Phase 0: Getting Started: Topic Exploration and Selection

Updated 3 days 18 hours ago



Choices. As we embark ourselves in the Microcampus trip (And no, I am not the type of person to copy and paste the Microcampus vision page here), We've had to choose our topics for an odyssey of 28 days (That's 672 hours, 40320 minutes, and 2419200 seconds) which will determine what we do. So I've went back to reliable Mr. T's advice, and maybe some very reliable een meenie miny moe, and chosen the Change and Development of Xizhou. Here are my topic choices.

1. Antiques and Collectibles. Studying antiques, learning how to detect fakes, and maybe learn about their value. For those readers who find museums boring, looking at pieces of chipped pottery. I felt like I am not an artist and would not be interested by this.

2. The Change and Development of Xizhou. After a lot of thinking and weighing options, I have decided to choose topic 2, the Change and Development of Xizhou. This project allows for a unique perspective of Chinese modernity that has only been told by government officials and the media, which is partly what contributes to its appeal. As a Chinese person, it would be sad if I was a complete neophyte on subjects of Chinese culture, and now that I think about it, I realized it is important for me to understand changes in society. I plan to find out how Yunnan has changed over the years, and how that has impacted both the banker and the worker. I would need to talk to people of difference socio-economic status to fully understand how Yunnan has transformed over years.

3. Green Energy. Looking at a real-life examples of the adaption, commercialization, and the usage of green energy. For those readers who happen to be technophobic, this means understanding why a piece of glass and strangely shaped blades of plastic produce energy. I felt this would not be conducive to an interesting documentary.

After looking at the reflections from previous Microcampus students, I think the general motif is to work hard, enjoy Microcampus, and remember that we are free to change the topic and/or modify it. Since I don't see any projects that are related, I generally saw how previous Microcampus students had positive attitudes to Microcampus, which I will try to emulate.

So I'm done with Phase 0, and will be moving on to Phase 1. This will include posing questions and generally creating a template for further research.

Note: Number 1 is the one I am most interested in, followed by number 2, and followed by number 3.



What Topics I Picked (And Why)

I have no questions.

1. Antiques and Collectibles. It's interesting to study antiques, trace back their stories, and expose some fakes along the way. With an eye towards the final product and how that might end up, I feel that studying antiques and collectibles would provide an entertaining and exciting documentary about how Xizhou is unique in that it still has historical elements in the 21st century. Other topics, such as people watching and fishing techniques are too mundane and otherwise not conducive to an interesting documentary. I plan to find out how history and culture can be traced using historical artifacts, and methods of gathering information on history through antiques. For example, the ding, which is a huge, three-legged pot, was used to discover rituals of Zhou China, which mostly amounted to a lot of wine. I could visit local antique shops and ask them about their trade.

2. The evolution of Yunnan. This was my own idea, and an interesting one. What I propose is that we see the modernization process of Yunnan, and we see how modern technology changes a traditional village. Yunnan has a unique geography that has been crucial to its role in the grand scheme of China. This could be a yardstick for studying the whole of Yunnan, which has experienced much culture and change. This would involve talking to elders about their story in Yunnan, or perhaps their perspective of Yunnan from somewher else.

3. Green Energy. Even though China is totally not suffering from pollution, it's fun to see green energy come to life. But I'm still leery about how that might make a good final product. I mean, I could learn how it works, but I don't need to go to Xizhou to do so. If this is my final choice, this could be a case study of how large commercial cities could learn from small rural villages. I think this would involve local officials and their decision to implement green energy.

These topics are not important to me, but they will become important should I dedicate time to learn about them. It is analogous to how good shoes don't make you run faster, but they might encourage you to run and run faster. Also, number 1 is the one I'm the most interested in, followed by number 2, and followed by number 3.

I am an inquisitive, curious, and eager boy, and enjoy games, books, and learning. I love playing chess, and am pretty good at it (Hopefully). I am also fun, playful and creative. To all those who will be going to Microcampus, looking forward to it. I will try to make my blog posts as thoughtful, new, funky, and entertaining for you guys. Quoting Johann Friedrick von Schiller, "If we do not find anything very pleasant, at least we shall find something new". That is my attitude towards Microcampus.