I'm building a company that aims to educate the Indonesian mass through science fiction through a series of magazines and events held by the Indonesian Science Fiction community. This is a dream I've had since 2001, and I tried to make this a business around 2007 but lacked the necessary skillset, network and experience. Now after being an entrepreneur this past 1 year, I'm taking myself as a Christian entrepreneur very seriously.

Because all these factors and coincidences, I trust GOD wants me to stay in Indonesia for the mean time. I'm not sure whether I'm going to take an online course or not (since I prefer a real face-to-face interaction with lecturers), but to say the least I will complete my application process, but not enter this year.


The reply from Elinor Malendoski was very warm.

Dear Arvin,

Congratulations on the wonderful news about you and your wife being expectant parents! God does have His timing on all things!!

I would say that the problem at Prometrics was just another confirmation of God’s timing, though I know you were frustrated.

We hope that you will complete your academic application, in the event that you might want to study online!

I am able to defer your application until May of 2010 so we’ll just see how the Lord leads. OK?

Thank you so much for your full explanation and may God’s blessings rest upon you and your little family as you pursue your efforts in Christian entrepreneurship. (Regent offers a degree in that, you know!)

Love in Christ Jesus,


Well... that sums up what I've been doing around since March.
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