Spread the Wings, Break Prejudice
Spread the Wings, Break Prejudice
  • An Lee Jung-Un
  • 승인 2007.04.30 18:58
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There is a girl.  The girl had a vision and wanted to be a doctor of oriental medicine.  She made an effort to get good grades in her studies.  However, the girl fell down at the gate of the university.  She didn’t give up and picked herself up, but she fell down again.  The reason that the girl continued to fall down is because we live in a prejudicial society. 

Actually, the girl is a handicapped person.  Finally she entered Dongguk University and the girl can spread her wings.  The girl’s name is Bang Gui Hee (BANG).  Now, the girl is growing up to be a woman.  She works as a broadcasting writer, the president of sosdae literature and she is a professor of Kyunghee University.  The Sookmyung Times (SMT) met her on the mild days of spring that resembles her.

SMT: You have worked as a broadcasting writer for 26 years.  How did you start as a broadcasting writer?
BANG: I graduated from university in 1981 first on the line.  Therefore, broadcasting stations demanded that I appear on television.  I complied with the request and went to the broadcasting station to complete an interview.  When I arrived at the broadcasting station, it was very attractive to me because I didn't know broadcasting well. 

Recently, it is easy to see the broadcasting system through dramas or movies.  However, when I was young, dramas or movies didn't show their workings, so I didn't know about it.   Also, I didn’t know any broadcasting writers.  After I went to the broadcasting station, I learned about the writer’s role and tasks.  Through this experience I thought writers were great and I wanted to be a writer.  Then I was called to write a 3 minute column, so I decided to work at the broadcasting station.

SMT: What were the good things or difficult problems while you worked as a broadcasting writer?
Some difficult problems were that I didn’t know broadcasting writer’s tasks entirely.  Now there are many of broadcasting academies in Korea.  However, there were no academies when I started work.  I studied through manuscripts that ex‐writers had written. 

Other problems included insufficient or a lack of convenient facilities.  The writer’s task was to work outside of the broadcasting station.  There are no convenient facilities outside the broadcasting station.  It was very difficult, but made an effort more than before.  One good thing was that I got feedback very easy through broadcasting.  I could meet people who I wanted to meet as a writer. 

SMT: You work as writer and launched sosdae literature.  Please introduce sosdae literature to Sookmyungians.  And what do you want to show through these actions?
I launched sosdae literature after working for 10 years.  While I worked as a writer, I didn’t think a writer made much money.  It was a job that needed people.  I made a great effort to deliver good information to listeners and to broadcast from listeners’ positions. 

Listeners were very important to me, so I wanted to make friends with them and have time to talk with them.  While I talked with them, I heard that there was no space to write about handicapped persons.  Therefore, I decided to make a magazine to write about handicapped persons.  This was just a connection between me and the listeners, and I wanted to change people's understanding through my writing.  It was a culture movement in a big way.

SMT: What was your most difficult challenge in your life?  And how do you overcome suffering?
There were many things that I have not done.  I am disappointed that I didn’t always follow my mind.  In other words, I could do something, but people thought I couldn’t.  People think ‘can or can’t’ when they work with handicapped people. Actually, I can do something work but people don't give me it because people have prejudice.  It is difficult things to me.  And I persuade people that I can work.

SMT: You give a lesson to Kyunghee University students.  What’s your opinion about university surroundings for handicapped people in comparison with universities in the past?
I am satisfied with university surroundings for handicapped people.  When I went to university, there were no elevators or convenient facilities.  Now, universities have elevators and computer systems that I can teach.  The important thing is recognition of the surroundings.  When I started teaching lessons, students were very surprised because they didn’t know I am a handicapped person. 

I expected this situation and I talked about me and my life.  After the lesson, I heard interviews of students who attended my lesson. (Broadcasting reporter covers my lesson.)  Students said "I thought to give up this lesson because professor is handicapped person.  But I change my mind because there are good things that professor teach me."  When I heard this, I think students’ recognition didn't understand..

SMT: Lastly, please offer some advice to Sookmyungians.
I want students to live fiercer.  When I was a student, we thought about the next step fiercely.  For example, I thought about graduation and my future job.  However, students who go to university now don’t think about the next step.  So, they meet their next step without any preparation.  It causes failure. 

I want students to prepare their life more intentionally.  Also, they must make an effort to search for a job.  Students should find treasures.  My plan is to change people’s understanding in all ways.  People discriminate between handicapped and non handicapped because they don’t know handicapped people very well.  Ignorance is no excuse.  I want to teach this to officers who work for Korea.

1957, Born in Seoul
1981, Graduated from Dongguk University, College of Buddhist Studies first on the line
1981, Started a broadcasting career as a writer <Tomorrow is bluesky>
1991, Launched sosdae literature.

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