Journal - Cogito ergo sum
Should I wear this sweater? The weather looks rather mild. Wait, it’s already April. Fresh air, beautiful spring flowers, and pleasant sunshine pervade everywhere. “O, how this spring of love resembleth / The uncertain glory of an April day!” Shakespeare claims. Anyway, this realization of time made me feel ashamed, because it meant I have been postponing to write this journal for nearly two months.
As of February, the Korea Baduk Association (KBA) asked me to serve as an International Coordinator, to support the international Baduk community, promote the activities of KBA around the world, and facilitate communication between KBA and other Go associations mainly by providing translation services from Korean to English and English to Korean. During last couple months, I have been writing emails back and forth with European Go Federation (EGF) and Czech Go Association (CGA) on behalf of KBA.
My first trip abroad for promoting Baduk was in 2006, Korean Ambassador’s Cup in Germany, France, and the Netherlands. The trip was scheduled for three weeks, and the itinerary also included the UK, Austria, and Belgium. I had been a professional player for under two years then, and was a high school student. I spoke very little English, and was simply excited to see Europe, not knowing what I was getting into.
I was fascinated and captivated by the charm of Europe and the passion of European players for Baduk. Though they weren’t as strong, when they played they weren’t any less serious than players in Korea. I met so many wonderful players who were pleasant and kind, trying to communicate with me despite my limited language ability. I regretted that I couldn’t speak English, and told myself hundreds times that I would start studying as soon as I go back to Korea.
The first step is the hardest, as the well-known adage goes. I have had many more chances since that first one. This was partly because I had experience, and partly because I did study English in Korea. From Korean Consul General’s Cup in Seattle in 2008, I went to the 2009 US Go Congress in Washington DC, Kent School in Connecticut, Korean Ambassador’s Cup in Prague, the 2010 European Go Congress in Finland, the Polish Summer Go Camp, and the 2011 US Go Congress in California. Through these experiences, I became acquainted with many players around the world, and gained a certain insight into the international Baduk scene.
As a junior student in an undergraduate program, I am still exploring options for my future career. No matter where I go or what I do, however, I want to be contributing to the Baduk community in one way or another. I hope this International Coordinator title provides me with a base from which I can explore the right place for me in my home profession.