Mother’s Day with 8Asians: My Mother, The Professor

8Asians is celebrating Mother’s Day all week (Pssst…Don’t forget, it’s May 8th!) by doing what we do best: writing about the women who raised us, nurtured us, taught us, spoiled us, protected us and occasionally for some, drove us up the wall. We love our moms and wanted to share personal stories as a tribute to their hard work.

My mother is a supremely intelligent being. She’s also a hardass and has been the main figure in my life who raised me while my dad was away in Korea. Graduated from the top of her class at Seoul National University (it’s like the Harvard of Korea), she placed an extremely high value in hard work and dedication. It showed since she later became a professor at the very university she graduated from. But the mother I know is a resilient, tough, and proud woman and I remember fond memories of eating her slightly burnt kalbi that she would make for me as a child and her falling asleep on her books in her study room.

I am blessed to have an understanding mother since she was willing to support my dreams of being an actor, ever since I got the performing bug since the beginning of high school. She would always remind me to excel at anything I do and to always understand the academic side of things, to be fully knowledgeable in my craft so that I have at least a degree of control in my own destiny. While I often failed to meet her lofty expectations (I was mostly a B+/B- student all through high school and college), she always did believe in me and for that, I am most grateful.

So I want to dedicate a poem to her, but with a slight twist: I want to write it from her perspective and see it from her point of view as she tried to raise a stubborn thick-headed kid like me. I hope you all enjoy this and happy Mother’s Day, Professor Okyeon Yi 🙂

I’m a patient woman
but not patient enough
to deal with
life’s bullshit.

I don’t deal with bullshit
I can’t stand bullshit
I’m too damn educated
to tolerate with bullshit

I leave all of that
nicely tucked away in a box
to which I promptly kick over
the dusty curbside
and into the unwanted sea.

As I raised you,
it became clear
that your thick head
was full of such bull…


So in order to get through to you
and your bull..ddong
I must tell you about these four words,
Four words that I live by:


These are the words I live by
These are the words instilled
by my mother and father
These are the words
I wish to instill in you

I hope you won’t be intimidated
by these words
I hope you won’t hide
from these words
these words are my gift to you
my one and only son
my beautiful son.

* ddong means poop/feces in Korean.

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About Edward

Edward Hong is an actor and spoken poet. Passion to make a change in this world through the performing arts and activism defines his ongoing life and it is the struggle against all things unjust that gives him this passion to be one heck of a talkative, stubborn man. It, however, does not mean he strives to be a champion or role model of any community but to be the man who will be honest and say the things nobody will have the balls to say. He is the jester who is outspoken in what he believes in most passionately and therefore cannot be pinpointed that he will do what you expect him to do.
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