by Mi-Kyoung Roh (DG reporter)
2014 is the year when DGHS finally let go of the members of the 1st graduating class. The first alumni seemed to be in a veil since I met Hee-Jun Rho, one of the first DGHS graduates. This year, he entered Seoul National University (SNU), majoring economics. This is a part of an interview with him.
Q: What made you apply to DGHS?
A: When I was a middle school student, I was quite sure with my track to natural sciences because my math and science grades were good. However, I accidently got to see DGHS recruit notice and got interested in the school. My career plan was not so sure until then. I applied to DGHS because I was interested in political diplomacy at that time.
Q: How did DGHS affect your life? Were there any positive aspects?
A: Various activities that students do during DGHS life are advantageous for university entrance. Plus, world culture experience programs and activities in school clubs are vitalized by energetic students. For me, the most influential experience was Guitar Club. Once, I thought that festival is only for the talented people. However, ‘One Specialty per Student’ program totally changed my mind. I realized that if I practice harder, I can also be the one on the stage. The program gave me confidence, the most valuable present.
Q: Did the presentation skills you have learned from DGHS really help you?
A: Yes, indeed it did. When I was a first grader, I too was not a good presenter. But by the end of the second grade, I am sure that everyone will become presentation experts.
Q: What is the most memorable experience in DGHS?
A: The activities that I enjoyed with everyone which are DGHS Festival and Field Day, are the most memorable part in my DGHS life.
Q: What are things you regret during DGHS life?
A: I don’t really regret the things that I have done during DGHS life, but not taking part in more various activities leaves much to be desired.
Q: What are things you are proud of doing during DGHS life?
A: Performing a show in DGHS Festival is the best thing I have done. I never had stage experience and once thought that festivals are for the talented. However, I gained self-confidence by performing on the stage. I also recall the experience of overcoming complications among friends when preparing for the performance. It is hard to lead more than five people, but as I prepared for the show, I happen to know how to get over harsh situations wisely.
Q: During busy school life, how did you manage to prepare for TESAT?
A: It was my second year at high school when I finally decided my career. I transferred to clubs that deal with economics and participated in KDI Gyoung-jae Han-madang (a contest in economics). I was the only one who won the prize while others were not awarded. I thought that something more special is necessary for my career. The ‘special’ thing I decided to do was TESAT. I studied a week and I was graded to a third-class degree. I did my best to study TESAT during winter vacation with workbooks, internet lectures and the help of teachers.
Q: Tell us about your know-hows that helped you survive in DGHS.
A: If you find your true lifelong hobby here, I am sure you will enjoy your campus life.
Q: What made you get interested in economy?
A: I talked with my class teacher more than 20 times about my career. Also, many teachers advised me about path of economics. I just read books related to economy and I fell into economy more and more. What is interesting about economics is that it circulates without any man-made intervention. It is like seasons that go and come back afterwards. For me, this is the magnetism of the study of economy. Even though most people think that economics is more related to natural sciences, it is not. The mathematical ability can help you throughout the studies but it is actually a study of liberal arts.
Q: Could you tell us about your campus life?
A: The atmosphere of the whole campus life is really free. Compared to high school, campus life is much freer. You can see various types of people around. For example, the people who play, get along with other people, study or wander around. Plus, it was pretty shocking that tests are not done at once but individually depending on what subject it is. Overall, I am quite satisfied with my life in campus. Thanks to friends, who have high academic standards, I feel the potential in myself.
Q: Many students are having a hard time. Tell us about your time management in DGHS.
A: I made daily or monthly study plans. I divided the study time into two groups, preparation time for performance test and self-study time. I tried very hard to do what is scheduled on the time. During weekends when I have much time, I tried to study when I have to, and play when I have to. To give you some tips, I suggest you to make non-studying time during the weekends. It is very hard to sit all day long studying. Those non-studying time will help you refresh and cheer yourself up again. However, bear in mind that there is no time to relax and look for things to play. I really want to tell you that it is better to relax and review your studies when you are 3rd grader than hurry because you played for two years. Ha ha.
Q: What are your future plans after graduation?
A: Actually, it was hard for me to decide what to do until recently. I guess it can change when time goes but presently, I want to be an administrative public official.
Q: Thank you for accepting the interview and wish you good luck in everything. Do you have anything to say to the beloved juniors?
A: All I want to say is to catch the chance when it comes along. This means that if you want to do or if you have something to do, do it immediately! We have little time but have lots to do. Moreover, I think it is very natural to be confused about one’s lifelong track (career) when teenager. So, you don’t have to be tied down to the worries of your dreams and future. However, do not be vacant-minded just because you don’t have dreams. Please remember that everything you do in DGHS is helpful for you even though you think it is not related to your dreams.
by Mi-Kyoung Roh
The pleasant scent of autumn has spread and the campus of Dongtan Global High School is enveloped in cool wisps of the fragrant harvest breezes of fall. Just as the nearby rice fields have grown into sturdy, golden stalks so too has our school matured and taken firm root in the city of Hwaseong.
With the school’s first commencement ceremony last winter, sending the graduates far and wide to make their mark in the world, already another group of seniors are about to take one of the biggest exams of their lives. My fellow students are eager to honor the name of the school, and the new recruits are more competent than ever. The campus has been blooming with special events, academic challenges, and new clubs and activities where students have been showing their persistence, creativity, and expertise. It seems DGHS is ever more fruitful with every year that passes.
In the third publication of the Dongtan Globe, we have taken strides to meet the rising standard of the school. The reporters and editors have tried to deliver the best of their work, striving to meet the high expectations. In consequence, we were able to present more extended and finer edition to you. And I, the third chief editor, will return the honor to the hard-working members of the the Dongtan Globe and contributors who willingly participated in the publication.
Previously, feature stories focused on topics associated with the annual Joint Academic Conference of Global High Schools. This year, however, we’ve taken a different approach and will be discussing the controversy regarding integration of the liberal arts and natural sciences tracks in South Korean high schools.
The topic is fairly recent as the Ministry of Education is starting to implement education of no border between natural sciences and liberal arts. There are many controversies whether the integration is necessary or not. In our feature, we cover various arguments and facts about the issue. Specifically, the feature discusses the issue first in the historical context and then through its progression of current decision to integrate the tracks. Within this discussion, the feature spotlights the concept of consilience of Edward O.Wilson which will help readers to understand the ideology behind the track integration argument.
In addition, we’ve included a wide range of articles covering other domestic and international issues such as Crimean crisis, school life including articles about an invited professor and a reporter, and even reviews of some recent music, book, and movie.
As usual, we thank you for your continued support and readership and hope that you enjoy this year’s edition of the Dongtan Globe.
By Jong-Seo Park
Korean high school education has been offering distinct curriculum tracks for the last several decades: liberal arts and natural sciences. As of 2018, however, those two separate tracks are supposed to be integrated into one comprehensive track. Debates are raging surrounding this issue. While advocates argue that the integrated curriculum be implemented in order to produce creative talents fitting the consilience spirit of the 21st century, opponents argue that it is premature to decide that now. Rather, they insist, all we need to do is strengthen basic skills under the current split curriculum.
I believe an integrated curriculum is eventually the right choice to make. This academic approach is already a mainstay of many developed countries such as the United States and most western European countries. The underlying philosophy behind their policy is that both quality of living and competitiveness can be enhanced only when scientists are armed with humanities refinements and entrepreneurs possess good knowledge of natural science.
I support this approach, and believe additionally that humanistic values are closely associated with cultural industries, and developing them in each individual will be beneficial to society. The general idea behind cultural industries is that popular culture produces cultural goods such as printed media, music, television, film, as well as crafts and design. They are knowledge-based and labor-intensive, and not only create employment and wealth, but also drive the norms of a particular society. Thus, in nurturing creativity, analysis and reflection, and fostering innovation, societies will maintain cultural diversity, enhance economic performance, and advance the sciences while also promoting sustainable, peaceful societal standards.
The essential point is that technology alone cannot lead itself to beneficial cultural industries. That is, we cannot produce a movie only with quality cameras, audio, and special effects. The storytelling is indeed crucial to the development of an entertaining and profitable film. In addition, a film that is only entertaining and profitable is also not necessarily a promotion of wholesome societal norms. The story must also celebrate, at least subtly, positive cultural goods to build enthusiasm for positive cultural attitudes such as cooperation and sustainability. Steve Jobs might be a genius, but he is not supposed to create iPhone all by himself. In the modern world, cooperation of the humanities and the sciences is integral to success. And being successful is not just about profitability, but about creating sustainable societies.
Thus, an individual who has built an upright character is one who is not only a master of formulas and rules, but also an engine of creativity and innovation, based on cultural norms which promote peace, cooperation, and sustainability. This is the reason why we study the humanities.
By SangYol Cheong