Day 21: Service Learning Challenges

From the very beginning of Microcampus, we were told to make connections, make connections, and make connections. Now nearing the end, we realize how important it really is. Note to future students: take everything Mr. T says seriously. Service learning can arguably be the hardest facet of Microcampus. The interactions with elders really challenges you to adapt to the situation, and have immense patience. Overcoming these challenges shapes a different learning style, and it is the new learning styles we develop on this trip that really matters. Today was a struggle for some, but our group was in luck. After getting a phone call from our Service Learning partners saying they wouldn't be home until Monday, we panicked. Yesterday was the due date for a first short clip, and we fufilled that. However, the weeked would be useless, which means only Monday to film and have the video together by the end of Tuesday. There was no way, plus our Inquiry work, we would be bale to finish. It wasn't only out group struggling, many groups have yet to find a partner willing to be filmed, and it is difficult to explain to them why we're doing this (I would know).

Our first plan was to go to the mosque. Mr. T and Ms. Mai had told us that there were many willing and possible partners. With much trouble involving a trip to a bank and leaving us without one member, finishing up wellness in a gym that would close in 30 minutes, and working on the all-important final project, I departed the Linden Center with Henry, Grace, and an unwilling Fay. After finding directions and walking for 15 minutes, we made the to the mosque. It seemed as if everything would be alright-- until we realized it was closed. And wouldn't be open for a long time. With a trudging defeat, we slowly turned around and began heading back down the rocky road. As we were walking back, we passed a small, semi-transparent door. As we passed by, it opened, and out came Mr. Yang the Sifangjie antique dealer. It was surprising, we never expected for him to live near the mosque. After explaining the situation, he brought us to his uncle. It was 'like a miracle', as Grace stated, and 'he's like a guardian angel'. In a moment when we felt like no hope was left, out came Mr. Yang. Tomorrow we are to go at 10 and officially begin the interview. Hoping to learn a lot about him as he was a teacher and a religious leader as well.

Hey, my name is Katherine. I was born in Michigan, USA, moved to Shanghai for around two years, and currently reside back in Michigan. I'm 13 years old, and I no longer attend SAS Pudong. My friends and I enjoy drawing, and just joking around. Hobbies and interest of mine include drawing and preparing for my future (haha). A goal of mine was to stabilize my drawing style based on learning and reflecting in Yunnan. Xizhou was such a beautiful place and rich with culture and colors. The people who lived there were genuinely interested to meet us, and often happily asked us for lunch or dinner with them. It's one thing to visit a place as a tourist, but it's completely different when you live in the area for a month and try to reach out towards everyone in the local community. The time I've spent in Xizhou not only helped me to think and know outside of the Shanghai bubble, but also exposed me to the wonders of nature. The three day hike was spent close to nature, and every night was a spectacular night show of stars never seen in Shanghai. The 28 days have ended much too quickly, and the experiences have changed the way I know and perceive life.