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Tempus Fugit – Time Flies

   

▲ Lee Un-young, Operation Committee of the Korea Solidarity for Anti-Corruption, Dept. of Forestry (Class of ’66)

     
 

   It has been half a century since The Dongguk Post was found in 1966, the year I got accepted to Dongguk University.

   As a student reporter and news editor, I was able to spend a busy, yet fruitful, campus life from 1967 to the end of 1969. Korea was an underdeveloped country in the 1960’s, where GDP per capita was only 100 US Dollars, and the life of people was needy and the advent of the globalization era seemed far off.

   I studied at college with anticipation that globalization would come in the future and so I tried to find a way to improve my English skills. Fortunately, when I became a sophomore, I took the golden opportunity of being a reporter for The Dongguk Post. I concentrated a lot of time and effort on publishing the monthly newspaper with the first chief editor Koh Ik-jin, reporter Jo Yong-geun, and Lee Son-ae.

   To complete my work before the publication date, I wrote articles day and night consulting various dictionaries. Instant noodles were the most convenient meal for us, the editorial staff, to alleviate our hunger.

   As Dr. Song Yo-in, professor in English Language and Literature, made top-notch edits, publishing a newspaper was a labor-intensive and time-consuming process.

   For instance, the Samyoung Printing Company’s conventional printing machine, used to typeset the publications, could only print the types one at a time. When the newspaper was issued, we usually had a makgeolli (Korean rice wine) party to celebrate and rejoice. Through the efforts of Dr. Song Yo-in’s article editing process, I was able to acquire practical English and improve my English skills. It was the chance of a lifetime. I am always grateful to the late Dr. Song Yo-in.

   The year I graduated, in the beginning of 1970, I joined the NACF (National Agricultural Co-operative Federation, a multipurpose co-operative organization handling banking, insurance, marketing of farm products & consumer goods) and was able to get the highest score on an English examination among all employees at the organization. Afterwards, during my 30 years of life at work, I was lucky to travel to more than 50 countries within six years as I had to attend international conferences, business trips, research, investigations, lectures, and work in overseas offices. This is all thanks to The Dongguk Post where I was able to develop my ability to use English.

   My dear junior reporters and juniors at Dongguk University! Be ambitious! Dreams come true to those who dream! The globalization era has come and Korea has become the 10th largest economy in the world.

   I expect there will be rapid growth after unification of Korea. Make ceaseless effort with your English until it is flawless. Then you will be given a successful opportunity in the future.

Lee Un-young  uyjohn@naver.com

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