“I want to be a mentor.”

Professor Chung Indong (PHOTO: An Ah-hyun)

Professor Chung Indong
(PHOTO: An Ah-hyun)

Professor Chung Indon, who has worked at Kangnam University for 30 years, returns to the university this year after taking sabbatical. He is teaching two courses this semester: ‘Understanding of English and American cultures’ and ‘Myths and Literature’.

During his sabbatical, Professor Chung wrote textbooks for Kangnam University’s students. He had had difficulties teaching students with textbooks written by others, as his teaching goals did not always coincide with those of the authors. “I wanted to make the textbooks fit class objectives for Kangnam University students,” Professor Chung said. “When writing them, I considered their level, emotion and even atmosphere in the class.” He also wanted to lighten the financial burden of students a little by having the books printed on campus.

An English poetry major in university and an expert on the Romantic poet Shelley, Professor Chung has a reputation for passionate lectures. He believes the students are the owners of the class and sees himself as an assistant helping them stand on their own two feet on the stage of life. He does this by motivating students to become absorbed in the class and maintaining strict discipline. “More than just a teacher,” says Professor Chung. “I want to be a mentor. It is important to keep them learning the proper things they are reluctant to do.”

Sowing seeds of knowledge in his students like a farmer, Professor Chung desires only sprouts from their mind someday. He memorizes all of his students’ names and gives them advice and compliments every class.

For many years, he has wanted to say one thing to every Kangnam University student. “Never give up before a challenge. There are so many students stricken with a victim mentality, so they always make flimsy excuses like ‘I don’t have good abilities’ whenever opportunities arise. I want to ask them if it’s really because of their lack of ability or simply their laziness and lack of self-control. Please don’t rationalize your laziness!” Professor Chung also warns students not to chase others’ rainbows with envy. “Actually,” he says, “they have already got on the rainbow. Don’t blame your condition. Instead, always think about the best way to do something and simply do it.”

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