Six students with two chaperones attended Microcampus and came to a village called Xizhou for four weeks. We were all unaware of the outcomes of the trip would become and we just knew that we would spend some time with our inquiry project that was selected by our high personal interest. My inquiry project was Wealth and status. I came to Microcampus to get out of my comfort zone and experience the "real" China or I would say the heart of China. During my last few days of Microcampus, I have grown out of my comfort zone and truly experience China by mainly working on my inquiry project.
The process of my inquiry project started way back when I was writing in Phase 0, I still remember I was scrolling down the list of Microcampus Alumna project and clicked on Hannah H. who was discovering happiness through looking the recreation of the villagers. I started thinking about what usually makes people really happy than studying their hobbies and I thought about having lots of wealth and status. I believed that it was true because many people place wealth and status so high in their values usually as high as happiness.
My sources could have been any gender, age, and occupation, so I have many different kinds of sources I could talk with. The sources I used are elderly people, Mr. Qiu an immigrants, lottery owners, antique dealer, silver smiting, private businesses owners and chaperones. I chose these sources because I wanted a range of sources to really understand the perspectives of the villagers of Xizhou, which has significantly changed mine.
The kinds of questions I was asking is about the villagers' perspectives of the importance of wealth and the history of their wealth. The complete set of question is written in Phase 3. My project will be mostly about In order to determine the changes over time about my thoughts of wealth and status, one must consider before the inquiry project sessions, during inquiry project session, and after inquiry project sessions.
Sharing My learning
This is my final product is created for the villagers, chaperones and the superior group who have helped me along the way and this video expresses my thanks for all their help and how far my topic got with them. if you cannot access my video, please click here.
From these inquiry project experience, I have learned the importance of wealth and status and getting out of my comfort zone. Before I came to Microcampus, I always thought strangers were dangerous to interact and talk to. When I came to Xizhou, talking with strangers is a day-to-day activity and it has been the reason why I enjoy being here so much. I am very grateful that the villagers would spend the time with me talking even though my Chinese is sometimes very hard to understand. I learn that only human’s conversations can change someone's minds and ideas. I have learned that Wealth and Status should not be anyone's ultimate goal because as Mr. Qiu has said, "life is more than wealth." I would take what I learn to my future studies.
During my early phases, I was studying about wealth and money but then I started to research about wealth and status. This is because it is more interesting to study and people would want the benefits of money, not money itself. The most difficult part of the research was when there were no wealthy villagers and many villagers do not feel the need to be wealthy or respect any who has lots of statuses. The a-ha moment was the outcomes of the most difficult part of the research, I have asked another question where it was not targeted at the wealthy people or high-status people but their ideas of the importance of being wealthy and have lots of statuses.
This project definitely helps me learn this topic much better as I know that wealth should not be anyone's end goal instead they should grow as better person and follow their dreams. This had help me interact with the locals because I had to learn about the past of Xizhou and the people's perspectives. I also could meet different kinds of people because my topic varies to everyone. The inquiry project taught me that I am very curious, creativity and brave because my curiosity continue my inquiry project even if it is difficult, my creativity was how i sprung up this idea, and I am more brave than before because I am more confident to talk with strangers. If I could go back in time, and help the future mircocampers, I would tell them to say the question with confidence even if the questions does not make sense. If future microcampus wants to choose this topic, they would have to narrow it down much more than my topic, which is the perspectives of wealth and status in Xizhou. Also beware that my topic is very abstract so it is harder to get lots of information as it is all in people's minds and the society around them. Additionally, as I said in the video, there are no wealthy people living in XIzhou, so there cannot be a comparison between the rich and poor perspectives so I cannot compare those.
I want to thank the chaperones, superior group and the list of villagers who has supported me all the way and made this a memorable moment. (List of villagers: Mr. Yin, Ms. Yin, Mr. Du, Ms.Yang, Mr. Yang, Elderly ladies, Elderly Men, Mr. Dong, Ms. Yang, Mr. Qiu, Mr. Wang.)
Overall, this month, I was very happy and I have learned so much than when I was stuck in the bubble in Shanghai. I would definitely miss Xizhou and asking the villagers' questions about their thoughts and without these villagers, this video would not exist and I would not have so many information.