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I learned from my father that a simple man can be a hero.

Joined: 6/29/2011
Posts: 1
If there is one thing to know about my dad, he is a tech geek. He enjoys creating, programming, and reading about all the other technicalities that are foreign entities to most people. When talking about computers and his work, you can see that he is in his element; he seems at ease as he explains codes and encryptions and viruses with an air of authority.

The thing I realized that makes my father so special in his field and sets him apart from other software engineers is that he came to this country only 25 years ago from Korea, a country with no resources after Japanese imperialism and the Korean War. It was, at the time, a nation without a stable economy, government, or foundation. He came to America, like most immigrants, in hope of finding a professional job in a booming economy; and like most, he was faced with disappointment due to his inability to speak perfect English. The only thing he could do to make a living was to open a business. So, he enforced the Asian stereotype by opening a dry cleaners and a liquor store in a rundown part of Los Angeles.

Owning a liquor store is risky business, especially in Los Angeles where gangs and thieves are rampant. Almost once every other month, my father had to deal with robberies, and he was once even held at gunpoint. After that experience, he decided that enough was enough; because he had a duty to the family and raising me, he decided to study during the day at home and at night at the liquor store in order to gain some credentials in the U.S. to work as a software engineer. In less than a year, he was able to improve his English and hone his knowledge in computer technology enough that he was able to get a high position at an engineering company.

Before knowing my father’s past, I never really understood why my father was so strict when it came to academics and was so adamant when talking about my college major. I can now see why my dad pushes me towards pursuing a professional career either in law or politics; ultimately, he feels that he is just doing his job and looking out for me, so in the future I don’t have to work as hard as he did to make ends meet.

My father’s ability to achieve great things despite the odds is truly inspiring. A man that came to a foreign country with almost nothing became a respectable person in his field and a hero to me.
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