In May, 1985, I arrived in Washington, DC after more than 30 hours from Jakarta, through Amsterdam and New York City. I was assigned by my superior to pursue my Master/licentiate degree in philosophy at CU in order to teach at our Divine Word Missionaries' formation house on the island of Flores, Indonesia. To be admitted at the university in general and at philosophy department in particular, all international students are required to have a good TOEFL score, and in order to take this test one, has to go through some intensive English courses. At CU at the time we had an excellent intensive English program (IEP) and had some good and lovely instructors like Ms. Anca Nemoianu and some others. I was one among many other international students who were admitted in this program from June to July 1985. The IEP was an excellent program academically as well as culturally. There we were introduced to the American culture and its way of life. It was so well-organized, for one can never master any language if one does not know anything about the people who speak that language and their culture. We were always busy the whole week in classroom, yet every now and then we were involved in many well-arranged activities outside the classroom, such as picnics, sightseeing, barbecues, and international social gatherings organized either by the IEP or by the university. We did not only adjust ourselves to the American culture, but also learned from one another, as all students came from different nationalities from all corners of the world. It was really an amazing time to be together and it is unforgettable. Besides, the IEP instructors at the time were really inter-culturally mature and therefore we could understand each other easily. All students were ready to adjust themselves to the American life style, and hence everybody could do whatever he wanted as long as nobody felt bothered with his or her attitude and life-style. In such situation the learning process was well conditioned and we were really getting into a deep intensive learning program. No wonder all of us were happy and successful with out language course. With my proficiency in English as second language (with proper TOEFL score) I was admitted to the Department of Philosophy and was able to finish all course works in 2 years, including a thesis on Plato's theory of knowledge. I remember that Dr. Jude Dougherty, a dean of philosophy himself, was my advisor while doing the studies at CUA. It was hard in the beginning, but once you mastered the language and got to know many people and friends in the department, everything became easier. At the School of Philosophy I got in good contact with some professors such as Dr. Jude Dougherty, Fr. George McClean, Fr. Robert Sokolowski, Fr. William Wallace, Fr. John Wippel, Dr. Paul Weiss, Dr. Anthony Cua, the late Dr. Kurt Pritzel, and many others. After finishing my studies, I left Washington, DC in November 1987 for Germany for an intensive German course at St. Pius Kolleg, Munich. After 3 years teaching in Flores (1988-1991), I returned to the States for my PhD program at Boston College. With my more or less good English I found no difficulty at BC and in only about three years I defended my dissertation on Michel Foucault's Question of Ethics, a French post-structuralist thinker. Returning to my home country, while lecturing at School of Philosophy and Theology, I was also invited to lecture Philosophy at St. Peter's College in Kuching, East Malaysia and in some universities and Institutes in Indonesia. In about 30 years of teaching, I have published over ten books, translated 10 books (from English, German and Dutch), and many articles issued in different journals, periodicals and magazines. With all these achievements, I have to cordially say thanks to my alma mater, all lecturers and friends who dedicated much of their time and energy to support me. Ms. Anca Nemoianu, the person in charge of the CU IEP, is the one who knows me well and is always being in good contact with me in Indonesia. She also proofread my Master's thesis on Plato's Theory of Knowledge at CU and my dissertation on Michel Foucault while I was at BC. My sincere thanks go also to all friends and lecturers at School of Philosophy, CU. You are always remembered in my prayers and mass offerings. To all of you who are still active at IEP and Department of Philosophy, may God bless you with good health, joy and happiness, and to those who already passed away, may our loving Father reward you with His eternal grace and peace in Heaven. If anyone of you have opportunities to travel to Indonesia, particularly to Bali or Flores (east of Bali), please stop by and stay with us. Just contact me and you will be OK.
Father Konrad Kebung went on to become Rector of St. Paul Major Seminary; Director of the School of Philosophy and Theology at Ledalero, Flores; and finally, The Provincial of the SVD Order, Ende Province.