“I missed everything about my Ewha so much, its scent, look, sound and everything,” Ko said.
Ko enrolled in Ewha in 1955 but due to the marriage prohibition regulation, Ko had to quit school after her parents advised her to get married early.
After Ewha abolished the marriage prohibition regulation in 2003 and authorized readmissions, Ko received a chance to continue her study at Ewha.
On Thursdays, Ko attends “Management of Intellectual Property” for two periods in a row in the Ewha-POSCO Building. Even during the tough class schedule, full of big words in English, Ko never shows any sign of dozing off during the entire lecture. Instead, she continuously takes notes.
“When I saw an ID starting with the number five in the attendance sheet, I was surprised,” the instructor Lee Won-il from YOU ME Patent & Law Firm said. “I was touched by her passion during the class. She concentrates hard and does her best .”
Ko’s school life is nearly the same as that of ordinary university students. She is the type of student who works to be placed on the honor roll at the end of the semester; Ko took 15 credits this semester and had four midterm exams. She turned in all her reports on time and recently started working on her final essay due on December 9, which is underlined in red in her scheduler.
Ko refuses to make excuses based on how old she is, and she does not negotiate with the fact that she is on campus in her late 70s.
“She is a woman of diligence. She is an inspiring figure in our class and I envy her passion,” said Seok Ji-yeong (Electronics, 3) who is taking a same class with Ko.
Even though Ko’s spirit is full of passion comparable to youth, there are limits to her belated scholar journey in Ewha.
“My doctor warned me about using the computer or staring at the monitor. Due to a senile cataract, it’s impossible for me to turn in assignments via Cyber Campus,” Ko said. “But it cannot stop me from learning. That’s why I spend so much time finishing my hand-written reports.”
Although Ko’s report is not neatly designed or color printed with pictures and graphs, it’s handmade, carefully written and decorated. She made a front cover and wrote down her name and student ID, which starts with 55.
“I know that style and format are important features of successful reports. I do that with my hands not computers,” Ko said with a smile.
Ko plans to graduate in 2012, but plans for after graduation are not yet on her list. Rather, she wants to focus on her present at Ewha, one that she coveted and admired through the mists of time that flowed.
“I’m living one of the happiest moments in my life these days. Every smile and the cheerful spirit of Ewha alumnae—I will never forget that.”