Board Games

Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, that marked your transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.

In checkers, players must strategize and plan in order to make their moves and win the game. This is what my dad taught me when we played, almost every day after school. After I learned the basics, it was up to me to figure out how to beat him. He would never let me win. Gradually, though, I got better at checkers.

My father works as a college biology professor, so when he wasn't challenging me on the checkerboard, he was always on my case about being diligent in my homework or studying for a big test. During my freshman year of high school, he re-learned everything about Biology 101 and helped me fully understand the function of mitochondria. He didn't straightforwardly tell me; he would push me to figure it out for myself—a skill that I would be thankful for during my later years of high school. When I could finally articulate what mitochondria was, I felt accomplished, in a wonderful science-nerd way. Sometimes it was annoying when my father couldn't resist an opportunity to teach me, but having an expert in my own home is—after-school challenges and all—a true gift.

Then last summer, when I stepped onto the campus of the Université Laval, I knew that a French immersion program would be amazing. I knew that I'd make friends,...

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