I chose this topic, first because I thought it would be cool to see what people do for fun outside of my "bubble". After researching out here in Xizhou, my final project was not based on what the do for fun, but what I could learn from there accomplishments and regrets in life, to make my life better. I guess I chose his to by the topic for my final project, because it was more personal than finding out what people do for fun in their free time.
The online sources that I used explained how play is important for kids, and which type of games do Chinese kids like to play. I read a book about a young Chinese girl, which also helped me learn if play was important to kids a long time ago, and then compare it to the online resources that were about why playing for kids is important. The people I interviewed included: Mrs. Wan, Mrs. Yang, Mrs. Zhao, Mrs. Duan, Mr. Dong, and Mr. T.
I chose these resources, for many reasons. The people that I used, help me with specific information that was just related to Xizhou. Finding webistes was hard for me, but I ended up having to research more broader topics on the web. Instead of researching specific things, I researched topics such as "why is play important for children". This helped give me more resources to choose from. Looking on the web, also gave me a more world wide perspective on my topic, instead of just looking through Xizhou's eyes.
At first, the questions that I was trying to answer, were very much a "yes" or "no" answer. After getting to Xizhou, and realizing that, I went back and edited it, changing my questions to more opinionated answers. This way, I could gather more answers for just one questions. My questions changed to be very opinioned, which mean that note everyone answered the same way. Instead I had a whole bunch of different answers for just one question.
After gathering all my information, I realized my project came down to this: In order for me to gain some insight about how I can learn from someone else's life to make my life more fulfilled, I must learn about someone else's accomplishments and regrets.
Sharing My Learning:
A video of my learning from this project is placed above the introduction.
There were many things that I took away from my researching, and this experience itself. I learned all about locals lives, getting to know them. I listened to their stories, which were truly inspirational. If one thing stands out the most, I learned how to be a better person. To doubt myself less, look back on mistakes, but do not dwell in the past. Most importantly, to follow my passions and dreams.
Many times throughout my journey, did I slightly alter my topic. After realizing that I did not want to follow a childs recreations, I chose to research adults recreations. After that I went from looking at adults recreations to elders. From there, after talking to actuall elders in Xizhou, I decided that I wanted to make my project more meaningful, and personal. I decided that I wanted to make it about becoming a better person. In short, my project changed from looking at recreations, to accomplishments and regrets.
The most difficult part of the research, was researching using websites. There are not many sights about things such as recreations in rural China. It took many different websites, and looking at my project in different perspectives, that I was finally able to find only a few websites. Instead of looking at websites that were focused on rural China, I had to look at my topic through a world wide perspective. This gave me more options of websites to use.
One ah-ha moment that sticks out to me the most, has to do with schooling. After researching and interviewing many elders about what their biggest regret was in life, and from their childhood, I realized all the elders I interviewed had the same answer. Education. If elders in Xizhou could change one thing from their past, they would go back, and finish their education. It was the first time that something that all the elders said actually matched up, so it was a pretty cool finding. The answers to my questions tended to be opinions, so it was very rare that I found anything that everyone agreed on. One other thing that they agreed on, and was an ah-ha moment, was when I asked them about the exercise. They all agreed that they were proud of their good health, and that they thought it was very important to exercise.
My project sort of wandered off from "local recreations and hobbies", to more of "regrets, and accomplishments". I can not say that my project helped me understand local recreations and hobbies in Xizhou a whole lot better, but it did help me understand people in Xizhou a lot better. I now understand why it is so important to not look back and regret things too much, but instead enjoy life while you can.
This project helped me interact with the community in and around Xizhou, because my project was truly based around getting to know the people in and around Xizhou. I had to learn their stories. I got to know what they loved about their lives, what they loved about Xizhou, what they wanted to change about themselves, and what they loved about Xizhou. Getting to know people, helped me interact with them.
I have learned a lot about myself by this project and topic. I have learned how I can be a happier person, by following my dreams, and doing what I love. I have learned that I tend to take my education and life for granted, and that not everyone has as many opportunities as I do. I have learned that I need to look outside of my "bubble", and notice what is going on around me a little bit better. I have also learned not to take my good health for granted either, because good health is limited for many people.
If I could go back and change one thing at the beginning of the project, I would narrow my topic down sooner. If I had known that I was going to be focusing on how I could learn about someone else's accomplishments and regrets to make my life more meaningful, I would of been able to interviewing people about that topic instead about recreation, and hobbies like I was before, sooner. This would of helped me by making my work a lot more simpler.
In a few months, or years, if someone were going to take a different direction from my project, and keep on going, they could do one of two things. One, they could compare what I learned, to what a child's accomplishments and regrets. They could see if there were any differences. Two, why were so many people not going to school around 40-60 years ago in Xizhou, and what happened to all the teachers?
Some people who I would like to thank becuase they helped so much, would be Mr. T, because he gave me advice of what my final topic could be. Mrs Mai and Fay, because they were the two main people who helped me interview. Last but not least, Mrs. Zhao, Mr. Dong, Mrs. Wan, Mrs. Yang, and Mrs. Duan, who allowed me to interviewed them without a problem!