He was orphaned in the Korean War, and worked and studied his way into scholarships for middle school through his graduate degrees (M.B.A. and Ph.D.) here in the States...then found a career as a university professor. All on his own, without financial or emotional support from anyone (besides my mom as an adult). Plus he got married and started a family through all this.
The things my dad has accomplished in his life, is nothing short of a miracle considering where he started, in an orphanage in post-war Korea struggling to eat every day.
Throughout all of my life he's been a pillar of support, the discipline in my life, the one insisting that I work as hard as I can, and do the best I can at everything. Very Asian, my parents were Tiger Parents if nothing else, but I appreciate it. Plus, unlike some traditional Asian values might dictate, both of my parents insisted that their daughters focus on being successful, independent career women, to never let their gender dictate their future, and to stand on our own feet.
And now that I'm in graduate school he's so tickled that he gets to talk to me about research and Ph.D. life, because he can relate. He likes to talk about his old mentor and reminisce about his grad school days.
Plus, I recently discovered that he has his own web site for school. That he made himself.
And, he looks like a really famous Korean comedian. I remember watching old variety shows from Korea as a kid, and really liking the comedian Lee Kyung Kyu, and always wondering why that was.
Now I know.
How cute is he?
Love you Daddy, thanks for making me the tough-yet-sweet independent woman I am today.