Alpha Pilots - Student Journals

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Madeleine Vella's picture

Hi Everyone! I'm Madeleine, I was part of the pilot program in 2012, and I just want to wish you all a fabulous time in Xizhou. Today our high school 'Friends of Xizhou' club had a meeting- super exciting stuff coming up! Apart from that, I urge you all to make the most out of your Xizhou experience, and be really effective in how you spend your time. :) I would do it all over again in a heartbeat (actually I kind of want to go back and stay at Yang's (pilot program will remember...I can't believe we're all sophmores now, ugh) and gather more research! 

KT's picture

Hello, audience! So the next Microcampus group is leaving tomorrow. Congratulations you guys! The Microcampus is your course description. Xizhou will be your classroom. Have fun! 

I'm in Study Hall now. Confined to four walls and harsh fluorescent lights... oh well. Say hi to the Linden Centre for me!

Sabrina Choi's picture

I came to Microcampus for its natural beauty, the culture of minority groups, to learn to be independent and test my abilities. This is what I said attracted me the most about going on the Microcampus trip the first time I head about it. But going on Microcampus turned out to be much more than that. I'm here not just to learn, but to learn the process of learning, hw to truly focus on the process and not just the outcome, how to enjoy every moment of learning at the Microcampus, not just for the sake of "getting it done".

Sabrina Choi's picture

Today is the last day. I still can't believe it. Four weeks has flown by so fast, I feel as if I have been here for only a few days, not four weeks. In an hour or so, we will be leaving this place. The Linden Center, Xizhou Village and everyone here. I read back to my first entry on the first day at Microcampus. "For someone who just left a metropolitan city with its grey skies, massive buildings and crowded the streets, I felt I have arrived at a different world." Is what I wrote. Have I arrived at a different world?

Madeleine Vella's picture

I'm here, at the microcampus, to learn. Not to sit in a classroom all day. Not to cram in subject material so I can pass a test. To genuinely learn, not just about my host country, but also about myself, and the world, in a way that no textbook could ever teach me. I'm here to explore, I'm here to challenge myself. I'm here to get out of the Shanghai bubble and be spontaneous. I'm here to explore what I want to explore. I'm here to learn how to motivate myself. I'm here to learn skills that will last me for the rest of my life. I'm here not to simulate experiences, but to live them.

Noah Knobloch's picture

This is a question all of ourselves ask each other why am I here in microcampus or specifically for us in microcampus.I think I am here not because they think I am amazing at working and catch up easily but because they think I can lead, I can inspire and hold this team together.I  guess that is why this program chose me but I choose it for a different reason. I chose this program because I wanted change I wanted out of the same routine and I wanted an adventure.Thats why I am here the adventure the ups the down's I needed a rollercoaster and that was not back home.

 

Audrey Chen's picture

Our last day here was bittersweet; sad that we had to leave, yet happy that I had a good experience here and could take the memories back home with me. I think that this trip helped me realize a lot about myself, such as that I don't like change at first, but will get used to it and even enjoy it after a while. I also realized that I love a diverse city like Shanghai, but enjoy the peacefulness and view of XiZhou too. I think I will want to come back to this place again. It's remarkable how such a tiny village changed us.

Sabrina Choi's picture

Today, we skyped in a second time to school at Microcampus! We are connecting with the parents principal coffee today. I was so excited about seeing my mom and other parents at the coffee. But sadly, we were connected to the LMC big screen and only they can see us but we can't  see them. Ms. Stagg brought her computer up to the terrace, and we gathered around it, answering questions in turn and moving around the computer so the parents can see us and the view behind us. I was asked several questions about my life at Microcampus.

KT's picture

This morning, all Microcampers were scheduled for a Parent Teacher Coffee. We couldn’t see the other side of our Skype-in with SAS Puxi, which I guess would make us more comfortable talking in front of a camera. I heard my mother wasn’t there (yes!) because she was out with my sister, but one of her friends attended and recorded the entire conference. Adults from Shanghai interested in what eleven middle school students are doing all the way in a little village called Xizhou, Yunnan.

KT's picture

What else happened today? I can't remember. The entire day there was only one thing that ran through my mind: the gluteny, heavenly goodness packaged in Jet-Packed™plastic bags. Yes, marshmallows. I daydreamt of setting a marshmallow on fire, making a fire, sitting by the fire doing campfire things... Devouring marshmallows all the while.

Meera Kolluri's picture

April 12th: After spending an entire day glued to my laptops finishing work, I felt like I deserved a final trip to Dali. Since some people weren't feeling too good, they stayed back, however a majority of us said 'bye' to Dali for them. Once we arrived ( at around 3:45) Noah, Mirabel, Maddie O. , and I went straight for food. For some odd reason, we ended up eating our dinner at around 4:00. During dinner, we all realized something weird: because of Microcampus, we have learnt to take care of  ourselves so well, that we immediately stacked up our plates after we ate.

Mirabel Foy's picture

Today we met up with local middle school students and got to "restore nature".  In other words we picked up a bunch of trash down by Lake Er Hai.  All the microcampus students and about 30 local students gathered in the Linden Centre to put on rubber gloves and red Xizhou volunteer hats.  We then piled into about five horse carts which each hold up to eight or nine people.  It was a little while before we finally reached "the tongue of the lake" the same place that I wrote about biking to on Day 15.

Audrey Chen's picture

Thursday, two days before we leave. Today, I thought about the things here in XiZhou that I'll miss. People. I'll miss all the people at the Linden Center for being so friendly, welcoming, and helpful thoughout the while microcampus. As well, I'll miss the friendly attitude of the workers on the farm, and how they say 'hi' back when we say hi. Weather and skies. The skies are blue and the clouds are white. It's sunny with the occasional cool breezes.

Ryan Zhao's picture

I can't believe that Microcampus is almost over! It's all gone by so fast and I'm finding myself in somewhat of a state of mixed feelings, on one hand, I miss my parents and friends back in Shanghai, but on the other I want to stay at Xizhou, it's so nice here and the people are friendly. I love the Linden Centre and Yang's Guesthouse as they've become a home for me, but I want to return to my real home back in Shanghai, back to my old home with my old friends and family.

Madeleine Vella's picture

TODAY WAS MY BIRTHDAY :D

 

It was especially fun today. I woke up from camping and we cooked leftover marshmallows! When we went back to Yang's, Ms. Stagg gave me some presents from my grandmother! Huge thank you to Donnie for the amazing Frida Kahlo Watch and In Focus book! I've always loved that book so much (: The rest of the day we did a lot of working During the cake time, we had a lot of fun! I went around a gave thanks for all of the very, very special people on the microcampus trip. It was a great day. 

KT's picture

Monday morning in the Sha Ping market! I tagged along Mirabel, Madeleine, and Li Ping, who chaperoned our trip. Mirabel bought apples, I bought sugar infused Chinese pastries, then we went to Zhou Cheng shop some more. I went along and ended up spending 100 kuai on a bag for my sister and a tie-dyed picnic blanket.

Meera Kolluri's picture

April 11th: HAPPY BIRTHDAY MADELENIE V.!! ... or how I like to say it... HAPSY BIRFDAY! :) Today was a normal work day... so nothing to talk about there. I'll just talk about the traditional birthday celebrations here in Microcampus. First, we all meet in the dining room and stand ( the birthday girl gets the one chair there ) around the table in upcoming birthday order. Then, we be somewhat "normal" and sing Happy Birthday in a low tone ,with the incorrect amount of candles on the cake. After cutting the cake, we go around the circle saying why the birthday person is special.

KT's picture

Happy Easter! Got to Dali Old Town early this morning to go to church with Madeline, Madeleine, and Li Ping (curator at the Linden Centre) for my Inquiry Project. There aren't any differences with church service here in comparison to a church service in Shanghai. Then again, the languages are different so I'm not one to say.

KT's picture

For my workaday Saturday (which totally defeats the purpose of a Saturday in my opinion), I got to get a whole lot of my Service Learning project finished. Not the whole project, though. Audrey (my partner) and I wandered into a little alley and an even narrower backstreet that led to a traditional Xizhou looking house. In there we found three Muslim women, very kind and welcoming. We were roaming around and there they were, sitting on a bench facing the open doors. One woman rushed over to us and invited us to stay for a while, take a seat, stuff like that.

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