Ewha is a place of great diversity. Another fresh batch of determined young women have joined us on the canvas to paint another colorful year. This year, Ewha Voice has found four freshmen with colors that pop.
Playing an orchestra
Lee Jee-yoon (Social Studies, 1) spent her first year of high school as a cellist along with 30 other students of her school. One year later, the cellist found herself holding a much shorter bow: the baton. “I was in charge of a much bigger instrument now,” said Lee, remembering the days she was first appointed Conductor. “I was playing it with my eyes, my expression ? it was astonishing to see how my every little move influenced the entire production.”
As Lee and her fellow orchestral members pulled off performance after performance, Lee wanted to put their earnest passion and energy to good use. The orchestra came up with a pioneer idea to hold a 3-hour charity concert at a nearby culture center. The team carefully planned every little detail. Lee describes the experience as “hellish.” The teen orchestra practiced for more than 10 hours a day during the vacation, which included only one affordable meal. As quarrels broke out among the members some even regretted the decision altogether. But Lee tried her best to conduct them through their hardships. The orchestra was astounded to find that on the day of the concert, over 300 audience members and their generous donations proved their worries wrong.
Lee said the best part of it was the mutual “tingle” between her and the members as they flowed as one for three well earned hours. “Music creates such a magical bond.”
430 hours are not enough
Kim Ji-min (Health Education, 1) said her definition of “volunteering,” came from her father. Doctor Kim would take his daughter on his trips to the countryside where he cared for the elderly. The young Kim was in charge of handing out health drinks, politely urging people to “please keep in line” and delighting the crowd with an occasional dance number. “Volunteering just became a part of who I am,” said Kim, who says she dreams of becoming the next director-general of the World Health Organization
Kim completed 430 hours of volunteering during her high school years. Her Principle encouraged her to start a volunteering club at school so that other students would also be able to participate in her good works.
The enthusiastic team came up with ideas such as face painting and foot massages to add fun and variety. When summer came around, they set off to an orphanage located in a Mongolian desert. They took up all sorts of work such as providing the children with fun activities and cleaning. “There was no electricity and the nights were very cold. Mice sometimes snuck into our tents at night to keep warm,” said Kim. Water had to be hauled from a tank miles away. “The wheels of the heavy water barrel got stuck in the sand once and the water spilled away in seconds. We all slumped down and cried.”
Tears overwhelmed them again when it was time to leave. “I wouldn’t be able to forget the experience if I tried,” said Kim.
3 years of high school, one year for Burma
Lee Joo-young (Social Studies, 1) filled out seven compact pages worth of well-earned colorful activities when she applied to Ewha. Her exceptional leadership and enthusiasm took her to uncommon places. To name a few, she felt the pain of the poor and war victims of Burma and declared Burma Week at her school, starting a year’s long list of student gatherings and fund raising events for Burma. The next year she was at the backstage of a 100,000 person audience at Jarasum International Jazz Festival in Gyeonggi Province where she served as head of the student’s organization committee, at times sitting beside the amplifier praying that it would not rain. Outside the classroom she was a teacher, a human rights activist, a paramedic, an environmentalist/journalist, an engineer and event planner.
“I think such extra curricular activities were possible because I went to an alternative high school where classes are more freely organized and there are many opportunities to work outside of the school,” said Lee. However, all of her activities were carried out with pure passion and youthful energy. “The school didn’t really provide enough time for student-organized activities, nor was there any financial aid.” It was up to Lee to organize debates on human rights in Burma after school and persuade her peers.
Despite her dazzling application and diverse experiences, Lee said she is anxious to learn more and ironically enough, “narrow down” her options at Ewha. “I still haven’t decided what I want to become. I hope Ewha will be the place where I can specify my dreams.”
The next Dominique Perrault
When Shin Hae-ri (Architectural Engineering, 1) set foot on campus and took in the gleaming walls of the ECC, she said she was proud to be a part of Ewha. “But most of all,” said the tacit freshman. “I was proud to be an architect.”
Shin found her life’s calling during middle school. Shin said architecture came to her naturally, without any fashionable resolutions or surprises. Her quiet love for architecture continued to influence her in her high school years where she organized an architect club at school, and gathered students to study architecture and come up with their own designs. “During my first year of high school, I ran around with a written proposal looking for a teacher who would supervise the club. We found a teacher one year later,” said Shin.
As head of her club, she found various design contests for her team to prepare for and participate in. One of her biggest problems was the lack of information. “It was difficult to find someone within our reach who knew much about architecture, so most of our pieces were made solely from our own ideas and efforts.” The team never came home with a trophy, but Shin said those experiences were priceless. “I’m glad Ewha found some potential in me to become the next future woman leader, just like the numerous woman leaders it has raised in the past,” said Shin. “I hope to become an architect or project manager that specializes in building welfare buildings. I picture myself as a globally active leader after Ewha has showed me the way.”