Wildfires - Student Journals

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pepijn01px2023's picture

I came on a fantastic journey to Xizhou along with 15 other students and of course Mr. Tafel, Ms. Mai, and Sofia. We came out here to work on our Inquiry Project and Service Learning. Being here after 28 days in Xizhou has changed me as a person in both positive and negative ways. Microcampus is now coming to an end during our time here we have worked through many challenges and created amazing relationships with the other Microcampus students and the external community. 

jacob01px2023's picture

Springtime in Shanghai was drowned in April rain. A mist veiled over the city in a suffocating melancholy too empty to grasp. Such times seemed to force the suitcase to stand and for the people to rise, dreaming of escaping in a confined space that all already know too well, or perhaps not well enough, but nevertheless, the thought of exploration appeared futile. The rivers of tears failed to flow to sea, and everything of negativity percolated positivity until it all became too toxic to breathe, to think, to live in. 

erin01px2023's picture

If I had received this question 28 days ago, my answer would be about being able to understand a culture better and simply learning about my Inquiry Project: Body Language. Or perhaps I would have thought that this was a perfect opportunity to leave the building of the school and learn about other things.

28 days later, I do not have a specific and clear answer, but I have a general idea. 

alan01px2023's picture

Why did I choose to go to Microcampus? That’s easy. I love Shanghai. I love school, I love my friends, my teachers, and my life. But after a while, your love for Shanghai becomes more of a love for the routine. And after an even longer while, the routine ends up boring you to death. Every day started to feel the same as the day before. I could hardly differentiate between them anymore.

claire01px2023's picture

Before I came to Xizhou, I wanted to escape the fast-paced city life of Shanghai and truly experience what a less-developed village would be like to be a part of for such a long period of time. I also felt really tired of the regular schedule in Shanghai, and I guess I just needed something new and fresh in my life.

sejin01px2023's picture

Today was our last day in Xizhou, and Pepijn, Xander and I wanted to do something meaningful. We went out for a bike ride to the lake. It was our last day and the sky was blue as well as the water. We took pictures at the lake and it was very peaceful. I do not want to leave Xizhou, since I know it would be tough when I go back. I believe that this experience was something that changed every one of us. I am so thankful for everyone who came here and helped us. It is almost time for us to go back, and I really miss Xizhou and everyone I met during this journey.

jacob01px2023's picture

The morning sun stung my eye from completely opening, and everything remained in the minute slit that's fragmented by eyelashes. Limited vision forced me to seek for something afar, and soon, the memories of past and visions of future obtained conciouses of their own and seemed to tamper my thinking about the present. Time blurred and the acts of moving seemed to have lost its meaning. Everything seemed to become the things I've lost and will lost, positivity rested in a distant state of mind.

joanne01px2023's picture

Today is Pepijn V.'s birthday and we celebrated by eating cake and of course, Oreos. This is one of the first birthday party that we actually surprised the person who is celebrating their birthday. We all signed a card and gave it to him. We had teachers there also, so we also gave them a piece of cake. 

joanne01px2023's picture

Microcampus was such a life-changing experience for me. I never thought that this experience could change me so much as it did. When I applied for Microcampus, I did not think that I would actually get in, but when I did, millions of thoughts popped into my mind. How would the experience be like? Who would be my roommate? What would be my inquiry project? I had millions of questions and thoughts running through when I realized I was chosen.  

lifan01px2023's picture

There were many reasons why I wanted to go to Microcampus. Before I even knew what topic I was going to choose, I knew that I wanted to go to Xizhou because it was such a small and peaceful village. When I signed up, I did a bit of research. The pictures of the landscape were just amazing and I realized that this was somewhere I wanted to go to. The lake and the mountains were such an amazing view, and I haven't even seen the actual thing. Another reason I wanted to go is because of the experiences that I will have.

jasmine01px2023's picture

Why I Came to Microcampus? A question all Microcampus members have been trying to answer the entire trip. Why is it that 16 students would want to go to Xizhou, away from their parents for a month? I have my own explanation. And this will have to trace all the way back to five months before today when I first heard the two words micro and campus said together. That day, all the 8thgraders of Shanghai American School were gathered in a small room with a projector at the front of it.

cathleen01px2023's picture

I came to Microcampus, looking for adventure and insight on the world that I live in. I wanted to learn from a new perspective and a new method. The concept of field research was quite new to me and so I wanted to understand it more. Furthermore, my sister had also gone to Microcampus and I wanted to see the village she described as great. I thought that I could explore something new and about people that I absolutely did not know. Overall, I think that I came to Microcampus because of my curiosity and how I realized that I did not know anything about Xizhou.

jasmine01px2023's picture

Xizhou, the people of Xizhou, the culture of Xizhou, the simplicity of Xizhou all of Xizhou would never be forgotten by me. In the 672 hours I spent in this wonderful community, I learned so much about myself and the others around me. It felt like yesterday when I walked into the doors of Yang Zhuo Ran, curious to find out more about this place. And now, I am 20 hours away from leaving. I will miss all the people I have met during my time spent here. All I can say is that farewells for now and I will definitely come back with my family in the future.

emilly01px2023's picture

"No matter how much time passes, no matter what takes place in the interim, there are some things we can never assign to oblivion, memories we can never rub away." 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        -Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore 

cathleen01px2023's picture

I walked along the alleyway, waving goodbye to those who I spent time in meeting for the past 27 days. I smiled towards Mr. Yan, who sold us Xizhou babas whenever we asked. Along with Mr. Yan, I smiled and converse with individuals that I had gotten to know who were down the alleyway. It is amazing how in 24 hours from today, I will probably be on a bus to Dali Airport, waiting for a flight back to Shanghai. I remember reading from a book that goodbyes are good things since it means that you will or at least want to see them again.

alan01px2023's picture

Today is our last full day here at Microcampus. It's weird. It's pretty sentimental. Xizhou has been our home for 28 days, one whole month, and now we're leaving it all behind. It's pretty sad if you think about it. So many memories were made here. I'm going to miss the popsicles, noodles, and all the amazing people of the community. Going back to Shanghai will not be easy. It may seem like nothing much, but there are too many differences between Shanghai and Xizhou. It's not going to be easy. I'm going to miss every tiny detail of this beautiful place.

joanne01px2023's picture

I was really nervous to see what people's reactions are to our service learning video, but in the end, it was really successful. People seemed like they were enjoying it, and I actually enjoyed seeing people's reactions to our video. I thought that people would have black faces when watching, but then had really pleasant faces and happy faces. 

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