An Interview with Dr. Song-Seok Kim

Handicapped People also Enjoy Their Life Ka-Yeon Kiml승인2010.11.30l수정2016.03.02 15:56l303호 4면

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▲ Prof. Kim strongly believe “The class should be a moment to think.”

A human-documentary “Now, it’s blue light” made in 1986, received for the first time in the history, the best award in ‘10th Futura Award’ held in Western-Berlin.
This documentary contained handicapped people climbing Mt. Hanla and lifting in Gangwon-do, which is very hard even for normal people. Who has ever thought
handicapped people could climb such a mountain? Very few people may know the person who contributed to this project mostly. That person is, Professor of Education for the handicapped at Dankook University(DKU), Song-Seok Kim. The Dankook Herald interviewed him.

Q: How did you follow the Education for the Handicapped profession?
My Professor of Literature in high school suggested me to engage in this profession. Actually, I love do activities the outside. I participated in ‘Red Cross Youth,’ when I was high school student. It can be said I had some kind of leadership. And I entered at DKU for the handicapped because I could receive scholarship(laughing).

Q: As I’m one of your students, I think you teach students more about ‘Human’ and ‘Intrinsic of Life’ instead of theories in the books.

What I teach is about education for the Handicapped, I ask my students to approach intrinsic of handicapped people. The main theme is that they are human. That’s the reason why I continually say the same theme about it. Also I teach theory, too. However, I treat knowledge plus story of life to provide excitement and I want to make them realize the class is a place to think. So, while other professors prepare the theory, I read humorous book and books related to human being. I don’t use neither Power Point nor class books. Instead, I talk with students and asking question to think what they have learned. The role of professors is not to insert what they know to the head of students: Is to drag out what they have in their head because they have the basic knowledges.
So, in the future nothing will be competible with computer in knowledges. What we need for now is how to sole problem of life and find a new meaning of
human intrinsic such as love, moral, regard and so on.

Q: You have said “I wonder sometimes we are also handicapped people .” What does it mean?

Handicapped people have little experience. They know just ‘it’ and nothing else so, they don’t think in shrewd way that we do. Many times we rationalize our
behaviour. The Western culture says people should have the labor power to be considered as members of society, but this is a cultural difference. Our country says beyond the physical or psychological trouble, poverty, wealth and so on, “Human rights are innate” which means it’s given from heaven. Despite the fact that, why people have prejudice that handicapped people can’t be as social member? I think it came when the economic revival and productive notion got into our country which is a very awful prejudice.

Q; What does ‘Handicapped’ mean to you?

I would say it’s just a legal term, a term made by law. Actually nobody say that I’m a handicapped person, don’t you? There is no real handicapped. The word itself means ‘hamper,’ but they aren’t hamper: they are living their own life but we see them differently to us and we think handicapped people can’t coexist with us.

Q: If there is something that we should learn from them?

They don’t take any unfriendly attitude toward people. They see people like ‘people.’ However, we do useless think ‘they are different.’ They are people who have inconvenience to live, not us. Handicapped people don’t have any prejudice but, yes, we have. We need to approach in themselves.

Q: How do you expect your life ten years later?

Well, now I’m on this project. But I will establish a village for handicapped people to live and also their family. Handicapped people are a subject that our society
should take into consideration, but their family also has the right to receive social attention, like them.

Prof. Kim expressed his feeling at the end of the interview :
“I exist because they exist.” I could see through his words the time he has spend most of his life with them. And he said he wanted to live his last life with them, too. His strong affection toward handicapped people will last forever.


Ka-Yeon Kim  dkherald@hotmail.com
<저작권자 © The Dankook Herald, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>

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