Fatherlove - Keeping Fathers Connected

2001 Father of the Year Essay Contest

School: Shorecrest High School
Teacher: Mrs. Karen Mikolasy
City: Shoreline, WA

Thatís Dad!

He waved good bye to all the friends he knew and boarded the airplane. It was an eleven hour flight from Korea to the US for Dad, who was joining his parents in America at the age of sixteen. Heíd never gone more that five miles away from his home before. Once a popular kid, he found even the language escaped him in Pullman, Washington. Somehow, though, he still managed to join a high school band as a guitarist and become a fullback on the football team. Thatís Dad: not afraid to get out there, get involved, and make friends with people.

When he and I were on a six-hour drive to visit Pullman, he told me about his time spent in high school and college in that town. Heís such a good storyteller that sometimes itís hard to believe the tales are really true. Hasnít he always just been my dad? I sit and carefully listen, fascinated. If Iím not hearing about a story from his past, Iím probably learning how some scientist invented Velcro or how that economist predicted the stock market would fall. Listening to Dad is my favorite past-time, sometimes asking questions or debating about world issues (which we do every night at dinner). Learning is a passion of my dadís.

He cares about my learning, too, although sometimes it seems a little too much. When I was six, he was worried that I wasnít up to par with multiplication, so we spent hours that night drilling my times tables, and if I missed one I would sit and write it out twenty times. I had all my multiplication facts down after that, and my class began learning the one-times tables six months later. I love and admire Dad, and I wish I could go back to Korea with him for a day and see where he grew up.