Tactical - Student Journals

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audrey02pd2021's picture

Today I finally decided to do some exercise. Debbie and I biked to 深江村 at the edge of Xizhou. Instead of making a right on the main road (which leads to Erhai), we made an early right into a small village. The village looked vastly different from Xizhou, not in terms of architecture, but in terms of the streets. They were narrow and empty. There was not a sigle shop in sight.

jason01pd2021's picture

Today seemed like a traditional Microcampus day: Wake up, eat breakfast, SAS essentials, Daily Meeting, Pitching In, Lunch, WIPPIS, etc. So there is not much to talk about. Yesterday, however, was very interesting. If you want to see what I did yesterday, you can find it here, but what I did not write about in that journal was Mr. T's Trivia Night. Every Microcampus trip, Mr. T creates his own evening activity called Trivia Night. This evening activity is like a game show.

mia01pd2021's picture

Yesterday's inquiry work was some of the most interesting work that I have done up till this point. However, I did not get the chance to write about my inquiry work yesterday, as my schedule did not allow for it. When studying the body language in Xizhou, I had decided that one of the best recources would be the horse carriage drivers. This is because for most of this, this was a long-time career, meaning that they have pursued it for over 10 years.

marco01pd2021's picture

Today was my first Inquiry Project day where I did not talk with anyone and record notes about our conversation. Instead, Mr. T and I walked around town and looked at multiple messages, carefully observing how decayed and worn down they were. Some messages were plastered over, but the plaster nearly always faded away before the red paint did. They might even have protected some messages, as natural elements could no longer damage those messages.

audrey02pd2021's picture

During wellness, Mia and I visited the ficus tree at the very edge of Chengdong again. This time, we brought exercising equipment and watercolours. It is clear to those who know me, the equipment was not meant for me. I sat down by the tree, with my brand new watercolour brush in one hand, notebook in the other, and painted little doodles. The ficus tree was a great place to focus on reading, writing or drawing, because of the peaceful surroundings.

debbie01pd2021's picture

Today was a really cool day. I went to a Ba Mu Shi, a temple that is on the edge of Lake Erhai. Ba Mu Si was a temple completely different from any of the other temples I have seen in Xizhou. Most of the other temples in Xizhou felt lively and full of energy, while Ba Mu Shi seemed rather empty. There was nobody except for Mr. T, the caretaker of the temple, and I. The temple still had some traces of the Cultural Revolution- Mr. T and I found a lot of communal cooking pots near the back of the temple. I saw a lot of major gods such as Guan Yin, and also Cai Shei Lao Ye.

jason01pd2021's picture

Today, after our daily meeting, Ms. Zhao and I went to the Morning Market to work on my Inquiry Project (with the approval of Mr. T). During my Inquiry Project, I talked with four different people about my topic, and two of which were successful. I learned a lot about different types of plants and herbs that are grown in the mountain. I also found a store that sells herbs as a living, and the people running that store can be one of the main points that my project revolves around.

mia01pd2021's picture

On Day 9, Mr. Kendall Steinberg arrived from Shanghai to live with us in Yangzuoran for a week. He is part of the communications department in SAS, and is interested in creating a film that shows what Microcampus is truly about, which is portrayed through our everyday life. For the past two days, he has been incredibly respectful of our space, even when following us around during our daily schedule. Yesterday, I had gone to the Linden Centre for my inquiry work, and Mr. Kendall came along with Ms. Zhao and I.

debbie01pd2021's picture

Today was a really good day. I had a really successful inquiry session, and I also got a lot of TZ (time in zone) during my wellness! For my inquiry work, I was planning to go with Ms. Mai to the Linden Center to ask some of the staff there for information. When we got there, Ms. Mai advised me to go to the receptionist first and ask some questions. However, the receptionist was not a local, so she offered to take me some of the staff that were born and raised in Xizhou.

marco01pd2021's picture

Yesterday, Mr. Kendall Sternberg, an SAS communications officer, came to Yangzhuoran to live in Xizhou with us. He wants to make a movie detailing what we do in Microcampus, which involved him following and filming us during our daily schedules. He came with me to the Linden Centre, where I talked with Mr. Xu the security guard, and to Wellness, when I jumped rope with Debbie and Jason in a nearby playground. It was quite nice showing him around town like Mr. T did a week ago. I look forward to having him around!

jason01pd2021's picture

Have you ever had something that needed to be done be blocked off by schedule? I know I had that problem today, but luckily, Mr. T was flexible and allowed me to skip the daily meeting today to accomplish some Inquiry work. Basically, what happened was that I had to go to a market that was a 20-minute drive away: Sha Ping Market. The Sha Ping Market is only open on Wednesdays and I was told that I should go in the morning. This is because the market is most busy in the morning.

audrey02pd2021's picture

During SAS Essentials, Mia, Debbie, and I visited Sifangjie for research regarding our science assignment. Our goal was to interview and ask local townspeople about the topic we chose on global warming. We met a friendly shop owner, Li Ayi, who seemed really glad for a couple of students to ask her about plastic use. She even introduced us to the rest of the cooks and offered us to go back. And we did.

mia01pd2021's picture

We began our SAS essentials again today. From 8:15-9:45, we were working on Humanities and Science. In science, I have decided to take a closer look on the use of plastic containers, and how to reduce the total amount used throughout the village. It was incredibly interesting, as it was another opportunity for me to go out and make connections with local folks.

audrey02pd2021's picture

There are a lot of ficus trees in Xizhou. I never really understood the meaning behind them, but I've heard it holds some significance in local legends. Two of the ficus trees introduced to us on the first couple days were the one downhill from Ranyixiang and one uphill from Sifangjie. After a couple adventures, our group often goes into a village behind the ficus tree near Ranyixiang. As mentioned in previous journals, the village was Chengdong. Today, Debbie and I visited the town again.

mia01pd2021's picture

The biggest highlight of my day was going to bike with Debbie S.. We got our first tz of the week, and during our biking, we stopped by the side of the road to do some minute-on-a-minute work. The sky was blue and the sun was out, but that had changed quickly. The first rain since the start of Microcampus started to pour, and we were in jeans (as it is required for safety), and we were faced with an obstacle of weather. However, it made for a great adventure, as it required us to trust each other and work together better.

marco01pd2021's picture

Today surprised us by drenching the village with rain. The Cangshan Mountain around Xizhou insulates the heat, typically causing clouds to quickly evaporate. This is why Xizhou will not rain, even at the height of spring. The sunny days have really our trip incredibly nice, especially when we venture the town ourselves - but the lack of rain also scatters dust all over. Outside of the farm fields and the occasional ficus tree, there are hardly any plants - including grass.

jason01pd2021's picture

My stay here at Microcampus was and currently is incredibly fun. However, all good things have a bad thing to it, and it showed itself today: rain. Today, despite the fact that I spent most of my time indoors, it rained, quite heavily I might add. I was planning to go out and play some soccer, but the rain prevented me (and we do not have access to fields, so I am not going to play on concrete). Other than the rain, today was relatively normal.

debbie01pd2021's picture

Today was really laid back, like yesterday. We had lots of downtime, so Audrey and I went to Chengdong, a nearby village with a giant ficus tree. We brought a ukelele and a guitarlele (a mix between a guitar and a ukelele) and headed off to Chengdong. Today's weather was not good, so we brought along our rain jackets. It was really cool to play under the ficus tree, because there were not any people around. Later on, it started raining a bit, so we decided to put our instruments away and read for a little bit.

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