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 Post subject: Re: My experiences from the 2015 U.S. Go Congress
Post #21 Posted: Sun Aug 23, 2015 8:20 pm 
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Great photos thanks for sharing. I am sure the Haylee/Nick game was lots of fun. Looks like a wonderful location.

Are u going next year?

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Post #22 Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:50 am 
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Thanks!

goTony wrote:
Are u going next year?


Me? Probably not. I was able to afford it this year because it was close enough to drive, and the library where I work and run the Go club picked up the entire bill out of the training budget! While I could possibly scrape up the fees, expenses and airfare by next year, I don't think I could justify spending it on a wild week of Go paradise. :D And certainly could not ask the library to send me again. (I emptied half the training budget for the entire year...small-town library. I'm so lucky they sent me!)

But by the time it is in the midwest again, I hope to be better able to afford it.

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Post #23 Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:51 am 
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Inkwolf wrote:
I went on the riverboat trip. It was very nice and relaxing...but I think just about everyone on the boat played Go on their phone and tablet apps at some point.


Thanks for the photos! I did not go an a trip this time, but rather slept in. I guess if you had a magnetic board you could play a more realistic game on a boat, but a real board would be a bit awkward to due to frequent use of the "wave tesuji." :)

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Post #24 Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 10:11 am 
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Inkwolf wrote:
Thanks!

goTony wrote:
Are u going next year?


Me? Probably not. I was able to afford it this year because it was close enough to drive, and the library where I work and run the Go club picked up the entire bill out of the training budget! While I could possibly scrape up the fees, expenses and airfare by next year, I don't think I could justify spending it on a wild week of Go paradise. :D And certainly could not ask the library to send me again. (I emptied half the training budget for the entire year...small-town library. I'm so lucky they sent me!)

But by the time it is in the midwest again, I hope to be better able to afford it.


Work related education good for you! Have you ever sponsored a GO demo day at the library? And do you have the Hikaru series in paperback or video?

Boston next year. Expensive..... Wish it was on the west coast.

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 Post subject: Re: My experiences from the 2015 U.S. Go Congress
Post #25 Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:16 am 
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Days 5-6:

Day 5 was the Wednesday, the trip day. I was pretty beat so I mostly slept in. Later on I took a jog to the Mississippi river, which is not far away from the campus. (I did this in the evening most days.)

I have a few scattered memories that don't fit into any category, so I'll just group them here.

Teacher's Workshop

I attended 2 sessions of the Teacher's Workshop, just for a change of pace. Coincidentally, both of them were lead by Kim Myeong-wan 9p. The first one was about using mathematical endgame theory to encourage teaching go in schools. I enjoy this topic, but I think I think many of the attendees were confused by the presentation, which I'd say is at about the level of the SL article Miai Counting with Trees, although he used deiri values rather than miai ones (no application or mention of local tally until he gets to ko, which seems inconsistent to me so even I was confused. I think he was only able to cover a fraction of his presentation. For an audience who mostly had never seen it before, it certainly takes more time to explain than he had. However, I think that the point was made that math teachers could use endgame theory to introduce go to their students.

The second workshop session I attended was excellent. It covered afterschool programs and was lead by Kim Myeong-wan 9p and an official from the KBA (or was it KABA?). It seems there are 5000 schools in Korea with any kind of afterschool program (the most popular are English, art, and piano) and that new 50% of them have an afterschool baduk program, too. This all got started in the past few years, so progress has been rapid. The average afterschool baduk teacher in Korea is a 10 kyu married woman. We were told that the schedule (4-6pm 1-2 days per week at about 3 schools) works well as a part-time job and they do get paid. (Good luck with that in the West.) Another interesting thing that was mentioned is that the baduktopia.com videos, which Myeong-wan says were useful in his class because kids like them, are going to be translated into English and so those will be available to teachers. It was fascinating to hear how baduk is taught in afterschool programs in Korea, but the challenge for teachers in the West remains.

I was inspired by the two sessions I attended in the Teacher's Workshop and maybe next year I'll complete the 8 hours required to get an AGA certificate, though I'm not sure how to find the time do anything with it. :)

Inseong Hwang

Inseong Hwang EGF 8d, attended the USGC and gave a few lectures. When he wasn't on the schedule the first day, I wondered if he'd run into the Bruce Wilcox problem. (It's before my time, but I recalled hearing that it was somewhat controversial that Bruce Wilcox, an amateur, was teaching at the USGC.) On later days he was on the posted schedule, so I guess it was okay. I attended one of his talks. Previously, I had seen only his free videos on yunguseng.com. In person he is very charismatic, like a good businessman or cult leader. (Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference :)). I had considered joining his school for a semester, but the time commitment seemed prohibitive and of course it costs money. His lectures are well organized and he provided handouts. Certainly I'd say he classroom teaching is on par with with, say, Guo Juan 5p or Yilun Yang 7p. Other than Kirby, I had talked to one other player who had joined his online go school for season, who also said good things about it. (In particular, this player said that it had help him catch up after not playing for about 3 years.) So it will be interesting to see if Inseong can keep up with what must be a frantic pace considering the sheer number of reviews.


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 Post subject: Re: My experiences from the 2015 U.S. Go Congress
Post #26 Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 1:21 pm 
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Cool, thanks for he commentary on the pro workshops! I somehow managed not to get to any, though I attended the same teaching seminar about afterschool programs and teaching games.

I also attended the teaching seminars about teaching beginners, and about the teaching game. I have to confess, my approach beginners is opposite to Chris Kirschner's. He goes by tiny little baby steps so as not to overwhelm the new player. I usually tell the new player how the game works, then throw them in at the deep end, figuring that by the end of three or four heavily-coached 9x9 games, they will have an adequate basic understanding of what they are doing. On the other hand, my method does not work so well when I have a group instead of one or two individuals.

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Have you ever sponsored a GO demo day at the library? And do you have the Hikaru series in paperback or video?


Yes to all. :D

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Post #27 Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 1:31 pm 
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Inkwolf wrote:
Cool, thanks for he commentary on the pro workshops! I somehow managed not to get to any, though I attended the same teaching seminar about afterschool programs and teaching games.

I also attended the teaching seminars about teaching beginners, and about the teaching game. I have to confess, my approach beginners is opposite to Chris Kirschner's. He goes by tiny little baby steps so as not to overwhelm the new player. I usually tell the new player how the game works, then throw them in at the deep end, figuring that by the end of three or four heavily-coached 9x9 games, they will have an adequate basic understanding of what they are doing. On the other hand, my method does not work so well when I have a group instead of one or two individuals.

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Have you ever sponsored a GO demo day at the library? And do you have the Hikaru series in paperback or video?


Yes to all. :D


How has the response been with the videos and demo?

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 Post subject: Re: My experiences from the 2015 U.S. Go Congress
Post #28 Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 1:57 pm 
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Inkwolf wrote:
I usually tell the new player how the game works, then throw them in at the deep end, figuring that by the end of three or four heavily-coached 9x9 games, they will have an adequate basic understanding of what they are doing.


This reminder me of something else that came up during the afterschool program talk: 9x9 vs. 19x19. In Korea 70% of afterschool teacher prefer starting students on 19x19, 30% on 9x9, roughly, although there was some mention of smaller boards than 9x9. There is some disagreement even there.

Myeong-wan said that he was personally taught on 19x19, as were most professionals, but there is some value in capture-go as most students you teach will never become pros. It takes some time to break the capturing habit in his opinion. Yet---and this is the point where I wonder if I misheard---in his classes he teaches capture go. First capture-1, then capture-2, up to maybe capture-5 after which students are more ready for real go. Students typically spend a semester (3 months) on capture go.


Last edited by Calvin Clark on Mon Aug 24, 2015 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #29 Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 2:13 pm 
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Calvin Clark wrote:
Inkwolf wrote:
I usually tell the new player how the game works, then throw them in at the deep end, figuring that by the end of three or four heavily-coached 9x9 games, they will have an adequate basic understanding of what they are doing.


This reminders me of something else that came up during the afterschool program talk: 9x9 vs. 19x19. In Korea 70% of afterschool teacher prefer starting students on 19x19, 30% on 9x9, roughly, although there was some mention of smaller boards than 9x9. There is some disagreement even there.

Myeong-wan said that he was personally taught on 19x19, as were most professionals, but there is some value in capture-go as most students you teach will never become pros. It takes some time to break the capturing habit in his opinion. Yet---and this is the point where I wonder if I misheard---in his classes he teaches capture go. First capture-1, then capture-2, up to maybe capture-5 after which students are more ready for real go. Students typically spend a semester (3 months) on capture go.

I missed that last session at the Congress (as it was essentially a last minute, and mostly unannounced addition to the schedule, and I had prior scheduling conflicts), but I got to hear his same presentation at the Seattle Go Center last Monday night (a week after the Congress).

Its true that he expresses concerns about instilling a habit of capturing, but at the same time, he also stresses to his students, as do I, that its not about capturing -- its about learning not to be captured. That way, when no one is captured, its a quick step to the concept of territory, so that you can move on to regular Go.

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Post #30 Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 2:38 pm 
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Inkwolf wrote:
I also attended the teaching seminars about teaching beginners, and about the teaching game. I have to confess, my approach beginners is opposite to Chris Kirschner's. He goes by tiny little baby steps so as not to overwhelm the new player. I usually tell the new player how the game works, then throw them in at the deep end, figuring that by the end of three or four heavily-coached 9x9 games, they will have an adequate basic understanding of what they are doing. On the other hand, my method does not work so well when I have a group instead of one or two individuals.

Growing up (so to speak) at the Seattle Go Center (I discovered them around 2003-4), I'm fully versed in their (Chris') teaching methods, and have seen first hand the benefits (though I myself learned on a 19x19). I jumped leaps and bounds in my own understanding as I quickly learned to apply those methods in my own teaching attempts.

Though I usually go much quicker and don't dwell on capture go for too long anymore -- depending on how quickly the student begins to understand. I'm more flexible now and everyone I teach is different. Some get it, some don't. And its not usually about you (the teacher), but the methods can help with slower learners.

If you haven't tried it, I fully recommend you give it a try. If it doesn't work well enough, then stop using it. But I honestly think you'll learn something useful just in the trying :)

I've posted elsewhere (I'll have to find them) about my specific methods (mostly learned from the Seattle Go Center)... capture go with ladder exercise, then net, then capture on 5x5, then 7x7, then with cross-cut starting pattern on 9x9, then regular go on 9x9...etc. Useful stuff to learn at every step.


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Post #31 Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 2:48 pm 
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Calvin Clark wrote:
I was inspired by the two sessions I attended in the Teacher's Workshop and maybe next year I'll complete the 8 hours required to get an AGA certificate, though I'm not sure how to find the time do anything with it. :)

The first year they did the Workshop in Tacoma, I was too busy and couldn't attend, but I really wanted to.
The next year in New York, they shortened the time for the games, so I had more free time... but I was in New York, so I went sightseeing instead :)
This year, I really enjoyed being able to participate and get my official certificate -- I'm now certified to teach up to 15k :) Who knew? (Probably because I haven't played a rated game since 2009, I'm sure my own rating is lagging a bit.)

I also attended the Tournament Director workshop. They're not offering certificates yet. Its a good thing. Its still a work in progress. I thought I didn't know very much, but I was really surprised how much less the speakers knew on some specific topics -- including lots of mis-information (some from our very own Seattlites)!

I intend to work closer with Chris on improving this workshop for future years.

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Post #32 Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 4:12 pm 
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goTony wrote:
Have you ever sponsored a GO demo day at the library? And do you have the Hikaru series in paperback or video?

Quote:
Yes to all. :D


How has the response been with the videos and demo?


Well, we started out with three demo/teaching days. Some of those people returned when the club started up. I'm not sure if any of our members ever started because of Hikaru No Go, but I do know that it helps keep them enthusiastic! We all have a fandom to share as well as a game to play.

We offered another beginner teaching session on International Go Teaching Day last year, but nobody turned up.

There was a surge of interest when three of our kids joined the Anerican Go Honor Society's school tournament on KGS. After they talked about competing at school, several of their classmates turned up to learn. Though none of those kids stuck around, at least they know what Go is now.

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Post #33 Posted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 11:31 am 
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So this seems to be the US Go Congress thread? Thanks for starting and it and posting detailed notes. Calvin!

We seriously need to find a way to identify fellow L19'ers at Congress. I know Brian, Kevin, Andy, and Andrew, and hung out some with each of them, but not the rest of you. I'd have given inkwolf a hug for her work on Aji's Quest, if I'd have known her. Hell, I didn't even know inkwolf was a she.

Congress is funny. When I first attended (say my first couple or three) it was all about the go, that is what I looked forward to, and what I did when I got there. I played lots, attended workshops, had game reviews, enriched the vendors, and absorbed all the go I could. But then I found that I began to look forward to reuniting people that I hadn't seen for a year, even more than the go. I mean, I still get game reviews, and attend a few lectures, but I enjoy the dinners out and bars, too. A few of us talked about it and agreed that the Congress was almost an excuse for friends to get together each year. Anyway, that transformation from it being about the go to being around friends is pretty cool, and I hope others feel the same.

Let's see, what will I remember about this year's Congress (that I can say publicly)?

Alas, somehow my suite got assigned as a party suite this year (again). So, early on I only averaged five hours of sleep per night, decreasing to three or four by the end. Can I use that as an excuse for going 2-4 in the Open? Maybe next year, I should give sleep a little higher priority.

Most years we play lots of crazy go in the off hours. But this year's downtime was dominated by a few boardgames, mostly Resistance and One Night Ultimate Werewolf. I've played Resistance before, but folks at Congress took it quite seriously (Andrew, I'm looking at you), and played at a reasonably high level, so I learned a lot. We even got Hajin Lee (Haylee) to play. Overall, it was good fun.

I also got a new pair-go partner who kicked ass, and played way above her rating. (Hi Laura!) We agreed to not be competitive at all, and just play for fun, snuck in some beers, and had a ball. We saw some pictures that indicated that in Europe cross-dressing males could play as women in pair-go. Is this true? What a great idea. IMHO, that could increase the fun-level, even if those couples weren't permitted to qualify to play in Japan.

I'm sure I'm missing stuff, but will hit "submit" anyway.

BTW, in case other posters here might know me, I'm Brady. Please say hi, so I knew who you are next year. :)

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Post #34 Posted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 1:34 pm 
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I only know brady. I have no idea who the heck any of the rest of you are, haha.

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Post #35 Posted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 11:58 pm 
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Doesn't do much good to post about it now, but I'd like the record to show that I spent about an hour and a half writing a day-by-day diary of my perspective of the 2015 Go Congress (plus kudos to Brady, who is a great guy to meet at congress) - which somehow got lost when I tried to submit it. Maybe I'll try again, but in any case, I'd recommend attending next year's congress if you get the chance :-)

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Post #36 Posted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:04 am 
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Kirby wrote:
Doesn't do much good to post about it now, but I'd like the record to show that I spent about an hour and a half writing a day-by-day diary of my perspective of the 2015 Go Congress (plus kudos to Brady, who is a great guy to meet at congress) - which somehow got lost when I tried to submit it. Maybe I'll try again, but in any case, I'd recommend attending next year's congress if you get the chance :-)


What a shame! I would have loved to hear about your experiences - you must have had quite an interesting time there!

BTW., don't let it happen again: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/firefo ... -recovery/ (also available for other browsers).

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