“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
my father was a young boy in Korea, his mother carried him south to escape the
war. Left behind were his younger sister and grandmother. They were both too
weak to travel. The borders closed and promises of a quick return turned into
years of regret.
my wife was a young girl, her mother carried her across the Killing Fields of
Cambodia and left behind her siblings, her parents, and her other children who
were unable to escape.
my mother was a young woman, she carried me in her belly and my sister in her
arms as she walked the streets of Chicago searching for a job. She had left her
bright career as a math teacher in Korea to sort mail for the postal service.
were children who needed to be carried. Our legs were weak, our eyes could not
see very far, and the road frightened us.
am now a man. My legs are strong, my
eyes are clear, and I follow the courage of those who have walked before
me. To my parents, my wife, my unborn
children, and the generations that came before me, I make this promise.
will not leave you behind.
— Alex Pak
Each year we ask our classmates a straightforward, simple question taken from the lines of a poem by Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Mary Oliver.
We share with you intimate and candid responses to this question, "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"
Concept and photography:
Tony Deifell, MBA '02
More Portrait Project