Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Meeting Min Young Bin and Professor Shin Il Chul

Bill Vallicella informs me that I have to blog every day, and I aim to please. Today's blog is later than my previous two (not that anybody has been waiting with bated breath) because I had to travel to the center of Seoul this morning for a luncheon meeting with Mr. Min Young Bin, founder and chief CEO of YBM Si-sa. I met him ten years ago when I came to Korea for the first time and taught English at Kyungbook National University, Taegu. He's the childhood friend of my father-in-law. They grew up together in North Korea but separately made their way south due to a shared dislike of communism.

Mr. Min pursued his education in English, earning an M.A. in the mid-1950s. After teaching at Korea University for about 10 years, he became involved in publishing, which eventually led him to establish his firm specializing in English education. He also has an interest in translation, and has helped to establish the Young Bin Min Chair at the University of British Columbia, the first endowed chair for Korean literature and translation in Canada. As might be expected, Mr. Min speaks fluent English and is a pleasure to speak with. Appropriately enough, our midday meeting was for pleasure. I brought my wife and two young children, and he brought his two youngest grandchildren and a good friend.

The friend turned out to be a genuine treasure. Emeritus Professor Shin Il Chul, formerly of Korea University's Department of Philosophy, spoke passable English and impressed me more and more the longer I listened to him speak. I have too little time to go into details, but I'll share this. According to Mr. Min's autobiography, in the 1970s, Professor Shin was invited by then-dictator President Park to join the government in an important position, but Shin refused. Why? Because, as he privately told Min, "Someday, I will want to have the moral right to criticize this dictatorship, and I can't do that if I join it."


At 4:24 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, Bill. I'll have to figure out how to do the hyperlinks. I just looked and don't understand some of the toolbar icons.

On my name ... I had intended to emphasize the "Jeffery" part. Maybe I'll find another way of letting people know that I prefer "Jeffery."

At 11:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heh. Someone wasn't paying attention during the "how to insert hyperlinks" part of the presentation...

Jeff (or do I have to call you Jeffery or Dr. Hodges), like I said, don't be afraid to experiment with the different features, you won't hurt anything. And sometimes, messing up is the best way to learn.

At 11:51 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Bill and Nomad,

Online, I go by "Horace Jeffery Hodges" for technical, official, bureaucratic, legal ... reasons, but I discourage people from calling me "Horace."

I've settled on "Jeffery" for online convenience, but I'm really "Jeff."

Jeffery Hodges

At 8:42 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, apologia_christi, for the invitation. I'll try to look into your site when I have some freer time. Currently, I'm struggling to organize all of the things I've committed myself to.


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