Tuesday, September 07, 2010

A profile of Korean woman who obtained her driver's license at her 960th try, on the New York Times. A sample:
This diminutive woman, now known nationwide as “Grandma Cha Sa-soon,” has achieved a record that causes people here to first shake their heads with astonishment and then smile: She failed her driver’s test hundreds of times but never gave up. Finally, she got her license — on her 960th try.

For three years starting in April 2005, she took the test once a day five days a week. After that, her pace slowed, to about twice a week. But she never quit.

Hers is a fame based not only on sheer doggedness, a quality held in high esteem by Koreans, but also on the universal human sympathy for a monumental — and in her case, cheerful — loser.
At First She Didn’t Succeed, but She Tried and Tried Again (960 Times) [New York Times]

17 comments:

  1. The test isn't FREE! Where's she getting the money to take a test 960 times?

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  2. I don't know how hard the Korean test is, but frankly someone like that shouldn't be allowed on the Road anyway. But brute forcing statistics she clearly just lucked out on their test. She'll be a danger on the roads!

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  3. I agree with you Seoul Searcher!
    It's kind of crazy, that's a lot of money.
    And time.
    Since it is NY, I would assume the DMV would be really busy. The one in Seattle is...

    Well at least she's practiced enough, you can say. haha
    Congrats for her!

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  4. You guys should really read the article before you comment.

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  5. My initial reaction before reading the full article was to roll my eyes. But as I read the article, would you believe that I actually got a little teary-eyed? I am glad that it was the written exam, and not the driving portion though.

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  6. She spent about $5,000. That's a lot of money, but I suppose it was over a long time.

    I don't think she's any more dangerous than, say, half the people that drive in this country.

    skimilk, agreed.

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  7. This is the reason why koreans in general revere the marathon instead of the 100 meter sprint.

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  8. Great article! And a good reminder to us in this age of instant gratification. :)

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  9. I did read the article, TK. I still want to know how an unemployed rural old lady can afford the test fees plus bus fare to and from the testing center.

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  10. David, they're also very good at it for a country without much of a tradition in any other form of track. The last non-African man to win the Boston Marathon was Korean. Korean men won the Olympic marathon in 1936 and 1992.

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  11. Do you people actually only read the headline and then comment on the article? Geeze. And I wonder why the level of our national discussion has steadily deteriorated over the years.

    I think this story sums up much that I have learned about Koreans thus far:
    They are hard working, committed, often extremely likable and also often OCD and pretty crazy. It takes somebody with all of those traits to do what she did. I mean really, 959 times?!!??!?!?!? That's really, really crazy. However, she also seems like a very sweet old lady and must be since everybody likes her so much. It clearly meant a lot to her so good for her!

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  12. "There, they also videotaped her in the market, where she sells her home-grown vegetables at an open-air stall."

    Mystery solved?

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  13. Yes, I read that too. I'd be surprised if she makes even manwon per day doing that.

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  14. She has kids. Either she had the money, got it from her kids or, what, she stole it or got it from working at a room salon?

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  15. This is pure stubbornness, refusing to have it any other way! Maybe she should of used her determination and resources in a more productive way?

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  16. Just because someone sells fruits and veggies in stall doesn't mean she's dirt poor. There's a Taiwanese woman who does exactly the same thing and by living frugally, she's donated TW$10 million to charity. I'm sure "Grandma" isn't blowing her check on booze and smokes so she's probably all right. Please, let's just admire the perseverance and the fact that she believed in herself.

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  17. I think I wasn't taking into account that she probably owns her home and doesn't need to pay rent on it. Now I see it as feasible.

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