Tell us about an experience you’ve had outside of your formal classroom and extracurricular activities that was just plain fun.
After several months of fairly serious study, my love of Go brought me to the Philadelphia Baduk (Go) Club. Smoke filled the room so thickly I could barely see the no-smoking signs: two lines of Korean characters, followed by a picture of a man with a cigarette next to a bomb. Seven men sat in front of Go boards. The youngest by 20 years, I neither spoke the language nor could I provide any of the players any real challenge. One of the men saw me and said, “You want to play Baduk?” I played a stone, and we spoke the same language.
Forty-five minutes later, I am still kneeling before a wooden Go board. I draw a black stone from a wooden bowl. I hold it between my middle and forefingers. I place this slate circle on an intersection of two lines in a massive grid on the board. My opponent studies my move. He draws a white clamshell stone and plays it next to mine. His move appreciates the potency of mine and acquiesces to my purpose. However, it also presses back, defending itself while threatening to push further. I must accept the value of his move before I can respond.
If I react too passively, he will be free to press me harder. I will have no choice but to keep giving way and he will gain the upper hand. If I react too aggressively, I may become separated and fall under attack myself. Again, I will have lost the initiative. I must attack with enough severity to keep my opponent off balance, but while keeping a strong position. Only by striking a perfect balance will equilibrium be maintained.
In Go, you can never improve your position with a move. The best move will only maintain the current balance. With a slack move, you tip the scales in your opponent’s favor. Thus, it is folly to seek a “great” move; instead, one must seek the “right” move, or as near to it as one is able to find. To find it requires every aspect of one’s intelligence - both the abstract and spacial analysis of the right brain and the sharp logical reasoning of the left brain. Furthermore, it is said that there is no better way to learn about another’s personality than to play him in Go and observe when he attacks, when he defends, when he gives way, when he makes his stand, and how he responds to probing moves.
At a nearby restaurant later that night, I sat next to the strongest player at the club. When I began to eat my food, he shook his head and chuckled. Taking several large spoonfuls of hot sauce, he properly seasoned my dish and told me to dig in.
Phelan: Besides the minor typo I've corrected, and the last paragraph, which seems unfinished and unrelated to the top text, I liked it. I haven't had any contact with college admission forms like those, though. :p
nachtrabe: A few minor pieces of advice.
NickGeorge: Thanks. That's all very good advice. I'm thinking of starting with the last paragraph, and having my description be that game. Maybe better flow, less akward tenses.