So You’re Gonna Be A Dad (part 1)

 Lessons and Info, To Be A Good Dad, To Be a Good Husband  Comments Off on So You’re Gonna Be A Dad (part 1)
Jul 282011


“You’re going to be a daddy!”

Well congratulations, bub, and welcome to the hardest, most rewarding, and most mind numbingly awe inspiring job you’re ever going to have as the male member of the human species.

I’ve noticed that getting that news from your wife/fiance/girlfriend can lead you to have either one of two reactions.  Either you feel it as the single most world changing event in the history of the universe, or it feels all very abstract.  I have to confess, I was of the latter persuasion.  I knew what it meant, I understood the responsibilities and the implications on an intellectual level, but it didn’t really hit me emotionally until maybe the 2 to 3rd trimester and I started to actually feel the baby in my wife’s belly.  THAT was freaky.  I had visions of Aliens and V going off in my geek brain – there’s a lifeform in my woman’s belly! – while at the same time it no longer became a theoretical little blob on an ultrasound.

2011 must be a banner year of Kieun’s friends and reproduction because quite a lot of my friends and my wife’s friends (aka our friends) are having children.  It occurs to me that I haven’t really gone into the 9 month process leading up the D-Day (that’s D for delivery, pal).  I could write a tome about it, but who’s gonna wanna read that?  So I thought I’d put down some thoughts, observations, and other highly opinionated advice for anyone who may have just recently heard those fateful six words.

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Welcome to the world, Nathan

 To Be A Good Dad  Comments Off on Welcome to the world, Nathan
Jun 302011


Allow me to officially welcome to the world, my son, Nathaniel Tae-Joon Kim.  He was born six weeks ago, on May 19, at 12:48pm.  It’s been an exciting, harrowing, and EXHAUSTING 6 weeks, and a literal whirlwind of activity and non-sleep.

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To Really Learn, Quit Studying and Take a Test

 Things Dad Should Know, To Be A Good Dad  Comments Off on To Really Learn, Quit Studying and Take a Test
Jan 242011

I’m stealing the title of this post from this NY Times article. It’s an interesting story they tell: a recent scientific study indicates that to best learn and retain what you have learned, the most effective means of doing this may be to stop every once in a while and take a test to quiz yourself on your knowledge.

The study was conducted at Purdue University by Jeffrey Karpicke. He divided the participating students into four groups and each was asked to study some material that they didn’t know before, and asked to follow up in different ways. The first group was asked to simply read the text for a single sitting of five minutes, the second group was asked to read for four consecutive five minute sessions, the third was asked to engage in mind mapping to organize what they read once with the text in front of them, and the last group was asked to take a “retrieval practice” test. This test involved writing down in a free form essay what they read without looking at the text. They then reread the passage and took another retrieval test. A week later all four groups were given a short-answer test that assessed their ability to recall facts and draw logical conclusions based on the facts.

The group that made the mind mapping did well initially, but in the long term, one-week after test, the group that did the best was the one that did the retrieval test as they were learning. In fact, they were able to retain up to 50% more information than the groups that used the other methods.

I am a little chagrined to hear this. If you recall your school days, at the end of the chapters in all the textbooks I’ve ever used, there were various “end of chapter” tests, to supposedly test you on what you just read. I never used them. Seems like these tests were supposed to do exactly what this study seems to indicate is beneficial for students. So this is important mental note for the future, when the little bambinos enter school and they’re studying their science or social studies. I will teach them all the mental mapping and note taking techniques, but I guess I will also be making sure that they take those end of the chapter tests, too.

Dec 282010

OK, it’s confirmed. It’s a boy!!! The amnio tests have come back and the little guy is healthy, and the genetic tests have confirmed what the ultrasounds have been hinting – it’s a dude!

It’s both exhilarating – it’s gonna be a little Kieun Jr. – and scary – again, it’s gonna be a little Kieun Junior!! I just hope I can truly live up to what the title of this website says and really be a good dad to this little guy.


the second hardest job in the world

 To Be A Good Dad, To Be a Good Husband  Comments Off on the second hardest job in the world
Sep 302010

The title of this site, “To Be a Good Dad”, is not just a title.  It’s a mission statement.

A few weeks ago, I found out that I am going to be a father.  No, check that.  I’m going to be a Dad.  I consider fatherhood to be what you are when you have a child simply by the inherent virtue that you provided half the DNA.  That’s not enough.  I think to be a Dad is a conscious choice, a choice you make to take the time, the effort, to do whatever it takes to be the friend, the mentor, and guide to this crazy world for this new, beautiful creature you’ve help create.

So why the second hardest job in the world?  Because the hardest job would be being a Mom, and I freely admit to that.  But being a Dad is no picnic either, and being a “Good” Dad is work.  Lots of work.

This site is my mission statement, and my chronicle of the things that I will discover on the road to being a good Dad.  Along the way I hope to share some insights, some tips, hints, cheats, and anything else that would help any guy out there who has taken upon himself to take up the mantle of “Dad”.


 Posted by on September 30, 2010