Groundbreakers - Student Journals

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Dannes Z.'s picture

Here I am, feeling slightly guilty for feeling guilty for not wanting to relive all the embarrassments of Microcampus. I know that those moments have to happen in order for me to grow, and that's why I'm here. This will probably be the latest journal post ever in all of Microcampus, and the reason is because I have been waiting to feel the effects of the changes that Microcampus brought in my life.

Alina Z.'s picture

There are many reasons why I thought I came to Microcampus in the beginning of the trip, but now that I look back, these reasons ared different. The biggest reason is personal growth, and discovering different things that I didn't know about myself before. On the hike, I had to adapt to different things that I was not used to, and I discovered different strengths and limitations that I had. Every day that I was here, I did things out of my comfort zone, and outside the "bubble" of Shanghai. This meant discovering different things about myself that I didn't know before.

Jamie C.'s picture

Today is the day to say goodbye. To Xizhou and its beauty, the Linden Centre, the villagers, and the Microcampus program. Today is the actual last day of being in Xizhou. I wanted to enjoy and treasure the moments of today, but it was kind of a busy day. The whole day was packing, finishing journals, and other reflections. However, I had around 15 mins of terrace time, watching over the garlic fields, with blue skies and cotton candy like clouds. The scenery is one that I will not be seeing in a while, considering the Shanghai pollution.

Dannes Z.'s picture

I came to Xizhou for Microcampus, formerly thinking that the reason I came here was to understand more about the culture of the people here and learn more about China, this world, and myself. I thought that all I would do was obtain and present my information in this process. 

Dannes Z.'s picture

Today, we showed our service learning video to our service learning partner, Mrs. Yang. When we went to her house to take her to the Linden Centre, she had second thoughts, but after I told her that we had prepared everything just for her, she felt obligated to go. When my group and I stepped up to show our video, Mrs. Yang smiled and looked content and happy. I kept taking glances at her, making sure that she was enjoying the film. After we showed our video, Mrs. Yang drank some tea and we talked for a while.

Dannes Z.'s picture

Today, we went to Dali Old Town. The trip there was, at first, very questionable, for we had made mistakes on the days before as a group. 

In a few years, the chaperones will remember some of us. They will remember the outgoing ones, the funny ones, and of course, the strongest ones. But they will first forget the quiet ones, the thoughtful ones, and the ones that do not voice out their opinions as loudly as others. 

Erica L.'s picture

Today was a day of packing, buying, and spending one of our few last times together as a group. It is sad to think that soon, we wil not talk to each other anymore, that there are social reputations to remember. I have been going around XiZhou buying things like embriodory, bracelets, and necklaces since there will not be another time to buy things in XiZhou until many months, or years later. This morning some of us were talking about a reunion in XiZhou 10 or 20 years from now on March 3rd. But since some did not wish to that may or may not work out.

Austin Y.'s picture

Originally, this experience was to help me learn about a topic that I chose beforehand, but no, it was different. I thought I was here to learn about ecotourism, and I was, but it was more to than that. I learned way more than just the service learning and the inquiry project, I had personal growth. Personal growth that included experience with talking to the locals, learning to manage my own schedule, time management, etc. But not only that, I learned how to do laundry, how to take care of myself, how to be independent.

Lauren C.'s picture

I would like to compare the smell and taste of Xizhou to the San Dao Cha tea ceremony, a subject matter that is in fact very familiar to me. I didn't spend an entire month in Xizhou for nothing. 

Orion H.'s picture

Why did I come to Microcampus? In 6th grade I heard about a program called the Microcampus. At that time Mr. Tafel was our science teacher, and he mentioned to all of his classes how exciting/awesome/challenging it is. I wasn't interested until 8th grade, when I wanted to experience something else than school/normal vacation. 

Jamie C.'s picture

The Service Learning sharing was definitely a unique experience to share my work with my Service Learning partner. Dannes and I went to pick up Mrs Yang at around 2:15 pm. At first she was reluctant, but we encouraged her, and she agreed. Step by step, we strolled through Sifang Jie and into the Linden Centre. Mrs Yang was the first partner there. After she sat down on the sofa, she had to take a rest, because she told us that her heart and lungs are not very good anymore, so the walk and stairs were very tiring for her.

Orion H.'s picture

It is day 27. Which means it is one day until we leave. Unfortunantely, we will be leaving very early in the morning tomorrow so we will not be saying goodbye to the Si Fang Jie friends that we know. Today lunch everyone was eating out, so we had a chance to thank the Si Fang Jie cooks and say our goodbyes. We had hugs, tears, and pictures. Everybody misses this palce and wants to stay here a little longer.. But this is reality. There is a deadline for everything, and tomorrow was our deadline. Wayne and I ate at Mr.

Matthew E.'s picture

Today was really chill with a 7:30 breakfast and then we had to finish our last wellness reflection and that was good to see what we accomplished over Microcampus. We had our last daily meeting and that was good we said thanks to all of the committees for their hard work and cooperation. We also had a good talk about the service learning and what our partners did and how we did. After we finished all of our journals and reflection of Microcampus and had lunch out for the last time in the main square. We came back at one and finished packing all of our stuff and fixed up our room.

Travis O.'s picture

Today was packing and reflecting and chilling day.  We started the day off by eating breakfast where I had scrambled eggs and carrot cake. After breakfast I did my journals and reflected on our wellness throughout the trip. Then we had our final daily meeting where there was some great appreciation for all of the committees. Then after that we had pitching where we did more journaling after that we all had lunch outside the Linden Centre where I had my last meal at the Golden flower, which tasted amazing.

Harry G.'s picture

Originally, I planned to come to Microcampus to take some time off school. I thought that you go to a village and take classes, chill and eat good food. But I was wrong. I soon learned from Mr. Tafel and many other previous Microcampus students that though there is the freedom of creating your own schedule, there is still work to be done and you have to make sure that you get it all done with no sort of class time. I also came because I wanted to expand my understanding of China beyond the pollution of Shanghai.

Narelle S.'s picture

Today is the day! Harry and I rushed to the cake shop early in the morning to buy a cake for our Service Learning partner, Mr. Du, who had his birthday last week. One month flew by way too quickly. It’s the time to say goodbye to this beautiful place named Xizhou. Bye. Spent the whole morning and tried to pack our suitcases for Shanghai tomorrow was really not the happiest thing to do. Half of the day is officially gone and it is lunch time! Saying good bye to all of the pleasant shop owners was really hard.

Narelle S.'s picture

Microcampus is something I heard of back in sixth grade. That was back then when the first Microcampus group came to Xizhou and spent there for a week. When we heard our science teacher back then, Mr. Tafel, will travel to somewhere far away for four weeks, we were all very curious. And the all that time flew away and Microcampus is already over. The purpose why I wanted to come to Microcampus was because I wanted to go somewhere and explore. Deeply explore somewhere out of my comfort zone. Now that I have experienced this place, I have too many great memories to share.