"Passion. It is a rarity to find such a feeling in this fast-paced life where everyone is pressured by schedules and deadlines, priorities and boundaries, rushed phone-call friendships between classes and patched-up faith. For some, passion may seem as a feeling that was long forgotten. I count myself very lucky to have the chance to meet Jon on the KGS Go Server through one of my good friends. Jon embodies a passion for go that can be easily felt once you get to know him.

When I met Jon, I still carried my six-year impression of go as a frightening game of black and white circles on a very large grid. This fear was always one I wished to dispel. Not only did I want to dispel my fear, I wanted to become good at go. After countless all-night rengos and friendly chatter, I decided to ask Jon for a lesson on one very frustrating evening when I dropped 3 stones in rank. I was a bit devastated and ready to give up on go, once again. Even though it was very late at night for Jon, he eagerly planned out a lesson for me by recalling how I played in my previous games. That lesson will always be a fond memory for me. 'Black shouldn't go there because white can squish and squash that stone! Don't be afraid of your opponent!' We found out how my fear was caused by learning go the wrong way.

Slowly, Jon transformed my impression of simple black and white dots into stones that held mystical and artistic potential. The go player is the painter. The board is his canvas. He transformed my fear and frustration into smiles and laughter. This may sound very cheesy, but this really did make all the difference. Soon I found myself on KGS very frequently, undusting and flipping through old books that I had tried to read years ago, reviewing the games I had made countless mistakes in and encouraging those around me with happy Asian-inspired online smileys. The Kuroneko Go School that Jon founded is a very special find on KGS. Never have I met so many friendly and very generous personalities in one place.

So, what happened to that girl who was so scared of go? She's currently the president of her own go club, of course. What was the lesson on?

'Nari, openings are everything.'"

-- Peggy