Did you know that we have a SCUBA (Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus) diving club at the University of Seoul (UOS)? If you did, you probably have a lot of questions, one of which could be; how can students scuba dive when there is no pool at our school? To answer the questions for UOS students, I have interviewed the president of the scuba diving club, Flying Fish, Kim Keun-woo (Department of Civil Engineering, 08’).
Who started the club? Jeong Sang-geun, a Department of Visual Communication Design professor, started this club because he loved scuba diving and wanted students to enjoy it too. He has a scuba diving teaching certification so he can teach students himself. The club first started as a small club in the Department of Visual Communication Design 16 years ago.
There is no place for students to scuba dive at the UOS. Where do the club activities usually take place? We usually teach students at Jamsil Olympic Pool. There is a 50-meter-deep diving pool and it is close to our school. During the semester, we go scuba diving on weekends. During the summer vacation, we go to Ulleung-do for about nine to ten days. We dive two or three times a day since there is not much to do on the island. It costs \10,000~20,000 a day for one to dive so we try to make the full use of it. During the winter, some students in Flying Fish go to the Philippines to scuba dive.
Do students need a lot of money to be a member of Flying Fish? When you try to learn scuba diving at privately-run clubs, it can be very expensive, but we already have scuba diving equipment and you do not need to spend a lot because you are taught by the seniors and Prof. Jeong for free. The money you have to spend is to apply and get the scuba diving license and for weekend activities, the Ulleung-do and Philippines tours.
Tell us about a fun experience at Flying Fish. It is good manners not to damage the ocean and not to touch living organisms underwater. However, when we went diving in the Philippines, the guide touched a blow fish, which puffed up. It was having a hard time moving. The guide bounced the fish between his hands like a beach ball. The guide also let us do the same and it was an interesting experience.
Final Thoughts? Students think that our club is for students who have a lot of money. However, if you dedicate your full-attention and effort into participating, Flying Fish is a club where you can have some great experiences. My hope is for as many people as possible to try and enjoy scuba diving.
Dream Big and Enjoy Your University Life -Prof. Kim Sung Hong
A gentle smile. That is what I first noticed when I met Professor Kim Sung Hong of the Department of Architecture for the interview. Professor Kim Sung Hong has been teaching at the University of Seoul (UOS) for 15 years. He has contributed to holding exhibitions overseas to help promote Korean Architecture. He is currently teaching Architectural Design to freshmen. He is doing research about Seoul and its architecture. Based on this research, he writes papers and publishes books, both in English and Korean, on what architects should do. He also contributes his writings to newspapers. His writings have touched the hearts of UOS students in the past, which led to us interviewing him.
▲ Choi Yu-hyun
After reading your articles in newspapers, a UOS student said that you consistently make efforts to teach students in a better way. Could you tell us specifically what efforts you have made? In the Architectural Design class, I do not teach alone. Students freely give their ideas. When a student asks or tells me something and I react in the wrong way, I am afraid that the students will shut down his or her thoughts. So I try hard to figure out what students are thinking. When students think, numerous tentacles spread out in their thoughts. My job is to figure out what they are thinking and pull one of their many tentacles so that they can better develop their thoughts.
The teaching system of my class is team teaching, where four teachers teach the same class. After class, all four teachers gather together and talk about their teaching methods and how the students reacted to them. If students had a bad reaction, then we try to figure out what the problem was and change our teaching methods to the one that worked better on students. When I first came to the UOS, ‘I’ talked a lot, but as time went by, I strive to listen more to those around me, such as co-professors and students.
Writing books and articles, teaching architecture, it seems that you like to try different things. How do you want to challenge yourself to in the future? I have taught at the UOS for many years and I think I have already reached the peak and now I have to prepare for the descent. Instead of starting something new, I think that I should rather focus on what I am good at and what I can do to help people, especially students. At this point, a challenge in my life would probably be writing a book that has in-depth analysis on Korean architecture from the perspective of diverse fields such as economics, politics, society, etc.
Advice to UOS students. I always say this to students taking my class; build knowledge by reading. When I say ‘knowledge,’ I do not only mean knowledge in your major but also in other fields. You can do this by reading liberal arts, history, fictional books and so on. To survive in a fast changing society, knowledge only in your major is not enough. By reading books in diverse fields, I hope students can broaden their capacity to think.
In addition, developing leadership is crucial. Before, leadership by raising your voices was considered the best. Now, however, a preferred style of leadership is where a leader listens to all and chooses the best opinion of them all. Also, it is important for the leader to take the initiative and set an example.
Lastly, this may be the most important thing; love the organization or the situation you are in. It will be very helpful throughout your life. If you are not satisfied in your current situation, such as the university that you are in, quickly find a new road, a road that you will enjoy. If you carry on with a bright and positive attitude in your situation, I believe that UOS students can do anything they want. Dream big and enjoy your university life!