Saturday, March 27, 2010


I thought I'd take a second and talk about the place I work at (YBM ECC) because it's really quite amazing.  I know in the graduation post I was taken in by the spectacle of the occasion, but the school I work at is really a nice place and they are totally succeeding at teaching children how to speak English despite not having reinforcement from the outside world.  I used to wonder why it was Koreans expended so much energy and money to bring English speaking foreigners to their country to learn a language they have sufficient resources to teach.  They have books, CD's, television, media, and all the grammar you could shake a stick at, so why do they need us?  I got my answer yesterday.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Today's Lesson Part Deux

So right now I'm working on revamping my original 3 books on Go and starting work on the dan level version, so I've been kind of busy and not so much with the posting as of late, but I promise I'll put up more stuff as time goes on.  If anyone has happened to have read any of them, I know some people were able to get a copy when they first came out, I'd love comments or questions.

My schedule at school is pretty brutal in that Monday and Friday I have like, what, 10 or 11 classes and a lunch duty in a row so I go from 10 until 6:50 straight save for a 25 minute break which is sometimes only 10 minutes if the kids are having a hard time putting their coats on.  When I get home I'm pretty blasted.  I'm taking like a month or so off of taking lessons on Monday, Wednesday, and the weekend, so I can have some time to relax and rebuild.  I was exercising, taking evening lessons, changing my diet, working on Baduk World stuff, taking Korean lessons twice a week, and working at school all at the same time and I just said to myself "Self, you're not a machine.  Cool it."  I'm learning it's okay to be ambitious but know why you are working so hard and for what purpose, and always realize that since you will eventually get to your destination there is no reason not to enjoy the scenery.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Baduk World in Korea

So I am ultra excited this week.  Like more excited than I've been in a long time.  Why am I so happy?  Well, I can proudly say I will be a teacher at a Go school aimed at teaching foreigners.   The website can be found here:

That's right, my job will be to teach people the game I love playing on the weekends and weeknights (of course I'll mostly be teaching kyu level players but still, it's fantastic).  The opportunity just sort of fell in my lap.  When I got to Korea I didn't know where to study Go.  I asked a korean friend of mine on KGS if he somehow knew where to go, but he didn't, he only knew of his old teacher who lives in Seoul.  He gave me his teacher, O Pilsang's, email address and he told me about the dojo I currently go to.  In a mysterious turn of events, two weekends after New Year's my teacher at the dojo said "tomorrow, don't come."  This didn't really make any sense since New Year's had passed and Lunar New Year wasn't until next month.  Before when we had days off at the dojo they would give me a reason but this time they didn't.  So, that Sunday I had off, and 'lo and behold Mr. O messaged me about a new Go parlor that was opening up in a nearby city and asked me if I wanted to come.  "What the hell" I thought, since I wasn't doing anything else that day.  I went, and then when I saw Mr. O with his English speaking friend Mr. Park, I realized what was up.  So I just grinned and went with them to the Go parlor.  I played Kim KiJung, one of the other teachers, when I got there, and he could not give me 3 stones of handicap but 2 stones seemed to be a fair battle (now we play evenly).  I also played Mr. O at 3 stones and got wholluped but not without a fight.  So, after all was said and done, we went to dinner.

It was at dinner that they told me they wanted to start a Baduk school for foreigners, since they knew the game was getting more popular in the West.  They were clearly scoping me out and I was far stronger than what they were expecting, they told me so.  So they invited me to be a teacher and to start getting trained by not only Mr. O, but Kim Kijung's daughter, Kim Seonmi, who is a 2 dan professional.  JOY!  So for the past month I went to the dojo on weekends, saw Mr. O on monday, and saw Kim Seonmi on Wednesday.  Now that I've finished the website, I can officially let you all know what's up.

This is pure awesome.  I mean, I came to Korea with one thing in mind and out of left field a wonderful opportunity just blossomed because I was open to it.  I could have just told them "no I don't want to come" because I didn't know Mr. O in the slightest.  I could have backed out of it, not having the confidence to teach.  Instead, I just decided this was all too well timed, almost rehearsed if you will, so it must just be part of God's way of giving me a high five.  So if you know someone that wants to study Baduk or are interested in yourself contact us!  It will be a fantastic trip!

Thanks! comments

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pushing Forward

Ok, so last week I had a bit of a meltdown.  The normal teacher wasn't there when I walked in the dojo, it was the guy that spoke a little English, well, enough English, he's not bad at all.  I like the normal teacher, Yi Jae Il, better because we get along pretty well, but this week he's preparing for some big tournament.  The guy that speaks English is okay, but he is of the mindset that I suck and am no match against the yongusaengs (the kids studying to be pro).  I lost pretty much every game last Saturday because the kids were having none of me.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Blonde Effect

Before we get into this fascinating subject, I just wanted to give yet another Elton update (don't you just love those?)  I was concerned when Elton graduated with the rest of the kindergartners because we wouldn't be able to teach him anymore, but lo and behold, he's back!  He goes to ECC for their afternoon classes!  I don't personally teach him, the new teacher who just flew in, Emily, will be his instructor.  Emily also has dyslexia and the first thing out of her mouth was that she thought the boy had it too.  Anyway, we're past it, he's still around and we can still help him as much as we can.


Monday, March 1, 2010

Awesome Pro game

My study mainly consists of studying pro games and doing a LOT of tsumego problems.  Pro games can be a headache most of the time, as I usually only have a rudimentary understanding of what strategies they're employing, but every so often I watch one where the entire game almost clicks in my mind.  Well, almost 100%.  My opening is still the weakest part of my game so in that respect I can get muddled but the game I watched on Baduk TV today really stuck with me because the fighting was so smooth.  I could always see the next move in my mind and all the pieces just merged together.  The commentator was just showing me things I had already read out, so it felt good to know that maybe I'm making a step forward. I'll show you some of the highlights of the game.  I forget who played it, I wasn't paying attention to the players names.

By the way for the Go uninitiated I'm working on putting up some Go terms so when I use them you can just look them up.