“I’m confused!” “I do not know how and where I place the information unites in preparation
of the mid-term!” “Please confirm whether my note-taking is correct.”
These questions are what I have often heard from “freshwomen”, the first-year students who are
just exposed to a new university atmosphere at Ewha.
In fact, these are what I have anticipated although I do love the “freshwomen”- Look! They
are all cute and lovely with youth, passion, and energy. I usually give them a hard time
by “intentionally” designing my lectures in complicated ways. Instead of providing informations and knowledges unit by unit, I ask them to figure out the whole flow that I am drawing during the entire semester, and to establish their own “configuration” by using contents I have provided in the class.
By doing so, the students are invited to develop the method to connect information units in the process of raising questions continuously.
To the students who are accustomed to understand and memorize the contents unit by unit, it is quite new, difficult, and even “shocking.” By the late March or the early April, I sometimes encounter a sort of “rebel” raised by those who want a single way of linking the informations, the professor-given one right answer.
“The ways of organizing answers are various! But, your answers have to contain the major key information I have delivered in the class. And the way of constructing your configuration
needs to be plausible and logical!”
I know, by saying this, I even make them harder and stressful. Am I a sadist? Of course Not! What I really expect from my precious students in Ewha is a capacity to criticize, organize, and connect thoughts, instead of passive reception of all informations that have been generated from different perspectives and by competing interests.
In this era of “information revolution,” I hope my students develop an ability to build their
own rationale for life meaning and to live according to their own logic, not controlled by logics
and rationales given by others around.
My beloved “freshwomen” and also all students in Ewha! Just be brave to make many trials and
errors to find your own ways of interpreting and perceiving the world. University and all professors are here to support your journey to configurate your own life. By the way, I am getting excited to see my students’ first configuration results, the mid-term answering papers!
* Professor Baik So-young is a Humanities Korea Research Professor at Ewha Institute for the Humanities. Professor Baik earned her Ph.D in theology from Boston University in the U.S and received her B.A. and M.A. in Christian Studies from Ewha Womans University. She currently teaches Christianity and the World class to Ewha Division of International Studies students.