Lifting Of marriage Ban Brings Brings Business Woman Back To School Twenty Years Later
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Lifting Of marriage Ban Brings Brings Business Woman Back To School Twenty Years Later
  • Ewha Voice
  • 승인 2003.09.03 00:00
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Ewha has recently lifted the notorious marriage ban that has kept married women out of the university for decades. As a result, women who were forced to quit school because of their marriages are coming back to school to complete their studies embarked upon long ago. Hur Soon-e, the president of an interior design company, is one of these women who will reclaim their status as Ewha student this semester.

As a young woman of 23, Hur entered Ewha Womans University over two decades ago. Due to an early promise in tennis, she was accepted to the College of Human Movement & Performance, where she was able to enjoy being a university student-but only for a year and a half. This was because she got married when she was only halfway through her second year. At first, she had been determined to graduate and repeatedly turned down marriage proposals from her future husband. "I had known him before I went to university. He was 30 years old and wanted to get married very much, but I really wanted to graduate." she says.

However, her soon-to-be husband did not make things easy for her. She sighs as she recollects her husband"s persistence. "He continued to propose marriage though I told him that we could always get married after I was finished with my studies. Then, one day, my husband suddenly showed up with a shaved head, claiming that he would wait for me to finish my studies as a monk at a Buddhist temple. I couldn? just turn him away." Soon after that incident, she agreed to marry him, and dropped out of school.

Even though Hur was not a university graduate, she claims that she has never been inconvenienced by the lack of a diploma. "A relative of my husband"s owned a wallpaper company, which my husband and I inherited not long after I dropped out. I have never thought about looking for another job and so the level of education I received was never called into question," she says. Today, the small wallpaper company Hur and her husband inherited has grown into a successful interior design firm called Design & Decoration (D & D) Co., Ltd., where she is currently the president.

When asked why, despite her successful career, she still wishes to go back to school, Hur simply answers that "It"s something I have to do." Since her childhood, Hur claims to have had an extraordinary passion for education. "When I was younger, I used to daydream about going to piano lessons hand in hand with my daughter," she laughs. This passion has allowed her to take up on the chance to finally finish what she had started-and given up-nearly 20 years ago.

Of course, passion was not the only factor she had to consider in deciding to go back to school. After all, going back to school meant having to deal with the pressures of being a student as well as her current responsibilities as the president of a successful business, a wife, and a mother of three. However, she never had any doubts as to whether or not she would be enrolling, thanks to her husband. "My husband woke me up at dawn one day, shaking me with a small newspaper clipping in his hand. I asked him what was going on, and he said that the marriage ban at Ewha had finally been lifted, that I could go back to school." With the support of her family, she applied for readmission, and received her acceptance letter from the College of Human Movement & Performance last July. She will begin where she left off, which is the second semester of her second year-and this time, she will be attending school until she graduates.

Though she enjoys her current career, Hur says she is open to exploring new career options after graduation. "i"ve always been interested in health-mental health as well as physical health. That is the reason I have decided to go back to the College of Human Movement & Performance, and I will focus my studies in a similar field in graduate school," She says. After graduate school, she may decide to continue pursuing her major.

Hur is confident and unworried about life after school. "I am going to school for my own personal growth, not so that I can make more money afterwards. Though I work now, and will continue working after I graduate, money will never be the top priority when I do so. As I see it, getting along with people, creating a working environment in which everyone thinks in terms of ?s instead of "me," looking towards the future rather than harping on the past-these values are what I will be pursuing when I return to work." Hur may have some trouble at school, being over a good twenty years older than her fellow classmates; however, her life experiences have taught her many lessons that the other students have yet to learn.

jiaryu@ewha.ac.kr

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