The focus of our services learning project is to record the stories of an elder (65 or older). We will take the information and make a video, and an article.
After being here for a week, and looking through alumni's work, I have a good idea of what kind of elder we should be looking for, for our service learning project. They should be open, and sharing. The older the better, because older people have more experience, and more stories. A healthy person, would be easier to work with. Someone that holds a lot of information, and has a great memory of what has happened in their life, is also a good choice. So far I have found a few people who would work really well with our project, but I am not sure if they would be comfortable being filmed.
We have chosen that our service learning partner is going to be Mr. Yang. He is 80 years old, and was born in Xizhou. He moved to Kunming for a while, and then moved back to Kunming. He has four children, and four grandchildren. Mr. Yang is a retired chemistry teacher.
After talking to Mr. Yang, I learned that he can sing, and can also play the drums. I also did not know that he was born in Xizhou, nor that he had children or grandchildren. I also learned a little bit about the history of Xizhou. I learned that there were four major rich families, and twelve other small rich families. All the rich people were very nice, and if you were hungry, they would give you some food.
I did not understand much about what Mr. Yang was saying about the Chinese history. I only understood that Chiang Kai-Shek led the road to capitalism.
After lots of videotaping, cutting and editing, our service learning videos were ready to finally be presented. We invited Mr Yang (our service learning partner) over to come watch the video. Mr. Yang is 80 years old, and was born in Xizhou. We walked him over to our house, offered him food, and then walked him upstairs to sit down and get ready for the video to start.
Before the video started, Mr. Yang had gotten his camera out, and had started taking pictures of the crowd. Everyone was laughing, and enjoying themselves. Mr T. said that Mr. Yang is like that one bad and troubling kid in a classroom, which you can point out in the first two minuets of class. This made everyone laugh.
Mr. Yang has a great sense of humour, which is really neat for a man of his age. Whenever we went over to his house, he would laugh, and sing for us. He made it so enjoyable to be around him. It was really fun to watch him smile and laugh at himself on the screen. I think he truly found the videos fun to watch, and afterwards, he said that we should of made the video of him longer. We will all miss Mr. Yang when we go back to Shanghai.
Here are five recommendations that I have for the future Microcampus students working on the service learning project. One, get as many contacts as you can, you never know if someone will be comfortable with you recording or not. Two, start out with taking pictures of them, so they get used to the camera, and then move onto videotaping him/her. Three, always be respectful. Get down to your service learning partners eye level, and if they are partially deaf, be patient, and speak loud. Four, if they do not want to be video taped, move on, and do not try to push them. Last but not least, five, invite your service learning partner to come to the presentation as soon as possible, because you do not know when you will get another chance (whenever we went to our service learning partners house to give him the invitation, he was always asleep).