Uncle

My dad loves to tell this story about his older brother:

Our family had apple orchard. We have to work, but he hate working. What a slow worker. All he want to do is study and read books. He almost burn down the house because he read under a blanket with candle burning. He got in big trouble. He is very slow, but he is very intelligent. He graduate #1 from his high school. We got no money to go to college, so he apply to Korean Naval Academy and got in. Do you know how hard that is? He was the only one in Kyung-san district to get in. The whole town was so proud of him. And then, after first semester, he get kicked out for coming back to academy late after summer vacation. He miss curfew by couple hours. See, I told you he is so slow. Oh yeah, so much shame. But he can’t give up. He wants to study so much. That’s all he wants to do. He has no choice because no scholarships back then, and we got no money. So, he has to look for free schools. So, he apply to Korean Military Academy. He didn’t say anything to them about getting kicked out of Naval Academy. No one check his name. And he got in. Can you believe that? So, he study there for free for three years. One more year, and he can graduate. Then, he go to annual rugby competition where all academies, military, naval, and air force, come together. And his old friend from Naval Academy sees him and says, “Hey, what are you doing here?” And that friend snitch on him, and my brother gets kicked out again. He had one more year before graduation. Oh man. Then he went to teacher’s college and became a teacher. He teach math and physics to middle and high school kids. He retire as vice principal. That’s pretty good. I look back and think it’s very good he got kicked out because if he graduate, they send him to Vietnam. And he’s so slow, he get shot in Vietnam. Military, army, navy… all that stuff is not my brother’s style. My brother style is like a scholar. He just want to study for free, that’s all. So lucky, he got kicked out.

My big uncle, my little uncle, my dad (doesn’t he resemble Mr. Sulu?)

My big uncle in the Korean Naval Academy.

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Published in: on April 1, 2011 at 7:13 pm  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I love these old stories. What age is your dad, if you don’t mind me asking? Maybe around mid 60s or 70-ish…seeing as his brother was slated for Vietnam…?

    • I love them, too. He’s 72 this summer.

  2. LOL! I laughed SOOOO hard reading your dad’s story about his brother! So typically Korean to turn insult into compliment – adversity into triumph 😀 I wonder what your uncle’s spin on his life story is – you should ask him and post it on your blog!!

    • I haven’t seen my uncle since I was 3. I’m sure he has his own spin. Getting kicked out saved his life: now that is the power of positive thinking.

  3. Wonderful story!


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