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Girl's Horizon

Time 0:04:42


When I reached grade 12, I started to research universities. I wanted to have a very unique university experience. I found a national government university that specialized in fisheries, which was a very rare field of study. At that time the school was 100% male dominated but I was confident that I could be equal to the boys. I received a call from the dean of the school, who asked me to withdraw, or change faculty, because there weren’t any facilities for girls. I told him there was nothing in the policies that said that girls were not allowed, so they had to admit me.

Marriage was not part of my plan. But, everything changed when I met Hyo. We had the same supervisor, and we did our research together. The other boys called me names, threw things at me in the lecture hall, and one time I was even threatened with a knife. But Hyo treated me as an equal. Right after our wedding, my father-in-law sent us to Canada to continue our studies. I didn’t want to go, but I had to obey his decision. When I came here I cried every day for a year. I had no language, I was nothing.

Luckily, the language of science is the same. I got a job in the faculty of agriculture, department of soil chemistry. Among the male Caucasian post graduate students, many times they didn’t want my support. If there was a mistake with the data, it was always my fault. I knew it wasn’t me. I was an A++ student. Even on coffee breaks, they never invited me along. This was my orientation into racism.

When I got pregnant, I had to leave my research behind. But inside I was a feminist, a leader, and I started getting involved. But often at women’s conferences, I was the only non-white woman there. It was like I was invisible among the women. Those instances made me join the National Anti-Racism Committee at my church. I became a speaker for women’s issues nationally, and internationally. Finally I got my moment, I became the first woman National Chair at the Korean Faith Association. Even so, in a church, circles of male ministers, I earned the name “Black Sheep.” But I thought, I am who I am, and I continued on.

After my retirement, my husband and I took one piece of luggage and one laptop, and left for Korea. We had no plans. We didn’t really know what was next. After two weeks, a school contacted me. It was a gift from god. For the last 3 years I have been developing programs in public schools. I get to develop new tools where I can emphasize leadership of women and multiculturalism. At 72, I am a totally different person, a one that has being enriched by Canada and Korea.

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