Phenomena - Student Journals

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tiffany02pd2020's picture

It is hard to believe that 28 days has passed, but it has. There are many reasons why I came to Microcampus, the main one being to step outside the bubble of the modernized city of Shanghai. I knew this was what I wanted to do, but I was not quite sure what that exactly meant. I knew that it would be tough, that it would not be a smooth experience all the way through. I also knew that it would be an 'amazing experience' because all the Alumni said so.

risa01pd2020's picture

Today is the last full day of our phenomenal Microcampus experience in Xizhou! Time has passed so fast, I still remember the first day like it was yesterday. We have already packed and will be leaving YangZhuoRan at 7:30 tomorrow morning. After I finish writing this will be my last and final time to say my goodbyes to the locals. Yesterday was the end of all the loose ties, we presented our uuservice learning video to our partners and at last, everything is finished.

marie01pd2020's picture

Before I actually arrived at XiZhou, I wanted to come to Microcampus because after living in Shanghai for 10 years, I wanted to see China outside of the protective, modern, and adapted cities. I had originally assumed that Xizhou would be a very quiet peaceful place that was hidden from tourists. Needless to say, I received quite a shock when I found that XiZhou was also modern with quite a few tourists walking around. 

tiffany02pd2020's picture

Goodbyes are never easy, this stays true to the ones the Phenomena group had to say today. In these four weeks, all 15 of us have made multiple strong connections, whether that is with the locals, or just the community in general. No one wanted this day to come but it is tragic how fast it has arrived. Today was our last full day in what we now all call home, it started off like any other day but we all knew it was different. The first goodbye I had to say was to my group's Service Learning partner.

nicole02pd2020's picture

Microcampus. The first time I heard this word, I was intrigued. I have always loved adventures and Microcampus was a perfect chance for one. There were also the obvious reasons, the fact that it was so far from Shanghai, in a village I have never been to, made it very appealing. I had also previously heard so many things about this trip, alumni talk about their trip as the best month of their lives. But I just could not imagine, what was so amazing about this trip? Well, I could only find out if I joined.

alexis01pd2020's picture

There were many reasons why I chose to join the Microcampus program. When Mr. T first introduced the trip to me, I was intrigued by the place, XiZhou, and the activities that we would be doing. XiZhou is a small village in rural China, and I wanted to experience China "outside of the bubble." The other aspect of Microcampus that was particularly attractive to me was "expanding intercultural understanding". I wanted to develop critical independent learning skills that would help me communicate with different types of people.

annie01pd2020's picture

It is easy to say that I came to Microcampus to challenge myself and to grow as a person. I could also say that I came to Microcampus to learn about migration, my Inquiry Project topic. But honestly? I came to Microcampus to try something new and have fun with my friends. Looking back on my short but wonderful 28 days in Xizhou, I can see that Microcampus gave me so much more than that, more than I could ever imagine. 

rainemonet01pd2020's picture

Change. Journey. Growth. These words are what make up Microcampus. During the very early stages of the Microcampus process, I had no idea what it would be like to be engulfed in the beauty of Xizhou, or to just to observe life at its best. In my eyes, Microcampus was not a vacation away from school for a month, or a rescue-trip to come to Xizhou and help the village of Xizhou. Microcampus was more meaningful than those petty purposeless goals.

claire03pd2020's picture

Our journey is nearing an end. Sitting on the terrace, typing away at my computer, I can't help but marvel at how different I was eight months ago, writing all those prompts about why I would want to come to Microcampus. I remember how I used my words then: as a tool. I'm good with words; I'm good enough that I can write to make people feel how I want them to feel, to spin prompt after prompt about how excited I was for Microcampus, how I understood it would be a challenging time, how I was sure there would be rewards.

steven01pd2020's picture

At first, the reason I wanted to go to Microcampus was to just get our of my bubble and experience the life of a normal Xizhou villager. But when I got to Xizhou, I realized that it was much more. I realized that I wanted to go to Microcampus because I wanted to grow into a better person. I also wanted to not just experience the life of a villager, but to make connections with the locals and have conversations with them.

mallory01pd2020's picture

8 months ago, I was offered the opportunity to join this amazing opportunity we call Microcampus. If you ask a Microcampus alumni what the program is, they will tell you it is the best experience of their life. But, a direct definition is where 2 chaperones and up to 16 eight-grade students go to a small village called Xizhou located in the Southwest province of China. I can officially say that this is the best experience I have ever had. 

nicole02pd2020's picture

Yesterday evening, our whole group went to Dali Old Town. I was really excited to be able to go shop at Dali and I have heard that the food there was really good. Risa, Rachel, and I milled around for about one hour, buying some small souvenirs for family and friends. We then decided to eat, finding the restaurant was the hard part though. None of us could decide on what to eat, and most of the restaurants were bars anyway.

gyubeen01pd2020's picture

Today was our last full day in Xizhou. We have already finished packing and cleaning up the common areas. My Service Learning group and I went visit our partner, Mrs. Yang. She gave us tea and we had a long conversation. She was really nice to us and shared her story with us, so it was really hard to say goodbye to her. Before visiting our Service Learning partner, we filmed our last Daily Video Shoutout named "Goodbye XiZhou." I almost cried right after filming it. I had my last dinner at the Old Town Snacks where we usually had lunch or dinner at.

marie01pd2020's picture

Today is Day 27, meaning that I have one day left with my Phenomena "Pham" (Fam...get it?). The past week flew by so quickly, I had a hard time keeping up with everything happening around me. Despite this, there are a few moments that I know will stick with me for longer than others will.

rainemonet01pd2020's picture

We entered as newcomers, we leave as Alumni. Today was the last full day of the Phenomena group's time here in Xizhou. Our schedule consisted of wrapping up, saying goodbye and preparing for our departure. Each student had mixed feelings today, sad to leave, but thankful for the unforgettable memories we made. We ended the day with our last evening activity - Jammies. This was a celebration of our love for our group, our friendship and the feeling of happiness we all had while here/ Personally, I know each student was happy to have this award ceremony, and we truly are family.

michael01pd2020's picture

During the meeting at 2 oclock, we were discussing about the group name for group Q and our own group name. Although some people suggested penguins, paradise, party poopers, and more, if we were to name our group again, Mr. T would suggest "Put phones away". Another name was "P.I.T.A" and he let us figure the name out ourselves. I appreciate his humor with our mistakes and Phenomena itself. By the way, P.I.T.A stands for pain in the arse. We also had a slogan which was "Sorry Group Q" because of 3 reasons.

nicole01pd2020's picture

Today as I woke up, the day went as normal. My roommates and I shuffled around, brushing our teeth and getting dressed. But then, realization hit me. This was our last full day in Xizhou. My heart seemed to race, my head began to pound, but none of it was real, just imaginary. I couldn't believe it. At some point, we were not going to be in Xizhou anymore, we were going to be Alumni. Tears stung my eyes. One last day, I have to make it count. I began with the list we had to complete before departure, slowly checking off the items as I went.

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