Remembering My Father Reading My Work

I have been reflecting a lot on my dad’s life these past 10 days. He and my mom gave me many gifts in life. Perhaps the greatest of them is supporting my academic pursuits no matter what, including my decision as a college sophomore to major in sociology.

In dedicating my Senior Honors Thesis to them, I wrote:

This paper is dedicated to my parents, my most significant others, who have always supported me, even when I didn’t deserve it. Perhaps the best example of their unconditional support is their patient understanding of my decision to study sociology, a field which few non-sociologists I have met understand.

In my first year of graduate school, I slightly revised the thesis, had it bound, and gave a copy to my parents.

Shortly after giving it to them, I took a nap on my dad’s recliner. I woke up to find him on the couch reading my thesis. I was so excited.

My whole life, all I have ever wanted was for my dad to utter those elusive words, “I am proud of you, son.”

I asked him, “What do you think?”

“It’s long,” he responded.

The thesis is still on the bookshelf in my childhood home. I pulled it out recently and found my dad’s business card-qua-bookmark still in place.

He made it through 80 of 280 pages. I’m grateful that he made it that far through what was undoubtedly turgid academic writing.

When I published the thesis as my first book a decade later, I dedicated it again to my parents. That’s another story for another day.

Multiculturalism Book Cover

Published by David Yamane

Sociologist at Wake Forest U, student of gun culture, tennis player, racket stringer (MRT), whisk(e)y drinker, bow-tie wearer, father, husband. Not necessarily in that order.

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