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The Outliers

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FC: The Outliers

1: Dedicated to: My One and Only Dad

2: As I sit in my comfy leather chair, my dad's words flow weightlessly through my head. It's the second time this month that he's ranting about how I need to work harder, and it's the second time this month that I let his words flow in one ear and out the other. He says that I don't work hard enough and I give up too easily. Gingerly, he sits down on my bed; looking at me, I can tell he's disappointed, he says “You know when I was a child,” oh no i think, here it comes, “My parents had no money to give me the privileges that you have right now. They used every single cent of their earnings just to send me to a local school. I never played around like you do now, and I never gave up like you are now. If there’s one thing that I learned from my parents, it’s to ‘Never give up’.” I look away from him and back at the bright screen of my iMac. As I scroll through Facebook, I feel his gaze on my back before I hear him sigh and leave the room. Sitting there alone, I tap on my keyboard trying to come up with ideas for my English project. Then I look at The Outliers sitting next to me. “Never give up.” I mumble to myself. “Hey dad! Can you tell me your stories just one more time please?” my dad rushes in through my door with a happy smile, “Of course I can honey! So as I said before, there were four main moments of my life which led me to where I am now!” | Turning One

3: "In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure." Bill Cosby (Brainy Quotes)

4: In 1980, Jong Gu walks down the dusty main road of Deagu, quietly observing the people around him. The main road is brimming with people, lying beneath the unpaved ground, specks of dusts arise from their busy feet. Slithering between the clusters of people, he makes his way to the old bookstore standing next to the fish market. The small bookstore was musky and unorganized, littered with books, newspapers, and magazines. | Bookstore | Military

5: Jong Gu's eyes gradually swept over each book that was for sale. As he fished what few coins he had from the labyrinth that was his pocket, he cringes, " (It's only enough for a magazine)". In disappointment, Jong Gu shifts through the books and wonder towards the magazine corner. Searching the piles of stored magazines, nothing catches his attention. Jong Gu, turns and decides to give up until he remembers, "never give up". After giving the magazines another look, something finally catches his eyes. Sitting off to the side, the red border of a TIME magazine protruded from a stack of dusty old books, the cover reads: Genetic Engineering: A New Frontier! Flipping through the pages, Jong Gu was mesmerised by articles describing the manipulation of an organism's genome, and genetic cloning. | Time

6: DNA

7: Genetic engineering is a broad generic term that is used in the science of Molecular biology. By the new concept of genetic engineering, it was suggested that genes, in animals, bacteria, and plants, could be cloned in large quantity. Genes can be cut and pasted in a precise manner such that a new property, the phenotype of the gene, can be used for the benefit of humans. For example, a useful gene can be introduced into a bacterium for the mass production of a type of protein, which can be used as a medicine. A tomato plant can be genetically engineered to have potatoes in its roots such that we can have a hybrid plant for maximum economic benefit. Even a healthy gene can be cloned and therapeutically injected into an animal's body to cure incurable diseases such as cancers. (Learn Genetics)

8: When Jong Gu began studying molecular biology, his goal had been to take over his father's apple farm and find the most efficient way of growing apples. However, genetic engineering shed new light for his aspirations to create a new property in plants. | Apple

9: In a single enlightening moment, Jong Gu decided to pursue a career in the field of molecular biology applying genetic engineering. It was at this point that he began searching for a good university in America to pursue his dream. As time went on, he gradually shifted into the research area of cancer genetics and mass functional genomics to find and clone useful genes. This allows Jong Gu to persistently peruse his dream, 'Never giving up", and arrive to that one fateful day in his science lab.

10: "No man succeeds without a good woman behind him. Wife or mother, if it is both, he is twice blessed indeed." Godfrey Winn (Brainy Quotes)

11: It was a hot, humid, July afternoon, small beads of sweat rolled down Jong Gu's forehead as he ambled through the school science lab. Accompanying Jong Gu is a new student, soon to be part of his research team; as they walk, Jong Gu points out various facilities of the science department such as the sample room and the rat chamber. Jong Gu and the new student saunter along the pathway around the school until they reach their final destination College Lab Number Four. | Graduation | YG University

12: "And finally, this is where you will be researching and spending most of your time in." He opens the wooden door and leads the student inside, "We are currently looking at genetic combinations and how it can help agriculture. In this lab there are--" Jong Gu turns to the window and freezes... | Tradition | Flower | Childhood

13: Seated on a lab bench, chatting with her friend, the most beautiful person he had ever laid eyes upon. His heart pounding wildly, his eyes unmoving, Jong Gu stared in awe at her rich black hair, which curled in towards the nape of her neck, her dark and charmingly curved eyebrows, dazzling eyes shaped like crescent moons shining bright upon the surface of the world, perfect white teeth without a hint of amiss, hiding behind graceful red lips. Sitting with dignity and elegance worthy of a beautiful white tiger. She is chatting with her friend on the lab bench. | "According to Korean folklore, tigers turn white after they have overcome tremendous challenges. White tigers are thought to have a significant understanding of the world. When powerful people commit evil deeds, a white tiger's appearance elicits fear because of its symbolism. The white tiger is also considered one of the four guardian gods, which guards against the West. The other guardians are the blue dragon, red bird and black tortoise." (eHow)

14: That's how Jong Gu finds his first, his last, and his only love: Hae Kyeung

15: University of Pennsylvania

16: “I saw her sitting on a laboratory bench chatting with her classmate. It was an unforgettable moment that I would remember forever. She looked elegant, refreshing, and healthy. At the very moment I saw her, my hands were shaking and my heart beating hard. It was a totally new experience for me as I never had had such strong emotional eruption before. In fact I could not control myself well. Yes it was the start of my pursuit for her that took three year before she agreed to accept me as someone she could confide with. During those heartbreaking three years, I always constantly reminded myself "Never give up." and was able to get back up on my feet. She was, unlike most others, calm, lively, lovely and also unassuming such that I felt that she was the one in my dream. In my diary....I called her "the Angel". After the long and persistent persuasion of parents of both families, I married her in Philadelphia 1986." | In Korea, until 1987, people with the same last name were not allowed to legally marry another because it was considered incestic. (Interview January 20th)

17: " The three companies that we acquired had some financial difficulties. However she was able to turn the companies around almost immediately, making all the companies profitable. She also exhibited a good inter personal relationship while having a firm grip on management, which was in fact a rare quality for a person who also cultivated a good family bond. I am deeply indebted to her for the business success that she brought to my business." (Interview January 20th) | Family Photo

18: "One secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes." Benjamin Disraeli (Brainy Quotes)

19: Sitting inside the cramp old airplane, Jong Gu twiddles his thumbs and wrinkles his nose, it is his first time going overseas and he was feeling nervous. "It's amazing how a big chunk of metal can fly through the air," he mumbles quietly as Hae Kyeung sleeps on his shoulder. "On top of that, it's holding up hundreds of people." In curiosity, Jong Gu gently lifts up the window shade and bright rays of brilliant sunlight rush inside, filling the cabin with a dazzling light, spreading throughout the plane. Squinting through the bright light leaking through the window, gazing down, Jong Gu watches as the Pacific ocean spreads out below him like a great blue canvas. Before he could admire the enchanting view, the other passengers grumble and curse with irritance. As the shader closes, the bright light streaming into the cabin is cut off and the interior of the plane is plunged into darkness once more.Yawning slightly and checking his wrist watch, he slips a letter out of his breif case, carefully looking over the words that sent him overseas in the first place. Jong Gu couldn't help but smile to himself.

20: Dear Jong Gu Park, We are happy to inform you that the University of Pennsylvania has decided to offer you a admission for the Ph.D degree at our Molecular Biology Department, year 1985. Your outstanding grades and achievements will be of a great help to our university. Please inform us of your decision by the next 30 days, or your admission will be given to another student. The confirmation letter will be sent to you after 5 days of receiving your reply with additional information about the school regulations and billing. We congratulate you on your success. Your Sincerely, University of Pennsylvania

21: Clutching the letter tightly to his chest, Jong Gu settles into his seat for the rest of the long flight. He mumbles to himself: "Never give up" and looks down at the crumpled letter. Hae Kyeung shifted slightly in her sleep, not wanting to wake her, Jong Gu freezes and waits for her to settle down. After a few minutes of tension, Jong Gu feels her relax. Looking down, at he letter in his hand and then the love of his life sleeping on his shoulder, Jong Gu couldn't help but think that these were the two greatest things in his life.

22: "Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other." Abraham Lincoln (Brainy Quotes)

23: Pacing around his office, JongGu gently traces his fingers around the rim of his wooden desk, reminiscing about the time when his workspace consisted of nothing but a small folding table. His fingers collide with the black marble nameplate which reads: Park Jong Gu Chairman. Lowering himself down into his worn leather chair, JongGu closes his eyes.

24: His hands were shaking as he drags the cursor towards the send button in Nature. Making sure that there isn’t a single mistake in the report, JongGu scrolls down once again. It was his 625th time re-reading the report on the new discovery he had made. “Gene knockdown by large circular antisense for high-throughput functional genomics” once again, JongGu places his cursor on the send button. Holding his breath, he clicks the button. As he lets out a sigh of relief, JongGu touches the computer screen which read: If your report is accepted into the 23rd volume of Nature Biotechnology, you will receive an email with the details in 10 days | Nature is a biotechnology journal which scientists submit their researches and report about their findings. There are judes who reads all the reports and pick the best one to publish it as an article in the magazine. (Nature)

25: Nature

26: The scene suddenly changes, now JongGu is signing a contract with his plastic pen. A familiar voice called out “Congratulations, now you are the CEO of Welgene.” He smiles and shakes the man’s hand, tightly clutching the contract, “Thank you”. | Fame

27: His vision shifts to see another contract in front of him. “Clearlab” was the name of his 3rd company. With a smile, JongGu confidently signs his signature on the line provided.He became the chairman of a lens manufacturing company: Clearlab.

28: Welgene | Migwang | Clearlab

29: “JP!” his eyelids open to see his wife, HaeKyeung, shaking his arm, “We need to go pick Lee June up, its already 7 o’clock.” She hands him his glasses and starts packing. JongGu rubs his eyes and adjusts his vision. Pushing himself up, he grabs his briefcase, “Never give up...”

30: “There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.” Frank Herbert (Brainy Quotes)

32: “—and that’s how we are able to be who we are now.” My hands were aching from taking all the notes and typing out my ideas. Exhausted, I sink down into my chair and look at my dad. I never imagined him to be such an amazing man. I never knew how hard he had worked to give me the happiness I have now. Then I start thinking about how little respect I had for my dad. As guilt starts overtaking my emotions, I shake my head and look back at my keyboard and press command + S, thinking I’m done for today. But before I click the red exit button I rethink to myself: never give up... My dad stands up to leave the room,

33: "Thanks Dad... For Everything"

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  • Title: The Outliers
  • Jong Gu Park
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  • Published: almost 6 years ago