NMA Email Newsletter: Issue #94

Perseverance Personified

In terms of the dogged pursuit of a goal, it is nearly impossible to top South Korean Cha Sa-soon’s desire to obtain a driver license so that she could manage her vegetable business, visit her children, and take her grandchildren to the zoo.

It took Sa-soon 950 attempts between April 2005 and November 2009 to pass the written portion of the driving test.

Let’s put that into perspective: Sa-soon boarded a bus for the one hour trip from her rural South Korean home to the city of Jeonju an average of four days each week during those 55 months to take the 50 minute exam that consisted of 40 multiple choice questions.

She could only read and write phonetically so her daily studies consisted of memorization without a full understanding of the words she was viewing.

The 69-year-old grandmother’s quest became a national story.

Celebrations erupted with the news that Sa-soon not only passed the written test, but also completed the driving skills test after another ten tries.

Hyundai-Kia encouraged the online posting of congratulations. The response was so overwhelming, the car company decided to give her the keys to a new Kia Soul automobile.

There is no word on whether that gift included the payment of her insurance premiums.

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