Friday, August 22, 2008


一叶知秋. The footstep of autumn is slowly closing.

It has been raining since early morning. Today is the 수료식 or the closing ceremony for our short-term summer course. Though the ceremony started at 10am, we were still required to report to class at 9am to do evaluation for our course and teachers. My heart skipped a beat when I was handed evaluation forms written completely in Korean. Frankly, I was not too used to reading page after page of Korean characters. I was relieved when it turned out that I was able to understand most of the questions.

We were also handed our group photograph during the class. There were like 600-700 faces "squeezed" within this 8R-sized group photo. It would have been difficult to spot our own faces if we have forgotten where we stood when the photo was taken. Anyway, to make the photo more memorable, we wrote our well-wishes for each other at the back of each of the photo cover. Ten minutes to 10am, we were all ushered into IIE 210 (Auditorium of IIE) for the closing ceremony.

Most senior student of I2 (left) and I1 class were arranged to sit together.

The closing ceremony started as usual with the IIE Director, Prof Kim Jung Sup, delivering his address. One thing he would always remember to do during his speech is to ask students to repeat "경희인", word-by-word, after him. After his speech, Prof Kim presented the course certificate and CD (containing photos and videos taken during our course) to the most senior student of each class. This arrangement demostrates once again that age really matters a lot in Korea.

The director of IIE reminded us that we are 경희인.

Prof Kim presenting certificate to John of Class 8, Elementary 2.

After the certificate presentation, it was the students' turn to go on stage to make speeches. Representing the cohort was our classmate, Kenichi, and an Egyptian lady from Advanced 2 class. There was some background as to why our classmate was selected for the job. Advanced 2 class was the first to nominate their Egyptian classmate. That left our class, Intermediate 2, to nominate a guy speaker for the sake of equality. On the day when our teacher asked for volunteer, Kenichi was absent from class. Since no other guys stepped forward, Kenichi was "volunteered" since he didn't say "no" during the class.

Our classmate, Ino Kenichi, representing the cohort to go on stage.

Kenichi was showing a bit of nerve when delivering his speech. On the contrary, the Egyptian lady looked quite cool and was very fluent. She is a Korean language majors in a university in Egypt and has been studying the language for the past 3 years. It is quite obvious that students from the Advanced 2 class are of a different pedigree. They are either Kyobos or Korean language majors. I am not too sure when will I ever come close to their standard.

To ensure equality, the Egyptian lady from Advanced 2 also spoke.

Kenichi with the script he used to deliver his speech.

After the end of the closing ceremony, we returned to our class. Our teacher then presented our certificate to each of us in a very formal manner. Then just before we were dismissed from class, we were each required to go out and speak about our feeling and thought for the past 3 weeks. Honestly, I did not know what I was talking about as my thought was totally disorganised. Anyway, just before our final farewell, we presented our teacher with a photograph which we took together at an earlier time. Our well-wishes were scribbled all over the back of the photo. One of the most common wishes for our teacher was "빨리 결혼하세요!". No wonder our teacher used to call his age "슬픈 나이" (the age of sadness).

Our teacher, Mr Yim, presenting certificate to every student.

We were made to go out one by out to speak about our thoughts.

There wasn't any farewell lunch organised. Not too sure if it has anything to do with the bleak economic outlook. The food was not the main issue, rather, it was the loss of a final opportunity to take pictures with people whom we were acquainted to in the last 3 weeks.

It was drizzling when we left the main gate of KHU for lunch at about half past 11. The weather was cold and wet that morning. It seems like summer has ended together with our summer course.

It was still raining when we walked out of KHU's main gate.


  1. tag along with your cousin and you can see a lot of maple leaves soon :)