Phase 0: Getting Started: Topic Exploration and Selection

Updated 7 months 2 weeks ago

Microcampus is a big adventure. I am staying in the village for 28 days. It is a wonderful experience in which we will each research our own topic. I like geography/geology, bugs, and music. These willbe topic choices. My topic will be a topic that will be unique to me and provide me with a unique learning experience. I am most comfortable choosing music. Microcampus is very exiteing. I believe that I will gain a lot of experience in being independent and improve on my Chinese. 

To narrow down my projects I will be thinking about my interests and how much time I would be willing to spend on them? The first project that I will assess will be the geology/geography project. This problem seems to have nothing that I will object to. I have always been interested in geology, and I made a topography map for the annual science fair in the United States once. This means that I have a lot of background knowledge that I can bring from other projects to put into this one. The next project on my list is the entomology / bug project. For this one, my only objections are that I have not been in love with bugs for a long time. While I do play with them and observe them once and a while, I do not think that this project would be one that I would be interested in for a long period of time. The last option that I came up with is music. I thought of music because I like playing instruments and studying music. I think that this project would be good for me because I already play the trombone and the bassoon. Also, I already know that I am one - hundred percent interested in play and/or studying music.

The geology/geography project also tempted me for a while. I would probably have made a 3D map if I had chosen this topic. Even though this is an interesting topic I chose to not select this topic because it would require to much hiking. It would take up a ton of my time, and I am not that diligent with the 3D software yet. My second topic of interest would be the bug project. This project holds interest for me because I have always wanted to see what bugs were in China, but I never get a good chance because we live in a city. Although this sounds interesting I could not come up with a good project type for this topic. I also did not put much effort into think about this topic, which indicates that I would not be interested in it for long periods of time and therefore couldn't do it for a month.

My first choice would be a music project. The music project would hold a lot of interest for me. I could either learn to play a traditional Chinese instrument. If that did not work out I could either build a digital archive of different traditional instruments and singing. I could also talk about how the people learn the music. The type of project I do would come out of what type of information I will get. This would connect me to the people in the village because I would learn from them and interview them about their instruments. I would also record them playing their instrument or singing.

My favorite topics from the one that I like the most, to the one that I like the least, are music, geology/geography, and finally bugs/entomology. 

My final paragraph will reflect on the experiences that the other Microcampus students with the same topic had, and what they learned form their mistakes. I learned that the traditional music in Xizhou is very symbolic. The village also had some music cultures that are dying. These facts came from Ethan T. from Alumni B. I also learned that the Bai music in Xizhou has become more regulated and embellished according to Rebecca S. from Alumni D. In addition to that some pointers said that you really have to pay attention when you start going out and listening to the music because it is really easy to get distracted. This tip came from Zara T. form Alumni E.

In Phase 0 I was able to narrow down my topics and write about the ones that I was interested in. In Phase 1 we will be focusing on delving deeper into our topic and finding more information. 

I am 13 years old and love to play ice hockey and read. I was born in the United States. I was in Xizhou. I advanced my Chinese and my intercultural understanding while on Microcampus. I have been living in China for a year. Xizhou was a great experience and I hope that future Microcampus students enjoy this trip as much as I did.